I walked into the Toyota dealer yesterday and walked out with a shiny, new 2007 Toyota Prius. It's white and it's loaded. Not my color of choice, but they had one on the lot, there was confusion about whether it was a dealer demo model or not and amidst the confusion, I claimed it as mine! The guy next to me put a deposit down and waited 6 weeks for his.
When you buy a car off the lot, you get whatever colors and options that they have. When it's a hot item, like the Prius in California, you often get no choice at all, even if you place an order in advance. Place a deposit, get a call in 4-8 weeks that says they have a car similar to what you asked for, but not exactly the same, and if you'd be willing to take it or keep waiting. Ah, free markets at work. I love it.
The garage now looks like a California garage:
The Porsche Boxster next to the 2007 Toyota Prius next to the Yamaha FZ1 motorcycle (upper left, behind the fridge). That's two convertible speedsters and one emission-friendly car. I will let you know how it goes with the white whale. Call me Ishmael.
So, is it still possible to get the California HOV stickers for the hybrid cars that I wrote about here and here? Not likely. This report says that as of September 12, 2006, there were only about 6,000 stickers left to hand out. When I called today, there were only 1,500 stickers left. The very nice lady on the phone at the DMV indicated that there had been discussion about adding 25,000 more stickers to the program, but those talks have seemed to stopped. By the time I get my license plate, they will likely all be gone. That's OK.