Many years and a different lifetime ago, Ryan bought a car. Against the advice of a number of people, he bought a slightly more expensive used car that he knew would be reliable and he could fix. Money was tight and he wanted to not be saddled with a cheap car that would break down immediately and force us to make costly repairs or replace it when we didn't have the funds. Ryan researched extensively and found a candidate on eBay. This car was near my parents' home at the time and we decided to gamble on it--if we saw the car and hated it, we'd be out gas and 8 hours in the car, but we'd get a free meal from my parents. Armed with a cashier's check and insurance card (from Auto Insurance Discounters), we made the trip. We ended up with the car and the meal. I don't think we've ever regretted the decision.
All good things must come to an end, though. On Tuesday, we went to Carmax and sold Klaus (1994 BWM 525iT). We got a good price and more than likely someone will buy him at auction and make thousands on his innards. We didn't have the time, space, or inclination to do it ourselves.
Waiting for appraisal:
It was a tearful goodbye. He got us through a lot. Unemployment (we knew we could count on him), evacuating and a 16-hour, 200 mile trip during Hurricane Rita, many, many home renovation projects, and too many trips down I-10 to count. But, at 14, his time had come. His engine was failing and we didn't want to put a couple thousand more into him. And Ryan didn't want me driving him on the highway because he didn't think he was safe enough.
After a respectful amount of time, we will introduce the newest member of our family, who is coming home tomorrow. His name is Dieter.