at long last, we have one of the two vehicles we need!
it's incredibly nice to have one piece of the puzzle taken care of, and a very big piece at that. 19' of it at least :). we ended up with a '95 Ford F250 7.3 turbo diesel Power Stroke in red and white. to say michael and the boys are pleased is a rather gross understatement. they're thrilled!
i spent more time researching online than i ever expected, going back and forth between craigslist and edmunds.com and ford truck forums and used car websites and ebay and .... you get the idea. once we kind of narrowed down the search to a two-wheel-drive diesel truck that could handle a decent tow load, i pretty much kept looking for F250s. michael loves a Ford, and honestly the older the better. simple, powerful, and not too many things to go wrong.
given our past experiences with the Jeep we bought 2 years ago (A BIG FAT LEMON, yes all caps are entirely appropriate!) and then the Neon that lasted longer and failed less epically, but still is ready to bite the dust ... our confidence in choosing vehicles is rather at a low ebb. more like non existent. so we asked questions, gathered opinions, asked more questions, and decided to search not only around here, but in TN where my ran-a-Ford-Service-Department-for-years brother in law lives. doh!
within a few days, the candy-striped beauty up there showed up, at a nearly affordable price, and only 15 miles from where my in-laws live. on paper it looked great, the vehicle history was pretty clean, and michael loved the look of it. they went and test drove it for us, in the pouring rain no less, and deemed it worthy. they negotiated, and were able to get it down to a great price, but with the taxes it took it to just above what we could afford. (cash only, payments give me hives). so we let it go, and figured that if we got a bit more money, and it was still available, we'd get it.
a week later, we put a down payment on it, and grinned from ear to ear :). a truck! we bought a truck! sent the rest of the money that week, and on labor day weekend michael took a bus down from NYC, and picked it up and drove it home. 700 miles without a blip, and the longer it ran the sweeter it sounded. not to mention the mpg was up to 26 with the tailgate down and the AC off. extra sweet!
it needs a couple little things taken care of, and we're having it looked at by a mechanic just to make sure they can't find anything really wrong before we put it to the test of hauling us and our belongings all around the country.
it's a relief, a huge relief, and we keep finding things that make it even better. the tow hitch that's already in place. the aftermarket turbo booster our neighbor discovered on it. the engine that is extra clean. the mechanic we took it to (who is local but we've never used before, though he changed my SIL's tire for free a couple months ago) just happens to have the exact same engine in the truck he built for himself. lots of little things like that ... which add up to the feeling that this was the Right one, if there's any such perfect match. i think she's a keeper :).
oh, and she's loud. very. you won't miss us pulling in your driveway, or down your block, or possibly even into your town, should you live in a small one. this makes my husband very happy, and me just a wee bit flinchy ... but i'm sure i'll get used to it.