NBD – Driving 2500 miles for the most spectacular G&L L2500

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Neo1, Apr 19, 2023.

  1. Feel free to skip to more pictures and bass description further below (it starts with my lengthy journey to acquire the bass).


    It all began because I bought a used car in Texas last November (I’m in northern New York – I purchased the car sight unseen through Facebook). It was sort of a retirement present to me (my wife was all for it, though), an “under-the-radar” Saab that can still be found for little money (about which I include info and picture of at the end of this post). I worked out a deal so the seller would store the car until I could come get it this April.

    Soon after I had bought the car, I joined a “new country” band, which assured me at the time that I would not need a five-string bass. Of course, they soon were pressing me to get a five-string, and their previous bass player sold me a very nice Japanese Fender MB-5 (I had a NBD thread about it) that I couldn’t pass up for $200.

    In a matter of a few weeks, I became a convert (at least while playing country music). The MB-5 just wasn’t “country,” though (it is a red, pointy Ibanez-styled bass). SO…I had a reason to buy yet another bass.

    I realize that I have too many basses, and so decided to only buy one that would truly satisfy me - something that would be the perfect bass for me. This meant I really needed to have patience and do my research. I initially went to a local GC (I know, I know) to try some, but the MB-5’s narrow neck had spoiled things for me. I did exhaustive searches online about neck size and string spacing (things I hadn’t really thought about before, but I was definitely aware of when I played). It looked like I might be limited to brands like Ibanez and Yamaha, neither of which screamed country, if I wanted to have a bass that felt most comfortable, but there was one other neck that fit my needs – G&L.

    My two G&L’s four-strings were probably the most comfortable basses for me to play, so started looking up everything I could about the L2500s. And that naturally led me to old threads here on TalkBass…

    The most interesting thread was from TBer 2cooltoolz, who had listed the most gorgeous L2500 for sale, and then marked it as withdrawn (THANK YOU TB for keeping all old threads available, even withdrawn "for sale" threads!!). Well, wouldn’t you know that 2cooltoolz lived in...Texas. So in January I private messged him, expressing my admiration for his bass, and letting him know that if he "ever wanted to put it back on the market…?"

    We wrote back and forth just a few times, and though I didn’t want to pester him (I did say I'd write him once a month to check if it was available), I actually sent him my April travel plans explaining the car thing once I bought my plane ticket, and told him I'd be in his neighborhood (not realizing Texas is so big). And wouldn’t you know, 2cooltoolz agreed to sell me the bass!

    So on April 4, I flew from Albany, New York to Dallas, Texas. My car seller picked me up in my new-to-me Saab, I took him out to lunch (he picked a Whataburger, since I’d never heard of them), and after that dropped him off at his work. Then I pointed the car south, and headed for 2cooltooz’s home.

    The drive took roughly three hours, which is a long time to drive for a bass (but just a mere blip compared to all the driving I had ahead of me). On the way there, the check engine light came on (naturally), but otherwise the new-to-me car performed fine (I didn’t think AAA would give me a tow back to NY from Texas, so I was praying the car would hold up).

    I’ve only met a few TBers in person, and they all are pleasant, comfortable-to-be-with people, and 2cooltoolz was no exception. Even before meeting me, he had stated that I was under no obligation to buy the bass after seeing it. Beyond the sale (which went fine), he seemed like someone I could easily hang out with, and if I lived closer, I would attempt to do so – so thanks, 2cooltoolz, for being so accommodating. You are truly "cool."

    And as for the bass, well…yowza! It felt great in my hands. And it looked so darn good. 2cooltoolz had an amp set out so I could noodle (as well as having printed me a cheat-sheet explaining the controls), and I knew right away I was buying it. I left very satisfied (with the bass in it’s case resting on my back seat).

    My day ended at my cousin’s in Houston (even further south - I was going in the opposite direction from New York all day). The next day I started east, first two days through Louisiana and Alabama to my sister’s in Atlanta, Georgia, then onto Charleston, South Carolina to pick up a friend who road-tripped with me the rest of the way (through Baltimore, where we caught an Orioles/Yankees game) and on to northern New York - 2500 miles in all over six days!

    On my first day of the journey, I had stopped at a dollar store to buy a cheap tarp to keep the bass out of sight at rest stops, and each night I brought the bass in to where I was staying for safe-keeping (I also bought a real cowboy hat at a western shop, to wear with my country band).

    Now, onto the bass – 2cooltoolz dated the bass as a 2003 based on the number, and it weighs in at 10 pounds 0.7 oz (that’s .07, not 7). It's an alder two piece with a “flamed” maple cap, a quartersawn neck with Birdseye fingerboard (notice there are no inlays, but there are side dots), and 2cooltoolz had done the suggested
    G&L bridge modification.

    The first two pictures are by me, and the rest are the from the original posting by 2cooltoolz.



    Here are the original posting pictures by 2cooltoolz:





    As you can see, it’s freaking beautiful! And it plays as well as it sounds. It took me no time at all to transition to it, and in the four rehearsals I’ve had with the band since getting home, my bandmates have expressed their admiration for both the looks AND the sound.

    As for the car, if you’re interested, here’s the convoluted story of this rare-bird (but first, if you don’t know what a Subaru WRX is, look it up):

    Before Saab went out of business, they were owned by Chevy, which at the time owned stock in Subaru. Saab wanted to put out an AWD car, but it would take too long to manufacture, so Chevy got Subaru to supply WRX’s for two years (2005-2006), which Saab then rebadged by changing the hood, hatch, putting in an STI steering box, upgrading seats and adding 100 pounds of sound-deadening. Mechanically, it’s a WRX (a fun, turbo-charged, AWD little beast), but to the eye it’s a bit more refined and somewhat a sleeper car. True Subaru fans don’t like it because it’s a Saab, and true Saab fans don’t like it because it’s a Subaru – hence the nickname “Saabaru.” It’s also why I can afford one (the same year WRX is out of my price range). I averaged about 75 mph the entire way, getting about 25 mpg, and it held up admirably. Now that it’s home, I’m going to baby it (including storing it in the winter).


    And another plus – my Bergantino HT322 fits comfortably with the seats down in the back with room for my bass, travel cart, and whatever else I need for a gig!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2023
  2. CletusMarley

    CletusMarley Knuckle Dragger Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2018
    Nice score! That top is gorgeous!
  3. Murch


    Jan 14, 2020
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Congrats on both the bass and the car!!
    oldandbold, TN WOODMAN and crobasster like this.
  4. Smokey P

    Smokey P Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2021
    Oh man, great bass, but I LOVE the Saabaru! Saabs are too cool man!
  5. TDR1138


    Apr 11, 2007
    Having owned several G&Ls and the Subaru WRX (and having driven the Saabaru), congrats and wise choices on all fronts! :thumbsup:
  6. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Bass is gorgeous! Congrats. Rock it.

    Car is cool.

    I used to be Saab obsessed and my final one was a 9000 T manual with race gauges, fast but not quick. It stuck to the road.

    ps every kid around here steals their jersey number tray tag from Whata. Glad you made it back.

  7. Duh - forgot to add it's a Saab 9-2x (the car model).
    Carl320, JRA and Murch like this.
  8. Celen


    Aug 25, 2018
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Very nice bass!

    Cool car too! Being Swedish, I grew up with Volvo and Saab. Learned to drive in a Saab 9-5.

    Curiously the 9-2x was never sold over here, as it was built exclusively for the North American market.
    Meanwhile, we did get the Cadillac BLS, a Cadillac made in Sweden by Saab, and basically a Saab 9-3 dressed in Cadillac clothes…

    Edit: oh and, apparently this is my 92nd post. It was meant to be! Haha.
  9. Chicken Wing

    Chicken Wing

    Mar 26, 2017
    I dream of one day taking a road trip with my best friend from California to Chicago to pick up a bass from Chicago Music Exchange, or driving all the way to NYC to pick up an Olinto from the bass shop. Along the way, we'd see concerts in every city we stop at and have a blast.

    The other dream I have is to fly to Japan to pick up a bass from a master craftsman or something. One day when the kids are grown up. A man's gotta dream!

    Great story and post, cheers.

    The Wing
  10. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Great story, all around! Glad everything worked out for you!
    TN WOODMAN and JRA like this.
  11. Great looking bass!

    I'm surprised you had to go so far for a Saabaru, they didn't seem to be rare here in CT when new. I wonder where they all went?
  12. FearNoEvil65


    Jan 12, 2023
    Nice bass and car !! if you're not a member, consider joining the G&L L-2000 Bass Guild on Facebook and show off that bass some more G&L L-2000 Bass Guild | Facebook
    TN WOODMAN, Carl320 and dralionux like this.
  13. They all rusted away (strut towers are their weak spot). There are some around, but I wanted one that was rust-free.
  14. pjbassist

    pjbassist Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Wayne, IN
    @Neo1 thanks so much for the terrific thread! I love G&L and had an L-2000 for many years. I also love Subaru and used to sell them. And...I just got back from Texas! Thanks again for sharing!
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    ok, @Neo1, you get the award for the coolest road trip (to get an ax!) i've read so far this year! :bassist: :laugh:

    the L-2500 looks super. glad the neck fits! ;)

    congrats on the car of course, and on seeing your friends, and your dietary choices :D , but mostly: congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
  16. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: Super story, cool car, and beautiful bass. Fabulous Fretboard, by the way...
  17. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    Very nice bass. A real beauty. Be careful that the A string tuner doesn't get bent from the bass sliding forward into the end of the case (damn you G&G).
    I had a 1966 96 briefly. 3cyl. 2 stroke. I had it long enough to push it to a friend's house and push it to the sellers house the next day to get my 50 bucks back.
    Neo1 likes this.
  18. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Istanbul...not Constantinople Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Congrats on the gorgeous bass! Glad to hear your Texas roadtrip went well too!!!
  19. RGerhart

    RGerhart Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2021
    Portland, OR
    Awww, great story! And what a great bass! Enjoy.
  20. Z-Bass


    Apr 22, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    That's a great looking bass and love the backstory. That alone makes it special. I've also learned a thing or two reading this thread. Never heard of a Saabaru. And this is the 3rd time in recent weeks that I've heard Whataburger referenced. Never heard of them either.
    Murch and CaribooBass like this.