I’m Not in the Market Any More

After weeks of trolling the internet car classifieds several times a day, I finally saw a 2006 Pontiac GTO with a 6-speed manual transmission pop up Friday night. It was at CarMax in Buena Park, about 2 hours from where I live. There were no pictures of it, or anything. They had just added it to the inventory listing. Now, the thing about the manual GTO is that they never stay on car lots. Car people really, really like a 400 HP car they they can buy for less than $20,000.  So, when a mannie-tranny GTO shows up on a lot, it sells instantly.

So, I called up instantly, and asked to reserve a test drive Saturday afternoon. To ensure they reserved it, I got approved for a car loan over the phone, and the sales guy stuck a “SOLD” tag on it to ensure it didn’t go anywhere. I then called up USAA and got a quote for insurance.

On Saturday morning, an extremely depressed Chris and I drove her beloved Spyder—though it was my nemesis, Chris really, really loved it—up to Buena Park. Long story short…we drove the GTO back home. I got the car, and also ponied up for gap insurance, as well as the CarMax extended warranty. The current odometer reading is 69,161 miles, which is more than I wanted, but beggars can’t really be choosers, and it was average mileage for a 2006 car. Now, with CarMax, I’m covered for 72 months or until 125,000 miles.

There’s a couple of little things that need to be addressed. The previous owner had a bad tint job, so the rear window is all cloudy. All the aftermarket tint has to go. The GTO badge on the dashboard is gone. I will want to get a replacement—or, perhaps, the Holden Monaro badge that also goes in that slot. One of the little storage trays is missing the rubber pad on the bottom. There are also some inherent downsides t the GTO—which I knew about going in: The trunk is small. The Tremec 6-speed transmission is just average.

Other than that, it really like it. It sounds very shouty and mean. The chassis is stiff, but the suspension is complaint, giving it nice ride quality, with a Jaguar-like feel. The leather seats are all in good shape. It’s a hoot, really.

And here’s what it looks like—with all the pictures being clickable to show the hi-res version:

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Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for TechCentralStation.com. Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.