The decision to buy my truck was
a new experience for me - an impulsive, last-minute rush that worked out extremely
well. Here's how it happened: For the last several years in my family we've
been running three vehicles - a well-heeled '97 Saturn for daily commuting,
a '99 Chevy Venture for family duty and my trusty old '78 Ford F250 for towing
and hauling duties. Then one night the minivan that had been slowly but steadily
breaking down decided to give up the ghost. My wife was driving it home alone
on a rural highway, late at night, in a cold rain. Recently nobody had really
enjoyed driving the van - the power windows and locks were intermittent at best,
the HVAC worked maybe 50% of the time, the rear wiper was broken, the power
mirrors weren't, the tailgate latch had seized shut, and a host of other annoying
problems plagued the beast. Then this fateful night it decided to buck and surge
and die, leaving my wife stranded beside the highway. Having forgotten her cell
phone she had little choice but to limp the POS home, at 30 km/h on the highway
in freezing rain, coughing and sputtering all the way. When she finally made
it home she was, shall we say, not best pleased. After she told me the tale,
I figured I was facing either a few long days of diagnosis and repair, or a
large bill for same from the dealership. How wrong I was. You see, my wonderful
wife is nothing if not strong-willed and decisive - and she had had enough with
this vehicle. It was a Thursday night. She said to me, "Your birthday is
next week, pick out the truck you want, any truck and I'll buy it for you, I'm
sick of that van. We'll trade in the van and you can sell the old Ford - we'll
replace two vehicles with one." I was shocked, stunned! "I have just
three conditions", she continued, "it must be brand new, it must have
four doors, and it must have air, the rest is up to you."
As you can imagine - I darn near
soiled myself. Perhaps a better man would have gotten her calmed down - reassessed
the situation in the morning, perhaps arranged for an estimate for the van repairs.
Did I? Hell no! I jumped like a scalded cat - straight to the internet and all
the truck manufacturer's web sites I could find, along with a good number of
forums and enthusiasts sites. I'm an addict for research and time was not on
my side - we were going test driving on Saturday. The next two days were a blur
of frenzied research and not much sleep.
When Saturday morning dawned I had
narrowed the field to the "big- 3" of 3/4-ton trucks. We set off with
an ambitious plan to test drive all the crew cab 3/4-ton offerings from Chevy,
Dodge, and Ford. I tried to pretend I was calm and ambivalent, I remember saying,
"Now we're just going to look honey, we don't want to rush into anything."
Famous last words!
Our first stop was the local GM dealer, Laplante Chev Pontiac Buick
Ltd. , located at 632 Rue Principale, Casselman, Ontario, Canada.
It's no secret that I'm no fan of
car dealerships. In fact, my previous experiences with them are a large part
of the reason I started buying tools and doing my own work many years ago -
and here I am somehow now the tech editor the largest offroad web site in the
world! But right from the start this dealership was different. I know it sounds
cliché, but they are a small town dealership - big enough to give full
service but small enough to care. And they've been family owned and run for
generations. To make a long story short - we were greeted right away by Philippe
and he was great - professional, courteous, and well informed without being
patronizing at all. We talked about what we were looking for and within minutes
he was handing me the keys to test drive a brand new 2007 Chevy 2500HD 4x4.
It had 11kms on the clock. When I got back it had 42kms and I had just one question:
"Is the radio supposed to stay on when I take the key out?" Philippe
chuckled good-naturedly and explained that it is - just one of the many new
features I would find myself getting accustomed to (it's called "reatined
accessory power"). Trucks have sure come a long way since 1978. Minutes
later I whispered discreetly to Laurie, "I really want this truck."
So much for testing them all! Oh well, I'd done my research and had secretly
had my heart set on a Chevy since we left the house anyway. We came to a deal
with Phil and I was suddenly the owner of a brand new truck.
The next few days waiting for the
licensing, dealer prep, and rust-proofing to be completed were pure hell. But
then, on Wednesday January 17 2007, my 38th birthday, she was ready for me and
all mine. When we pulled up I discovered Laurie had arranged to have it prepped
and sitting outside with a big red bow on it! And that's how this journey began.
I'm a lucky, lucky man in so many ways. Oh, and since I've been asked so many
times, yes, Laurie does have a sister but she's already married - sorry guys!
My truck is officially known as:
2007 Chevrolet Silverado (Classic)
2500HD (K25743) LS Crew Cab Standard Box 4WD 1SK Package
That's quite a mouthful of a name!
It breaks down like this:
2007 Chevrolet Silverado - Year, make, and model (obvious!)
(Classic) - Denotes the older body style of the two versions
of Silverado that were produced as 2007 models.
2500HD - Chevy's notation for Heavy Duty 3/4 ton pickup truck
(K25743) - GM model number for Crew Cab Standard Bed 2500HD
LS - The trim level (LS is the mid-level, between Base and
Crew Cab - Four full doors
Standard Box - The box is 6'6" ( a short-box is 5'8"
and a long-box is 8' long)
4WD - Four Wheel Drive
1SK Package - sub-set of the trim level, denotes a standardized
set of options.