Dude, Where’s My Car?

You know, it’s really easy to get into trouble just by browsing lists of cars for sale. Early in September, the transmission in my 2003 Honda Accord V6 died and not only was I left begging for transportation (thank you Nathan, for helping me out) but Honda wanted me to pay to have the transmisison replaced – that’s a whole ‘nuther story though. Because of this recent car trouble, I have been browsing cars for sale and, while searching for a BMW 540i to test drive, I decided to see if there were any M5’s out there. Well **** me; there is one. CarMax in Birmingham has a Black 2000 M5 with a black leather interior and a six-speed manual transmission. I must have it.

 As far as dream cars go, for me, a black-on-black M5 is second only to a black-on-black 850CSi. We’re talking a 5 liter V8 with 400hp and 395ft-lbs of torque; a 0-60 in 4.7 seconds (or 5.2, depending on who’s specs you go by…) and 60-0 in just 138 feet. This is a four door sedan that will compete with the likes of a Ferrari. How could I possibly pass this up? The only three things holding me back are: the fuel economy of 14mpg city/18mpg highway, the car I have now is paid off but I would have to finance part of the purchase of the M5, and lastly my wife gets car sick so the manual transmission could be a problem.

After several weeks of pining over the car but not doing anything about it, I finally paid to have it transported from Birmingham to Memphis. I was told by CarMax that it would take up to 14 days, this was Saturday. I figured on it taking about a week and was blown away when they called on Wednesday to tell me it was here. Must test drive now!

The wife and I headed up there to test drive it and, since it’s been something like seven years since I drove a manual, I made her good and car sick. Crap. The next evening I met my dad and his boss, Rob, up there for another test drive; Rob races cars and is something of a BMW fanatic so I figure his opinion will weigh in pretty heavily on whether or not to buy this beast. Of course, it’s been raining all week so it’s a bit difficult to really peg it to see what this car will do but Rob really ran it through its paces. The poor sales girl was probably a nervous wreck by the end of it all – what, with slamming on the brakes on well travelled roads, flooring the accellerator with and without the DSC on, careening around corners, and other fun maneuvers that most people don’t usually try when test driving. Rob told me to let him know if I didn’t buy the car ’cause he would.

Since we did find a few things wrong with it like water in the headlights, a broken air vent, and a bad display on the instrument cluster, I didn’t buy the car that night. CarMax told me they would fix these problems for me and I needed a little more time to make my decision. Craig, one of the salesmen I’ve been working with, called me on Friday to see if I was going to come in to buy the car. I told him it might be Saturday or more likely Sunday.

The wife and I show up today afternoon to buy the car; I’ve got everything they told me to bring and I’m ready to seal the deal. Just one problem – I don’t see the car anywhere. The first salesman I ever talked to, Steve, is on the management track and can’t help me with the car so he goes off to find the fourth salesman I’ve talked to, Chris. After 15 or 20 minutes Steve and Chris show up and Steve hands us off to Chris. Chris can’t find the car either so he heads off to see where it is. The wife and I are tired of sitting inside so we go outside and start browsing through the lot. When she finds an X5, I try to open the door so we can see the interior which sets off the rather obnoxious alarm. Chris shows up some time later and, after resetting the alarm on the X5, tells me that the M5 is in their shop and that there is no one there who is authorized to get it for us – that they are replacing the headlights and fixing the other problems we found. Chris tells us he will call to let us know if they will be able to get the car out for us tomorrow.

I guess I have to finish this later once they can get the car out for us. Damn, I really wanted to show up at work in it on Monday.