The Flatlander's View

Old Suburbans and other old guy foolishness

By Steve Moseley
Posted 4/19/22

Famous last words: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” In this instance the flawed “good idea” was to buy a 1999 Chevy Suburban.

What in heaven’s name got into …

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The Flatlander's View

Old Suburbans and other old guy foolishness

Posted

Famous last words: “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” In this instance the flawed “good idea” was to buy a 1999 Chevy Suburban.

What in heaven’s name got into what little remains of a 72-year-old atrophied brain that would cause it to do such a thing? Your guess is as good as my wife’s.

Well, there is that one thing … an old man’s fantasy of taking his family all together in a single vehicle to visit a wonderful place. In other words, Yellowstone.

We had a ‘Burb when we lived among you all those years ago. It was a ’93 that my buddy, the late Kirt Cozzens, fixed us up with. We loved that vehicle no end. It was dead solid perfect for our many forays into the park and the Bighorns and Beartooths and McCullough Peaks and Pryors and Bighorn Canyon recreation area and all the other nooks and crannies we explored in northwest Wyoming.

When we moved from Nebraska into the shadow of Yellowstone we invited all our relatives, friends and a few strangers to come visit. In hindsight, we didn’t think that out. Then again, how were we to know they would all take us up on it?

Enter the ‘Burb. 

We could, and frequently did, haul as many as eight people “up the hill,” with plenty of cargo room left over for lunch, lawn chairs, extra outerwear and, in one example, a brace of full-grown German shepherds. When no guests were present, Good Wife Norma, the wiener dog posse and I went cruising with lots … and lots … and lots of space. A carpet covered wooden box in what we called “the waaay very back” let the tube dogs ride high to see outside. The carpet kept them from sliding off.

Life was good.

We brought the ‘Burb back to Nebraska with us when we moved, but since there is nowhere to go and nothing to see here, we grudgingly let it go. Now a never-before-revealed secret: I have coveted another one like it every day since.

I shopped the marketplace websites and vehicle exchange groups online, considered a couple but ultimately passed … primarily because, even though semi-old, they were still crazy, stupid expensive. So I lowered the bar from semi-old to decrepit old.

Enter the 1999 model. White. A relatively low-mileage vehicle at 143,000 that would seat nine people (each with his or her seatbelt) in comfort, with generous storage to boot.

So, I upped and bought the thing. How did that go? Results are proving, shall we say, mixed.

The recently installed rebuilt tranny was there as the seller claimed, however it turned out he’d only done half the job. The transfer case had issues.

The front suspension, he said, was replaced. That turned out to be partially true … as in partially replaced. There was some rust appearing here and there, but Aaron and I figured that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Just cosmetic, you know.

To make a short story long, as I see I’m doing, it came straight home and into the shop, not passing Go or Yellowstone along the way. Nor will it anytime soon.

When we finally get the beast on a new set of tires and ready to roll, we’ll fill that 20-gallon gas tank and head your way.  But hold on there, partner. By then gas will be $5 a gallon sure as shooting. So, let’s see here, 20x5? Yikes, we’re talking 100 bucks for one (1.0) tank of gas.

Second thought, how about you come here? We’ll gorge on Nebraska beef and watch the corn grow while the Huskers get hammered every football Saturday. It’ll be fun. You’ll see.

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