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'So I Went All The Way To Cabanatuan Just To Buy A Car Hood'

How far would you travel for a good deal on car parts?
by Ash Mahinay | Jun 3, 2018
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Metro Manila is a big place–or at least it feels like a big place because of our horrendous traffic situation. Ten-kilometer drive? One hour minimum. That hassle is why location can be a major sticking point when it comes to trading cars and car parts. While others are okay to meet at common ground (aka train stations or major malls), there are also sellers that insist “viewing at my house only, strictly NO meetups.” So when the distance is great, such as a north-to-south transaction, someone obviously has to give way: should the seller go out of their way to the south to make a sale? Or is it the buyer's burden to get to the item at any cost? A good deal or a rare hard-to-find part makes the decision to travel easier. Navotas? Game. Fairview? Okay. Antipolo? They have nice views. But what if the item is all the way in the province?

Photo by FHM

This carbon fiber hood was posted for sale at P19,000, versus its P25,000+ price when brand new. The item was only mounted for two months—“fresh” in secondhand parlance—and the only one available on the used market at the time. The seller agreed to lower the price to P16,000 if we went to pick it up. The catch: it was all the way in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. That meant a 350-km roundtrip, a grand in toll fees, and maybe a quarter tank of pre-Duterte priced diesel. Total savings after all that: around P7000. In this case, we decided the economics were sound enough to go for it. Was there a chance that we'd arrive in the province only to find a piece of shit hood waiting for us? Of course, there was, but then you can't buy anything secondhand without some risk anyway. In this case, the product was as good as promised—make sure to talk things over properly with any seller and if they give you anything on this list, then proceed with caution.

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Meanwhile, on his post, while we were contemplating the trip...

Having some driving buddies along to make it a road trip helped of course—as well as a segue for some Cabanatuan longganisa—making the whole trip feel like an episode of American Pickers. In this case, hefty savings on a big-ticket item were the justification, but it could also be an obscure piece for your project ride that just can't be found anywhere else. So, how far would you go to buy something for your car?

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