First Pickup Truck: Acquired

By J.G. Pasterjak
Jun 27, 2018 | Chevrolet | Posted in Columns | Never miss an article

Regular readers of this column will recall a time in the not-too-distant past when I lamented the fact that I’ve never owned a pickup truck. I spoke lovingly of their utility and ubiquity, calling them both “drivable cargo shorts” and “the ultimate man purse,” but I’ve never been able to call one mine.

Well, turns out that was fake news.

As of this past Friday (the 13th, but who’s counting), I am the proud owner of a 2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 in Arrival Blue with GM’s 5.3-liter LM7 Vortec V8, a tow package, and crank-operated windows. No sooner than 24 hours after I acquired the truck, it made its first trip to the dump, which seemed a fitting way to christen such a fine and effective machine.

But there’s something I want to rant about a little bit. While I got a great deal on the truck (at least I hope I did; the thing could explode tomorrow and invalidate yet another of my columns), I probably would have paid more if the seller had just spent a little time on the presentation.

Let’s face it: People are awful at selling cars.

Several months ago we did a series in Classic Motorsports about how to sell your car. It seems like such a basic process, but so many people get it so wrong. I’ll give this seller lots of credit for meeting me on short notice so I could check out the truck, but what he was selling could have easily gone for an extra grand if he’d put the tiniest amount of effort into its appearance.

Like, if you’re selling a truck, maybe make sure the bed isn’t full of empty water bottles and dirt. Maybe spend a few minutes cleaning off the residue from whatever large corporate decal was stuck on the door. Maybe do a little research into why the HVAC blower only works on the high setting. Maybe-and I’m just spitballing here–look into the cost and complexity of addressing some of the more obvious flaws, like the rusty rear bumper.

But no. None of this was done. And it gave me ample negotiation ammo. As I walked around the truck, I pointed out the many highly visible flaws and used them as leverage to offer far less than asking price.

Offer accepted. Truck acquired.

Within 20 minutes of arriving home with the truck, I had taken a leaf blower to the bed, used a little bit of CRC Throttle Body & Air Intake Cleaner to remove the decal residue, and polished the cloudy headlights to a not-perfect-but-1000-percent-better clarity. I then ordered a blower motor resistor ($16 from Amazon) and checked on the price of a rear bumper ($159 with free shipping on eBay). These simple fixes cost under $200 but could have easily tacked $1000 onto the truck’s asking price just by making it more presentable.

Now look, I’m not complaining here, seeing as how I was the beneficiary of this lack of sales technique. And I’m certainly not ignoring the prospect that I was the mark here, either. Maybe the truck’s seller had picked it up even cheaper than he sold it for because of all those visible flaws, then flipped it for a quick profit without so much as breaking a sweat. But since I paid less than market value for a truck of this age, mileage and general condition, I think his lack of effort made me the main beneficiary.

Honestly, though, I hope he did well on it. While I definitely want you, my friends, to put max effort into your sales, I kind of want everyone else to loaf it so you and I can continue reap the rewards.

So that’s it for this month’s column. I’ve strategically come in well under my usual word count so I have some room for a picture of my new truck. Look for it pulling a Corvette to an event near you soon.

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View comments on the GRM forums
mtn MegaDork
6/27/18 10:59 a.m.

Timely post. My TSX is getting detailed right now so that I can take better pictures before putting it on Craigslist and Facebook.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/27/18 11:34 a.m.

At the age of 51, this year I too acquired my first pickup. 

The $2k Super Duty 

1988RedT2 UltimaDork
6/27/18 11:43 a.m.

I heartily approve!

TenToeTurbo Dork
6/27/18 12:30 p.m.

Nice truck. Do you have any plans for performance modifications? 

2002maniac Dork
6/27/18 2:55 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

...he’d out the tiniest amount of effort into its appearance...

Little typo.  Good choice on the truck!  I have a 2002 Silverado that gets driven exclusively for truck things and it is indispensable! 

stylngle2003 GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/27/18 3:04 p.m.

link to the rear bumper?  my tahoe needs one

2002maniac Dork
6/27/18 5:17 p.m.

In reply to stylngle2003 :

Heads up, your Tahoe uses a narrower bumper than the pickups.  

stylngle2003 GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/28/18 8:28 a.m.

In reply to 2002maniac :

thanks, i knew they were different, but was hoping the seller might have one.  LMC has them too, but shipping is not cheap

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/28/18 10:00 a.m.

Welcome to the club smiley.

My Sierra Denali has over 330K and still going strong.

The only thing that I would do differently if I was to get another would be to get 4 doors.  I have the rear doors that you have ot open the front door first to open and that gets old in a hurry.  Other than that parts are cheap and just basic care and feeding keep these things on the road for a very long time.

7/1/18 12:38 p.m.

Welcome to the 99 and up GM LS Truck club. They run forever and pull/tow much better than you'd expect. I'm nearing 300K.

This will be a nice match of blue to the Vette

914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/1/18 2:27 p.m.

These guys can help a lot !!  Replaced window seals, headliner, the stuff that gets beat up by the sin in the south.  Updated my stalk mirrors for the newer type.  This winter it will be cab corners.




dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/1/18 3:32 p.m.

I am looking at getting the rockers replaced this fall. 

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