Posts Tagged ‘Camaro’

Six Weeks. Fifteen dealerships. After all the insanity the end of the road is finally here. It’s been a roller coaster ride, but now I’ve reached the end of a journey that maybe wasn’t really needed. Seriously speaking, the whole search for the “Holy Grail” known as the Camaro ZL1 was nothing short of a monumental disaster. A lot of time and effort put in to a dream that would not come true. Of course, I’m not going to call this a total loss, because it made me appreciate what I already have even more than everĀ before.

Let me rewind the clock back about one year ago. While I was working during my first stint up in Alabama I came to a decision to get rid of my Ford Mustang. Sure I enjoyed the car, but there was one thing that really bothered me. Everyone has one. The Ford Mustang is nothing more than a popular yet common muscle car. You never really stand out from other people unless you own a Shelby GT500. Just think about it. Take a drive and count how many Mustangs you see in a five mile radius and you’ll get my point. Now I did consider buying a 2012 Ford Mustang GT at the time, but a certain Ford dealership in Dothan, AL was trying to fuck me by coming up with their own interest rates, but that’s a story for another day.

I always had in mind getting a Camaro. Like the Mustang, the Camaro has a strong tradition. I really became sold on the fifth generation car after watching the Transformers movie, however you couldn’t buy the car at least until 2010. Well I went to the Chevy dealership and there she was. The 2011 Camaro SS. I took a test drive and I was immediately in love. Sure the salesman thought I would be an impulse buyer and try to fuck me in the process, but I had other plans. Four other dealerships and the specific car I was looking for. The upper hand was mine and I made five dealerships fight for my business. The end result was the price went down. Two weeks later the V8 bad boy was all mine putting a smile on my face. Everyone around town was now looking at me and what I had.

Why do I mention all of this. Because at the time I made a statement. “This is my keeper. I’m not buying another car.” I was one hundered percent satisfied and for all this time I kept to my word. That is until another car crossed my path. The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The top of the line. The ultimate Camaro. Speed personified. When I first gazed eyes on it online I couldn’t turn away from the screen. I had to wipe up all the drool over the sexiness of this supercharged V8 car. If the SSĀ is “The Beast,” then the ZL1Ā is “Godzilla.” I then thought about my statement and realized that I was about to do the one thing I said I wouldn’t do. I cheated.

For the past few weeks the ether was high. The juice was worth the squeeze. However, what evolved as I went from dealership to dealership started to eat away at that juice. It even made me think twice about what I already had.Ā The mere thought of cheating raced through my mind like a disease. I kept asking myself if this was really needed. To trade one Camaro in for another. I must be out of my mind. Dealerships kept making promises they couldn’t keep. Even the thought of ordering a 2013 model year gave them the “cha-ching” look in their eyes as they would ask for security deposits of $500, $1,000, or even $10,000 just to see how serious I was. These people were sizing me up just to see if I had the green or wasting their time. I’m sorry, but I’m not giving a dealership $10,000 of my hard earned money just to order a car that’s not even made, or on a hunch that the car might possibly show up in around six months. Nothing was guaranteed. Shit, it was only last week when I finally stepped foot in the ZL1 and then the dealership tried to fuck me with the paperwork. It was then when it finally dawned on me.

What the hell was I doing?

It was at that moment, after six long weeks of wasted time, that the dream came to an end. I needed to move on. It was time to let the ZL1 go.

Throughout this whole excruciating process I always wondered if I was doing the right thing. What if I just changed my mind and decide to upgrade my own ride. My 2011 Camaro SS looked like she was begging for more. Superchargers, exhaust packages, leather interior. The options were endless. That’s when I made the decision to keep what I had and upgrade instead. When the first upgrades we’re completed last week I had a smile on my face for the first time in what felt like a long time. I put ZL1 type upgrades into my car and it feels so good. The acceleration is faster than ever before. The roar of the supercharger wakes up the whole neighborhood. The looks I get from people as I drive by is priceless. The comments of “nice car man” are back. All I could think about was how I made the right decision. In the end, the juice was definitely worth the squeeze…with my own car.

Ok car sales people, we all know how the game works. When a customer strolls in looking to make a purchase of a new or used car your goal is to make sure you keep them there as long as humanly possible. We all know those long waits they make us go through just so they can talk to the sales manager to see where they can profit most from. The other rule is to never let you leave. Leaving customers lead to possible lost sales…or do they?

In my last episode, I stormed out of a dealership after they tried to fuck me over with a $10,000 price bump along with offering $4,000 less on my trade. Add that all up and you have $14,000 in profit which would give this salesman plenty of pizza and beer for a year, or at least a trip to Las Vegas where he can blow his money on the craps tables and hookers. Now don’t get me wrong. I love the new Camaro ZL1, but I don’t love it that much when a dealership wants to publicly rape me in the process.

Now I’ve already decided that the ZL1s “juice” is no longer worth the squeeze. The ether is gone and I’ve moved on to upgrading my 2011 Camaro SS. Actually as we speak the crew at Rosner Chevrolet has already put on the new 21″ black wheels which I showed off on my Twitter and Facebook pages. They’re also installing a brand new Edelbrock E-Force supercharger as well as a Flowmaster exhaust package (spared no expense). Of course this is only “Stage 1” of the process to personalize my Camaro. “Stage 2” only requires minor details and will be performed at a later date.

Well before I go completely off topic let me go back to the salesman bravado of never letting the customer leave. While this particular salesman let me leave the dealership, I guess he had a change of heart in the next 48 hours that followed. That’s right. The son-of-a-bitch called me back and still wanted my business. So here’s what went down over the phone earlier today.

“Hello Brian, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry that we were not able to put you in the new ZL1 a couple of days ago. I was wondering if you were still interested in the car.”

Now I didn’t want to tell the guy that I wasn’t interested, or making the upgrades to my current ride (at least not yet), so I decided to play along. “Well, let’s see. I drove all the way to your dealership to buy a car only to get publicly humiliated and ass raped at the same time while you smile your way to the bank with the profits. Hmm…I really don’t know anymore. Do you think I should still be interested?”

The salesman replies “Well I apologize for any inconveniences that took place. I realized that maybe we got off on the wrong foot in the negotiations.”

“Negotiations? What negotiations? What I distinctly remember is the $14,000 you all tried to rip me off on, and then tell me what this car would go for on eBay.”

“Well Brian, I think that we can come to a better deal today. I saw the website and noticed that you were correct all along. We believe that the customer is always right. I’m willing to sell the car at the original price that was found on the Chevrolet website.”

Wow, what balls this guy has. Now he wants to come clean. So I ranted on. “So let me get this straight. At first you wanted to rip me off, then say that you were wrong, and now you want to offer me the car at the original price that it should have been in the first place. Wow, what happened. Did the truth fairy come by and tell you that you needed to stop the sleazy salesman lies. Is your sales manager low on crack and didn’t get his fix? What gives?”

“Well Brian we knew that you were really interested in the ZL1 and we want to sell this car to you.”

“Now you want to sell the car to me. What happened to Alabama man? Did he have a moment of clarity after slapping his wife around after a night of bowling with the guys and telling her that he can do whatever he wants? Did someone on eBay reject their bid? Did a Craigslist buyer change their mind? C’mon, you guys are eBay Chevrolet. With your overinflated trendy prices you should have no problem selling cars.”

You would think that the salesman would get a little upset and hang up the phone, but he didn’t. He took insult after insult from me. There must be some sort of incentive he gets for selling me the car. A day off, steak dinner, hookers, something other than the commission. He replied “I understand that your upset, and as I stated earlier we want to sell this car to you. My question is what would it take to get you in this car today?”

“Well lets see, hmm…you took off the $10,000 price hike to give me original price. Well that’s no good enough. I want full trade in value for my car and I’ll be willing to buy the car at $56,000 out the door.”

“Brian, I can’t go that low. My sales manager won’t approve that.”

“Of course you can. I don’t care about your sales manager. Remember that you want to put me in the car today, and you’ll do anything to make it happen. Well that’s my deal. Time is money my friend, and this deal won’t get any higher.”

“Well I guess we can work out something, but let me ask you that if I can’t get him to agree right away, up to what price would you be willing to pay?”

I knew this was coming, “Ah the old “up to” game. I love this one. Well what part of $56,000 out the door and full trade did you not get? Now the price is $55,000. Do you want to sell this car or not?”

“Brian, we can’t go that low. I guess you really don’t want the car. I don’t think we can do business anymore.”

The cat was finally out of the bag. It was time to end this conversation. “I knew we couldn’t do business when you tried to sell me a “bare bones” ZL1 at an overinflated price. Besides, I really don’t want the car anymore since I’m upgrading my own ride. I have to go now.Ā  I wish you the best of luck in selling that car, and tell the gold folks at eBay Chevrolet that I said hello. Good day sir!”

That was all. No more battling sales people for a car I don’t want. As I’m writing this I just received a call from Bill Schultz Chevrolet in Fort Pierce, FL and they have a black 2012 ZL1 in stock that they want to sell me. How should I reply to them?

And the hits justĀ keep on coming.

OK, so I thought that ordering a 2013 Camaro ZL1 would be the way to go. However, in the past week several dealerships were trying to offer me a 2012 model. While my excitement peaked I still decided to keep my cool just in case they were all full of shit. Well it turns out that they all were exactly that. So it was time to make another decision. Do I stay the course, or move on to greener pastures with my current Camaro SS? Well here’s my story.

As I was getting ready to leave Alabama, Rick Hendrick Chevrolet continued to call me about their shipment of ZL1s. In a previous entry I mentioned how they were full of themselves because the cars never arrived. That is still true to this date. No cars, no business…period! Sadly, they never really got the message very well because they keep on calling me for customer satisfaction surveys. Now what part of me would be satisfied when you don’t have the cars that you promised?

Back in Florida, I received a call today from Bob Steele Chevrolet in Cocoa Beach. they had a 2012 ZL1 in stock and ready to sell. At first I thought that it was too good to be true. Turns out that when I arrived they actually meant what they said. There she was in the color of Victory Red. “Victory!” is what I claimed. I sat in the car and was instantly in love. Godzilla was here for real, and it was everything that I wanted. Now the salesperson a wanted to bring me in for the sale. Get the paperwork ready man. Let’s make a deal!

Now before you all think I went into this deal blind, let me assure you that I did all my homework before arriving. I knew the price of the car, what I could work the dealer down to, as well as the value of my trade. I was ready to make the deal until the paperwork arrived and that’s when the ether left the room. How did I feel? Well this clip will sum it all up.

This is when you learn that when things are too good to be true, they usually are. The fucking was now underway. I don’t know what was up with this salesman, but you could smell the shitstorm coming from a mile away. He arrives with the paperwork from his sales manager which now shows a $10,000 bump in the price of the car. This was only just the beginning. I then look down to see the trade in value of my car and see that it was $4,000 lower than what the average value is for my Camaro SS.

I said, “What no anal lube. I mean seriously, if your going to fuck me at least bring the grease monkey over so that I can feel a little easier about this.”

As I once again take a look at the paperwork, I tell him that this is not the price that is offered on the Chevrolet website. He then looks dumbfounded while still telling me that this is the price. I tell him to check his facts again. He responds by saying “do you know what these cars go for on eBay?”

I told him “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that I was at eBay Chevrolet. Your supposed to price a car based on it’s value, features, and options and not on trends. eBay and Craigslist do not determine the price on a car!”

The salesman then says “Well I have a person in Alabama who is willing to pay $7,000 over the price for this car.”

I replied “Well if that’s true then why hasn’t he bought it yet? What really irks me is the fact that you want to get another $3-7 thousand on top of that from me.”

He replies “Well this is the best that I can do.”

I then tell him “Oh I’m sorry, but where does it say “sucker” on my head. Better yet can you please get me the phone number of the dealer your sales manager gets his crack cocaine from so I can have some of what he’s smoking.”

I then stormed out of the dealership laughing along the way. No way am I buying from them or anyone. I’m not even ordering a new one. The ether is gone. For the last month I’ve been filled with disappointment only to notice that I already have a Camaro. My 2011 Camaro SS. I’ve always loved my car even if I felt like I was cheating on her and almost ready to replace her. She’s been loyal to me all this time and now it’s time to make up for it. Upgrades! I went to Rosner Chevrolet in Melbourne, Florida and they took care of me right away. I ordered some new black wheels and a supercharger for my 6.2 Liter V8 engine giving me the horsepower I want to measure up to the ZL1. Now my excitement has really peaked and I don’t have to wait forever for it. By this time next week my Camaro will now be “Godzilla!”

I’ll post some pics when it’s done.

It’s finally here. The layoff checks have arrived and now it’s time to head home. It feels like I’ve been here forever. I was only expecting to work three weeks as a traveler here at Brown’s Ferry Nuclear plant. What I got as almost seven weeks. All that extra money sure does feel good so I’m not going to bitch about staying longer than I expected. However, I’m really excited to make the trip home.

Now before anyone starts saying that it’s bad to get laid off let me explain. You see, as a union electrician getting laid off is more like graduation day. Congratulations, you made it! Here’s your prize…two checks and unemployment compensation as you await your next job. Basically, every job I take I work myself out of one. It all ends up as a circle repeating itself over and over and over again. sure it was rough in the beginning, but now I’m actually quite used to the endless merry-go-round.

So what do I do now? Well, I would have to say that it’s time to kick back and relax. It’s almost summertime. Summer movies, the beach, women in bikinis, and getting my new 2013 Camaro ZL1 to cruise town in. Most of all I plan to spend some time with family and friends. I’m sure the kids will love the fact that I’ll glow in the dark as a result from working all these nukes in the last couple of years which will provide hours of fun as well a way to never get lost in the woods in the darkest night. Ok, I’m just kidding. Nobody glows in the dark from working a nuclear plant…right?

As I leave Browns Ferry and move on to my next job at St. Lucie Nuclear Plant in a couple of months I take with me the knowledge of continuing nuclear industry experience. I’m actually quite comfortable working in a nuclear environment. Working in a contaminated area wearing a “duck suit” is actually not that bad, although it does get pretty hot wearing all those layers. Sure at first it’s a little scary as you hope not to get any on you, but after awhile it’s a mere afterthought because the chances of that happening are very slim. I’m always “clean” when I pass the scanners and leave the area. Also my industrial working background knowledge has increased due to working with more “experienced” journeymen. They really like teaching us younger guys even if they now consider us “spoiled.” Seriously speaking, working at a nuclear plant is more of a slower pace than most other jobs. There were times where I spent an entire day doing absolutely nothing and getting paid for it. Easy money! Take that 9-5ers! Sadly, If I ever go back to a commercial job down the road I’m sure that I’ll be in for a reality check. i may even get the message of “Go back to your nukes.” Ok, enough shop talk for now.

As I leave here I say “So long Sweet Home Alabama and hello Central Florida!” After a twelve hour plus road trip I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed and hang out with people I know with a few games, cold beer, and some fun times under the sun. Vacation here I come, and you’ve never looked better. Now to deal with those unemployment office people about my benefits.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for the past couple of weeks. The quest for “Godzilla” aka the Chevy Camaro ZL1 has been filled with very few highs along with plenty of lows. Pitches from clueless salespeople who hype you up with promises of inventory yet have nothing to show for it when you eventually call their bluff. Charging you outrageous prices that are way over MSRP. I even had people who don’t have the common courtesy to answer you back. Sure it sounds like a ton of negatives, but then again when has the car buying experience ever been easy and pleasant?

While there were moments where I just wanted to give up, I kept my resolve knowing that the goal was achievable. Nothing was going to stop me from acquiring the 580 horsepower beast that turns heads around every street corner. Everyday I lose hope only to have my faith restored at the end. The light at the end of the tunnel gets just a little bit brighter.

Earlier this week I mentioned that an internet salesperson at Rick Hendrick Chevrolet in Duluth, Georgia told me about a shipment of three ZL1s arriving at their dealership. While I was excited at first I quickly gathered my composure thinking that this may only be a sales ploy just to get me in the door. I told him to call me when they arrive so that I may consider a purchase. Well I think you know where this is going. That’s right. No call back. What else is new.

At some point you think the same old song and dance would just get a little too annoying as well as kill my self esteem. However, it was a phone call from Starling Chevrolet in St. Cloud, Florida that would change everything as well as lead me to where I stand today. The saleswoman was very happy to hear from me and was able to answer all my questions. Something that all the other salespeople were unable to do.

After the phone call I knew that it was time to make a decision. Is the 2012 Camaro ZL1 achievable? Well that would be a no. However, a 2013 Camaro ZL1 clearly is. So the next move for me is to place an order for the new model year with all the features that I want without all the overcharged prices. Of course I need to get back home in Florida before I’m able to do this. Now all I need is a layoff from my nuke outage job in Alabama. Well that might take a bit because the job seems to have been extended for another week or two. Oh well at least the end result of my new ride will be worth the wait.

On the last episode said that my interest in the 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 has started to dwindle. Of course at the end the words “or is it” was then added because it seems that all hope has not faded just yet. At the time of the posting five brand new dealers have jumped into the mix. Four from my home in Central Florida and one from Atlanta, Georgia. Could the ZL1 still be in sight for me? Well it was time to find out.

One of my original goals was to come home in the new ZL1 after I completed my work on the nuke outage at Browns Ferry here in Northern Alabama. For weeks the mere thought of obtaining what I now call “Godzilla” felt like it was in reach. Unfortunately dealer after dealer fell off the map as each filled me with false hopes and promises. One even called under the category of absolute stupidity. Even after all the torture I endured I still had love for my SS. I really don’t want to part with the car, but the ZL1 is really enticing and hard to resist.

While the Florida dealerships are awaiting my return from Alabama for a visit I decided to take up on Rick Hendrick Chevrolet in Duluth, Georgia just east of Atlanta. Their Internet salesman got in touch with me by phone to talk about a possible purchase. He even told me that there are three ZL1s on their way to the dealership this week. To me that sounds great. My hope is somewhat restored. However, I don’t want to go “all in” just yet because who knows if this guy is full of shit. I don’t want to waste a four hour trip to Atlanta for disappointment. So now I wait for an answer and see if the trip will possibly be worth it.

As I write this I once again go through the painstaking process of waiting. Waiting for the answers that I desperately want. Do I buy now, or wait until the 2013 models when acquiring what I want will be just a bit simpler. I guess for now I can just drool over some new photos of other people’s ZL1s just to ease the pain.

Another day, another denial. With no visits planned anytime soon I feel my interest in the Chevy Camaro ZL1 beginning to fade away. My latest attempt to get the ball rolling hit a very large wall. A wall that even I couldn’t see. I don’t know what’s up with these dealerships, but I guess a sale from an interested customer is not enough for them.

TheĀ latest attempt took place on the internet through Lynn Layton Chevrolet in Decatur, Alabama. After expressing my interest in the car I received an immediate response from their internet sales department. The representative was happy to deal with me in the beginning talking about the car as well as the possibility of having one in stock due to a customer who backed away from their order. Seriously speaking, why would you back away from this badass ride? Well I found out why. It was because it had to do with the fact that he was going to receive a 2013 instead of a current 2012 which at the time are out of production.

The internet salesman, whose name I’ll leave out, tried to push me to take his order without knowing any details on the vehicle. C’mon! You don’t think I’m going to rush head first into a sale not knowing what’s on it. After a few discussions I started to ask about it. The ZL1 was in Inferno Orange which is a big no for me because it’s not a color I’m interested in. I did ask about the thought of ordering because I didn’t really mind if I had to wait until the 2013 models. Sadly this is where the invisible wall found itself in place. I have received no word back from the dealer. None whatsoever. This was a huge disappointment.

At this point I didn’t know what to do next. The euphoria of purchasing the ZL1 has almost completely disappeared. While I have said in the past that I refuse to give up this latest episode has almost got me convinced that the quest may in fact be over…or is it?