Friday, April 06, 2012

Bill Gives Up His Jeep

Bill in his Old Buggy - his 1990 Jeep Laredo

This morning Bill made The Decision.  What decision is that you might ask?  The decision to give up his car.

Bill has been driving for 67 years, since he got his driver's license at age 16.  Bill is 83 years old now. 

Perhaps one of the hardest decisions as we get older is the decision to give up driving.  Bill hasn't given up driving.  He has only given up his car.

Bill has had a 1990 Jeep Laredo.  He brought it brand, sparkling new with part of his severance package from General Electric.  He expected this car to last him the rest of his life.  Well guess what?  He's outlived the car. 

This past month he's spent $690.00 for repairs.  Now he's told he has to have more repairs which will cost at least another $1,100.  Time for a new car.  When you get to the point where you're just pouring money into a rust bucket (the engine), time for a new car.

So we go out this morning and look at used cars.  Sticker shock.  Used cars, 68,000 miles, 2005 $16,000?  What is going on here?  We can't afford a new car. 

Bill checking the used vehicles yesterday - sticker shock!

We go back to Kenny of Kenny's Auto Repair and Bill offers to make him a deal.  Knock some of the repair price off of his old rust bucket Jeep Laredo and Bill will sell him the car.  Kenny works on cars.  Maybe he can fix it up in his spare time and sell it to some kid for their first car.

Bill checking the used cars - high mileage, high prices
Bill make the propostion to Kenny.  After some negotian Kenny goes for the deal!  Great!

Now here is the new reality.  No longer will Bill cart my behind all over southern Sussex County whenever the whim hits me to "go out."  I will drive.  Uh huh.  Okay, I can handle that.  But can Bill handle not having his own wheels? This is a big psychological step in a man's life. 

Bill in his new set of wheels - my chariot 


  1. My cherokee looked very much like Bill's laredo, only mine was forest green. I sympathize with Bill. I know he'll miss that car.

    1. Walt,

      Lot of memories with that old Jeep. Almost like giving up a child.

  2. anne marie in philly5:31 PM

    ron, if either you or bill are a member of AAA, try AAA buying service. that's how we purchased todd's pre-owned car back in february. I would go to them again cause it was so easy! no hassles or bargaining at the dealership; we were in-n-out in 3 hours (a new record)!

    1. Anne Marie,

      Yes, I am a member of AAA, since 1982. In fact just yesterday I renewed my annual membership ($57.00) and was telling Bill I never used them in all the years I've had them. I'll take your suggestion and check into this service they offer. I wasn't aware of it. Thanks for the tip.


  3. Phoenix is spread out, little public transport (and in hot weather that) and the city is full of older folks. They would rather die than surrender their wheels. It makes the city full of elderly drivers who shouldn't be driving. Combine this with the younger ones who have no sense of driving manners and it is a recipe for some hot and bothered highways.

    1. I just got back from taking Bill for a ride. This time I drove him to Rehoboth Beach. The season is just starting and the crazies are out there. We have the same problem here, too many older drivers, too many young hot shots and too many lacking basic driving courtesy because they are "at the beach." As last year, I'll probably stay around our home (ten miles north of Rehoboth) and if I do go in it will be early on a Sunday morning while the crazies are sleeping off their hangovers. No complaints here though, our industry is tourism. I just stay low during The Season and try an stay out of their way.


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