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February 17, 1999
a year ago

Bye Bye, Buddha

John sold the Happy Buddha today. We've had it in the paper and on the Web for a bit and in various Land Rover clubs, and he was called, yesterday by two folks that were interested in it. One was a Lutherian Pastor from the east side of the state that wanted it to visit his mountain parish where his normal car would not go. But his wife nixed the idea and he wasn't that certain of it himself after he got a thorough inspection of the 35 year old truck. But he was half regretful about leaving it.

The second man was one from the Bay Area, who we told, last night, that it was his for his price, and he, in turn, told us that he was flying up from the Bay Area today to pick it up and drive it home. It turns out that he wasn't a novice, having owned a Willy's Jeep from the 50's for some time, so he knew what having an old car meant.

It also meant that we would have one less car to ship, one less car to worry about, and one less car splitting John's Land Rover attentions and time. Of our fleet of Land Rovers, the Buddha is likely the one we could most easily replace if we ever really needed to, and while it does need work, it's also the one that's running the most readily and the easiest to sell. So that is what we did, along with a box of parts, a spare fender and various books of actual vehicle data.

We had to get it to SeaTac, though, to pick him up and do all the paperwork and stuff. So I followed John as he drove through the light rain to the south.

Following the Buddha I was reminded of how much I enjoyed the modern convenience of the Passat, sometimes taking the power and the smoothness, now for granted. The old truck didn't go up the uphills very happily or very quickly, and some parts of freeway traffic was half terrifying simply because of the physically enforced slow speeds. They do beautifully on dirt and in the mountains and they get you everywhere, but sometimes they do it slowly. With all the trappings of Civilization all around, there seemed no reason not to use the Passat.

We found the guy just fine, and went into the parking lot of Bai Tong to do all the discussions and paperwork. John went through every detail of the Buddha, good and bad, and all the warnings and possibilities as well as all the projects that he'd intended for the critter, to improve it up to where it was entirely reliable. He'd spent the morning topping off all the fluids and making sure of all the things that he could before the guy did the long drive with it, and basically was able to say good bye to it then.

I said good-bye in the parking lot, as the guy seemed to know what he was doing and the Happy Buddha is quite a good looker, but not that nice to those that drive it, so I admonished it to be nice.

We left him in the parking lot after the title was signed over and the check handed over. John and I enjoyed a lovely Thai dinner with the coconut cream soup and the wide noodle dish with some rice and Thai iced tea on the side. When we got out the Happy Buddha was gone.

While it was kinda sad to have one of them go, it was also quite a bit relief as well. Each of the old Rovers actually requires a good amount of attention and time to get it back into good driving shape and with all the others the Buddha was the most neglected because it drove the best, so all the ten thousand little things that should have been done to it weren't and that frustrated John tremendously. Now, it belonged to someone that owned no other Land Rovers, who would have plenty of time and attention to both work on it and adjust it to their living. The guy had kids, and wanted to go camping in the back country, and the Buddha would be perfect for hauling a lot of people into way out places. So that was cool. It would be useful, used, and appreciated.

And John would have time for the models that he loved more. The Stoat is now just running, is still really rough and has some problems, still, but is running enough to get on the car carrier. He still has to put Moby Dick together enough to get it on to the car carrier. That's going to be the interesting Now Project, as we sent in the second offer on the house with some assurance that it would be accepted.

When we got home it was cool, dry and dark. So we took Fezzik on his walk and then we all went to sleep.

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