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Well, today, after a couple of weeks of consideration and comparison (so I cannot claim temporary insanity), I finally did it: I bought a brand new 04 SSR.

It's black, has the preferred equipment package, the running boards, and floor mats.

I plan to add the trailer hitch, as I have a small lightweight aluminum trailer for hauling my other affliction: motorcycles.

It will be my primary everyday transportation. (yes!)

Some of you may be interested in the "process" that got me to buy this unusual vehicle as my daily driver.

Over the past 30+ years, I've owned something like about 35 to 40 cars, SUVs, and trucks, and about the same number of various motorcycles. I've never had more than 4-wheeled vehicles at a time, but have had up to 6 of the 2-wheeled critters at once (currently 5).

I am NOT well to do, just do reasonably ok, but have this severe need for both variety and vehicles that are at least somwhat "fun". I have restrained myself a few times over the years, and bought "sensible shoes" type vehicles, but can honestly say I've regretted it every time, and got rid of them as fast as I could rationalize it to my very understanding wife (she is a gem). I've learned that a "car reliable as a refrigerator" is also generally about as much fun to drive as a refigerator.

My wife was very suspicious of the SSR initially ("radical!!"), but came to admire it as she learned more about it through my research.

I started off this time wanting a "streetrod" or "street cruiser" - one with a retro exterior look, but fully modern underpinnings. High power was not a requirement, but snappy response from moderate power, via decent gearing, was. The typical street rods I saw for sale satisfied many of my wants, but fit into one of 2 categories: either very home-engineered with obvious missteps, or well executed but incredibly costly because of the fully custom nature of the pro-level work done to build one. I even looked at replica Porsche 356s from reputable builders. The high REAL cost, and the lack of liquidity, turned me off all these possibilities slowly.

So, I started looking at more modern, production vehicles that still have "something" that makes them a little classic, retro, timeless. or just special.

The Mercedes SLK folding roof series was a candidate, but the vehicle complexity and proprietary parts content scared me when I projected long term costs.

The Ford Thunderbird was a much more moderate while still pleasing possibility, and it became a serious contender, especially when I found that I could buy a new leftover 2004 for about $11,000 off list. That took care of a big part of the obvious greatest risk: depreciation (The new T-Birds long ago stopped commanding premiums and started becoming slow movers).

The SVT Cobra's exquisite supercharged 390 hp engine (REALLY nice) made it an unexpected short term contender after someone let me drive one. That engine almost feels like a good motorcycle engine (did you know it has an aluminum flywheel and mostly forged internals?). But the rest of the car was just too big a letdown, and the resale value of special cars that depend on being one of the fastest on the block is always very poor after 1 or 2 other cars come along that are faster.

The SSR wasn't initially on my list of contenders, because of the MSRP - far more than I wanted to spend. Then, I saw a few local ads that showed some very large discounts, especially on the 300 hp 04s, and the advertised prices started to make the car fit into my acceptable price range. The SSR's retro-combined-with-modern styling was a real attraction to me, given my initial interest in a street rod or street cruiser, and the folding hardtop, luggage space, and trailering capability fit me to a T. I researched it intensively, and the more I found, the more I liked it. I drove 2 of them, one new and one used, and was impressed with the solidness and quiet, and the fit to ME.

It took me 10 days to turn my wife into an SSR fan, but we got there.

One of the local Chevrolet dealers has only 1 woman on a sales staff of 30, and she was my pick to work with on this. To her credit, she provided exactly the type of help and service I needed, and today I called her to say the deal was hers.

She had worked on my behalf with the dealership management and staff, and put together a package that I simply could not pass on. Yes, SSRs are kind of slow moving right now, especially the 04s with the weaker engine, but for the price I paid, I am not worried about a lot of further short term depreciation. Heck, I paid only a very small amount more than you would pay for an 05 Mustang GT, and I think that what I got is worth a lot more than what I paid, especially to me.

So, there it is.

I am grateful that this website of experienced and knowledgeable fellow enthusiasts exists, and I'll be sure to keep you guys posted on how the story unfolds from here!

Hopefully, at some point, I can start CONTRIBUTING knowedge and assistance to other SSR owners as well as GETTING help.

Thanks for being here, and for the way you have ALREADY helped get me this far.

Jim G
 

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Welcome to the fold, Jim G., and your wife too! I don't think you will regret your decision, especially after you drive it a while and experience the popularity you receive! I have to disagree with you on the wimpy 300 hp in the '04's though. I think it gets up and goes very well, and with the addition of the turbocharger everyone is talking about, it will put the '05's to shame! Regardless of opinions, ENJOY YOUR NEW RIDE!
 

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I agree...and disagree

living2be said:
Welcome to the fold, Jim G., and your wife too! I don't think you will regret your decision, especially after you drive it a while and experience the popularity you receive!
Ditto!! I welcome you, too. living is right that you won't regret getting this truck.

Jim, about your comment, "Hopefully, at some point, I can start CONTRIBUTING", I think you already are. Your story was very interesting to me and I'll bet a lot of other SSR fanatics. It's nice to have you on board.
 

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Enjoying life as it comes
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CONGRATULATIONS JIM AND YOUR WIFE,
I know you'll love this truck. My wife was'nt sure she wanted me to get one either, but once I bought it, she seems to drive it more than I do. To the bank, grocery store, hair and nails, pick up kid(s),and work. She says "It's more fun to drive....... and she can get in and out of the sub compact parking areas around here.
The more you drive it the more you'll love it.
 

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Trailer hitch

Jim I have a trailer hitch it came with mine and still in the box. This is the tonque that locks into the socket on the rear crossmember....... make an offer cause I never plan to use it.

JimP
 

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Welcome aboard

Black - good choice - However - Smokin' Asphalt will become part of your vocabulary when the dozens of admirers ask - "what is that"??
 

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Jim..about the trailer hitch FWIW

Jim Prendergast said:
Jim I have a trailer hitch it came with mine and still in the box. This is the tonque that locks into the socket on the rear crossmember....... make an offer cause I never plan to use it.

JimP
The hitch came with the truck and I have no need for it, ie no boat, trailer, etc. I bought a "ball" and stuck it on for "rear protection" Twice I have had "nudges" from people behind me at traffic lights that left dimples in their lower grille area. :lol No damage to the hitch or the truck but it would have been one pissed off SSR owner, w/o the hitch in place.

Soooo thats my story as the hitch continues to do its duty.

P/P

Peace :flag
 

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Jim,

Welcome. There are a few of us that also ride bikes on this site and I am actually trailering my Yamaha Venture from Baltomire to Long Island tomorrow. That should be exciting!

It will be the first time trailering my bike with my SSR and I'm scared to death!

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You guys weren't kidding about the attention it gets!

Wow, you guys weren't kidding about the attention this vehicle gets!

I picked up my Smokin' Asphalt (see: pukced up the lingo already!) today after the dealership cleaned and prepped it, and stopped on the way home to run a few errands. Here's what happened within about one hour:

A group of female Hispanic pedestrians at a stoplight crosswalk stopped, stared, pointed and waved.

At the gas station where I adjusted the tire pressure up, a foreign tourist and his wife inspected the SSR thoroughly, politely asked if they could snap pictures, and took SEVEN photos.

When I stopped at an auto accessories store to pick up some supplies, the store manager wanted to know all about the truck. The store was also right beside a car repair shop. ALL five mechanics in the shop stopped working, came out, and milled around the truck until I finally started it up and drove off.

A guy in a BMW stuck himself in the lane right beside me, slowing traffic behind him, for a full 2 minutes while he took it all in.

ALL along the way home, lots of stares and pointing from vehicles and pedestrians.

When I turned onto our residential street, where there are several construction crews working on an infill set of homes across the street, everyone stopped what they were doing and pointed at the truck.

I think I'd better keep this vehicle away from my 20 year old college student son. I suspect it's a heck of a "chick magnet", and I'd probably never get it back from him!

Jim P: I PMed you about the hitch! Yes, I am interested! Shoot me a price that you think is fair.

By the way guys and gals, I am located in Austin, Texas, about 200 miles from Jim P, I'd estimate.

Jim G
[email protected]
 

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Welcome

JimGnitecki said:
Wow, you guys weren't kidding about the attention this vehicle gets!

ALL along the way home, lots of stares and pointing from vehicles and pedestrians.

I think I'd better keep this vehicle away from my 20 year old college student son. I suspect it's a heck of a "chick magnet", and I'd probably never get it back from him!
Jim,

We certainly are all glad to have you join us as a new proud SSR owner. You will find that your fun experiences have just begun. I know that your son will love the SSR as do my 3 daughters, ages 17, 19, 21. They want to take the SSR all the time during the summer months. Since I live up north in the cold lol they will have to wait till April before they will get to see her on the road again.

I have to say you join a large group of Texans on our forum... got to love those southern people. :thumbs I envy your warmer climate that you have most all year around.

Look forward to hearing from you often... :seeya
 

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By the way guys and gals, I am located in Austin, Texas, about 200 miles from Jim P, I'd estimate.

Jim G
[email protected][/QUOTE]

Check out the cruise for this weekend starting in Wimberley - should be about 8-10 SSR's. Thread is Central Texas. Be a great ride through Hill Country.
 

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Wow I think you (Jim) have spoken quite well about your reason to buy and now you know why we love it too. The response is overwhelming and you will love this truck like no other vehicle you have ever had. Welcome to the group and keep in touch we Texans love to have any excuse to get together for cruises or car shows.
 

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I DO WINDOWS
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O.K. That's about 3,000 of total SSR's, all in Texas

:eek :seeya
 
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Capital Chevrolet

:thumbs Now that I know your from Austin I'll bet you bought your SSR from Capital Chevrolet they were advertising a black one @ $32999 in the Austin Sunday paper. The deals just keep getting better and better as we sail away from 2004. Come join us in Wimberley this Saturday at 10AM at the Wimberley High School for a trip to Enchanred Rock go to thread Central Texas Members for details. :seeya
 
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Welcome from another daily driver!!!

Hi Jim, As a owner of a few restaurants 60 miles apart I use my company SSR to go to both and transfer product! It's a great fun daily driver. I have a factory HOTROD with a warranttee and the company pays for it! Sweet, hah???
Enjoy, Fredfryguy :seeya :flag
 

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JimG....trailer hitch FWIW info

Jim Prendergast said:
Jim I have a trailer hitch it came with mine and still in the box. This is the tonque that locks into the socket on the rear crossmember....... make an offer cause I never plan to use it.

JimP
Just went throught ebay accessories auctions...hitch for half OEM price.


OEM hitch

JimP may be interested in selling in that range. :)

P/P

Peace :flag
 

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SSR Pit Crew
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Purple Penelope said:
Just went throught ebay accessories auctions...hitch for half OEM price.


OEM hitch

JimP may be interested in selling in that range. :)

P/P

Peace :flag
PP, that is a great price! I paid list for mine!
 
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