Frank's father is a total waster and apparently had nicked all the food in their house and swapped it for booze. No point, then, in sending more food down there so we told Frank to collect his brother and sisters and bring them here for a good feed. Nothing smart, just good honest fried buffalo liver in onion sauce, rice with julienned carrots, sautéed wild cabbage and as much fruit juice as they could swallow. Bugger me, those kids are skinny and malnourished. They spent the rest of the evening chomping through my secret store of choc chip cookies while watching Mr Bean on TV.
|Eight happy kids|
That cheered me up. Then I received an email from a friend of mine in Europe with details of a second hand vehicle he thought I might be interested in. I have imported a lot of cars into Angola and usually was able to run them for a year or so and then sell them for more than I paid for them. Free motoring, anyone can do it. Can't understand why people buy new cars. But you need a supply of suckers (or too wealthy to care) in order to have a supply of good used cars.
This one is very nice. 4 wheel drive, (has to be for here, doesn't it?), 4.2 litre V8 with 334 bhp, very low mileage (15,000), first registered December 2012. Blimey, that's not even run in. This one has virtually all available extras and is the long wheel base version. Pretty economical consuming only 13.1 litres per 100 kms (20 mpg) so with the price of petrol here, it would cost me less than two dollars to deliver and collect Alex from school. Price new? US$156,000. Price to me? US$ 30,000 straight from a main dealer. Wow! In sixteen months it has lost 80% of its value! Actually, I am playing with stats a bit. If I wanted to buy it to use in its country of origin, the attractive price would go up considerably. The car's manufacturer's warranty would have to be honoured so the dealer covers himself in the asking price; add 20% making the base price $39,000. The dealer is going to have to find space for it in his showroom and pay someone to sell it and all the time it is sitting there, his money is tied up so add another 25%. Then there's taxes, add 20%. The cheapest I could get it would be $58,500 so the vehicle has only lost a shade over 60% which is about right. Don't forget, exotic extras don't really help a particular model hold its value better, they just make it easier to sell. when the time comes and quick turnover is manna for dealers. So why am I being offered this car? Why doesn't the dealer push it out quickly at a reduced profit? Well, one thing, there are quite a few of these cars on the market so even fully loaded, he will likely have it gathering dust for quite a while. Secondly, if he knocks the price down, he has to do the same for all his other cars of the same model. If he sells the car for export, it is cash in hand, no need for guarantees, no special test tickets needed, and it frees up space in his yard or showroom. That's why I am being offered the car for just $30,000. It would then cost me another ten grand to transport and import it here so I could be running around in a virtually brand new luxury motor for 40 grand. The first Angolan with cash who clapped eyes on it would easily part with 60 to 70K for it.
I checked the petty cash. I am so tempted! But, like my dealer friend, it would mean tying up a chunk of my cash for the couple or so months it would take to get the car customs inspected that end, stuff it into a container and have it shipped down here before clearing it this end. I keep banging on at Marcia about sticking to the project plan, not to be distracted so I could hardly justify having a punt on a car. Especially a luxury car. Luxury cars depreciate faster than the Zimbabwean dollar did. But God, am I tempted. I know I could shift it quickly.
Anyway, take a look and see if you can guess what it is. The winner will get a lobster lunch at my place. If the winner is from abroad, leave your trip here for three months or so and I might be picking you up from the airport in it!
|Plenty of legroom for Alex|
|His own fridge to keep his juice cool|
|His own TV screens|
|and plenty of buttons to play with to adjust his airconditioning and individual rear seats...|
complete with cup holders and DVD remote
|I've airbrushed the manufacturer's logo away...|
|4.2 Litre V8, 334 bhp, top speed limited to 155mph.|
|Subtle V8 badge on the boot lid. |
Even the boot is airconditioned so your shopping doesn't melt (or bodies start to smell)