Monday, July 16, 2007

Fun Monday - My Ride

The blogging neophyte, Tiggerlane, has taken on the task of hosting Fun Monday this week. This nosy little lady wants to know stuff. She writes:

Here was the assignment in voyeurism: I wanna see your CAR! It can be your current car, the first car you ever had, maybe your first new car with that new-car smell, a car you wrecked once, or even the dream car you would drive - given all the money in the world! Oh - and if you have a truck, SUV, lawnmower, whatever the local authorities allow you to drive, let's see it!

Now that I've reached the ripe old age of 45, my history with cars is long, if not illustrious. I don't have pictures of most of my cars, as they were pretty much just a way to get from A to B. I didn't invest much emotion into them, and but for one, never named them. However, I still harbor some affection for certain cars... whether for their looks, their personality, or what they represented.

My first car was "Lumpy Brown Datsun", which was a two-toned Datsun 610. I have no idea of the vintage. I bought it for $200 from the guy next door. He loved cars and engines and this was his grand experiment at rebuilding one that had been run over by a semi-truck. He still needed a bit of practice with bodywork, as this one looked like it had a bad case of cellulite. You could also take the key out of it and it would stay running. It's the only car I locked the keys in on a regular basis. I finally sold it to my brother John... for, I think, $200.

My next memorable car was just one that I really liked. It fit me and my personality and I cried when I had to give it up. It was a little 1979 two-door Toyota Corolla. Something about the shape of that car just appealed to me. My then husband decided that I needed a fancier car to go with our fancier house, and traded it in on a Pontiac Firebird, which was the biggest piece of crap to ever roll off the assembly line. It had glass T-Tops, racing stripes, and a gigantic bird on the hood. My husband drove it into a tornado once, and when it came time to split up, he told me he needed to have that car if he was going to be a single guy. I think we both knew someone was going to be single when he bought the damned thing... it was just a matter of time. I drove away in a relatively new Mazda 626, which brought it's own adventures in a small town called Manor, GA during hunting season. Perhaps another day.

I drove that 626 for another year or so, before trading it for a brand new Ford Mustang. I loved that car, and drove it until I sold it to my stepson, leaving me and my husband as a one car family. He subsequently sold it to a friend of his, who promptly crashed it. My father gave us his old Ford Ranger pickup, which he brought me back to Florida in after my divorce. It wasn't new then, in fact, after that trip, it needed an engine rebuild. It went to my brother Matthew during his highschool days, then back to dad, and when the call of a new pickup truck pulled my father's driving loyalties, he bought a big blue F-150, and passed "Little Blue" down to me. I liked that little truck, but my husband felt it was more appropriate for me to drive the Camry and for him to drive the truck. Which he did, until it gave up the ghost and we gave it away to a crazy employee of mine. As far as I know, it's still sitting in his yard.

I had another Mustang when my son was born... and quickly discovered that the bending and twisting of getting him in and out of the back seat was going to ruin my back. That's when the White Ford Explorer came to live with us. Lovely car. Big, roomy, great on trips. Leather interior. Drank gas like there were still dinosaurs around to fill it up. I still miss it, though.

My favorite car was my step down from the Explorer. It cost me $400, and I bought it from some friends when they moved to Colorado to be near their son, Pilgrim. Oh, she was lovely, and I named her Betty after the woman who sold it to me. She was a golden 1988 Volvo 240DL. When I got her, she was already ancient and needed some work (about $2000 worth). Her seats were worn, the pedals were metal with rims of black rubber around them, and the interior had faded to a very odd orange color. She was beautiful!

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Alas, we were financially unable to keep up with her needs, and while she was better than the Explorer in the gas mileage department, she still took quite a bite out of our budget at the gas pump. With gas prices soaring and a 50 mile round trip each day (including pickup and/or dropoff at school), I just couldn't afford to drive her anymore. Trading her in brought tears to my eyes. Bye, bye, Betty. BTW, I've seen her on the streets here. Someone bought her and loves her too!

Betty's replacement is what I'm still driving today. It's a 2003 Ford Focus off-rental. It's red (which I hate), with a gray interior (which I like), automatic.

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I rarely look in the back seat as that is where ZBoy lives, and it's usually such a mess that I throw my hands up in horror and vow to throw away everything in the car.

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It's actually somewhat presentable at the moment. I cleaned everything out for the trip to PC last week, though there are wrappers of things beginning to reappear already. The St.Bernard puppy is a leftover from last week. We got it for Link so he'd have something to hug, but since he didn't have much room to take the dog with him when he went back to New England, I decided not to give it to him. I didn't think that it would be very fair to give it to him only to have it taken away. In light of recent events, that wouldn't have been very nice at all. So I have him a clone trooper action figure instead, and "Bernie" has taken up residence in my back seat.

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This is an improvement, actually. My trunk is still recovering from the move. Inside you'll find two cans of paint, a Christmas wreath, a jar-opener and a wall decoration from my MIL, a bag of miscellaneous stuff, some mini-blinds, and my car tools, minus one flat-head screwdriver as I discovered this past week when a biker at a gas station asked for one. In fact, NOTHING in my toolkit was useful to the guy, who had long waits between cars at this gas station in the middle of nowhere.

I do not love this car. It gets me from A to B in an economical fashion, keeps me dry when it's raining (except in the trunk, which leaks), and is big enough to hold my son and my groceries, and in a pinch, my husband. Perhaps I will like it better when I finally add my favorite accessory:

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Now I just need to dig out something to attach it with....

20 comments:

min said...

You've had some interesting cars. It's cool that you still get to see Betty around!
Your car is cleaner than mine will ever be.

nikki said...

Dude, your car is so much cleaner than mine. I have crusts of bread (from Aaron's breakfast toast), wrappers, toys and pop cans everywhere. Kind of sad actually.

Nikki said...

I like your car.

I currently drive a 98 Mercury Tracer Stationwagon. Grey. Multiple dents and dings and occasional small spots of rust.

It runs like a champ and I'll never get rid of it if I can help it....despite everyone complaining that they hate my car (the hubby and kids) I love it, and have named her (no so originally I'm afraid) Betsy.

Sayre said...

As I said... it's a bit more presentable than usual since I cleaned everything out before the trip last week. However, yesterday morning I pulled two Zaxby's boxes out of the backseat from the day before... Can you say car-heated coleslaw? It was stinking up the joint...

Anonymous said...

Next trip up, bring your dragon..we';; "git 'er done."
dad

Beckie said...

Like the Volvo - we have one about five years older than the one pictured.

Happy Fun Monday!

Tiggerlane said...

Very impressive post! You did it up right - inside and out. I was not brave enough to show the inside of my car - after taking two girls to choir camp on a 3-hour road trip. Great job!

Joy T. said...

When my kids were smaller, our vehicles always looked like a bomb went off in them. YOURS looks great compared to what mine used to look like. Now with all my kids driving their own vehicles I 'finally' get a clean vehicle to drive.

Kaytabug said...

I didn't even think of showing the chaos that is the inside of my car. High five to you! Even though yours looks rather clean.

ChrisB said...

I currently drive a Toyota Corolla that is about 10 yrs old (it's a redish colour which like you I hate).

susan said...

How brave of you to show the inside of your car! I'm not sure I want anyone to know what a mess mine is! Heck, I didn't even show my own car!

Beccy said...

The inside of your car is so clean!

I don't like my current car which is very practical for our family so I posted about my first love (car wise).

Anonymous said...

It was a Datsun 710, and you sold it to me for $400. You are a bad person. :)
I called it "flattery" becuase it got me nowhere. I had to whack the solenoid with a hammer to get it to start, and the tail lights never did work. It was, however, the first car I actually owned, and made way for the only airborne qualified motorcycle in the free world at the time.

John

Debs said...

Very cool! What is it with kids and backseats having to be messy?

swamp witch said...

Is that a stuffed Boxer? You are way too neat. I'm impressed you showed us the inside. Cool tag !

willowtree said...

LOL, I had to laugh when I read about the Pontiac. My worst car Absolute peice of shit!) was a Mercury Capri, and it had glass Tee tops too!

If that stuffed dog is getting in the way, you could send it to me, I'll look after it for you.

theotherbear said...

First, I thought the stuffed dog was real. Ha!
Second, I think it looks like a quite nice car! And it is red, and everyone knows red cars go faster.

Pamela said...

what a great auto history - someone told me the other day they just bought a car for $200 and I wondered if it came in a match box.

my4kids said...

We still see a couple of our old cars around now and then. Which is a surpise since we actually live in a fairly decent sized city!

I'm not a fan of red cars either but I do like gray interior.

Claudia said...

it's so sad when you have to give up a car you love!! sigh...