I've been a long-time lurker but this is my first post. I always planned on becoming an "official" member once I got my Tacoma, but this seems like a good story for a first post. So hello everyone, and I look forward to meeting some cool people and getting some great advice on these forums. Now to the story (I hope this is the right forum for this, don't want my 1st impressions to be a "wrong forum" poster haha):
I've wanted a Tacoma for a LONG time, years and years now. Previously finances were an issue, and lately it's been finding the right one. My budget is around $14,000 (not counting whatever the interest/etc tacks on) so right there I'm already fairly limited in my search because these things are EXPENSIVE lol. It's not a bad thing though, as I'm a huge fan of the first gens anyway. So anyway, I've been SERIOUSLY searching (like ready to buy instead of just browsing) for about 8 months now and it's been a struggle. First, I'm in Rhode Island, and on a small island at that, so I don't have a lot of dealers around to search, so even finding them to begin with has been tough. I've used all the websites, like Auto Trader, Cars, Carmax, CarFinder, and even CraigsList and eBay, and I search all of them every few days (it's becoming quite tedious and frustrating to be honest haha). Seems like there's always SOMETHING "wrong" with the ones I find in my budget. Either it'a the wrong color, transmission, cab, or trim. I can't even tell you how many times I've Foud what seems like the perfect truck and then there's a feature I want that's missing. And let's face it, if you're gonna pay $250-300+/mo for a vehicle payment you want to get exactly what you want. The WORST is when I find the right color and everything and then the very last thing I see is an interior pic with manual windows....power windows are an import feature (annoying leaning across seats to roll down other windows when driving solo, plus, it's 2013, manual windows seem ancient).
So that brings me to the last couple of days. The Toyota dealer on my island, 5mins from my house, just got a 2003 TRD Access. It's silver, Auto, 6cyl, TRD, SR5, clean CarFax, 2 previous owners both from Virginia, so this truck hasn't spent 10yrs on the salty nastiness that is winter roads in the Northeast (especially key when you consider the Toyota frame recall on 1st gens). The best part? 73,000miles! This thing was MINT. I saw it Monday driving home but they were closed and it was dark so I didn't stop. Tuesday we had another winter storm so I also didn't get to go buy, but I had been in email correspondence with one of the saleswomen there and was going in today to test drive it. Well leaving work around 5pm yesterday it was nice out so I decided to just swing by and check it out in person. I didn't have time for a test drive or any applications for financing but the plan was to offer a $500 deposit to "hold" it for a day so nobody scooped it up before I could get there to spend some time with it. I pulled in lot and the spot it was parked was empty, but it was just there around 1pm when I drove past for work. I figured maybe someone was testing it already. Then I saw it on side of building, by service area. So I go look at it, and I have never seen a nicer 1st gen. Not a spot, scrape, scratch, ding or anything on exterior or inside, and the underside/frame looked brand new, almost like it hadn't even been driven. I went in and talked to the lady id been emailing te day before, and she told me it sold 3hrs ago.......
I felt like CRAP (still do, hence the novel of a first post venting about it lol). Here I've been searching for almost a year, and this one is every single feature and spec I want, and immaculate condition, and 5mins from my house (I've driven as much as 2hrs away (so 4hrs round trip) to look at Tacos, which is crappy when they turn out to not be what you want haha, and I missed it by HOURS, literally hours. THAT is a swift kick in the nuts lol. I've actualy felt sick about it, as I know finding low mileage 1st gens in great condition is extremely hard. The truck was valued at $1,344 ABOVE Kelly Blue Book value (according to CarFax), and the dealer had it listed for $400 under KBB.
So that's my story, does anyone else have any stories to share about their own Taco search? Was it this hard for all you 1st Gen owners on here to find yours (recently anyway, as I'm sure a few years ago they were a lot easier to find)?
TL;DR - I just found my dream Taco 2 days ago, at a certified Toyota dealer 5 mins fm my house, and it was showroom-mint condition, and someone bought it 3hrs before I was able to get to the dealer to drive it and do the financing application, and that still has me pretty upset almost 24hrs later, can't stop thinking about it. Anyone care to share their Taco hunt stories, is it this hard for all 1st-GENers to find the truck they want nowadays (given that 2nd Gen has been out for almost 10yrs now?