I walked up the steps, through the glass door and looked her straight in the eyes. Are you pregnant, I asked. Her brows draw closer, her face tightened. Her radiant smile suddenly changed to a perplex grin. I suddenly had her full attention. She paused than, in slow motion, shook her head from left to right. Thank goodness I thought.
Offering a thumbs up, I revealed I had just received a radioactive scan and that I was told not to go near pregnant women for 48h.
Danielle was in her early thirties. She looked friendly yet professional but she didn’t have that pushy demeanour one could expect from a car salesman.
I am here to buy a LandCruiser I said. A new GXL. Have you got one in your yard?
Our trip around Terra Australis was a mere 12 weeks away and we needed to select a tow vehicle. Fabie was in Switzerland with the girls and we both had spent the past 3 weeks researching our options. Would a more affordable, twin cab ute suit your needs? We are both approaching forty and decided our old bones would be more comfortable in a LandCruiser. There wasn’t much point getting a second hand one either as there was only about a 10k difference between a new one with 3 years warranty and one with 70,000km under the hood. My wife had also fine tuned her negotiation skills at the Queensland Caravan and Camping show so I was confident this was the right decision for our family.
Fabie landed at 9.15am. At 2pm we were at OldMac Toyota in Cleveland. We would have been there at noon had we known they have a complimentary client lounge with a dedicated full time cook (we are now on a first name basis with Fiona). We had lattes instead.
The colour was the easy choice: our past 3 cars were silver and we’d had enough. We are going one shade darker: Graphite. One hour was spent looking at leather seat colour samples but we quickly came to the conclusion that leather wasn’t going to be our best ally in the unlikely case of a head-on collision with a wild pig. We would save the 3k for a bull bar instead.
After the now compulsory 3 rounds of initial negotiations, my wife’s rigid body posture gave away that we weren’t going to bulge. After all, we were only half way through our chocolate mud cake. At this stage, Danielle invites her sales manager Pete to join the round table. It was getting late but it was just 8am in Fab’s timezone. She was bright as a button and the fire in her belly had just lit up.
At 5pm the deal was signed. We already had the free TV so Fabie made them throw in a free half tank of diesel instead. We were told that we’d gotten an absolute bargain but found it hard to comprehend how what the words bargain and “the price of a small house” had in common.
On the way home Fab told me that it is common marketing practice to confirm to the buyer they had wisely invested their dollars. She urged me to refer to the first page of any appliance manual (such as our vacuum cleaner) where a ‘Congratulations for buying such and such’ message was printed. I told her that I was a man and I didn’t need manuals. The truth is I didn’t care. There was a new woman in my life. A little darker than the others, a woman none the less.
On February 28th, we drove through the dealership’s gate. A flutter in the stomach caught me by surprise. My heart was racing. Here she was. Imposing and beautifully rounded with a delightful, big front end. Fabie had to bring me down to earth and bribe me with yet another latte in order to stop me drooling over her bonnet and make an embarrassment of myself.
Once our life savings handed over I was given the green light to go ahead and gently say hello. I wasn’t allowed to drive her off in the sunset just yet. Danielle had to give me a 101 on how she likes being spoken to. This included how to turn her on at the push of a button and how to activate the bluetooth connection for our iPhones. The process didn’t take long and we connected within seconds.
We drove off and I took her straight for a little bout of shopping. I insisted on some fitted rubber floor mats and some tight seat covers. I wasn’t fully happy with the fit so I had to take them in on my industrial sawing machine when I got home.
So, what are her exact measurements you ask?
- 2014 built Toyota LandCruiser GXL, Twin Turbo Diesel
- On road tow pack
- Headlight protectors
The car did have a half tank of fuel indeed but Danielle told us she had parked it on an angle to save them a few dollars since we had already bled them dry. No one was hurt though, they even gave us balloons.
We only have praise for the Oldmac Toyota dealership. The purchasing process was made simple and faultless. The delivery was impeccable and on time. The vehicle just as we had ordered. But most importantly, the whole team had a great attitude and we can honestly say that they are in the business of customer service and not just cars.
Make sure you follow us on YouTube – I have just started a series of videos on the Land Cruiser.
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