OK Terry, you don’t even have the money in your pocket so don’t even think about it. Sure, this 1962 Ford Ranch Wagon you just came across at the Portland Swap Meet is very, very solid and the black exterior/red interior is intoxicating in the weird way only diehard gearheads understand.

Glass is all there, trim is all there and in really good condition. (Good thing it’s a Ranch Wagon, so not much trim to worry about in the first place). The door panels and rear seat are in really, really good condition and it’s a 352 3-on-the-tree manual car. Pretty cool.
But you have a ’67 Coronet wagon sitting in your driveway back in Nanaimo and in just a few weeks you’ll be heading to Minot, ND to pick up another ’67 Coronet wagon you foolishly bought for parts one late, hazy, crazy night when reason was on a bathroom break. True but I could sell those two wagons to pay for this one.

Sketchy Terry, very sketchy. Besides, the guy is asking $4,500US..that’s just ridiculous. But if I could get it for say, $3,300US that would keep it under $5,000 Canadian. If I sold my other two wagons for say, $3,500 I’d be $1,500 or less in the hole but way ahead in the “don’t have to fix a lot of rust” department. Plus, it’s really cool. I know it’s early, but I think I’m already falling in love with it.

Steady Terry. It’s starting to get a little uncomfortable now. You’ve been pouring over the car for more than 20 minutes and I think the owner, Jeff, is getting twitchy. Probably thinking “damn tire kicker…quit wasting my time.”

Ok, be cool. Step off to the side and get a little bit of advice from your buddies. “This is a $2,500 car all day long,” says Mark. “Are you really thinking of buying it,” says Ron. “This car is way, way cooler than that ’67 Coronet wagon you have,” says Kev. Damn…none of them are saying…use you head, move along. Plus, like I said earlier you have maybe $400 in your pocket. But, that’s what ATMs are for, isn’t it? True.

OK. Just walk away. This makes sense but it also doesn’t make sense so just walk away. You’ve done it before at swap meets. Yes. I have, but it always hurts a little later. Especially when someone else ends up with whatever part or car you couldn’t make up your mind about.
No, life’s short and this car is too good to pass up. I’m going to do it. No, no. I’m not. I’m going to walk away but I just have to get past the owner’s brother without seeming too sheepish. “So, what do you think?” he says, sensing he’s got a live one on the hook. Sadly, he does.
Be strong Terry. Be a good negotiator. You can do this.

“Thing is, you guys are starting so high at $4,500. I bought a ’65 Ford wagon here a few years ago for $1,700US and drove it home so I don’t want to piss you off with a low ball offer.” Good Terry, that was good and he doesn’t seem insulted. It’s Saturday afternoon and the car is still here. Maybe Jeff’s ready to deal. “Well make an offer,” says Jeff’s brother. “How about $2,500,” I hear myself saying. “No, no I’ve got to get $3,000 for it,” says Jeff. “I’d go $2,700,” I say. “Make it $2,800 and you’ve got a deal,” says the owner. “Done,” I say. You idiot Terry, what have you done? Apparently just bought a 1962 Ford Ranch Wagon.
Now what.

First, visit the ATM and discover your limit is $300 per transaction and so seven transactions later you have $2,100, plus the $300 you already gave him plus $400 you borrow from Kev. You pay Jeff mostly in $20s.
That was surely dumb.
So why am I smiling so much?

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