Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cars

Both Janean and Rebekah have made lists of the cars they've own, and hey, that looks kind of fun! So I hope you ladies don't mind, but I wanna play too!

1) 1971 or 2 (I think!) Ford Pinto. Blue. Well, most of it. My sister sold it to me for $200, before I even had my license. The year was 1985, and I was 18.
2) The year escapes me, but my next car was a black Mercury Marquis. I learned a lot about hoses and spark plugs with that car. I acquired it from the family I used to babysit for. It was a trade, I gave them a dog, and they gave me a car. They got the better end of the deal. And the dog probably lived longer.
3) Can't remember the year on the next car either, but it was a Chevy Chevelle or something like that. Boatlike. Rust colored. Of course, a lot of older cars in Cleveland were rust colored, even if they weren't.
4) I am so bad with remembering the years! The Chevelle broke down for good, and I needed wheels, I was desperate. So the first thing that came along in my price range, which was not much, I bought. It was a green Buick Century. This was right after I got married the first time, and my husband did not drive. He doesn't to this day, and he's 50 now. So the choice was mine. I confess I did not take the time to look into it and make sure it was a good car. It was not. Everything was wrong with it, I mean EVERYTHING. The brakes started failing within days after I bought it. I musta had sucker stamped on my forehead. I would have been true, because I was desperate.
5) Another Buick Century, this one light blue, and a station wagon. It was a nice car that served us well. Until it started smoking, and I don't mean cigarettes.
6) By now it was around 1990 or so... my next car was a blue Renault Alliance. A friend of mine let me buy it from her and pay her monthly. I think it was an... 82? Not sure.
7) 86 Plymouth Reliant K. Red. Good times in that car. It was the first car that I ever financed.
8) 89 Mercury Grand Marquis. Financed. Boat. Mistake. Could not park the thing to save my life. When it broke down, it was, OMGosh, so bad. I can laugh about it now... I was divorced and had an apartment about 25 miles east of where I worked, which was near where my ex-husband lived and the kids went to school. So, one day after work, I picked the kids up and asked my ex to come over to hook up some electronic equipment something or other I don't remember now, and then I'd take him home later on. He agreed. So first, we had to drive to the other side of Cleveland to pick up my other daughter. That was about hmmm, 30 miles west of where I worked... As I got off the freeway to pick her up, the car started over heating. But I just put over $600 into getting the radiator fixed. So, we stop at a branch of the place where I had it fixed. They got it so I could drive again, so I set out for my apartment, which was at least 50 miles east. I had my ex husband and 4 kids in the car... The exit before my house, it starts overheating again. BAD. Smoke pouring out all over. So I get the bottom of the exit ramp where it stalls completely. We got it to the side of the road, and I walked to find a payphone to call my sister Vickie to help me. But in the mean time, someone thought there was a car fire, so they called 911. Ok, I walk back to the car, and the lights and sirens approach. Crud. So the firemen, who were not at all bad looking btw (and there I was, divorced with my ex in the car!!) determined that it was not on fire, just smoking. Then my sister, who had also just started proceedings to divorce her husband, arrived. And flirted shamelessly with the hunky firemen. The firemen took my kids and my ex to my apartment in an ambulance, while my sister and I waited for a tow truck. She took me to my apartment. That was the end of that car. But I walked in my apartment and realized that it's now 8pm, I don't have a car, and my ex husband is stuck there. I can laugh now... :)
9) So being a single parent, I was treading a precarious tight rope - no car, no job - no job, no car... no car, no job, no place to live... I explained my difficulties to a couple people at work, to see if they knew of any decent cheap cars. This company where I worked was a small family run company, and in some ways, it was a huge blessing to me. In other ways, it was not. The father of the owner was our sales manager, and he pulled me aside one day and said he'd heard that I needed a car. I told him that yes, I was looking for a cheap car to get me back and forth to work. He said no, that I needed something reliable, and he had a friend who owned a car dealership. I explained further that I would not be able to afford something like that, and that I really did just need a cheap car. He would not listen to me and said "dont worry about a thing." So a few days later, he and his friend arranged for me to buy a brand new white 1999 Ford Escort. (it was still 1998!) I got the very best interest rate possible, and the payments were managable. Yes, this man who had only known me for about 7 months, cosigned for this loan so that I could have a decent car. I will never forget the kindness he showed and the blessing he was.
10) I did love my little Escort, but then I moved to Arizona, got remarried, and in addition to my kids, I had two stepkids to chauffeur around. That's ummm... let's see... one, two... ummm.... SEVEN! kids! For a long time if we wanted to go anywhere together, we took two cars. But then it came to pass that I was needing to drive 6 of these children to school on a daily basis, and the escort was not going to cut it. The police frown on using the trunk as a couple extra seats for small children. So we traded in my cute little escort for a beast. A 2000 Chevy Astro. Silver. I liked the space, I didn't mind driving it, but the payments were high and cost of filling the tank nearly gave me a heart attack. I was driving about 50 miles a day. So then hubby was arrested, and I had to decide which vehicle to keep. Beastvan, or his 2000 Chevy Lumina. I was still taking his two sons to school on a regular basis, even though they had to go live with their mom. So I chose to keep the beast.
11) Last year about this time, I was looking at cutting costs, and one of the things that I saw could go was the van. I was paying a lot for gas, and the payment was kind of rediculous. So, in February of last year, I traded it in for a charcoal gray 2005 Ford Focus. I forgot how much fun small cars are to drive. Because of the financial issues caused by my ex-husband's sudden inability to provide for our family, the interest rate I got sucked. But to me it was worth it to have a reliable car rather than worry about how much money I'd need to pay the mechanic. Even though I was paying a bit more than I wanted, I was still saving money on gas. And not long after I was able to refianance into a much more reasonable rate, and the payments are not bad.

My next car? I've done a lot of research, and I think if I can manage, I want a brand new red Toyota Corolla.

3 comments:

Grafted Branch said...

*dreamy sigh* Ah! I always wanted a Chevelle! Truly. If I couldn't have that, I'd have settled for a Nova.

But I got a 4-door white Volare instead. *singing the jingle...Voooooh-lar-eh, oh-oh* Some guy in my math class suggested I paint the doors black so it would look like a squad car. (I painted it dark red. You can read what happened next toward the end of my "100 things" post under my profile picture if you're bored. Ugh.)

Rebekah said...

Thanks for posting your cars. Wasnt it fun....well, not at the time but looking back :)

Janean said...

Isn't it funny how we all got ripped at one time or another while buying a car? Guess that happens to all of us! :D
Actually, I think I got hit twice...or maybe three times. Ummm, Doh!