How long do you think it takes to find a decent second-hand car? With over 40 000 vehicles currently listed on AutoTrader (as just one of many available platforms) you’d think it would be easy …
Three months. That’s how long it took me. Then, when I eventually found the perfect car just before Christmas last year – a spotless one-owner Honda Accord – it was sold out from underneath me by the dealership. Clearly, the finance house closing for the holidays was unacceptable…
“That’s the nature of the business,” the originally very friendly salesman from the Northriding dealership told me when I expressed my disappointment.
Cash Is King … apparently. “And what about the customer,” I contemplated. After three long months of trawling the classifieds and knocking on showroom doors, this upsetting experience left a bad taste in my mouth.
Nonetheless, the search continued, and at the end of January I found a super-sexy Alfa-Romeo GT. A V6 with low mileage and red leather interior, nog al! I wasn’t about to let this one slip.
It sings to you, this car. The 3,2-litre motor might be thirstier than a varsity student on buy-one-get-one-free bottomless-beer night, but, my goodness, there are very few more symphonic ways of turning petrol to noise!
It grips and corners too, having been fitted with Alfa’s Q2 limited-slip differential (also good because the standard open diff has a habit of exploding …). It’s also perfectly comfortable on the road (even in the rear), offers good luggage space and, despite originally being launched on local shores ten years ago, attracts admiring stares aplenty … Especially when you catch a glimpse of your reflection in a street-level shop window.
Beeep … Sorry!
Sure, the Accord would’ve been perfectly competent and easier on the pocket – I would’ve been quite happy with it, and it’ll be my first option if I land up looking for another car sometime soon. But Alfas are feel-good, ear-to-ear smile type of cars. I do love it!
The buying process was a feel-good one too, this time round … The staff from Bryanston Executive Cars in Randburg were fantastic throughout: from negotiating a good interest rate with the bank, explaining all the legalities and my rights as the buyer in detail, and making sure the car was in tip-top condition before delivery, to taking care of a little niggle thereafter and putting up with my kid-in-a-candy-store excitement (or nagging, depending on whether you’re talking to me or salesman E.P. Leonard).
That is how a customer should be treated – like a king.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to fill up my tank and take a drive … round the block and back to the filling station.
I’m Cyberstoep’s resident (self-appointed) motoring fanatic. My life has always revolved around anything with wheels and an engine. It doesn’t matter if its an old banger, the latest hot-hatch or a fancy 4×4 – any excuse is a good excuse to take it for a cruise … Read more