We sure have came a long way..
I got my first car in 2009, it was a 2000 Ford Taurus SEL. My grandma (who passed away 12/2020) purchased the car for me, and told me I owed her back, but every time i tried to make a payment she told me she didn’t need the money..
I truly feel like my grandma was the only person i could count on when it came to money, or needing something. Anything really. She was the ONLY person i felt comfortable going to…
The Taurus was pre owned, and had over 100,000 Miles when i purchased it. So needless to say it came with its own set of problems. We seen it in the shop a great deal of time
, and by the time i paid to fix the car, it was more than we actually paid. $2,400 I believe it was.
I ended up keeping this car until the middle of 2021, When i realized I really didn’t have room for a car that didn’t get driven anymore. So i sold it to my aunt, who is still today (as of posting this 10-2021) still driving it.
This was around the time that i wasn’t making good money, Hardly any money in fact.. I worked for WalMart at the time of getting the car, and i barely made $7.40/hour.. The car was basically the only thing I could afford.
I had dreams and plans to one day get something nicer. I would have been happy with a used truck, or something a little bigger than the car.
Having one car to share between me and my mom proved to be a hard thing to do.. One of us had to plan on not going anywhere in order to make up for the lack of transportation. So sometime around 2017 she went in debt for a (new to her) used 2009 Ford Edge.
This Edge had its own set of problems as well, because it was around 98,000 miles when we purchased it.. We found out shortly after getting it that the AWD System was shot, and needed to be rebuilt. I believe that it was pure luck that my business was starting to take off during this time, and I was able to pay to get the car fixed and back on the road. $1,800 later, it didn’t come without a fight…
After getting the car fixed, we found that the shop did not tighten the lug nuts on the car, and the wheel almost came off while driving it.. This warped the wheel and we had to get that replaced, at $600..
As my Business continued to grow, I decided that it would be a good time to get myself a new car.. I have for the most part tried to stay away from loans.. But i realized that I likely would never get another newer car without taking out a loan. My business was doing good, and continuing to grow, but at the time i made roughly 32k/year and unless i could sit at home and do nothing for a year, there was little chance I would ever be able to pay cash for it.
On my way to go look at my next car, I hit black ice and wrecked the 2009 Edge. It was totaled. That day was one of the worse ever.. Not only did I destroy a car that wasn’t even mine, I stripped my mom from her form of transportation, I also got a ticket for having a single vehicle accident, and my insurance rates doubled. None the less, I still went and looked at the next car..
My 2015 Chrysler 300 C
Like I said, I wasn’t crazy hot on the idea of taking out a loan for this vehicle. I had major buyers remorse after buying it, because I had that feeling of sudden doom in the back of my mind.. What if my business failed, or what if, what if.
I purchased this car for $24,000 and it had just under 20,000 miles on it.
I managed to get a few months ahead on my payments, and make myself feel a little more comfortable about the car, But i decided that I needed to get a backup part time job encase something happened. I began working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car at the Airport. This was a 60 mile round trip job.. Why i stayed so long, i have no clue..
This car holds a lot of sentimental value to me, It was the first car I ever purchased myself, If was exactly what I wanted, and I searched high and low to find it.. I actually ordered it out of Sanford, FL and had it shipped up to the local CarMax to complete the sale. I also took my grandma to her chemo appointments in this car every single week, and eventually every other week as the appointments began to get spread out.. She fought cancer for 3 years before finally giving up.
I worked hard at my business, and getting extra money from my job at Enterprise and paid this car off 2.5 years early on a 5 Year loan.
I did have a minor accident in this car, It was hit and run while parked at Best Buy in Asheville.. I was so upset, I had a large emotional attachment to the car, and to see someone else destroy it.. Luckily insurance took care of the scratch on the front bumper, and not a lot more needed to be done.
As my business continued to grow, and my saving as well. I decided that it would be a good idea to help my mom replace the car I totaled, and also possibly move myself in to a nicer vehicle. I decided to hand down the 300 to her, and let her drive it full time. I searched high and low again, to find exactly what I wanted.. and Decided on this 2020 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel.
I had a dream of owning a diesel, but i really didn’t need a 2500 or 3500 size truck. When i found out ram had released a half ton truck in a diesel engine I had to try it. I drove to Winston Salem, NC to test drive the truck, and ended up writing a check for it.
I ended up negotiating the price down to $12,000 Below MSRP. I was happy with the deal, and happy with the truck.
I bought this truck in September 2020, and drove it to my job at Enterprise.. It was a few months after buying the truck that I realized that I really didn’t need to maintain this part time job anymore.. I had no debt, and my brand new truck was paid for.
At This point in time I still owned the Chrysler, The Taurus, and now the truck. I didn’t NEED another car..
But one night among our nightly skype calls with my friends, the topic of a Tesla came up.. My friend Deven was sold on the idea of getting one, and he was just dreaming of the day he could afford it.. (Deven now owns a 2021 Tesla Model 3 SR+) After weeks of talking about it, and going over the fact that i could OWN a tesla… I decided to schedule a test drive.
I had my eye set on a 2021 Tesla Model Y Performance.. But when I got to Tesla to test drive, they only had a Long Range available. I drove the Long Range for 30 Minuets and was completely sold.. The advisor was telling me about a software performance boost you can buy for the car, which the test model did not even have. The test car could go 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, But with the software package you could get that down to 4.3 seconds.
I decided to order a 2021 Tesla Model Y Long Range, and I did take the performance boost software package. I also opted for the Full Self Driving Package.. Which ultimately is what ruined my experience with this car..
When you lay down $10,000.00 for a piece of software that one day promises will be able to drive the car, its hard to not expect more out of it.. Tesla’s have a notorious issue of phantom breaking. Just randomly while going down the interstate running 70-80 the car will suddenly slam on the breaks.. This happens usually at bridges or overpasses.. Its annoying, but its one of the many little quirks that you live with.. Unfortunately I just didn’t understand that at the time of owning this car..
Other issues I had with the car are Auto High beams didn’t work.. At all.. They would stay dim at all times when no cars were coming, and when a car would come they would switch to bright. I also had issues with the auto wipers. They were either off, or speed 9,000. Even with a small drizzle, the wipers were completely useless.
I could get over the high beams, by simply switching them to manual and going on.. but the process to turn on the wipers is a bit more involved, and nearly impossible to do without taking your eyes off the road, while driving.
I complained with Tesla about both issues, and they asked me to bring the car in for service.. This service ended up screwing my front camera up, and the car suddenly could no longer engage Autopilot.. I had to take the car back for a second repair, which fixed AutoPilot but made the original issues exist again.. I was then told there was nothing more they could do..
Needless to say, I had higher expectations out of this car, and i had gotten a bad experience with Tesla regarding the issues. I decided at that point that Although driving electric was cool, it just wasn’t worth it to me.. I found a dealership in Georgia who offered to trade the car at almost cost.. I basically lost the tax.
The ram dealer took the Tesla in as trade, and I decided to purchase a 3500. At the time I planned on buying a fifth wheel and doing some traveling. I would still like to explore that idea one day.. I really didn’t do as much research as I should have before buying this truck.. What seemed like a great plan in my head ended up being a huge headache.. When you realize the extra height of a fifth wheel, and you suddenly have to pay attention to which roads you go on, the whole idea of a Fifth Wheel went out the door.
I purchased this truck, and only drove it for 1,000 miles. It was very big, and very wide.. The size didn’t concern me as much, as the price.. This truck, Because it was purchased during the peak of covid, ended up going for sticker price.. I didn’t get any sweet discount on the truck, and the thought of having that much money tied up in such a big vehicle concerned me greatly to drive it..
It was a 2021 Ram 3500 Limited.
With being basically afraid to drive it, in fear of someone else hitting it, I let it park for a few months. I decided that I really just didn’t need it anymore. The 5th Wheel idea was out the door, and that was the main reason i bought the truck.. There were several things I didn’t like about the truck.. Compare to my 2020 Ram 1500 this truck was based on a older cab design.. That means a lot of the interior was outdated, and many features that had been our years prior still were not in this truck.. (Pano roof, updated steering wheel, etc)
I ended up selling the truck to Vroom. The process was fairly painless.
After going back to my diesel truck, and getting the cash back out of vroom for the 3500, I was thinking about the next move I wanted to make.. I ordered a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L from the local dealership back in March. I designed it exactly how I wanted it, and I was expecting it would be in far before now. (As of writing this, its still not here)
Here is a concept picture, as I still haven’t seen the actual jeep. but this is what its suppose to look like
I am still pretty disappointed in Jeep for this overall process.. The jeep was announced at the beginning of the year, and orders opened sometime in February. I went to the dealership in March to inquire about ordering the exact specification I wanted. The only issue i ran in to was the fact that i wanted it with a Hemi V8. Orders for the hemi did not start until late April. The order for this jeep was officially submitted on April 26. I was given a estimated build date of July.
The above pictured jeep, is a dealer inventory jeep in Texas.. I am still baffled how a customer Paid Order is still pending, but this jeep of the exact same configuration (including the Hemi) is sitting on a lot somewhere for sale in Texas..
I have toyed around with ideas of cancelling the jeep, and just getting something else.. I am not sure what I want to do with that.. I think I would really enjoy the jeep if it would just come in!
Also in March, While I still owned the Grey Model Y I decided to place an order for a 2021 Tesla Model X Long Range. They had just announced the refresh, and all new design. I have sort of always wanted a Model X for the cool doors, and huge space..
That order is also being delayed, Originally we expected to see it in April, Then October, and now the estimated date is non existent. I can be a little more understanding of the Tesla, because I know how Tesla operates. I also know that there aren’t others who ordered after me already getting their cars… In fact, Tesla has yet to deliver one single Model X since the refresh.
Maybe by the time they actually start building these, I will have a plan on how i am going to pay for it..
Not everything about my first Tesla was all bad.. The car had mad acceleration, and did it at such a low cost it was unbelievable. By my math, I traveled at about $0.03/mile in the Tesla, compared to (before Biden gas prices) $0.08/mile in my truck. Compare that to today’s gas prices and the truck is more like $0.12/mile. Even with supercharging at an average of $0.07/mile the Tesla is still cheaper to operate. That’s not even getting in to the fact that it never needs an oil change, etc.
Having had a bad experience with buying Full Self Driving, and it failing to even operate the high beams and wipers correctly I decided that whatever i chose next needed to be with base autopilot only. At least then i would feel more comfortable with the car not having $10,000 worth of software tied up in it..
I decided to repurpose that $10,000 and ordered a 2021 Tesla Model Y Performance, to do me until the X gets here.
I only thought the last one was fast.. This one has a 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds. its FAST.
Surprisingly they have managed to work out the bugs with the Automatic Wipers, which makes me feel a lot better about this new one… The high beams are complete trash still.. Without having $10k tied up in a feature that doesn’t even work, its allowed me to relax a little more about owning this car.. The trade in values for these cars are usually pretty good even after years of use and abuse.
As of now My current plan is to drive this one until my Model X order is in.. I am still trying to figure out where I will come up with the other $60-70k needed to buy the Model X. I guess that will all depend on how much i like or hate the jeep when it comes in.. For now, I am driving the Model Y, Chrysler 300, and Ram 1500.. I don’t expect to keep all 3 to add the jeep, but until i can pick one to part with, I may very well end up with 4 cars.. At least temporary..
So the whole point behind this post was just to sort of give a roadmap of where I’ve been. Its still pretty surreal to me that I came from almost nothing to here. I am very humbled in how things have turned out.. I didn’t make this post to brag or be like oh look at me, but more of a reference when i think back to this time in my life in several years, I can go back and read the stories related to each car and how it came to be.
I’m convinced I do not get many readers here anyway 🙂