Thursday, May 02, 2013
Need a Ride?
This week, while doing some driving for an article-I was
asked: What kind of car is that?
I was taken a bit aback-as my car isn’t that unusual
looking! It’s a quite typical pearl
My description is: I
own a Chrysler 200 S, it’s the little sister of the Chrysler 300. Or the updated version of the old
Sebring. I have a totally black
interior. Don’t ask me what the “S”
stands for-honestly, I don’t know.
This encounter started me thinking about the cars I’ve owned
since my first one at age 16-which was a used Toyota Corolla that was as cute
as a car in 1974 could look and still cost under $2 grand. I’m sure if I hadn’t been graduating high school
that June and entering college I wouldn’t have gotten a car. Plus, I had a part time job that took a bit
of driving to get back and forth too.
Then there was the added facts that my parents counted on me to do the
grocery shopping and cart my sister to various things that a 10 year-old occupies
her time doing.
That Toyota was white with racing stripes. It was also a money pit. So after working out my first year classes so
that I went from Tuesday through Thursday so that I could have it spend 4 day
“weekends” being fixed-my parents helped me buy a cute Chevrolet Chevette in
beige. I loved that hatchback and kept
it through the remainder of college and right up through the birth of our
daughter when I was 24.
Steve and I turned it in along with his Toyota for a Toyota
Tercel wagon in gold. He was using the
work truck from my parents business
since he worked pretty much 7 days a week.
We then kept that car until Adam was I believe 2. At that point we realized that I couldn’t
haul around the kids, strollers, extra clothes, a cat in a cage and a German
Shepherd and groceries in that tiny thing.
I had been eying the Dodge Caravan with a great deal of love
for its size. We traded the Tercel in
for the base model of it and didn’t trade it in for 6 years. Oh, and Adam took one look at our big cream
colored beauty and dubbed it “WOW”.
Seriously, we named it ‘WOW’.
We were thrilled with it and what we could hold so much that
after 6 years we bought another one, this time top of the line though: leather and full powered seats and windows
(yes, the base model had us using our hands to roll down the old ones), it had
a computer system that practically told us everything except how to get
somewhere. Remember this was long before
the invention of a device commonly called “GPS”.
Then while shopping one evening-we were called to the front
of the market and told to go outside.
Some teenager was being taught how to park by his uncle. The uncle decided a crowded parking lot was
the best place to learn this task. After
that time, our car may have looked the same-but it never drove the same again.
We took this time to buy a base model G20 by Infiniti (after
a never to be mentioned horrible used car) so that we’d have a second car. Yes, we had been a one car family all these
years! Loved the G20. It was a beige manual,
which worked well for us until my RA was so bad that all that shifting caused
me to scream in pain. We traded it for a
used J30, also Infiniti it was pearl and had matching pearl leather
interior. And eventually we turned the
Caravan in for a Nissan Pathfinder-also a base model and white.
The J30 stayed with us for many a year until Steve traded it
in for his present car-a Chrysler Crossfire.
It’s white with red leather seats and he’s had it 9 years now. Adam took over the Pathfinder and I went for
my “late” PT Cruiser. A car I had
drooled over since I saw the prototype picture in a Popular Science magazine. Until the day it was so horribly murdered, I
loved that 10 year old vehicle. Still,
it saved me so I feel compelled to love my new red car and ride it with a fair
amount of over compensation on the “following the rules” part and not driving
When I think about all this and realize I’ve been pretty
much driving for 40 years, I really can’t say I change my vehicle very often
and there’s always a pretty serious reason for the change.
One cyber-friend, Kathy Holmes, has written a few “chick
lit” books with the title of the first being “Real Women Wear Red”. I usually try to stay on the more sedate
side of things, so I think I chose my car’s color with her heroine “Cyn” in
mind-instead of clothing, I’m going for Real Women Drive Red Cars.
Just don’t ask me what the “S” stands for-I don’t know.