I Convince Myself It’s Hip To Be Square As A New Build Begins
There’s a reason parents don’t give their kids multiple dinner options… choice is overwhelming.
Such was my problem in searching for a new vehicle.
Between the four auctions I attend almost every week to source vehicles for my company’s clients, I have about 10,000 cars waved under my nose between any given Monday and Friday.
I had been living off the vehicular charity of others, borrowing vehicles wherever I could to defer the cost and inconvenience of getting my own, but when the owner of the Ford Focus I had been using returned from his tour of duty in the Alaskan fishing industry, my hand was forced and I no choice but to step up my shopping efforts.
I poured over auction run lists, Craigslist postings, eBay, and enthusiast forums. Test drove about forty cars, from a 2010 Honda Civic to a 1974 BMW 2002 (the latter of which I desperately wanted, but couldn’t set up to survive my commute).
Finally I picked up an E46 BMW 3-Series from an auction in Quincy that I thought would serve my purposes well.
Slick manual gearbox, cool color, fresh interior, under book value. Boom.
So I closed the deal and had it shipped to one of my reconditioning facilities. Where it promptly exploded.
When I stopped by the shop to have a look, one of the techs was just standing under it shaking his head. “Is very es’pensive for fix” was the backbone of his report, so we dragged the car back to auction and pawned it off on someone better equipped to deal with it’s issues. Presumably.
And thus the search continued.
By this point I had an idea of what I wanted; a sleekly-styled luxury rocket ship that would be just douchey enough to gain the acceptance of my BMW/Mercedes/Porsche-driving colleagues but subtle enough to not get keyed if I left it downtown over night.
I was also pretty set on a silver exterior on black leather and had always had an affinity for in-dash navigation. An automatic gearbox was of course out of the question.
And then one faithful Monday night, destiny was manifest. Cruising the website of Manheim, one of America’s biggest automotive wholesalers, I happened across the car I had been creating in my wildest lower-middle class dreams. Just writing the lane and run number down on my clipboard, my excitement was palpable.
It was a flawless-looking Honda UA6, known to the American public as an ’05 Acura TL. Silver paint, perfect black leather, massive infotainment screen and probably the best six-speed gear box in the price range.
I had already accepted that the RWD sport-lux options in my price range were inefficient, difficult to work on, and generally in a poor state of repair.
I’ll just have wait ‘til the S1000RR gets cheap to have my first BMW.
In my search had test-driven several TSX’s and been happy with the result, but remained unable to find one in the colors I wanted for what I was willing to pay.
I had not, however, driven a full-sized TL.
For those outside the Hondasphere; an Acura TSX, or Accord Euro R as it’s called in Japan, is a little sedan like a 3-Series or a C-Class. The TL is adult-sized, like a 5-series or an E-Class.
I got to the auction in an apocalypse-level downpour. As I walked around evaluating cars, I’d duck inside something comfortable looking every few minutes to avoid becoming completely saturated with water.
But I was determined to evaluate this TL, so using my clipboard as a (piss poor) umbrella I encircled it, inspected everything, scanned it, and took it for a “ten-foot test drive”; between the space it was parked in and the one behind it.
Auction lanes don’t typically permit driving any further before you’ve bought the car- a rule I learned after being scolded for whipping an SL55 around the yard under on a slow day.
In any case, this Acura was a beast. Worn paint on the front bumper, but other than that as flawless as a car could be with 160k on the clock. Even the engine bay was clean enough to host a dinner party. Whoever owned it was obviously on a maintenance-nut level of Jason Statham in The Transporter. And that’s exactly who you want to buy a car from.
Despite my certified Honda-fanboy status, I had originally resisted their offerings because I didn’t want another FWD car. One my best friends grew up with an EM1 and we loved it to death, but I knew all too well that hell (and the front tires) broke loose should the driver dare redline acceleration.
My own first car had been a DC2 Integra, and before completely destroying it in a street race I had my shares of close-calls and single-car wipeouts due to the effect of accelerative forces on the drive/steering wheels.
Of course I have no choice but to admit I didn’t know a about driving at that point… they don’t teach you apexing, heel-toe shifting and drifting in Driver’s Ed, you have to figure that stuff out yourself.
Regardless of the drivetrain layout, I was smitten but this FWD sport sedan and made the call to pay whatever it took to get it to my garage.
I’m pleased to report I was successful without overstepping the limits of reason, and after a little documentation runaround I was motorized once again.
And finally, another build begins in earnest. As soon as I can afford to put gas in this thing…
This entry was posted on September 21, 2012 by RoadRoving.com. It was filed under Cars and was tagged with accord, acura, auto auction, bmw 735, boston, car buying, honda, jason statham, manheim, navigation, six-speed, the transporter, TL, UA6.