The Background Hunt

Some programs/apps are running “in the background.” Their procedures are usually not visible, but the programs/apps are running, nevertheless.

With current events being what they are, my hunt for a Z06 companion is not as active, or overt, as it has been. Nevertheless, I am still thinking about a potential addition to our garage when we have more space. This useful article by Mike Musto of Hemmings is about shopping for a car online. This passage struck a chord:


“I myself am compulsive about looking at cars online. Every night, beginning around 8:30 p.m., I sit on the couch, laptop at the ready, and proceed to hit the auctions and classifieds. Mind you, I don’t need another vehicle (seven seems enough at the moment), but that want, it just never goes away. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles are all on my permanent watch list and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t always on the lookout for my next purchase.”


As I have written on more than one occasion I REALLY understand how people wind up owning multiple vehicles. In addition, shopping for a car online is simply the new normal. While I don’t look every day, I look most days even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes.

I bought my Z06 online without ever actually laying eyes on it. (Contrary to one of Musto’s rules, by the way.) The dealer, Mercedes-Benz of Oklahoma City, sent me dozens of pictures and a reasonable facsimile of the build sheet/window sticker. Other than the tires, racing slicks that had been abused, and a minor problem with the driver door weather strip, which I fixed, the car arrived in good condition.

Of course the old saw that the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys is rattling around in (what’s left of) my brain. Still, I don’t have to look any farther than my wonderful wife to see one of the many examples of women searching the Internet for something to buy.

I rely primarily on Hemmings and Classic Cars to look for the “elderly” companion for my Z06. One car that piqued my interest, sort of, but which appears not to be available anymore, was a 1964 Buick Riviera with a more modern drivetrain. I don’t care about a stock drivetrain, but the ad contained only one photo, which should be a major red flag. The Hemmings article lists all of the photos a potential buyer should see, whether or not they’re included with the original ad. Here is the list:


– 360 degrees: Front, three-quarter front, full side, three-quarter rear, rear, roof
– Under hood: Left, right, and center angles
– Undercarriage from all angles (this will help to spot any leaks, exhaust problems, or hidden rust)
– Door jams, rocker panels, and door bottoms
– Close-ups of the shock towers and suspension points
– Wheels and tires (with date codes)
– Grille, all light fixtures and lenses, and trim closeups
– Front and rear seating surfaces (any rips, tears, or discoloration)
– Headliner (any sagging)
– Dashboard (any cracks)
– Door cards and kick panels
– Carpet (any discoloration or worn spots)
– Rear package tray (cracks or discoloration)
– Trunk interior, as well as the spare tire compartment
– Glass (look for scratches)

Both my wonderful wife and I are big fans of the Jaguar XJS convertible, but finding one without 90,000+ miles isn’t easy. I don’t want to add a car similar in idiom to our Corvettes. In other words, we don’t need another high-performance sports car. Besides, we will need a grocery car so the car has to have a trunk and at least four seats. Another convertible would be nice, though, for cruising in the desert. Maybe something like this:



From this Hemmings ad a picture of a 1965 Buick Wildcat convertible that, supposedly, has just 52,000-ish miles. I like the Buick Rallye wheels or Sport wheels or whatever they’re called. I like the asking price, $12,995. Ah yes, the hashtag reminder: #somanycarsjustonelife.

If any of you would like to share your recent experiences in buying a car (or cars) or have any advice I would very much like to read your words of wisdom.






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