For quite a while now I have been wanting a vehicle to transport us in some comfort and still have secure cargo space. Those "stock up" trips to Dangriga, Belmopan, or Belize City have been getting pretty awkward in a small pick up. And squeezing in 4 guests and luggage... not great. And, of course I have been lusting after all the fancy new passenger vans that all the resorts on the Peninsula seem to have... they are gorgeous, and carry a gazillion passengers and luggage in style. But holy cow, are they expensive!
A few weeks ago, I saw a "For Sale" sign on a considerably older looking red Chevy van that one of the tour operators has had for his family. They run a Catamaran during the season and go back to the States in the summer. Each year they buy an older serviceable vehicle and drive it back to Belize... this 1989 Chevy "Beauville" van was a church vehicle for many years and they purchased it and drove it down last year. I don't think it had ever had a coat of wax, so after some rubbing compound and a coat of Simonize it looks new.
We struck a deal and after some mechanical and body work, Karen and I are now the proud owners of a very nice air-conditioned HUGE van! Not great gas mileage, but we don't go far very often, and when we do it's in style and with plenty of room! And I won't even try to explain what "order of magnitude" less money it cost to acquire, fix-up, insure and register this instead of a new one!