Carol, Me Lady

by

I think I bought a car last night. Further, I think it is a women’s car.

Often friends (and people who say they are my friends – subtle distinction) want to introduce me to someone who will give me a great deal on something. The great deal usually turns out pretty mediocre. My realtor kept insisting that we could push landlords on price; in the end we knocked the rent from 62,000 yen to 61,000 yen; an $8 a month reduction. He then tried to switch the price back when he was writing the contracts. Another associate invited me to her restaurant promising, “lots of service” if I came. In Japanese ‘service’ means ‘on the house’. I came well after lunchtime and ordered the last lunch that hadn’t been ordered. She ‘generously’ knocked the price down from 700 yen to 600 yen. When a good friend wanted me to buy cars from his contact, I was a little tenuous.

My friend often treats me to nice meals and drinks, so I am indebted to him; however, I would hate to sour that by getting a raw deal on a car, or by rejecting his contact after being introduced. Also, it sounded like we would have to take a trip to the next prefecture to go shopping. Being tight on time recently, that didn’t sound so enchanting.

Yesterday he was sending mail to my phone pushing me to follow up on this. When I finished work and gave him a call he pushed harder, but he wanted to come by my apartment with his contact and the car. They had picked out a car for me and set the price. It is a Me Lady. In Japan there are cars that are specifically made for ladies. The advertisements are unabashedly explicit about it and you will almost never see a man driving one. The car’s model sounds a little suspect; it is a sub-model of the Carol, which also sounds a bit effeminate. The maker is Suzuki, but the car was sold by Mazda under the Autozam line. It is a kei car (軽自動車), which means ‘light’. Cars in this class can have engines up to 660cc and are subject to fewer taxes and parking restrictions. It also has an amusing power ragtop. Here’s a link to a similar model, minus the ragtop, plus interior customizations.

With all the taxes, registration, mandatory insurance, etc., it will be 136,000 yen (about $1150). This price is far less than what the two other lots I had seen were asking for similar vehicles; and, they usually hid several of the additional fees to try to make the price look like it was less. The car was produced 13 years ago and has almost 70,ooo km on the odometer.  I was a little concerned about a possible oil leak, even though the man insisted that his mechanics had taken care of any potential problems. I figure it is a pretty cheap investment to save face; if the car turns out to be mediocre I can still make use of it for awhile to get around. It also sounds like they will give me a similar, low-margin deal on newer cars as well, if I want to turn this one over. Bringing it to me to drive around the parking lots and filing the paperwork by Friday or Monday are also big pluses.

I just hope I don’t have to act overly macho to convince people it is ok for me to drive a Me Lady. Although that could backfire as they might think I am compensating for something.

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4 Responses to “Carol, Me Lady”

  1. sunkissd1 Says:

    Is your possible girlie car by any chance pink or have flowers painted all over it? 🙂

    I think the relatively new VW Beetles look very girlie especially with the dashboard vase.

    The housing market here has shifted quite a bit in the past few months or so. Some houses by Keven’s and my houses are now offering free cars if you buy the house…good ones too, like the Dodge Charger and Mustangs. In fact, those are the two choices.

  2. びっくり Says:

    I only wish: sorry, no flowers. It doesn’t even have the cute colors that the Lapin has. However, it does have the words “me lady” on the side in a lovely script. I did manage to lose my violet umbrella, so I am forced to my pink umbrella when it rains. I left that at a friend’s house and used my flowered umbrella for a couple weeks. I prefer non-standard umbrellas because my black umbrella got stolen, but I’m certain they draw looks.

  3. Keven Says:

    Well as long as you put some loud pipes on it and a big stereo with some powered sub-woofers, you should be OK in the effeminate department. 🙂

  4. Disappearing Car « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] Here’s a little shot of my cute little car. It is a 1994 Autozam Carol – Me Lady. Autozam cars are manufactured by Suzuki, producers of fine vehicles like the Samurai, and are sold […]

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