A few days ago, Becky from Strikeouts & Sprinkles, made a post about her car Benny. It was a sweet story of how she got him and now I shall share the story of my two cars.
I guess I was a little off the normal path from most of the world because I didn’t get my first car until I was 25. I spent my teen years and early twenties living in a town with a pretty decent public transit system and my parents both had cars so if I ever needed one, there was usually at least one to choose from in order for me to go where ever I needed to go.
Then my parents moved out to the country. Where there are no city buses. No trains. There are taxi’s but they aren’t real taxi’s. Just some guy who decided the town needed something and started driving people in his van and then expanded to have a few vans working for him. At least that’s how I imagine it went.
So when I moved there after my first contract in Korea, and I was going to start teacher’s college, I knew I needed a car. Especially since I would have to be driving for placements.
I had saved up quite a bit of money from my trip overseas and set aside about $3000 for a new car. Of course, I was working and saving money from my job too so that helped. At the start of April of that year, I started looking for a car. It would be a great birthday gift to myself (April 15th – remember it peeps!). I wanted something small and cute. Our family was a Ford family and my parents had Ford Focuses at that point and I really liked them. So I searched out something similar.
One Saturday, I had a list of about 4 different places that I wanted to check out and my mom, my dad, and I set out to test drive all these cars. I didn’t even test drive any of the first few that we saw. For various reasons. But the one on my list that I REALLY wanted to see was bright yellow. I was in love before we even got there!
We arrived and my dad checked it over with me. He went on the test drive (it was a two-door and my mom was not climbing into the backseat just for a test drive). He did his fatherly thing and tested this and that – all things that I had no idea about because I have no clue about anything to do with cars.
I was seriously smitten! I asked him quietly “so? What do you think?!” because I was sooooo into this car. Basically, from the moment I set my eyes on it, I knew it had to be mine! His response “does it really matter? You’ve already made up your mind” which described the situation, and my personality, really well. I wanted his approval but I’m not sure I would have backed down if he didn’t give it.
He negotiated with the guys selling it, I drove down to the closest bank to leave a deposit with them. I paid it off, in cash, in full, by the time I picked it up. $3200 of my hard earned money. It was 11 years old when I got it. There were a few rust spots here and there but they would fix them. Some dash lights were on, but they would inspect and make sure they were off and everything was working. The AC was busted but they would fix that too. In a week I went back to get it.
Isn’t he adorable?!
The previous owner had been a smoker, so the first day I had him, I took my parents’ carpet steamer and spent the entire afternoon cleaning every single inch of that car.
Isn’t that disgusting?! Thank you facebook for still having my memories!
I had that car for two years. Two years exactly.
I paid $3200 for it and the first summer I had it, I drove to Ottawa to visit my brother and to show him my amazing new car. While there I had a $1500 repair bill because a radiator hose had busted. The people who sold me the car didn’t actually fix my AC so then I had to try to fix that too. The day I drove it off the lot, by the time I got home a dash light had come back on that they were supposed to fix (and I was too naive to call them and be like “um what the heck guys?!). The first winter, the passenger’s seat release switch stopped working so getting in and out of the back was a struggle. The second winter I had it, I had to replace the battery twice in it (mostly because I wasn’t driving it enough to actually charge it back up from the super cold weather and I just thought my batteries were dying for no reason. I’m much smarter in the car department now). By the time I gave it up, I had put at least $3000 worth of repairs into this car.
But one of the students that I worked with at that time named him Chester. So Chester was his name! And I loved him dearly for the little bit that I had him. However, but the end I was so over it. My first car had been a lemon and I learned my lesson from it. I had my winter spin out the first winter I had Chester, so I knew when I got my second car, I would be getting something bigger. I was working and teaching in the country and I needed to feel safe on the roads if I was going to be driving to schools for supply jobs.
I’ll save the story of my second car for tomorrow!