So the end result of all my car shopping was I bought a 2004 GTI from a guy out in CA. And man this car is so sweet. That little 1.8T engine just aims to please. It pulls hard in almost any gear, once that turbo kicks in at least. I must have called a dozen or so different people over the last month, from as close as in town to as far as Florida. The closer I came down to actually being able to buy the car, the more I didn’t want to drive halfway across the country to get one. And once I’d settled on just getting a regular GTI and not the 20th AE or the 337 Edition, there were quite a few to choose from that were at least within 500 miles of home.
There was one GTI that stood out among those that I had looked at, it was a 2004 Silverstone Gray with only 29k miles on it out in LA, actually right around my home town. I thought, hey a trip back home would be fun, maybe see the beach, hang out with some old friends. Anyway I called the owner, Mike, and asked him all the generic-buying-a-new-car questions. He was really nice and talked with me for a while that first day. We continued to discuss the car through email over the next week or so, in the mean time I was still looking at every GTI on autotrader I could find. But over all the other cars I found, his car really stood out, it was totally stock, low miles, newer year than any other I had been looking at, from the pictures the interior and exterior of the car were in excellent condition and the asking price was reasonable. It wasn’t until I actually test drove GTI that I finally committed to wanting one and made the decision to fly out to CA to buy the Silverstone ’04 from Mike and and drive the car back.
I called up Mike on Tuesday, we worked out the final details on the price, and I bought a plane ticket and three days later we met up at the airport. Mike was nice enough to pick me up at the airport, and we took off from there driving down the 101 through the canyon, along the PCH, back up the canyon and by then I was sold. The car was amazing, it drove like a dream. The engine ran smooth, the car ran smooth, it handled great, and the interior was in near-perfect condition. It was kind of an odd thing to do I suppose, to fly out to anther state and buy a car I’d never really seen from a guy I’d never met. But seeing as how the car was still under warranty and was so new, I felt there was little risk in the whole deal. That and once I met the owner, I knew too that he was a good guy, we talked about all sorts of stuff while I drove, he was actually really cool, recently married, baby on the way, guitar player, just a normal guy. I think he was more worried that I would be the psycho, while his wife text’d him on his phone wondering if he’d been cut up to pieces. The trip was a lot of fun, the bank was a pain, but in the end the drive home was blast. I aslo hooked up with my buddy Dave and we jammed a few old acoustic tunes from our band on the piano. It was good to see him again and hang out, it’s been so long, I need to get out there more often to see him and do things together, even if it’s just play old songs or maybe write new ones. He’s always fun to hang out with and he is quite the character. I can’t wait to see you again Dave, you rock.
Anyway, the drive back went without a problem, I got lunch at In-N-Out in Palm Springs and just flew home as fast I could (without getting a ticket, again). Now I’ve had the car for a week and just love it. Tomorrow it goes into the dealer for a routine 5K service and just have them check everything out. Hope fully all goes well. Now’s the time when I go from the buyer to the seller, as I sell my Honda Civic. I posted it on autotrader last night and so far have gotten a lot of calls and one guy came by and already test drove it today. He seemed to really like it, it would be for his step son and two more people are coming by tomorrow. I’m basically asking blue book somewhere between excellent and good condition. The car runs great, although not as nice as my new GTI, for given how old it is, it’s in great condition and has been a fun car for the last few years. In fact, that Honda is what sort of got me into cars in general. I worked on that car to no end, I lowered it, installed new rotors, brakes, struts, tail lights, new rims, fog lights, gauge clusters, I changed the oil myself, did most of the routine services myself, plugs, fuel filter, air filter, distributer, etc. I learned how to work on cars with that car, and I never had more fun doing it. Now I get to do the same with my GTI, and the first two things in the works are tinting the windows and lowering it. The wheel gap in nearly 3″ in the back, and oh how I can’t stand wheel gap, it just doesn’t look good at all. So all my pics of my new car I’ve already photoshopped the drop just so the pics look better, even though it’s cheating, I know.