Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Evolution of the Car

When the kids say something completely out of context in the course of conversation (usually interrupting someone else's conversation to divert attention to him/herself), I'll ask them "What has that got to do with the price of tea in China?".  I get that from what my parents used to say to me when I did the same thing as a kid.  You can file this post under "What has this got to do with the price of tea in China?", since I usually blog about adoption and our family.

I never used to be a fan of big vehicles. My first car was inherited from my granddad when he passed away back when I was sixteen. It was a 1967 Buick LeSabre. It was a super-ugly, four-door boat that was an unattractive shade of beige/gold. But I was the only one of my friends with a car, so it was cool - except I always had to drive those mooches around... but I digress :).
Not my car, but the same make, model and year...

When I was 20 I bought my first car. It was a 1986 Pontiac Sunbird, a sporty, red, two-door with black and gray pin stripes. I taught myself to drive a stick shift with that car. I also wrecked it twice, the second time I totaled it. My first wreck taught me the importance of wearing a seat belt (I have always worn one since that day).

Mine wasn't a turbo, but it was a GT

I bought car #2 soon after the second wreck in the Sunbird. My next car was a 1992 Hyundai Scoupe - teal green in color with a pop-up (not power) sun roof, also a sporty-looking little 5 speed! It had no air conditioner when I bought it so I had the dealer add a "bolt on" one. I bought this right after I started my first "real job" after college. It was still cool outside when I bought it, so I didn't get to use the A/C until that summer. The after market air was such a drain on the little motor that I had to turn it off every time I stopped so it wouldn't kill the car. This was the car I was driving when I met Tim. He was the one who came to get me when I totaled it by running into the back of a school bus (don't think I will ever hear the end of this from him). When it comes to a school bus vs. a Hyundai - in case you were wondering - the school bus will always win. Thankfully, this is the last car I crashed - knock on wood... I proved there is a legitimate reason (actually 3 in my case) why unmarried people in their 20s pay more for insurance.
1992 Hyundai Scoupe
Also, not mine...

My third car was a 1988 Nissan Pulsar with T-tops (anyone remember those?). It was the first car I paid cash for. I had to because I was also paying for our upcoming wedding (my choice so I didn't get unsolicited advice from any well-meaning "contributors"). It was also the car I was driving when my dad died unexpectedly right before the big day. We donated the Nissan to the Salvation Army when we bought our 2nd (but first chosen by us) car.
Also not my car - note the palm trees - we don't have those here in the midwest.

Tim and I took over the payments (and ownership) of Dad's car since Mom didn't need 2 cars (or 2 car payments). It was the first car that we owned jointly. We had that four-door, teal/blue, 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix until the year we started our adoption process (2008). I sold it to a co-worker and still see it in the parking lot at my job.
Once again, not ours...

I drove the Grand Prix, Tim drove the Nissan and we also had his black, 1991 Chevy Silerado 4x4 truck as a "back up" vehicle. That's how we rolled until 2003, when I decided I liked a Buick I had seen for sale in a neighborhood over by the mall. We didn't end up buying that particular car, but we did end up buying a white 2003 Buick LeSabre program car, we had an after-market, power sun roof installed in it (I insist on a sun roof ever since the Hyundai). Unlike my 1967 LeSabre, this was (and still is - in spite of it's lack of coolness) my favorite car ever. It's the only car I had been able to buy just because I wanted it and liked it, instead of strickly due to needing cheap transportation. I still love that car. We sold it to my mom when we decided to adopt four kids (the LeSabre seated 5 people max).
My boss called this car (not my actual car) my geezer-mobile.  I didn't care, I still loved that car.

Tim sold his Chevy truck (it seated three people max) in 2008 too. He bought a white Ford, 4x4, extended cab truck that seats six (not really comfortably, but we fit). He was distraught when he sold it, he said it was like part of his family. I don't get that attached to vehicles, except the LeSabre.
Tim actually takes pictures of his vehicles. I don't have any of them on this computer, so once again not the actual trucks.

After much research on vehicles, the main requirements being that it seat a minimum of six people and NOT be a minivan (yup, I'm one of those people who refuse to drive a minivan), I decided to buy an Acura MDX. We found a 2001 that we could afford to pay cash for on craigslist and drove to St.Louis to buy it. It was gold, had factory GPS, 3rd row seating and a power sun roof. It was a pretty sweet ride and I got tons of compliments on it - but I still liked driving my '03 LeSabre better.
You guessed it, not ours.

2001 MDX's have one major flaw, the transmissions go out early on them (they fixed this in the 2003 model, in case you are interested). So after getting a "check engine" light for several months (and ignoring it after we learned that it was the transmission going out), the slipping of gears was just getting too bad and it was also affecting the all wheel drive. So, I went back to craigslist and eventually found a 2002 Chevy Suburban that we could buy for less than the cost of a new transmission (trading in the MDX + less than $1000 cash); so we bought it back in November.

The Suburban has turned out to be a great vehicle. It gets around great in the snow (which, who knew when we bought it how much of a work out the four wheel drive would get this year) and isn't nearly as hard to manuever as I thought it would be. I have dubbed it "The Bus". It is burgundy (no, not yellow), has four wheel drive and a factory sun roof (but no GPS). It also seats eight comfortably :).

No comments: