The Freight Train


That’s what I got. And yes, it’s got baby seal skin seats.

2002 Ford Excursion Limited Ultimate. I went with a V10 instead of a diesel, because for the extra $7-10,000 a diesel was going to cost me, I decided I’d just buy a commuter car.

This one gets 15mpg on the highway, 12 in town. I filled it up when it had 1/4 tank, and it cost me $110.

I have no practical use for it. I’m not towing anything, and don’t plan to. We’re not going to end up with a basketball-team’s worth of kids. I got because I wanted it, with a side of “Screw you, hippie.”*

In 2006, I was waiting outside a canoe-rental place for some friends of mine, and a black diesel Excursion with a really big lift and some ginormous tires roared by. I made up my mind that one day I would have one. I did the same thing in 2001 with a Full-Size Bronco…saw one at a gas station, decided I wanted one, and a couple years later I bought one.

Driving this thing reminds me of that Bronco. It’s a big, lumbering, mobile fuel tank that’s fun to own. That it’s practically a luxury car on the inside is just a huge bonus.

It’s also the first car I’ve owned that was made after Clinton was President.

A couple of months ago I decided that the Jeep was getting to the point where I needed to start looking at my next vehicle. If you’ve read “How to buy a cheap car”, you know my process is to start with a budget and then figure out what you get. After that I got on some forums and asked about the various engines and model years, and learned that the V10 was going to be my best bet. I also wanted captain’s chairs in the second row instead of the bench, because Tactical Dog will jump over bench seats like they’re hurdles. Repeatedly. Enthusiastically. In a 2003 or later, swapping them out is fairly straightforward but the chairs are expensive. Before 2003, there’s some cutting and welding required.

I stopped looking at them when I started getting excited about buying one. I wasn’t ready yet, and there was no need to get worked up about a good deal on something that was close to what I wanted when I wasn’t planning on buying one for 6-9 months.

Then, a couple weeks ago, I left for work and by the time I got to the end of my 40 foot driveway I had smoke coming from the dashboard of my Jeep. Long story short, there’s a wiring short somewhere behind the dash and I can’t have any dash illumination. So I can’t see my gauges at night. This kind of problem is very difficult to hunt down (read: expensive), so after lots of reflection we decided it was time for me to go ahead and buy an Excursion.

Original sticker price was just north of $50,000. I paid less than 20% of that, in cash. It’s the nicest car I’ve ever owned.

*No, I’m not calling Tam a hippie. Read the post. You’ll get it.

5 comments to The Freight Train

  • “Because I can” and “because f*ck you” are perfectly acceptable reasons to purchase… damned near anything.

  • Laughingdog

    I remember being at work in 2008, and some guy was crying about gas prices going up. I idly threw off a “you know, it seems like the ones most vocal about that are always driving some gas guzzler they don’t really need”. When he explained he needed it to tow his Harley (it was so hard to restrain the “you wouldn’t need to tow it if you had a real bike” comment), I just started laughing at him harder.

    I have play toys too. But I don’t cry for sympathy when something I don’t need in the first place starts to get expensive for a while.

    I guess my point it that “because I can” and “because f#ck you” are great unless you turn into a p*ssy by following them with “waaaaah, this is expensive”.

  • Yeah….no. The people who do that have car payments and are upside down.

    I buy cars from those people all the time.

  • NICE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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