This is part one in a two-part car series.
This past weekend I drove with some friends to an area Northwest of Los Angeles to participate in a mountain 6k trail run. Although technically not THAT far from where we live, everyone, including me likes to avoid being the driver, because let’s face it, driving in LA just kind of sucks.
There was talk of doing Rock. Paper. Scissors. to see who had to drive, but my friend Jenna graciously stepped up to the plate and offered to drive. Whew! Another reason why I don’t want to drive? My car is an old POS.
Jenna drove a Hyundai (not sure what kind) and immediately I was jealous at how pretty and spacious it was. Of course she also had the cool touch screen panel that all new(ish) cars seem to have these days. And on the way home from our weekend trip, my friend Amy was able to plug in her iPhone to recharge it with the built in USB charger. Oh, and it also had seat warmers and the backseat drivers could control their own temperature.
Not too long ago I gave my friend and next door neighbor a ride to the airport. I agreed to move her fancy car on street sweeping day. It was one of those cars that doesn’t need a key to start it (cue my head turning sideways like a dog). “Rarh?” OK, I get you push the button, but what I didn’t know was that my foot had to be on the gas pedal (or was it the break?) to get the car to start.
I just about literally had the type of meltdown I only get assembling Ikea furniture, until somehow by accident my foot landed in the right spot and the car started. I’m pretty sure The Universe was cracking up at me.
I bought my POS that I’ll call “Suby” (a 2002 Subaru Impreza) in 2002, brand new. I was living in Seattle at the time and Subarus are very popular in that area, because of all the outdoor enthusiasts and their love of 4-wheel-drive vehicles. I thought I was super bad-ass owning one with ski racks, so I could take the “crew” up to the mountains to go snowboarding in style. And I thought I was fancy-schmancy with my built in CD player so I could listen to Jack Johnson ad nauseam.
Then I moved to LA, where at the time Hummer H2′s occupied all the lanes on the 405 freeway. You’d think everyone was driving to the gun range, but no, they were on their way to the Warner Bro’s lot where they required a double-wide parking space. There was not a Subaru in sight unless you drove to Northern California.
Several years later everyone traded in their H2′s and became “environmentally” “friendly” and bought a Prius. Now they could get to the Warner Bros. lot in the carpool lane. Hurray!
Meanwhile my lil’ blue car started feeling the wear an tear of a well-lived life. Sand became a constant staple in my car, along with beach volleyball gear, and banana peels which I would eat and throw on the floor on the way to the beach. Scratches and dents adorned the body of the car, half of which were probably caused by me, and half by people in random parking lots who backed into me, but I never bothered following through with repairs because, well why bother at this point.
For awhile she ran great too, giving me the confidence to overlook the outside flaws. But last year she got kind of sick, breaking down in the middle of the 405 freeway at rush hour at one point, while people drove by in their Priuses (or would it be Priusi?) giving me the middle finger. All in all I spent 5 cough thousand cough dollars on my car last year.
This year Suby turns 12, and she has just over 100k miles on her. The same Jack Johnson CD’s are still on a little shelf below the dashboard, except now they all skip, and sometimes when I hit play the display reads “error.” The time will soon be near for me to purchase a new car.
I currently have a savings bucket just for a down payment on a car, but it will depend on how long my car will last to know how much of a down payment I’ll have. After that, using a car loan calculator site can help me better decide what I can afford, but I’m pretty sure at this point when I’m ready to buy a car, it should be able to fly.
In part two I’ll talk about what kinds of cars I’m looking at. Maybe you can help me decide?
What’s the longest you’ve driven a car you’ve owned? Did you ever name your car at a certain point?