Finally got a deal done on a new truck! Ram 1500 Classic with the 5.7 Hemi motor.
Everything has a story, and here’s this one:
By last winter, my old Silverado was really getting iffy. I knew it was close to time for something new. But my inherent aversion to spending money stood in the way.
So a few months ago, I eventually started looking around. I gave this all way more thought than I needed to, and ended up with three non-negotiable requirements:
- Had to have the “less back seat / more bed” configuration. Ram calls this Quad Cab. With a Quad Cab, the back seat and back doors are smaller, but the bed is longer. My Silverado had the “Crew Cab” configuration, with the bigger back seat and doors, but less bed. Didn’t make sense for me anymore, since the back seat is rarely used and mostly just serves as a tool catcher.
- Had to have the V8 motor. My sense of things is that what I want is a big, more powerful V8 that isn’t working all that hard, rather than a V6 or even turbocharged I4 that is working way harder. Mainly because I think a motor that has an easier time of things will last longer.
- Had to have dark red paint. My Silverado was sort of a gold/brown/ugly. Never liked it. Not one bit. Total compromise at the time.
I’m pretty brand neutral, so Ford/Chevy/Ram makes little difference to me. So I started searching. Found one just like the Ram I ended up getting, but used with 14k miles on it. Someone had put a boomy, hotrod exhaust on it, so no way. That thing was obnoxious.
Went and test drove Chevys and Fords. Liked the Chevy best, but they didn’t have my color. Neither did Ford.
Thought I was dead in the water.
Until I discovered a Chevy on the dealer website that was exactly what I wanted. That was in December.
Problem was, it was a “Loaner Program” vehicle, and they wouldn’t sell it to me. They said maybe in January, it would be out of the program. So I called again in January. Thought we were going to make a deal.
EXCEPT, because it was a loaner, it had about 4k miles on it. And the way GM does the program, you get a full 36k miles from date of purchase for the warranty, but the clock on the three years started on the day it was put into service as a loaner.
I was perfectly happy to accept both the miles and the reduced warranty coverage, but expected to get a break on the deal in exchange. Could not make it happen. I was a little surprised, actually. I told them what I was willing to pay, and they didn’t even counter. Plus, the one I was looking at was a 2020 model, so it’s already a model year old. The sales guy said maybe they’ll have more incentives in February.
So I called again in February. More or less, the same story. They weren’t discounting loaner program vehicles any more than they were discounting regular, new vehicles. Told them good luck, but if I’m paying for new, I’m getting new, so they aren’t selling it to me.
Decided to expand my search, and started looking at Rams again.
Found a local dealer that had four units on their website that matched my specs. Went on web chat, asked a few questions, and, satisfied, told them I was on my way. I told the guy about my three non-negotiable requirements. I gave him the inventory codes from the four units I had found and asked them to pick one and have it pulled around up front.
When I arrived 25 minutes later, I found my guy and he promptly said “Um, bad news. None of those four are available. But we have another one at our other lot. I’ll be back with it in ten minutes.”
And off he went. Which gave me a few minutes to poke around the Dodge showroom. Never in my life did I think I’d see a Dodge with a $100k+ sticker price, but they had one.
A few minutes later, he drives up in a truck. A black truck. I told him that I wasn’t interested in black. He said they didn’t have my color. I told him I was pissed that he wasted my time, and didn’t appreciate it one bit. And then I left.
Went to the website of another local-ish dealer. Their Ram store is in Blair, which is about 15 miles north of Omaha.
Things went pretty smooth from there. They had what I wanted, and they actually had them in stock, and they were running some factory promotion stuff that ended up with me getting what I thought was a really good deal. Did the deal on Thursday. Needed them to add a few items (spray in bedliner, etc) so I didn’t pick it up until Saturday.
And here she is!