Decades long multi-forum user here - sport motorcycles, dirt bikes, USPSA shooting, long range precision rifle shooting, IT-related work forums, etc. Glad to have found this place!
Anyway - I've had a 2008 Honda Ridgeline since new - 123,000 miles later I bought a camper and started towing a new 2018, 3500lb Geo Pro camper to my favorite roadracing venue - Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. The Ridgeline did a heck of a job as a tow vehicle, managing to pull in top gear 70mph at 2000rpm on flat land. But when an ex-coworker approached me to buy my Honda for full private sale blue book - it was time for a major upgrade. I sold it for just under $8k, and was truck-less for the first time in 20 years. Well, except for my 2018 Silverado 1500 5.3L W/T max trailering package that I have from work. But I can't take that to the bar. ; )
The company I work for buys a dozen or so Chevy 1500 through 4500 trucks a year from our local dealer. I placed an order on 12/28/20 for a Summit White 2021 2500HD Crew Cab 6'10" bed LT trim Z71 Sport Edition Gasser with leather buckets. I ended up travelling for work for the next 3~ weeks. Once I got home, I checked in with the dealer to find out my order was still at status 1100 after a month. He said he was concerned because several of my options were on 'constraint' - a word I wasn't familiar with relating to ordering a vehicle.
I started googling and found out the constraint affected several of my drop dead gotta have it options 'through the end of the MY' aka end of the model year. Wow. I was super disappointed for a day or two. Based on a thread I found here, I learned the only way I was gonna get a truck was to get on AutoTrader and custom search for a truck that met my spec, find one hopefully still in transit, and buy it sight unseen. And that's exactly what I did.
I decided color was flexible but 2500 HD and Z71 Sport Edition with 18" spoked wheels and MT tires were not. After calling 10 dealerships and finding nothing but old sold listings, I finally found a White 2021 2500HD Crew Cab 6'10" bed LTZ trim Z71 Sport Edition Gasser. It was in transit, not sold, but about $6k more than my custom LT trim build. I wired money to hold it the day I found it. Financing was arranged the next day, a week later it was delivered to the dealer via rail, and two days after that I coerced a coworker to drive me from Ohio to SC to pick it up! : D
Everything went fine at the dealer, and I left SC for home 505 miles away in my gorgeous new truck...
I was all the way back into SE Ohio, where the highway went from two lane to a four lane. A line of cars started to pass me, and they spooked a red tailed hawk out of the median. It cleared the first car, but I think the aero-wake off the lead car turned the hawk, and it cranked hard right - right into the front of my truck. *THWACK*
I couldn't freaking believe it. In stunned silence I continued driving up the road, now less than 80 miles from home, and stopped at the next rest stop. My fears were confirmed. The bird had gone through the grille, and had dented the hood. With less than 600 miles on the clock. Un-freaking-believable!!!
I went to my local Chevy dealer and ordered a new grille - painted cross bar, Z71 badge, and camera not optional, so it was nearly $1,000. One week later the part was in, and I scheduled to have the local Chevy dealer's body shop to install it at a quoted $270 to install. I got impatient, found an incredibly detailed video on YouTube on how to remove the grille, and I tore into it today at noon. I didn't break a single clip, or put any marks on any panels, and by 5PM it was *DONE*. Thank the lord!!
The dent is a tiny little 1.25" shallow one on the leading edge of the hood from the poor dumb hawks tiny skull. I have a quote from a very reputable paintless dent repair shop for $200. Once that is done next week I will finally be whole again!
PS - I love the truck, the path to get it has been a red headed ****** however... Pics coming soon! ; )