Spent about 3~4 hours today pulling out the radio gear, power cables, signal cables, Aux GPS cables, and returning everything to the way it was before I put the stuff in.
Got the shop vacuum out and sucked all the crud out of the car, and cleaned the glass.
I pretty much know everything about this car that needs attention, and some of it I'm going to do (the headlights, again), and some I'll farm out (the detailing). And some items won't get done, like 4 new shocks. I put new brake rotors with high-end ceramic pads on it before we moved here, and the pads show like (maybe) 10% wear. The rotors still look new. The objective at this time is to get it a much presentable condition than it is now. In short, it's filthy! The carpets need to be shampooed, along with the headliner, and the seats need to be professional cleaned. The drivers seat needs a couple of small repairs, the windshield needs to be replaced, the driver's side outside mirror is getting cloudy and should be replaced. If I can find a cheap used one, I'll swap it out. Other than the items mentioned here, it's a rust-free "California Car" that's low-mileage (2006 model year, 87,000 miles), never been wrecked or abused, and always had regular maintenance. Once I get it presentable, we'll start the serious shopping.
And we haven't decided 100% on buying a Gladiator. I've been reading reviews of the other trucks in the size class, and one I want to look at is the Honda Ridgeline. The "Truck People" look down on them for various reasons, but they'll tow up to 5,000lbs when they have the all-wheel drive package, and since I doubt if I'll ever do any serious off-roading, the all-wheel drive capability they have should be sufficient. The Get-Outta-Dodge roads we'd have to use can be easily handled by one of these, as I've seen a couple "Up On The Mountain".
The only thing the magazine reviews faulted them on was the brakes. Soft pedal, lots of travel, and longer-than-average (for the class) stopping distances.
So the game's afoot, and I'm proceeding with the fact that if we really do buy a new car, the Jeep will be traded in or sold to a private party, and we're keeping her Hyundai. The little Elantra is seven years newer, runs like a top, and only has 38,000 miles on it. It's been an excellent car (never mind the two big accidents; wasn't her fault), it's pleasant to drive, gets very good fuel economy, and has been dead reliable except for the time she didn't close the door all the way, the dome light stayed on, and the battery croaked.