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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Driving History 10: The 2003 Holden One Tonner

This was a good ute.  Check it out folks,you won't see one like this in Canada.  Half car, half tray back pickup.  A beautiful looking machine.  Powered by a 3.8L V6, 4 speed auto, and a more leg room in the car than in any vehicle I've ever been in.  Complete with bullbar and tow bar.

There are a couple of stories regarding this one, beginning with its purchase.  The Ford longreach was pissing me off because I could never run the AC.  I became as tired of that as I was tired of the endless 38 centigrade days, 8 months of the year.  So one day, I drove to the big smoke to look at cars.  They had a 2003 one tonner, with 52,000ks on it, on the lot.  So I thought I'd have a look.

I liked it, and at the time, The Wife said,"If you must own a two door, buy a ute." 

Well, a ute wasn't something I wanted.  Because if you own one, you have friends, but the trouble is, they're always moving.  I would have preferred a coupe.  But a ute like this is a 2 seater, so at least it doesn't encourage passengers. 

Anyways, I went to the big smoke.  And I test drove a couple of utes, including a manual  which I promptly stalled in an intersection, in the city.  Had to get the stepson to drive it back to the dealership.  Anyways, I wanted to buy it.  and they quoted me over $27000.  No towbar.  No bullbar.  They didn't want to put that on the car, so I walked away.

The dealership called me as I drove from the city, trying to convince me to buy.  I turned em down flat.  When we got home, I did what all responsible car buyers do.  I got on the internet.

I'll be damned if there wasn't a red one for sale in Brisbane, complete with bullbar and tow bar.  Price?  $22990.  Kms? 53000.  A savings of over $4000.  I essentially purchased it sight unseen.  One problem, they wanted the Ford ute as a trade in.  I had to drive to Brisbane.  1500kms away.

Naturally, this was January, the wet season.  The stepson and I decided to go.  We drove to Brisabne starting at 6am.  We drove through Ayr and Home Hill, and promptly stopped at Yellow Gin Creek, it was way over.  It held us up for four hours.  We only made it as far as Childers.  We got to Brisbane the following day.  We spent it hanging out with The Wife's ex.  He and I get along alright, so it wasn't a big deal.  It was the day after Australia day.  I closed the deal on the ute on that day.  Saturday, it was time to come home.  I had to be in Ayr because The Wife's brother was being married that Sunday.  We started at 4am.  1500kms later, we arrived in Ayr.  It was 10pm that night, AC on all the way.

The Wife was pleased with that ute.  The cat, not so much.

The first year I owned it, I discovered a flaw with utes, that is to say, for cat owners.  I had this grey cat, and he used to be the first to greet me when I come home from work.  One morning, I went to work.  Naturally, I took the ute.  Unbeknownst to me, the cat was asleep in the tray.  I got half way to work when the cat appeared in my review mirror. Then he disappeared.  I slammed on the brakes and pulled over immediately.

But he wasn't on the road.  I couldn't find him at all.  I worked out that he must have fallen through the gap between the tray and the cab.  I was as worried as all get out.  I looked for him as long as I could.  Calling him.  He never came.

For three days I walked to the corner where he disappeared, calling him the whole time.  I never saw him.

The morning of the fourth day, I woke in the wee hours to find him kneading my chest, purring.  He had come home.  He was uninjured.

Next Driving History: The 2004 Supercharged Commodore.

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