My favorite edition of this book is the original (published in 1983, 381 pp). It’s long out of print, however, so you may need to content yourself with the more glitzy, expanded, hip, and Internetized version (published in 2001, 412 pp).
I like the old version better. It looks and reads more like a good dime store novel. The newer version comes in a larger format that would look at home in the “For Dummies” series. The earlier version looks like it would be at home with the old Harlequin romance novels, although Mr. Sutton (shown in a photograph sitting on the hood of an automobile in the earlier edition) comes up a bit short by romance novel cover-model standards.
But we love Mr. Sutton for his brains, not his looks. And bless him, he knows a thing or two about how to buy a car. Fabio probably doesn’t know how to buy a car.
In both versions, Mr. Sutton paints a vivid picture of a car dealership, replete with the motley cast of characters one is likely to find at such places, and he takes the reader through a sure-footed description of how all car dealerships (from the humble backstreet “credit fixer” lots to the high-and-mighty Lexus and Hummer dealerships) operate behind the scenes. It’s a fun read.
It’s also a money-saver. Mr. Sutton deftly cuts through the car-biz snow and shows the reader how to keep his or her eye on the proverbial car-buying ball: It’s the dealer profit, Stupid.
I’ve used Mr. Sutton’s book in two car purchases to good effect, and I recommend it to anyone wishing to turn the often-traumatic car buying experience into one that is fun, direct, and not overly profitable to the dealer.