Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy 100K, Lil' Car!

Everyone remembers their first car. Mine was a navy blue 1988 Ford Taurus that my parents gave me at the beginning of my second summer in college. While I was away on vacation with friends they had the transmission repaired, and then it was mine. I remember driving to work at UMass Lowell that summer down 110 along the Merrimack River with my 4-45 "air conditioning" "blasting" (for those that don't know that expression: 4 windows down going 45 miles per hour). It was MY car... no more borrowing friends' or my parents cars - I now had freedom.

Picture from Wikipedia. This wasn't MY car, but mine looked just like it.

Like any first car, it had its share of mechanical problems that eventually led to its retirement. The last one was a pinhole in the exhaust that caused my Taurus to fail MA State Inspection - and could never be found. Since a permanent rejection sticker is illegal... I moved on to my 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix. This is the car I had for most of my college career; it was teal and I decorated the back with stickers from various bands I enjoyed. When that car was toast, I moved on to my 1992 Buick LeSabre. It was when I found out it was leaking four different fluids (power steering, antifreeze, oil, and transmission fluid) and started making an awful racket when the wheel was turned all the way to the left that I knew it was time to go.

Steve and I went car shopping for me and in my head I knew exactly what I wanted. It didn't take long to find it - there she was on the Toyota of Nashua lot. A 2004 Toyota Corolla in Indigo Ink Pearl. Only one year old at the time with just over 19,000 miles.

Me in 2005 at our first apartment, not long after I got Lil' Car. I was dorky & excited. :)

And yes - I was excited that the color name was "Indigo Ink Pearl". One test drive and I was sold.

I think that any car owner will agree that you develop a relationship with your car. You get to know its quirks, its noises, and when something is wrong. It fits you, it fits your personality, and in some cases you even name it (mine is Lil' Car). And when it breaks - you're devastated. Within a month of owning my car, someone smashed the driver's side mirror while I was at an overnight girls' night at a friend's house. Then on Labor Day 2007, I wrecked my poor Lil' Car and we were worried she'd be totalled.

Poor Lil' Car! Sept. 3, 2007 after I t-boned a '93 Lexus. (No one was hurt... and a college friend was the EMT to respond to the scene. I was freaking out. That was super awkward.)

The fine folks at the auto body were able to fix her up and that fall Steve got her a vanity plate when we re-registered her: LIL-CAR (plate now retired). That was almost 3 years ago, and last week after her oil change on Wednesday, Lil' Car turned over to 100,000 miles. This weekend to celebrate, I took her for her post-winter vacuum (first chance I've had!), washed her up, and bought her a brand-new Yankee Candle Lemon-Lavender car gel. I hope to have her for a while longer - the last (almost) 5 years with her have been fun and driving has been comfortable. She still runs great and I can't wait for her to see her spot in the new garage next month. She deserves it!

Happy 100K, Lil' Car!

Here she is - today, sitting in our apartment driveway. Shiny & clean! Minnie Mouse antenna topper to make me especially nerdy. Love my Lil' Car!!


SilverNeurotic said...

My first car was also an 88! It was an '88 Chevy Barretta and I loved the thing except for the fact it had no power windows or locks. That was a pain. I lost that car when I was T boned. A woman hit a patch of ice coming out of a driveway. My passenger side door was embedded onto the front of her car.

Then I had a Dodge something or other. It was cheap, and I never liked it.

Then I got a Volvo which I loved for a few months, but it would not pass inspection, and something broke down every few months. I had that car less than a year.

Now I have my Ford Focus. I like it, but didn't realize until AFTER I bought it that it doesn't have power steering (it's a 2006 so I didn't even think to look, it should have had it!) Other than that, I'm somewhat satisfied with it, and I'll hang on to it for a few more years.

Nathan said...

Pri's car (her first) just hit 100k as well - a week or so ago. I missed the milestone on my car since I had a broken odometer from ~65K - ~105k.

Javier Cutts said...

I just had my first car a 2011 Buick, a gift from my parents. I love everything about it. My brother got jealous so Dad is off to meet a car dealer (Orange County) to buy one for him. He loves cars more than I do. Since he is my only brother I encourage Dad to buy him one for the law of equality. And because of my convincing power he will have his first car too after our vacation here in Los Angeles. Car dealer would certainly give the best deals, so there’s nothing to worry about. I just hope my brother would take care of it and would be a responsible driver.