Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Pimp My Ride

Like many people I know, I have a love/hate relationship with the automobile. I am not the type of person who needs a new car every two years, in fact I like older cars better than the crap they are turning out today. I see my car as a way to get from point A to B and as a way to haul my shit around with me (tools, lumber, kayak, surfboard, etc). If I could own any car in the world it would be a Toyota Landcruiser, not one of those $60,000 soccer mom assault vehicles, but one built sometime between 1988-1993, when they were still practical and had some soul. I just love the look and feel of them, very utilitarian. I have come to the point in my life where having a reliable ride is necessary to maintain my sanity. I need to know that at 7:00 am my car will start and get me to and from work. I can fix nearly anything around my house, but I am not a mechanic and I don't want to spend every Saturday fixing the family truckster. That being said here is a partial list of some of the cars/trucks that I have owned over the last 15 years; the good, the bad, and the ugly:

  1. 2001 Ford F150- This is my daily driver, I bought it in March. It has an eight-foot bed so it is great for hauling stuff around. I do carpentry work so it holds all my tools.
  2. 2002 Subaru Legacy- My wife and I bought this car new just before my daughter was born. It is the most practical car I have ever owned, no frills family mover. I love Subaru's, this is my second Legacy (see below), the Legacy is not as sexy as the Outback, but for $5000 less I'll take it. I wish this one had a moon roof and a stock CD player, who still plays cassette tapes in a car? With another kid due in July I was thinking we might trade this in on something a little bigger (maybe a Toyota Highlander), but I think we will make it work, at least until we pay it off.
  3. 1994 Mazda B2300 truck- I bought this truck my last year in college. Great truck, super reliable. In 1999 we drove it cross country, pulling a U-Haul trailer. I owned it for almost 10 years, putting almost 150,000 miles on it before selling it to an Australian kid who just moved to the Cape. I recently saw him driving it in town, it's cool to know it is still on the road.
  4. 1986 Subaru Legacy- I bought this car used in 1990 and drove it until the timing chain gave out while driving it from Spokane, Washington to Moscow, Idaho. Cars always seem to break down in the most inconvenient places, like when you are surrounded by nothing but wheat fields for miles. This was my first real car after high school, my friends at the time thought that I was a geek for wanting a Subaru, but this was before they were hip. I'm not claiming to be hip, I loved the car because it could hold all of my windsurfing gear. I camped in this car many times while windsurfing in the Columbia River Gorge.
  5. 1973 VW Van- I paid $800 for this van, and owned it for less than a year. In that year I think I replaced almost every part on the engine. I was determined to fix it myself, and I think it was then that I vowed never to own a car that I had to contantly work on. It was great for camping though, I even lived in it one term at college, cheaper than rent.
  6. 1971 Ford LTD- My first car in high school. My uncle gave it to me after he tired of it. It was only a two-door, but was still the largest thing in my high school's parking lot. The hood seemed to go on for miles, and the massive trunk could fit two kegs or three people, just not at the same time. What little mechanical skill I possess today I learned on this car, you could actually climb in next to the engine and work on it. Very simple to maintain, unlike today's cars where you need to be a computer specialist just to change the spark plugs.
What is/was your favorite ride?

Listening to: Patty Larkin- Regrooving the Dream

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