Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Something to Drive Around With

I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.
Mitch Hedberg

Alane over at Confessions of a SAHM, has been playing along with the great NaBloPoMo "List-fest." And I am stealing one of her ideas for my next list (shh, don't tell.) Actually, I did mention it to her already and I think I will be safe from any lawsuits looking for my $1.33. (No, I don't know what I mean.)

Anyway, without further adieu, my list for today, March 4, is:


1. 1969 Plymouth Satellite

Now as you can tell, it was a beast. Oh yeah, and mine was more of a pukey yellow color, not sure what it's "official" name is, but me and my friends always called it "pukey yellow" so that's what I will call it here. Now, imagine being sixteen years old and getting this as your "brand new" car, in 1983. All my friends had Mustangs and the like, me, I get a 1969 Plymouth Satellite. I also got the final laugh, because my car was the one that ran most of the time, and it could fit a lot of people in it. So there.

2. 1980 - ish (sue me, I can't remember the year) Subaru Hatchback.

My little 4WD beauty, a car that I truly did enjoy owning, and it was the first car that I bought on my own, although I'm pretty sure that my parents did most of the paying. In fact, if you asked them, they might even say that they did "all" of the paying. :) One quick (I know) funny story about me and my little blue Subaru. Well, as I said it was a 4WD, which means four-wheel drive, right? Okay, it doesn't mean off road 4WD, to this me and my friend Brian can attest. We were bored and were also driving by this "hill" that 4WD vehicles like to use, you know to show their power and all that stuff. The hill wasn't built for that, but what the heck right? After all no one stopped us. I wish someone would have stopped Brian and I though, because we took my little 4WD car, my 3-door hatchback, up that "hill." This "hill" was also in Colorado, where I was living at the time. Those familiar with the Chicago land area, think 'Villa Olivia' only steeper and higher. Got that image. Now imagine the two of us chugging up that "hill." Got that image? Now, imagine us halfway up the "hill" and the car doesn't want to go forward anymore. Now what? Well, I looked behind me, you know to check for any vehicles that might be behind me, for some reason. I think that was the most frightened I had ever been, to that point in my life. Think steep hill, in a 3-door hatchback that is over heating and you just know that the brakes are not going to stop you, if you decide to back down that "mother freaking' hill." Decision time... Well, Brian and I agreed that maybe we should just try to get to the top, it looked a lot easier and less painful. We coaxed the car up and over the apex, scraping the under carriage along the way. Pull the car to a nice flat spot, and jump out to kiss the ground. I kid you not. We then waited for about thirty minutes for the car to cool down, and found a much gentler, and less steep, way down. I had that car for the next few years, well my parents had it because I was stationed in England for two years. I have more "fun" stories with that car than any other. (Hmm another list idea, maybe)
3. 1989 Pontiac Le Mans
Only mine was Black, and I swear it looked much cooler, with me behind the wheel. :) This was my first "brand new from the dealer" car. Thus begins the credit woes, you will see come my next car, which I bought about nine months later a
4. 1990 Toyota Celica
Finally got a picture of one of my old cars, with the correct color. White and very basic. Why? Because I really, really wanted this car. How bad did I want it? I waited eight hours, yes eight hours to get this car, I also blew all of my savings bonds that I had saved up for the previous four years. Why did I do that? Well, I would like to say that I had always been a fan of the Celica, even the old boxy ones. I would also like to say that it was a much more practical car for me. I would also like to reiterate it wasn't because of a girl. However, you and I both know by now, that it was a foolish purchase that took me several years to get out from under. It is also a car that Jenni laughs about whenever she sees one or hears about it. All she has to say is "over eight hours." Another thing that I don't want to add, but Jenni would insist. I was living in Abilene Texas at the time, I bought it in Colorado... it had NO air conditioning! Yep, time to move on to the next car.
5. 1990 Chevrolet Corsica (at least that is the year, I think.)
My first "family" car. Way more practical than my Celica. So we traded in the Celica, before we were even married (see the sacrifices we all have to make!), and this became Jenni's car, mine was a
6. 1980-something AMC Eagle
Ugly freaking car, that I really, really, really didn't like. I think I cried tears of joy when it basically blew up on the highway to work one day. Too many years later (okay, actually I believe it died about a year or so after I took possession of it), which led me to a series of cars...
7. 1993 Geo Metro
at least I think it was a 1993. This car blew up on the same highway (I-88) that the Eagle died on, which led to an even older
8. Toyota Corolla
This car lasted all of four months...
In the mean time we also had traded in the Corsica for the ultimate in family vehicles, yes we're talking a
9. 19-something or other Dodge Minivan. Ours was blue, without the paneling, thank you very much.
We are talking one cool ride, that no longer was as enjoyable a ride after Jenni got hit crossing an intersection, by some uninsured pinhead. With the new born Benjy sleeping peacefully in his car seat, no less. That led to the mother load, a
10. Full-sized Chevrolet Conversion Van.
We went on some long road trips with this bad boy, and it fit all five of our children, somewhat nicely. By that I mean it took 100 miles before they started fighting, as opposed to the customary 25 with the mini van. We took this van to Disney World, where I locked the keys in it. I flagged down a cast member and borrowed his broom to reach across and unlock the door. That doesn't paint a good picture, but I'm afraid of giving anymore "short stories" (like for car #2). Let's just say it all worked out fine, and the kids were able to see Mickey, no problems. I should also mention that we didn't get this van until after FTB was born, or maybe it was Cuddlebug. Hence, the reason for no year designation. when we were pregnant with our sixth we decided to move up to a
11. 2004 Chevrolet Suburban.
Nice car. HUGE payment (especially when you consider that we had NO payment for the van). This vehicle would be taken away from us, due to the loss of my job with Avaya. Food was a bigger priority at the time.
12. 1997 Geo Metro
my get too and from work car - I was putting literally 150 miles a day on this bad boy, between my commute from Batavia to Skokie (there is NO easy way to get to Skokie) and my paper route. I wore this car down to nothing, literally. One of the front seats broke, so I took it out. Made it easier to load the newspapers anyway. :) This car was excellent means of transportation, and I hated it when the right front tire went straight, while I was turning left, for more reasons than I could mention. That car gave me 156,438 miles and it was very reliable. I think I might cry.
That leads us to my final two cars,
12. 2002 Ford E150 van. (pictured is a 1995, but it looks the same)
Very practical, for my family size and very inexpensive, relatively. Not my favorite vehicle, but it does the job and it has been to Disney World, Alabama, Minnesota, and a few places in between. Now that I finally tinted the windows (before last year's Disney trip), it even looks better.
13. 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood
Not necessarily practical when it comes to fuel consumption, but I do like it's ride. It is soon to be replaced by a 1993 Chrysler LeBaron, which will be replaced by a Chevy something or other minivan (I can't remember it's name), because my son Cubbie, wants the LeBaron. At least that is what Jenni is telling me. (Back to the compromises.)
Whew. That took longer than I thought. I probably got something wrong, or missed one (I didn't include the company cars I had, since I didn't "own" them), but Jenni will remind me, and I can always update the list, right? Oh, and another note, of interest. (maybe) These are not necessarily in chronological order, it gets confusing when you own two cars at the same time, to keep them straight.
Happy Driving!!
Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live
In cars ~ Gary Numan 'Cars'