Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ode to Joy

by Guest
I've been meaning to post this for 2 years now, right after I bought my current car. But laziness has simply kept me from lifting a finger - same goes for my goal of losing weight or learning to play the guitar. It wasn't until my baby got hurt that I knew I should get off my butt and put these thoughts down. So here it is, a post to my darling car!

But first, a trip down memory lane... My very first car was a used 1988 Honda Accord coupe that my dad picked up for me back in the early 90s for $6k. I learned to drive in that baby. It was a base DX model with a maroon exterior, but it had friggin pop-up headlights! Best of all, it was a 5-speed manual! Sadly, affordable digicams had not been invented yet, so I have no pictures of her other than what's held in some neurons upstairs. Once I finished undergrad back in 1999, it was time to replace her. So what did I get? A brand new 1999 Honda Accord coupe, that's what! Of course, it too had a manual tranny, a beautiful 5-speed. She was a bump up in class because she had a moon roof, all for less than $20k! Luckily, I do have some pictures of her.

^^Never mind the fall foliage, look at that beautiful car!^^

^^No, that's not Mango, that's Pargo! And damn that's a big shifter, I don't remember it being so tall.^^

Anyways, other cars have come and gone in my life but my first two cars are the ones that I'll always cherish. Once the kids came into the picture, I tried to accept the world of 4-door automatics, but every day I drove around town, a little bit of me died. Seriously folks, my life-span has decreased from not having my shifter and clutch!

Several years later, I finally decided that my joy of life was more important than the comfort of my family. Is that being selfish? Not really, if I'm dead, who will be here to drive them around? So I started car shopping! But my oh my have times changed. Trying to find a used manual transmission car in the DC metro area is not that easy. Toss in the fact that car manufacturers have given consumers like me the middle finger, made the pickings even slimmer. There are countless stories online that cover this sad sad predicament, so I'll just link to them here and here and here.

Eventually, after a year of searching Autotrader and Craigslist, I finally found her, a used BMW F32 for $35k with a 6-speed stick! I was hesitant to make the move to the Germans from the bullet proof world of Honda, but one gets desperate after a year of searching. Plus, the whole CPO thing gave me some sort of comfort. Behold...the meaning of life!

^^I missed you so much!^^

^^My left foot now has a purpose!^^

And what goes best with a shifter? A proper handbrake! Seriously folks, I throw up in my mouth each time I see what's happening these days with those parking buttons.

^^Look ma, no buttons! Oh wait...^^

I completely forgot to snap a picture of the moon roof, but it's there. The kids don't seem to mind the two doors too much. It's nice and cozy compared to the cavernous minivan. Honestly, these simple little things are all I need in a car. I know the market isn't really there in the US and the car makers are in business to make money. So I'll keep trucking along in my little baby until she costs too much to run. By then, maybe I can just sit on my old fat ass and let the autonomous cars do all the work.

I guess that's all for now. Maybe after I get a heart-attack or lose my hearing, I'll chime in again on my weight and guitar.

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