Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Car Memories

This blog was inspired by a high school friend who’s been taking a trip down memory lane by posting pics on Facebook of the cars he’s owned.  Following his story has made me think that I’m a bit of an oddball in that I’ve only owned three cars.

First was the ’66 Mustang my Dad bought me when I was in college.  It was black with a red interior.  I was constantly having the transmission rebuilt, but it was still more economical than buying a new car.  I finally had air conditioning installed in the 80’s when I quit teaching.  When you teach school and have summers off, you can get away without AC.  When I got my first office job and had to wear pantyhose to work in the summer, AC was a must. My Dad paid $600 for that car, and that’s what I got for it when I finally gave it up.

Next up was my red Honda Prelude, and there’s quite a story about that car. I had a friend who took plenty of business trips and always parked at the airport. She came home from a trip and couldn’t find her car in the parking lot. The lot had no record that the car had ever been there, but finally after much back and forth, the car was declared stolen and she settled with the insurance company.  A year or two later, she got a call that her car had been found, in an airport parking lot.  Just as there are today, there were several parking lots at the airport, and I can only think that they didn’t compare records and she was confused as to which lot she had parked in.  She never, ever admitted she might have been confused.

The insurance company didn’t want anything from her; they just wanted her to know her car had been found.  She knew my Mustang was on its last legs and worked out a deal for me to buy the lost car.  I also drove that car until it dropped.  I think what did it in was my driving it too far when it overheated one time.  After that, it was never the same.

That prompted me to buy my first and, so far, only new car.  I purchased my 1998 red Acura Integra and still own it.  As I’ve worked at home for the past sixteen years, it still doesn’t have 100,000 miles on it.  I see no reason I can’t make it at least to 2018 and hit a twenty year anniversary with this car.  It gets 25 mpg around town and runs just fine.  Do I occasionally wish I had a more modern radio or even a car with a bit less road noise?  Sure.  Do I want to spend $30 or $40K to get these little luxuries?  Not hardly.

These days when I take a road trip, I drive our 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid because a bigger car makes me feel a bit safer.  My husband keeps saying that the next new car will be his as if a 2007 car is old.  I think he’s only joking, but you never know.  Even that car only has around 65K miles on it. The hybrid battery is due to go out soon, and I keep hearing that mentioned as a reason to buy a new car.  Harrumph!  Again, I ask, “Do we spend $3-$5K on a new battery or $30-40K on a new car?”  Do we go on several nice vacations or buy another car? That’s a no-brainer to me.  I'll go for vacation memories over car memories anytime.

Have a comment? Write me and Puddin’ at The Ink Penn.