Diary of a Used Car Salesman: A Big Car Guy Is Born

A few of my friends had their tongues hanging out. The year: 1984. The car: a brand new Toyota Celica Supra. It had the words ‘SUPRA’ in big bubble letters on the rear. Just in case you missed it. Pop-up headlights. Seats that actually had bolsters on them. A sunroof, and the very best AM/FM Cassette money could buy. My brother, that lucky and overachieving bastard, got it brand new as a thank you for the 4.0′s that would eventually land him in the world of radiology. After experiencing my very first “Holy Shit!” moment as a passenger (my folks were lifelong right lane drivers), and watching a five-speed shift for the first time, I was smitten. Later on that evening I watched my first Knight Rider and then all hell broke loose.

I started seeing cars for the first time. A lustful Camaro V8 driven by a Jersey guy with more gold chains than . . . well . . . any of my friends. A Datsun 280ZX with what seemed like a headlight design straight from Mars. Before this time the automobile had been nothing more than a big pillowy yawnbox. Early 80s Cadillacs, a Buick diesel, my grandpas 1974 Chevy Impala. They were eventually replaced with two Toyota Celica GTs, a 1st gen Acura Legend, and a Lincoln Mark VII. Although the cubist proportions and big letters denoting the model would become a thing of the past, the fun and reliability of these models would stay with me well into the 90s and beyond.

Of course, time, machines and aspirations move on. Now I’m not just a car guy, buying and selling cars is how I support my family. I still love cars, but now when I see them, it’s with the flinty look of a horse trader checking out flesh on the hoof.  For example, at a recent auction, I saw a a 1998 BMW 540i in dark blue with a 6-speed, leather, and an excellent history with 110k miles. Just two owners. The second had bought it as a certified pre-owned vehicle. First three years spent in Virginia, the last eight in rust-free metro Atlanta. Michelin tires. Garage kept. A few scratches but otherwise a cream puff. A very nice car. Guess how much?

The 740i with a manual transmission is exceptionally rare in the USA and this is one of the very few I’ve seen over the years that actually had a good history to it and was not abused. It sold for $6200. Not a bad price but my car lot serves a different clientele so I didn’t bid. It went to a place in North Georgia that specializes in Bimmers.

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45 Responses to Diary of a Used Car Salesman: A Big Car Guy Is Born

  1. Pingback: Cars In Depth » Diary of a Used Car Salesman: A Big Car Guy Is Born – Toyota Headlights Blog

  2. Scott Kelley says:

    Spasms of desire exploded and still do within my lust-filled mind when viewing the “angular-styled” Supra/Celica Supra.

    Unsure when the stand-alone Supra was separated from the Celica line, if it ever was.


    Sure don’t see many here in “middle USA” since in the “old days” the proverbial “heartland’ was still enamored with Detroit Iron.

    California was rife with foreign output and was a common sight back then.

    It took awhile for foreign then “foreign” (made in USA with foreign ownership) vehicles to begin making a meaningful impact here in the land of ICBM silos.

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