5 things I love (and hate) about my +20 year old car

It seems that whenever I get a good idea for a post, one of our cars go awol, requiring our full attention. First it was Grasshopper´s car, which we took to the salvage yard. Yesterday it was my car, Big Blue. Yes, I´m one of those people who name their cars though, to be fair, my car has been in the family much longer than say, my younger Sister, so I have reason to be attached to it.

My parents bought that car in cash a year after I was born which means (quick mental math) that it turned 24 this August. I know it is a very impressive feat for a family to hold on to a car that long but it is reliable, sturdy and large, all you can want in a man car.  When I got my driver´s license my dad handed me the keys to Big Blue. Living in a big city with great public transport, almost none of my friends had cars, or driver´s license, so Big Blue opened up a while new world for me, skiing trips, trips to the beach, trips to Ikea…  It is still with me today, 6 years on. Until it said enough is enough yesterday. On the highway.

So here are some thoughts on owning and driving such an old classic car.

  • It is cheap. My dad paid that car in cash in the 1980´s. This means: no car payments, dirt cheap insurance, no expensive electronic things under the hood, cheap replacements from salvage yards. Only maintenance and gasoline.
  • It is reliable. If something breaks in my car you can see or hear it before it does. Forewarned is forearmed as they say. I have always had time to fix it before it caused real trouble. Hopefully this time it won´t be any different.
  • It reminds me to be thankful for what I have: air conditioning and heating is spotty so I always appreciate it when it does work.
  • It helps me stay in shape and be a better driver: no power steering can be quite a workout. Plus I can now park in 2 moves usually. And because I can´t rely on the horsepower to get out of trouble, I need to be a more watchful driver.
  • R-e-s-p-e-c-t: new cars shrivel up on impact while old ones don´t really seems to mind. This means that other drivers usually give me some leeway, and even let me go first!

And here are the 5 things I hate about it:

  • Milage: on open road I can usually do 9,3l/100 km if i´m careful. That is about $70 per week for my usual commute (which I do in public transportation as I like to have money for other whims, like food).
  • No air conditioning or heating: it can get very uncomfortable 6 out of every 12 months (so grateful for spring and autumn).
  • Safety: no airbags or shock absorption can make crashing very daunting indeed.
  • Environment: when my dad bought that car gas was still leaded and there were no catalysts to filter fumes.
  • The dreaded final moment: I know Big Blue´s time is almost up and even though I don´t like to think about it, one day it will have the final break down that will render me pedestrian once more. I have been saving for a new(er) car but I really just don´t like to think about losing this one. Is it sad that losing a car makes me sad?

P.S. Big Blue is actually a white car, but if you´ve ever read one of Janet Evanovich´s novels, the Stephanie Plum ones, you´ll know what I´m talking about.

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