Gunners Garage

Cool Place to Buy a Car

On Thursday afternoon I bought a truck and I bought it in a really cool place. Up until a few weeks ago, one of the 11 vehicles in my fleet was a full-size ’88 Chevy pickup that was my everyday run around truck. It was a rusty beast, but it had been mostly rebuilt mechanically, so it ran very well. It lacked a few amenitities like a heater and a working radio, but so what? Then, my middle son overheated his car and ruined the engine. Since he was not in the position to rush out and buy another vehicle, I gave him my truck. Then, I began looking for a replacement. Last week I happened across a white Ranger pickup sitting on a car lot in Waupaca, Wis., 13 miles south of Iola. I did not really want a small truck, but it was a very clean 2003 Ranger and I was able to get it for just the price I had in mind. Considering where gas prices are going, I admitted to myself thar a small truck wasn’t such a bad idea and I bought it. Picking it up was a pleasure. It turned out that the used car lot – Hansen’s Auto – started as a pre-1920s Oldsmobile and Oakland dealership. The inside of the building is like a museum. It is loaded with Oldsmobile automobilia, models of old cars and old gas pumps and candy machines. The place used to be called the Yellowstone Garage because, in the old days, Waupaca was on the Yellowstone Trail. Folks heading in the direction of Old Faithful would stop at the Yellowstone Garage to get their buggies serviced. I enjoyed sitting in the old building filling out the paperwork on the truck. It made me feel like there was an old-car connection to the deal, even though I was buying the newest vehicle I have ever owned. 

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