So, we haven't moved in 30 minutes. Our flight has been taxied back to the terminal and our plane is currently being looked at by the maintenance crew. People are on their phones rebooking their flights and my row is now less one person. For most travelers, this type of thing happens. It just happens to be my first flight in seven years. That fight was to Portland, OR to pick up my fresh-off-the-boat MINI Cooper S. Today, Allyson Harwood and I are trying to get out of Southern California and headed to Smyrna, Tennessee, to pick up the newest edition to our long-term fleet -- a 2012 Nissan Frontier.
Some of you might wonder why we're getting a Frontier. Its styling and functionality hasn’t changed much in the last few years, other than a minor facelift in 2009 and a few new colors along the way. In the past, the Toyota Tacoma and Suzuki Equator graced us with the compact capabilities as long-term vehicles -- and although the Suzuki Equator is a rebadged, facelifted Frontier, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the original vehicle that made up the underpinnings of the truck. This was overdue.
This truck is spec'ed very differently than most of our previous long-termers. Our 2010 Equator, 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 2010 Ram HD 2500, and our newest edition -- the 2012 Ford F-150 EcoBoost -- have all been crew cabs with automatic transmissions. We (being me) wanted a more basic truck. One with a good ol’ manual transmission paired with an extended cab -- just enough space for my boyfriend, my dog, and me in the cabin and maybe a bag or two. The Frontier technically has four doors but not really... :)
So, as I sit here on the tarmac at LAX waiting for a valve to be replaced on the steering mechanism of our aircraft, I'll just have to watch the crappy inflight movie and hope I don’t miss our connecting flight in Atlanta. Our plans were to pick up the truck tonight and troll the city of Nashville for the night -- but those plans are slowly melting away.
Seven hours later…and we're not making our original connection to Nashville. We finally arrived at the Atlanta International Airport and rushed to the ticket counter to get rebooked on a new connector flight. "Oh hey, I've been upgraded to first class." And as soon as I said that, the attendant announced our flight crew is on a fight that just left Tallahassee and won’t be arriving at ATL for another hour and forty-five minutes. So we sit and wait again. We also just got word that our Frontier is sitting at our hotel waiting for us. The guys at Nissan were kind enough to send us a teaser photo as we sit and wait again...
Nearly 11 hours and some change later we arrived at our final destination and were picked up by Nissan in a black Armada that shuttled us to our hotel some 20 miles off I-65. "There's your truck!" were the happiest words we heard all day. We grabbed the keys like two giddy schoolgirls and said hello to our new four-wheeled friend. Yup, the wait was totally worth it.
We will be hitting the road and driving the Frontier back to SoCal on a 2500 mile road trip -- staying mainly on the I-40 with detours that lead us onto old route 66. So if you happen to spot us on the road in a shiny new blue Nissan Frontier, snap a photo and tweet it to us @trucktrendcom.