Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Hunt is Over

Having arranged to meet Tom Brophy to discuss the merits of his Mercury Capri - which is actually a Mazda Miata under the skin - I was dismayed to discover that Tom didn't want to sell after all. He wanted to sell me his aged Ford Explorer for $3,000. Tom has delusions of being important in his own lunch-time. I mounted my trusty steed, and started cycling back when I spotted a Mercury Grand Marquis for sale. Price tag $950, obo. With Se habla Espanol underneath the tag. Not having habla Espanol abilities, I called anyway, and arranged to meet the owner. It's a '92 (the car, the owner was a circa 84 vintage Louisiana gal and very cute), with "poor" paintwork (it's a Florida thing). The interior is like a tart's boudoir, all studded velour, and extremely comfortable and clean. Never been smoked in. I was told the air did not work, but I discovered it did, but the noise coming from the front suggested that it was wise not to leave it on. A quick spin round the parking-lot, and $800 of "In God We Trust" specimens were handed over. It's a barge.... I have a carport, and almost managed to remove both supporting sides in one go. This car will seat 6 in comfort. 8 if you want to get friendly or married (delete the latter). The trunk is bigger than my bathroom! Due to Florida's stupid laws, I'm not allowed to drive it until I "register" it. To register it, I have to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is a gazillion miles away, and without the car... you get the drift.... And they're not open at weekends. It'll have to wait until Tuesday (Monday being a day of rest for DMV workers - rest? After what?). Then I can check it out on the highway. It seems to have plenty of power from its 4.6 liter V8, which actually doesn't frighten little children in the streets. Maybe after tinkering with the exhaust, it might. I can but hope. Notorious for never cleaning a car, I did run the vacuum (small, courtesy of Rik and Chris) over it. It looks just splendid. A quick Polish car wash (leave it in a Florida rainstorm) and it looks quite presentable. Radio works great, and it plays cassettes. Roll on Bruce Hornsby and Bruce Springsteen! None of the windows open. The motors just hum. Maybe they don't know the words.... The interior mirror has been rejoined with it's intended spot. Now I can see what happens behind me. Apparently, the car (according to the EPA) will do about 25 mpg on the highway. Much the same as my Honda Accord. So I don't feel too bad about the V8! Roll on Tuesday!