Thursday, August 7, 2008

Nicolas' Green Protege

On Friday August 1st, 2008 I inquired about a 2000 Mazda Protege for sale. The ad did not provide any description about the car or the asking price. At approximately 10pm that night, I decided to call the number on the ad even though I was a bit hesitant because it was a little late in the evening to be calling. A man named Nicolas answered and immediately passed the call over to his wife. She was very polite and explained that Nicolas was driving and that she was not able to provide all the details about the car. She took my name and number and asked me to call back the following morning anytime after 8am to speak with Nicolas. The following day (Saturday), Nicolas called me just as I was getting ready to call him. He explained that he was calling from a beach in New Jersey where he was on vacation with his family. I realized then that when I called him the night before he was on the road travelling to Jersey. Nicolas provided all the details and more about the car which he owned since 1999-2000 (original owner). He stressed that the car was in very good condition and that the car had to go because there are three cars in the driveway after they purchased a new Volkswagen. He offered me an appointment to see the car on Saturday August 9th, 9am at his home on the south shore of Montreal and I accepted. Although I did not yet see the car, Nicolas sounded sincere and the car gave me a good vibe. So, my plan was to go see the car prepared with my budgeted cash on hand and previous car's license plate with a serious interest and intent to buy the car on the spot. Elizabeth and the kids would have to drive me out there since there is only one car to commute with.

On Thursday August 7th, while riding the bus from the south shore to the island of Montreal, my cell phone rang just as the bus was crossing the Champlain bridge. It was Nicolas calling to confirm our upcoming appointment and to make sure that I was still interested. I obviously was and indicated that to him. Nicolas went on to say that he had since received several calls from people interested in the car and that he would have to move our appointment earlier to 8am if I wanted to be the first to see the car. He also mentioned that his asking price would be less negotiable now that there was more interest in the car. I accepted the 8am rescheduled appointment and asked Nicolas to provide the VIN of the car so that I would be prepared for Saturday. Inside myself I thought and pictured what it will be like on Saturday. Although I cannot be certain, It sounded like Nicolas wanted to schedule visits one after the other and take the highest offer. This did not exactly sit well with me but I had no choice at this point. I can also understand his point of view. Well, as my wife would probably say, "What's meant to be will be...". I must keep reminding myself that I have taken on an expensive project that will see an investment of approximately $12,000 (not counting the cost of the car purchase). I have to stay on budget. I want to pay a fair price for a car without overpaying. I consulted VMR Canada online and got the car's wholesale and retail values and my goal is not to pay more than the retail value. This car will not be an ordinary car after I am finished with it. It will not depreciate like all other combustion engine cars. It will turn heads and arouse curiosity. It will inspire others and encourage change for energy efficiency and less pollution. In a couple of years from now, when more and more electric cars are roaming the streets, it will all make more sense.

Will it be Nicolas' Green Protege?


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