On this day in 2010 my wonderful wife and I moved into the house in which we currently live. The probability that we make it to 11 years here is very close to zero. Since she has told her supervisor this news I can share it with you: our house is officially on the market. While it may seem beyond imprudent to move to a place where people refuse to wear masks and a place that has had a substantial increase in virus cases–yes, the two conditions are related–fortune favors the brave or maybe we hope that fortune favors the foolish.
Housing inventory is quite thin in our future area of residence. We have hired a realtor there and her company sends us listings that meet our criteria. Good homes move so quickly, due to word of mouth among realtors before the house is officially listed, that we have received listings for homes that are already under contract.
We have had to expand the geographical area in which we are searching. The extent of that expansion is a source of some tension between my wonderful wife and me. One particular town appeals to me because of its gorgeous mountain views, but my wife thinks it’s too far from “civilization” to be an enjoyable place to live. Her view is not without merit as we once lived in a nice house on a big lot, but somewhat cut off from shopping, restaurants and other things to do. The longer we lived there, the less we liked it. While all of those activities have been curtailed due to the virus, we hope that the situation will not be permanent.
On the other hand, focusing on one place to look for homes is not presenting us with much of a choice as the number of homes that meet our criteria there is always in single digits. Of course, the actual homes change as, like I wrote, the good homes are sold quickly.
We will almost certainly not rent first and have to put our things in storage. We really do not want to move twice. I suppose that means we will simply have to buy the best available house after our current house sells. We will need some good luck in order to successfully negotiate this difficult path on which we are traveling. Good luck has been a stranger to me for a long time.
Just like the thin housing inventory, the available number of cars that meet our criteria for being a Corvette Companion/Grocery Car is quite small. For example, on AutoTrader the current number of 2000-2002 Eldorados listed with fewer than 75,000 miles is exactly one. As recently as last week that number was six. The number of 2006-07 Monte Carlos SS with the same mileage restriction is also currently just one.
As an alternative I have been looking at cars like the one below, but “lower-mileage” examples are impossible to find. What do you think of this car?
From Car Gurus a picture of a 1999 Buick Riviera (hopefully, a picture that doesn’t disappear from this blog in a few days). While I don’t think the styling of the last generation Riviera is as striking as the 2000-02 Eldorado or 2006-07 Monte Carlo and this Riv is not available with a V-8 like those cars, I think these cars look good and are certainly big enough to be a grocery car. A purchase of this car would also be an homage to a defunct model with great history similar to the Eldorado and Monte Carlo.
The last generation Riviera was powered by a supercharged version of the legendary V-6 made famous in the Regal Grand National and GNX of the 1980s. The 3.8 liter/231 cubic-inch engine produced 240 HP/280 LB-FT of torque in this Riviera. At 207 inches (17 feet, 3 inches) in length this car should fit in most garages. The trunk has more than ample volume at over 17 cubic feet.
This would not be the first front-wheel drive car I have owned as my 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix was also based on the GM front-wheel drive architecture of the day. As I have written here many times, I have dreams, but I live in the real world. We really will need a grocery car as neither Corvette is ideal for large grocery loads. While I would have liked to purchase a “first-generation” Riviera or a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk, such a purchase would be impractical, at least in the short term. I am engaging in an exercise in constrained maximization.
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