PDA

View Full Version : End of an Era


michelen
02-24-2005, 11:16 PM
This may be a little strange, but this seems like a good place to share this:

On February 3, 1984, I traded in my odious 1977 Pontiac Astre (it was so bad, they made it for two years and gave up!) and bought a 1984 Nissan Pickup. I have been driving my faithful little truck for 21 years.

I bought this vehicle the same year that the very first MacIntosh computer was unleashed on the world. These days, I work on a dual-processor 1.8G G5.

Alas, my little truck will not pass the California smog test. So, tomorrow, I will voluntarily "retire" it. Which means delivering it to a local "dismantler" (read: junkyard). The State of California is willing to pay me $500 to get it off the road, so I am going to take the money and ride my bike.

Fortunately, these days I can bike or bus to work, I can borrow my husband's car for errands, but giving up my vehicle feels like giving up my independence.

Truly the end of an era. So I guess I'll quit smoking, too. Smoking on a bike it just _too_ weird!

I'm thinking of a "gently used" Toyota Corolla sedan. Whatever I get, it MUST have power steering and air conditioning. Everything else is optional. And it would be nice if it was under $10,000. Suggestions?

Best,
Michele

annc
02-24-2005, 11:47 PM
This may be a little strange, but this seems like a good place to share this:

On February 3, 1984, I traded in my odious 1977 Pontiac Astre (it was so bad, they made it for two years and gave up!) and bought a 1984 Nissan Pickup. I have been driving my faithful little truck for 21 years.

I bought this vehicle the same year that the very first MacIntosh computer was unleashed on the world. These days, I work on a dual-processor 1.8G G5.

Alas, my little truck will not pass the California smog test. So, tomorrow, I will voluntarily "retire" it. Which means delivering it to a local "dismantler" (read: junkyard). The State of California is willing to pay me $500 to get it off the road, so I am going to take the money and ride my bike.

Fortunately, these days I can bike or bus to work, I can borrow my husband's car for errands, but giving up my vehicle feels like giving up my independence.

Truly the end of an era. So I guess I'll quit smoking, too. Smoking on a bike it just _too_ weird!

I'm thinking of a "gently used" Toyota Corolla sedan. Whatever I get, it MUST have power steering and air conditioning. Everything else is optional. And it would be nice if it was under $10,000. Suggestions?I feel for you; that truck must be part of the family by now.

When I no longer needed to tow a horse float, I bought a Subaru Forester, and am now on my second, which I've had for nearly five years. It's AWD, has power steering and airconditioning, ASB brakes and airbags. Being a wagon, it's much more versatile than a sedan, and as it sits up higher than a two wheel drive, I didn't feel as if I was dragging my rear end along the road, even when I first started driving my first one. Mine's also a turbo, having the same motor as was being used on the WRX at the time I bought it. I love it.

The Subarus are noted for going on forever, being very well engineered. They're a bit more expensive to service than most cars, but seem to need fewer services. Mine has never given me a moment's worry.

Why did I sell my first Forester? Well, it had a manual transmission, and I didn't like either the clutch or the accelerator (the Nissan Patrol it replaced had a beautiful clutch and gearbox). I suppose I could have demanded that they fix both under warranty, but bought the champagne-coloured automatic turbo instead. <g>

terrie
02-25-2005, 12:10 PM
How very sad...

I have a 1993 Dodge Dakota 4x4 with 160,000+ miles on it which I hope will continue to serve me as I don't have the money for any other car...it will be odd to you to move from a pickup to a car...

Terrie

michelen
02-26-2005, 05:26 PM
I assume that a "horse float" is what we call a horse trailer in this part of the world?
I never tried towing a horse trailer with the Nissan. For that, I borrowed my father's 3/4-ton Ford truck.

I've been lusting after the Subaru Legacy wagon, but it's hard to find one used. People just don't sell them.

Well, today I replaced the tubes on both wheels on my bike. One of them blew up--so I had to borrow Mark's car (Toyota Corolla wagon) to get down to the bike shop for another tube. I managed to hit the stairs when I was parking it when I got back--the car sits alot lower than my truck and I didn't see the bottom step. I didn't do much damage to the car or the stairs, but it was kind of embarassing. I hope it's bicycle weather soon!

Best,
Michele

annc
02-26-2005, 05:42 PM
I assume that a "horse float" is what we call a horse trailer in this part of the world?Probably. They have a twin axle, and usually carry two or three horses. The big fancy ones are called goosenecks.

I've been lusting after the Subaru Legacy wagon, but it's hard to find one used. People just don't sell them.It's the same here for the Liberty, which is what the Legacy is called. Subaru sells a lot more Foresters here, so if it's the same there, you might have better luck.

Well, today I replaced the tubes on both wheels on my bike. One of them blew up--so I had to borrow Mark's car (Toyota Corolla wagon) to get down to the bike shop for another tube. I managed to hit the stairs when I was parking it when I got back--the car sits alot lower than my truck and I didn't see the bottom step. I didn't do much damage to the car or the stairs, but it was kind of embarassing. I hope it's bicycle weather soon![/QUOTE]It sounds as if you're going to be ready for it, anyway, even if you have to do an awful lot of driving around getting the bike fixed! <g.

JVegVT
02-26-2005, 06:06 PM
In Vermont, the Subaru is called the Unofficial State Car. We're supposed to have the highest per capita registration in the country. The all-wheel drive makes It a good snow car. We've had three and keep them past 100,000 miles. Our second one was knocked out of line in an auto accident we had, however. We replaced it with the Legacy we have now. They've all been Legacies.

It's hard to run a car much past 100,000 miles here because even if the engine is good, the body rusts out due to our tough weather and the road salt.
--Judy M.

Shane Stanley
02-27-2005, 02:07 AM
I hope it's bicycle weather soon!

It certainly is down here! but I never leave home without at least one spare tube...

Shane

nick
02-27-2005, 07:37 AM
Michelen,

<<I'm thinking of a "gently used" Toyota Corolla sedan. >>

PMFJI on your thread, but I own a 2003 Toyota Corolla (the first year of a major redesign) and it is one great little car. Handles well, has a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder that gets around 34mpg on the road and in the high 20s in the City (NYC metro) and the quality is excellent too. Most of the stuff that was optional on the 2003 CE (the model I have) became standard on the 2004, so take that into account.

Hope this helps,

Nick

michelen
02-27-2005, 10:29 AM
Nick,

Thanks for jumping in with this info.
I'm glad to know the Corolla CE is a good car. I keep seeing them on the street and thinking "there's my car."

Best,
Michele

marlene
02-27-2005, 12:23 PM
I've been lusting after the Subaru Legacy wagon, but it's hard to find one used. People just don't sell them.

I'm on the east coast, and we didn't have much trouble finding a used Legacy wagon when I decided to retire my elderly Nova (1986). But we had to be on our toes -- reading the classifieds as soon as the paper arrived and making phone calls early in the morning -- because good used cars seem to sell very quickly.

I'm very happy with the Subaru, except for the fact that the seats are very low. I almost feel like I'm sitting on a cushion on the floor, and because I'm short, I did need to add a cushion so I can see over the hood. (And I really need to find a thicker cushion -- I'm still not sitting up high enough.)

And the mileage is not great, but I don't drive a lot, so it's not a real issue for me.

We also have an aged Honda wagon ('91 Civic) that we like a lot (the seats are higher, so it's more comfortable for me to drive), but we use it mainly to transport the dogs, so the car always smells like monkeys.

mxh

michelen
03-01-2005, 12:05 AM
Well, my little truck is history. They made it quite easy, actually. While I was in the office filling out the papers, they drove it away. I came away with a check for $500, which is probably more than I could have sold it for. But I am tying not to picture my faithful little truck out there on blocks with the hood up, being stripped for whatever is valuable. On the other hand, maybe that's a fine fate. My faithful friend will live on...oh, brother.

But it's going to take a bit of getting used to. I have had my own car since I was 16 (didn't live in a place where public transport was an option). It feels weird to have to borrow my husband's car. I have to move the seats and the mirrors and I know it's annoying for him. And when I go away for the weekend to visit my elderly Mom, which is every month or so, he's stuck with no wheels.

His car is a 1992 Toyota Corolla DX wagon, and I discovered when I was cancelling the insurance on my little truck that the Toyota has less than 50,000 miles on it. Apparently, we get a discount for driving less that 5,000 miles a year. I'll take it.

So, I have my bike, which is great April through October, except that I have to ride through Oakland's "Ghost Town," which can be quite dangerous. I've never felt threatened by the folks who live there--they get used to seeing me and wave when I come by--but it's a bad place for drive-by shootings. Late last summer, there were a couple of drive-bys, and I lost my nerve. We'll see what happens when Daylight Savings Time roll around again. I rode through there for two years without trouble.

Best,
Michele

annc
03-01-2005, 02:01 AM
Please accept my sympathy, Michele. I had a car once that burrowed is way into my heart, and appreciate that your little truck was a personality.

As with pets, the best way to deal with it is to find a replacement with its own personality. I hope you manage to do this fairly quickly.

terrie
03-01-2005, 12:39 PM
You could always rent a car when you go to see your mom...places like Enterprise will come and pick you up and then drop you off when you return the car and they aren't too pricey...

Terrie

John Spragens
03-01-2005, 02:40 PM
Smoking on a bike does seem sort of wrong activity for the context.

But then so does talking on a cell phone while pedaling down the street.

I see both around here. (Me? Not guilty.)

michelen
03-03-2005, 11:14 PM
Smoking on a bike does seem sort of wrong activity for the context.

But then so does talking on a cell phone while pedaling down the street.

I see both around here. (Me? Not guilty.)

John,

I resolve not to do either. :)

Best,
Michele

carusoswi
03-19-2005, 03:10 AM
Well, not to burst the Suby balloon, when my '94 Taurus SHO met its doom with a deer some seven years ago, the only car I could find to replace it that was within my price range was a '98 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Mine is the GSX - all wheel drive four cylinder turbo.

Today, some seven years and 300,000 miles later, teens still tell me that mine is an "awesome ride", and she still has just as much pep as when new, doesn't burn oil, is great in the snow and rain, hasn't rusted inspite of the salt she's been through. As a hatchback, even though she is small, she offers much in the way of utility. I use her to pick up my Christmas tree every year, pull my boat behind her (I get plenty of glances "graced" by raised eyebrows when I pull my boat), and, since adding a hitch, I even mount my Hollywood bike rack, and can haul my 17 speed to remote trails. So, look for one of those second generation Eclipses out there. Not unlike the Subarus, the little eclipse inline four cylinder is almost bullet proof, you'll feel young again (from all the teens lusting after your car), and this little baby has character.
Good luck
Caruso (rides his car 60k+/yr and his bike 2k+ also - double the pleasure, double the fun).

ElyseC
03-19-2005, 08:19 AM
Road salt? Deer? Sounds like you live in country similar to ours (Iowa). Here Toyotas seem to be king (along with all the usual Ford pickups of agricultural operations).

Deer are major hazards, aren't they? A friend just two months ago got his second new (to him) vehicle because of hitting a deer. He hit one one month, replaced his car, then just a week or so later, another deer jumped in front of him and totaled that car! He was OK in both cases, but the second one came through the windshield so far that the only way he could get out of the car was to crawl into the back seat and exit one of those doors. Scary.

Very close to our house is a lot of protected land, so the deer have really multiplied. Herds of 50-60 can be seen from some homes here at night.

carusoswi
03-19-2005, 10:27 AM
I live in PA. You would be amazed that, even around the big cities, everyone accepts the sight of deer grazing merrily along the shoulders (ok, they're very wide shoulders) of the roads as cars speed past at 70 mph. There isn't a day that I travel the freeway that I don't see huge red stains on the concrete roadway. I'm not sure what could be done, but in this day and age, it makes so little sense to me that we campaign against all sorts of driving maladies to cut down on injuries/death from traffic accidents, yet, allow wild animals to freely graze alongside the road, and accept the consequences of daily collisions with deer. Oh, well, sorry to rant off-topic.
Caruso

ElyseC
03-20-2005, 01:10 PM
Is there actually a way to keep them away from the highways, though? The things can jump, so, outside of 8 ft. high animal fencing, what can they do? Here it would be up to the landowners (non-farming rural residents as well as farmers) to install such fencing and I doubt many would be willing to do so.

Here they do have a special, brief shotgun hunting time (I think a week in November) where licensed hunters go out in groups and try to bag as many as they can, donating all the meat to the local shelters and food pantries.

Shane Stanley
03-20-2005, 02:36 PM
Deer are major hazards, aren't they?

I came within a whisker of hitting one near Monterey the year before last. I was going down a hill next to one of the golf courses, doing maybe 30mph, when it just stepped out on to the road from behind some trees. It was only young and reasonably small, but I had the strong suspicion that I'd come off second best -- a bike doesn't give you a lot of protection.

Shane

ElyseC
03-20-2005, 03:11 PM
I came within a whisker of hitting one near Monterey the year before last. I was going down a hill next to one of the golf courses, doing maybe 30mph, when it just stepped out on to the road from behind some trees. It was only young and reasonably small, but I had the strong suspicion that I'd come off second best -- a bike doesn't give you a lot of protection.You're probably right.

A couple of years ago my sister (who lives 20 miles away) was driving less than a mile from here when a deer bounded up from the ditch onto the road. She swerved to miss it, ran down into the ditch and did several thousand dollars of damage. When she called her insurance agent she told him proudly that she'd avoided the deer, but the car still needed major fixing, although not as much as had she hit the thing. He came back with, "you say you hit the deer, right?"

"No, I did my best not to and did avoid it."

"Nooooooo, you hit the deer...riiiiiight?"

"Noooo, I did not hit the deer."

He sighed and said, "If you'd hit the deer the damage would've been fully covered" and it finally hit her that he'd been trying very hard to help her, to save her some money and she'd just been dim.

Insurance covered almost none of it and they were stuck with a huge tab.

Around here the motto is "don't veer, hit the deer" because (bicycle riders excepted) statistics are that you're more likely to get seriously hurt avoiding the deer than to hit it.

Shane Stanley
03-20-2005, 07:43 PM
bicycle riders excepted

Yep...

Shane

Franca
03-20-2005, 09:27 PM
So that's why finding the deer hair caught in my window gasket was so important.... In my case, I was driving on the interstate in Vermont and a deer hit me. I'm serious - it hit me - I was almost past it but it leaped anyway and ran into my right side back seat window. It carried on across the highway so I don't know if it was badly injured. Anyway, my story must have sounded a bit odd to the insurance agent, but there was the deer hair caught along the edge of the window exactly where I said the deer hit me.

annc
03-20-2005, 09:32 PM
So that's why finding the deer hair caught in my window gasket was so important.... In my case, I was driving on the interstate in Vermont and a deer hit me. I'm serious - it hit me - I was almost past it but it leaped anyway and ran into my right side back seat window. It carried on across the highway so I don't know if it was badly injured. Anyway, my story must have sounded a bit odd to the insurance agent, but there was the deer hair caught along the edge of the window exactly where I said the deer hit me.I got hit by a kangaroo once; it jumped out of the long grass at the side of the road at dusk, just 500 metres from home.

I had no difficulty with the insurance company, but I was devastated. It was the first new new car I'd ever owned, and I'd only had it a few weeks.

carusoswi
03-20-2005, 09:33 PM
I don't have the answer - but I'm sure if enough energy was put into solving the problem, it would be solved. In my state, we're contemplating spending quite a bit on fencing in pedestrian bridge crossings to eliminate the possibility that some derranged person would throw objects at cars passing below.

Fencing is probably too expensive (no matter who pays), but, if we can get men to the moon, I bet we could solve this problem. Think about it. We spend so much in time and money to make the roadways safe, have a whole team of enforcers whose job it is to keep speeds down and make roadways safe, then, we casually accept the fact that a deer can just stand out on the roadway for some innocent motorist to plow into at 70 mph.
I don't mean to rant, but it makes no sense to me.

Culling the herd probably makes for fewer deer, but, one week a year probably has little imact.
Caruso

Franca
03-20-2005, 09:36 PM
That is a depressing way to "christen" your new car. The deer ran into my first new car ... but I'm pretty sure I'd had it at least a year by then.

ElyseC
03-21-2005, 07:37 AM
Culling the herd probably makes for fewer deer, but, one week a year probably has little imact.Probably so. All I remember of the last one is that a) it happened, b) the meat was donated to people who needed it most, c) it was significant enough to be covered by the local media, and d) it delayed our getting our quarter beef. (We went in together with three other families to each get a quarter or, more correctly stated, a half-of-a-half. All the lockers close enough to use were inundated with deer right when we'd planned for our order to go in, so we had to wait.)

With multiple herds of 50-60 in the area, there's no way hunters could reduce the numbers significantly in just the few weeks of the entire deer season. (Here it starts out with bow season, then black powder season, then shotgun.)

ElyseC
03-21-2005, 07:49 AM
So that's why finding the deer hair caught in my window gasket was so important.... In my case, I was driving on the interstate in Vermont and a deer hit me. I'm serious - it hit me - I was almost past it but it leaped anyway and ran into my right side back seat window. It carried on across the highway so I don't know if it was badly injured. Anyway, my story must have sounded a bit odd to the insurance agent, but there was the deer hair caught along the edge of the window exactly where I said the deer hit me.Yep, that had to be why. When family was borrowing my bro-in-law's truck a few months back, the brought it back to him with a big dent in the top of the front quarter panel. He was furious and didn't believe my nieces when they told him they'd hit a pheasant. When he took the truck into the body shop, however, the repair guys confirmed there were tiny bits of pheasant feather stuck in the trim. Insurance covered it no problem.

Had a red fox dash in front of us yesterday and a cottontail last night. Thankfully no deer anywhere in sight.

ElyseC
03-21-2005, 07:53 AM
I got hit by a kangaroo once; it jumped out of the long grass at the side of the road at dusk, just 500 metres from home.

I had no difficulty with the insurance company, but I was devastated. It was the first new new car I'd ever owned, and I'd only had it a few weeks.Yikes! I imagine kangaroos are about the same body mass as deer, don't you think? Different species, same danger. <shudder>

michelen
03-21-2005, 11:04 PM
I used to board my horse at a public stable. One of the horses got loose one night and went running down the country road. Some kids in a VW bug hit it. One of them was killed. The owner of the horse was liable for the damages.

When the same stable burned to the ground a few years later, (my horse climbed a six-foot fence and was found, two days later, in a field three miles away) twenty horses were burned to death, and three died later from their injuries. The stable owner was not liable.

ElyseC
03-22-2005, 05:34 AM
I used to board my horse at a public stable. One of the horses got loose one night and went running down the country road. Some kids in a VW bug hit it. One of them was killed. The owner of the horse was liable for the damages.

When the same stable burned to the ground a few years later, (my horse climbed a six-foot fence and was found, two days later, in a field three miles away) twenty horses were burned to death, and three died later from their injuries. The stable owner was not liable.Good grief. <shaking head> How on earth could anyone reasonable agree with either one of those??