As you may recall from an earlier post, I have done a lot of work on my little Toyota Tacoma to get it fixed and back on the road after the unfortunate car accident in February. The job was no quick job and I knew I couldn’t get her back on the road quickly if I was to do a good job. The insurance company of the man who hit me paid for my rental car for a few weeks whilst they were trying to determine if I was at any fault in the accident. I was in a bit of limbo because though I knew I would not be found at fault I was unsure as to the value the insurance company would assess my truck and if it would be deemed fixable or not …. The truck was a 1996 Toyota Tacoma and though that sounds old, this truck has actually gone up in value as opposed to down.
I bought her for $4000 about 4-5 years ago and that was the going price. Now you can’t buy one similar for $6000! These trucks are known for their indestructible engines! I do wish the body had proved a little more indestructible but it’s all good now.
The insurance company wound up paying me $6000 for the truck and let me buy it back from them for $350. It cost me about $1800 in parts to fix it. In the meantime I needed another vehicle and was in search of a vehicle that could make my 25 mile commute to work a little more fuel efficient since gas prices are so high in California. The vehicles I would find in the $6000 price range just weren’t right for me and I couldn’t find one that fit my preconceived notion of what I wanted.
I looked at Subarus, Toyotas, SUVs … I found cars I liked but when I would research reliability or especially fuel economy, well, there were no easy choices!
Eventually I happened on a 2010 Prius, local to me and for $10,800. The Prius only had 52,000 miles on it and was valued by the bank at about 15k. The catch is the vehicle had been used by a company and had a vinyl wrap on it for advertising their company. Also, the interior – the cargo was a bit beat up from the work related tooling and equipment they hauled in it. Here are a few pictures of the car as I first bought it:
You can click on any of the pictures for larger size!
The pictures above show the way the car looked when I bought it! All the white on the car was a white vinyl wrap with the lettering and graphics. The car is white underneath the vinyl wrap and I didn’t really want to drive around advertising for free for a company I didn’t even know!! With a little research I learned that vinyl wrap can be removed with heat. I decided I would keep the stripe portion of the graphics and that involved carefully taking a razor blade and cutting just deep enough around the stripe and then heating and pulling the vinyl till it broke along the seam.
After the side graphics & hood graphics were removed I worked on creating a little pattern on the roof from the existing green graphics.
Now some final shots of the finished product!
I also rigged up a dog ramp that slides underneath a pallet I modified dog beds are on top of the pallet and the ramp slides out so that Sky doesn’t need to jump in or out of the vehicle and I don’t have to lift a dirty dog in the car! Of course they are rarely dirty – but beach ventures do seem to equate to wet sandy dog!!
Here us a link to my google photo album of all the picts