I Bought A Cheap, Used Prius


2008 Prius in Grandmotherly Green

Late last Fall, our Volvo XC70s (2004, 2006) required service, one after the other. I had to rent a car.  The Volvo repairs took a long time.  An acquaintance loaned us an ’05 Prius with 299,999 miles on the odometer (2nd generation Prius odos get stuck there).  The vehicle ran amazingly well, was a pleasant vehicle to drive in terms of overall comfort and responsiveness, used Regular fuel (unlike the Volvos) and got amazing gas mileage (unlike the Volvos).  Regarding vehicle reliability and maintenance, my acquaintance said, “I just get the oil changed wherever there’s a coupon.”  My daily commute is a 60 mile round trip.  Even though I felt 30 percent less manly driving that car, I decided I needed a Prius.

Prior to all this, my wife bought the latest model Rainbow vacuum cleaner.  Honestly, it’s a marvel and we use it a lot.  The Rainbow was the most expensive home appliance we’ve ever purchased.


2004 XC70   –   2008 Prius   –   2006 XC70

Eventually, thanks to SearchTempest, I found an unprepossessing 2008 Prius in pale metallic green with about 202,000 miles on the odometer for less than $3000.  I mentioned the Rainbow vacuum cleaner because it cost more than my 2008 Prius.

We arranged to see the car on a Sunday at a small car lot, Georgia’s Finest Auto Brokers near Chickamauga Battlefield in North Georgia.  The car was as-advertised and the sale was without any hassle.

In our area we’ve got a Toyota dealership that can be trusted to manage service work and a really excellent independent mechanic who specializes in Japanese cars.  Since purchase, have put new tires, new 12-volt battery, front brakes and had a roof leak fixed (faulty seal under the leftside seam trim-piece where roof and body panels meet).  Car probably needs a tune up, but I’ve been getting between 39 and 45 mpg (depending on ambient temperature).

All in all, I’ve been pleased with the car.

ON THE OTHER HAND, I wish I’d checked out the available information at PriusChat prior to buying (for my wife) a 2016 Prius Three with Advanced Technology Package for a bundle of cash from Bill Penney Toyota of Huntsville, Alabama.  More about that disaster in another post when I get enough emotional distance to write clearly.

Don’t worry.  I still have and use firearms and vote my conservative conscience.  I still don’t believe any of the climate alarmism that’s functionally a religion for some people.  Saving money on fuel is what motivates my Prius ownership.

Yes, I know that one shed in the photo needs replaced.

Below please find a photo of a Franken-Benz monster car I saw February 3 at Spencer, Tennessee.  It’s in worse shape than that shed.





Photos of Farmland, Indiana

The other day during our annual Christmas sojourn at my wife’s family home I had a taste for Rootbeer Barrel hard candy.  My father-in-law mentioned the candy store at Farmland had a wide variety of hard to find candy and other items.  I was reminded of an intentionally disgusting variety of specialty jelly beans, and thought they might also have them in stock.  So to Farmland I drove, happy for another opportunity to drive through the odd, but even then on the melt, snowdrift in the new-to-us 2004 Volvo XC-70 we bought back in August.  What a terrific car – more powerful, heavier, and with greater cargo capacity than the 1993 Volvo 940T it replaced, this all-wheel-drive vehicle gets better all around gas-mileage than the older turbocharged 4-cylinder ever did.  Last Sunday, after listening to an Arminian sermon light on doctrine, I tried to make the Cross-Country slide sideways in a completely snow-covered First Church of the Nazarene’s parking lot, but the car’s Haldex AWD system and Kumho tires kept traction.

That said, I’ve always liked Farmland, and thought that if I had to live anywhere in Indiana, I’d like to live at Rushville or Farmland.   Here are the photos I took while I was there on 12/29/10:

Ruby Red ‘04 XC70

Friday night the auto-transporter rolled in to Stepford around 11:30 pm.  I met him at a Gypsy-owned Italian restaurant near that end of town’s first controlled intersection.  Demeanor very pleasant, the transporter worked deliberately and methodically to arrange unload and rearrange his truck before we drove my 850 and the XC70 out to the house.  The tractor trailer rig would doubtless have snagged trees and power-lines during the approach to our modest home in Plantation Estates.  I gave the transporter a ride back to his rig, he mentioned that his daughter, who plays for a traveling softball team, had a game Saturday in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  I hope the girl won and that her dad gets some rest today.

Here are a few photos of the new car.  A couple taken while the car was still on the trailer.  One of what appears to be a Crown Victoria held aloft and hanging slightly off the rear of the trailer’s upper deck.  The driveway photos were taken after I took the car for fuel and a wash.  I’m experimenting with tables again to insert photos.  My attempt with the previous blog post was unsuccessful in that on a computer without a wide-screen, the right-most column of photos and text is not clearly visible, although those cells may be viewed by tabbing to them.









A Car for the Cautious One

2004XC702004 Volvo XC70 – Photo by seller, JRL

Last week I talked about test-driving a 2001 Volvo XC70 and liking pretty much everything about it.  After more searching, I found a 2004 Cross Country advertised for sale, but immediately dismissed because of its price.  My almost obsessive research convinced me that the 2004 would better meet our family-car needs.  We’re not crazy about the color, but hey, it could be worse, right?  It could be “Blackberry” which used to be Volvo code for “Purple.”  I much prefer silver or gold – probably because there is an Old Testament verse wherein God says, “The silver and gold are Mine,” whereas scarlet is the color used to describe sin.

I’m feeling a little sick about spending so much money for a motor vehicle of any sort.

Yesterday afternoon, Seventy-Six and I washed Thursday, the 1997 standard transmission 850 that my mechanic’s garage rebuilt for me from a wreck in the body-shop yard.  What I mean to say is that I washed the car while my two year old son dumped water from his bucket on to the driveway and tried to replenish it, one spongeful of soapy water from my bucket at a time.  He was much more helpful when it was time to clean the wheels because he found the wheel-brushes novel.  The washing down the car with his yellow sponge is already not interesting enough.

After car-washing, Seventy-Six got to play in his inflatable pool and we kicked the orange ball around the yard for a long time.  In the evening the little guy spent his energies testing the limits of parental authority.  I hope he was comforted by the fact that when he sought boundaries he found them.