So who would have thought when ordering a car on February 8th, that you were actually picking out your own birthday present that was later to come on April 18th? Well, with the Brasilian generosity, that is how it went down here in Belo Horizonte. If you all remember correctly we had made our car selection based somewhat off of availability and timing. Our first choice car had a 6 month lead time, so we thought we could handle the Punto and the 1-2 month lead time it had. When placing the order, I was really hoping that the 2 months was just a worst case scenario, and they have to say that for those special circumstances. Then when my car was built the first week of April I was pretty impressed, and thought I would be getting my car in less than those 60 days. However, don't forget that you have 2 days to pay for the car after it is finally built, 2 days for the payment to get processed, 3-5 days to deliver the car 10 miles (because the Fiat plant is just down the road from the dealer that I was going through), then you must give the dealer 3-5 days to get your alarm installed, license plates, and it ready to go. So by chance of luck, I got a call on April 17th, and they told me that my car would be ready to pick up on April 18th, what a birthday present for myself! Now, I will make a special offer to family/friends living in the US, and for those who were unable to give me a birthday present this year. Not that I am being greedy or anything, but for anybody interested, I would not feel bad about picking out my own present this year. If you just want to send me a check, I will gladly accept the Fiat Punto as my birthday gift from you! (Hint, hint, Mom and Dad!!)
Anyways, for those interested, here is the brand new sports car that Emily and I will be cruising around in for the rest of our time in Brasil. (Remember that when we first thought about getting a sedan, everybody told me that was an old guys' car, so I guess due to peer pressure, and other things, here is our hip hatchback!
2008 Fiat Punto (Actually, 2008 Car of the Year!)
5 Passenger (Depending on size)
5 Speed manual transmission
Totally loaded (For Brasil) Note, most of these are options, and they don't just give these away:
-1.4 Liter Engine (Wanted the actual sports car, 1.8L, but that was again a 6 month lead time)
-Flex fuel capability, will run on either alcohol (sugar cane alcohol in Brasil) or gasoline
-Power windows (front 2)
-Front air bags
-Bluetooth wireless capability
-Engine oil pan guard (She rides kinda low, and you never know what kind of driving conditions you will come across)
-Special metallic based paint (the color is called Laranja Spot, which we thought was a great compromise for the two of us. This car, depending on the lighting and how you look at it, will either look red or orange. Since Emily drove a red car in the US, and I had an orange one, this worked out quite well.)
For those of you who are extremely jealous of this sweet ride, I will be accepting closed bids for the next 2 years, and will gladly transport the car back to the US for the highest bidder! We know this kind of power and performance is unheard of in the states! (Borg, maybe you just want to trade straight up for the 'Stang?)
Stay tuned later for the special memories of the rental car...