Baby, You Can (Now, Maybe) Drive My Car

Happy May Day. Alas, it’s grey, cool and wet.

I put on Tauer Sundowner this morning. It fits. It also reminds me I really want to sample the new Neela Vermeires post Portia’s post last week. That unctuous boozy vibe on Purpurea. Certainly fits today.

And today is Joe the Lab’s ninth birthday. Sang him happy bday song. He exhausted himself this morning chewing on his new rope giraffe. Dog appropriate cake made and enjoyed (oats, carrots, bit of yoghurt plus cream cheese icing — see pic).

The past week has been a bit trying. Right now, I’m surrounded by paperwork … for selling current car and buying new one.

I have never felt fully comfortable in the current car. It was an insurance write-off (ie, would have cost 50% of value to fix so not worth it) which my then mechanic had bought and refurbed. My car at that time was starting to complain and I’d always wanted a Fiat Panda so I traded the misbehaving car to and got this cheap from Selwyn (the mechanic – he then refurbed my misbehaving car [clutch failed a week after he took it] and gave it to a nephew) and it’s managed for six years — but it now seems to want fixing way too frequently.

So, I did some research. Buying new right now would mean a five-month wait, beyond the fact my father thought buying new was mostly silly given a new car depreciates significantly in value immediately on purchase (an opinion I appear to have absorbed, though if I had unlimited dosh who knows what I’d do). Anyway, so, a newer used car and buying from a reputable dealer as I get a warrantee. There’s not a lot of stock out there – due to our current economic mess people are holding on to cars longer.

Did test drive on Friday (got lost in area I’ve lived in for over 10 years – clearly, was a bit stressed) and picking up end of this coming week.  Was like night and day doing test drive (ie, much more stable vehicle, better pick-up, etc) which put paid to any idea of not doing the deed. (Motorway driving in the Panda was always on a wing and a prayer.)

And I get a sort of window in roof of car that lets in light but which has an interior shade when the world is very sunny. Doesn’t open but I’m not bothered by that.

And because it’s a three rather than a five door the front seats move forward enough for the dog to hop into the back and then on to the seat rather than having to leap into the back seat as he does now.

But I’ve got the sads about saying bye to the current car which is my own damn fault. My mother had a string of small used manual transmission cars which she always named and talked to. I picked up the habit (on all my cars bar the huge Berlingo which I hated), and because I am very fond of the current Panda, I now feel guilty about letting it go. That’s what you get for anthropomorphising steel, rubber, glass and plastic. I keep thinking ‘I hope it gets a good new home’.

I’ve never been excited about buying cars. I think the only ones that might prick up my ears would be either a Porsche Boxster or a Lotus. I had actually considered buying the latter very used and letting my current garage loose on the engine so it would last and last. And since there are so many Porsches, Ferraris, Lotus and Teslas here it’s ok to park on the street. But in the end I decided to be more practical. Is that sad?

(Lotus Emira — clearly, I would have gotten an older version of whichever model, but this gives
an idea of what a Lotus looks like; Wiki pic)

So, do you own a car? Do you love it, hate it, wish you could replace it, treat it like royalty so it will last forever? And do you have one of those pine tree air fresheners looped over the rear-view mirror?

  • rosarita says:

    My husband has a pickup truck that will be driven to death. I drive my dad’s car, he died in 2017. It’s a 2005 VW Jetta, a diesel standard with less than a hundred thousand miles. It does some maddening things like stall out when the AC is on but it gets 50 mpg and, as much as I complain, it’s fun to drive.I grew up in a VW family and only drove Beatles into the 90s. I have never cared about cars except that they get me safely from A to B, and I have driven a true variety over the years including a Ford Crown Victoria that had been a police detective’s, purchased at a sheriff’s auction. It had a V8 and a billy club under the front seat and was fast, also fun to drive.

  • March says:

    My current car I bought new (a Nissan Cube, having traded in a fancy gas-guzzling SUV post-divorce) but I tend to keep my cars forever. Everyone laughs at Cubes but I love them — practical, easy to drive and park in the city, tight turning radius, an unbelievable amount of storage in the back. It’s … more than 10 years later and Roxy (yes that’s her name) is still going strong with minimal maintenance! There are so few Cubes on the road here that we smile and wave at each other. When she dies I’ll have to pick something else, they don’t even sell Cubes here any more lol.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    I’m a tried and true Toyota Corolla driver. Yes, boring. The thing I love about them is their consistency. While being totally non flashy they are reliable, get me from A-B with a minimum of fuss, cost nothing at the garage once a year and keep running perfectly for 20 or more years.
    Jin wants me to take his nifty Hyundai sports thing off his hands after the lease runs out (a very generous gift) but I LOVE my banged up shitbox so much and am loathe to part with it.
    That Lotus looks like a nightmare of rising upkeep; and knee bending on entry and exit. I think you’ve madde the right choice.
    Also, I too have never had a brand new car.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      If it works for you … Don’t see why we should view the grass as greener when it really isn’t. The older Lotus models were higher off the ground. Plus, I’m short anyway.

    • Musette says:

      OMG! Portia! Flashbacks! A friend who is a retired NFL guard (one of the biggest of the big size on the US football field) who absolutely LOVED teeny little sports cars like Corvettes. I remember one black-tie event, we pulled up to the hotel entrance, the valet handed me out of the car… then it took 3! valets to extricate him – two pulling and one kneeling in my seat, pushing (he was coming in at about 350#). Large size/bad knees/teeny car. Not a good mix.

      And no, I did not laugh. But I did nearly wet my knickers trying not to!

      xoxoxo

  • Dina C. says:

    I live in the suburbs where cars are totally necessary; my vehicle is a 7 year old bright blue compact SUV. I scent it with a box of Nag Champa incense sticks. I understand about getting attached to the old vehicle and saying goodbye. I drove my minivan for 15 years — the bulk of my children’s childhoods. Was really sad to say so long to her.

    • cinnamon says:

      Where I live is between orthodox suburb and semi-rural. We do have bus service and a toy train but there are some places where you simply can’t go without a car.

  • Musette says:

    My dream car is a 1969 Mercury Cougar in aqua. My current car is… not that. ’nuff said. I need a pickup. But I need to hit Lorto first (omg. the PRICES! Highway Robbery!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOE! M. Jacques sends a big smooch to you, as do I!!!

    xoxox

    • Tom says:

      I loved the Cougar Diana Rigg drove in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

    • cinnamon says:

      Not a Mustang or Corvette? Prior to seeing a Lotus in the flesh I hankered after a ’65 Jaguar sports car. Joe says paw bump back.

      • Musette says:

        The Cougar is serious nostalgia. As a (very) young adult I fell HORD for a slightly older neighbor. He drove that car. I was crosseyed with …. well… whatever it is that (very) young adult women feel for young men just above their paygrade. But he was always so lovely… and if I was at the bus stop when he came around the corner he would pick me up and drive me to work.

        sigh.

        xoxoxo

      • ElizaC says:

        We’ve had two old Jaguar cars – let me rephrase that…our mechanic had two Jaguar cars and we just visited them.

  • Tom says:

    Because I have a few miles on me, I’ve had a few cars. My first was a ’67 Barracuda convertible that my brother bought me when I was 17. He was so appalled that I had no intention or desire to get mi license (because I was going to live in NYC forever) that he got it for me to force me to get my license.

    It worked.

    It started a string of convertibles that pretty much make up my ownership history up until today’s BMW Z-3, which has about a bazillion miles on it. I think about getting something newer every once in a while but with all the electronics these days anything over 5 years old is going to be a mass of bad computer codes.

    I’d really love to get a Mercedes 450SL. Preferably from 1974. Which means I wouldn’t have to have it smogged. I could live out that “American Gigole” fantasy I’ve had since 1981 (or more likely pretend I’m Jennifer Hart?)

    Oh, and love the dog cake. I hate it when people say we “personify” pets when we recognise that they have personalities and feelings. Our Poodle would come back from the groomers ever 6 months with his new ‘do and practically Vogue down the street humming “I Feel Pretty”

    • cinnamon says:

      That was very thoughtful of your brother — in all kinds of ways. Z-3s are quite fetching. In this village there are at least 3 Ferraris (including a really crap one with racing stripes — who has the dosh to buy a Ferrari but makes it look like a 15 year old’s wet dream???), innumerable Porsches and a truly beautiful old mid blue Maserati. Not like Beverly Hills but there is some eye candy.

      Oh, yes. Pets are sentient beings who put up with our humanness.

      • Musette says:

        where I live the status is pickups – they, of course, are a necessity in a farming community but! the rich farmers have their farm trucks but drive shiny, fabuloso pickups that cost nearly as much as a midsized house. My drug of choice is the Dodge Ram split/multifunction tailgate. Which I could only afford if Lorto decides to be my New Best Friend.

        xoxox

    • Alityke says:

      Any poodle or poodle cross is the same! “Check me out, am I not beeoooutifulll?”
      Mr Jarvis Cocka-Poo acts like he’s my little pony kicking up his heels post groom ?

  • ElizaC says:

    We have two VWs – fully paid off so we plan on keeping them as long as possible (especially after reading about surcharges!). We live in a part of Seattle where our major arterial bridge was suddenly shut down due to structural issues at the same time things shut down due to the pandemic. Very little milage on the cars in the last few years! (My dream car is a 1962 Studebaker Lark Daytona – maybe someday.)

    • Tom says:

      Nice choice!

    • cinnamon says:

      VWs are pricey used here, particularly right now. I do almost no motorway driving (will rent a small SUV to get my son back from uni when he’s done) so small but feisty is what I need, particularly driving the single track lanes shoving over into the hedges when the enormous 4x4s try to get by.

  • Kathleen says:

    Enjoy your new car! Happy Birthday to Joe! His cake looks delicious, I also make my dog meat birthday cakes.
    Vehicles are necessary where I live, too far to walk and public transport not an option in the suburbs. However, I have no emotional attachment to my vehicle, it is purely utility. A 15-year old Jeep, which I call the dog mobile. I’ll drive it until it won’t go/breaks down. It is very functional for the mountain terrain and my dog (past dogs) love riding in it. I generally don’t bother with a scent in my vehicle other than when I go to the car wash I might purchase one of those scented pine tree fresheners.

    • cinnamon says:

      He enjoyed the cake and I gave my neighbours, who are dog sitting, a slice for Ziggy the Lab. 15 years old … did you buy it from new? The only people I know who still have their cars after that amount of time bought new and took good care of said vehicles. Right now, I’m using packing tape to get the dog fur off the back seat of the Panda — before I can vacuum it.

      • Kathleen says:

        Yes, I’ve had the Jeep since new and have been good about upkeep/maintenance and thankfully it is still functioning fine. In my younger years, new purchase seemed like the way to go. Next vehicle I won’t buy new at these prices.
        I will Never get the little white dog hairs (I’ve always had white boxers) out of the Jeep, they are permanently imbedded! I barely can get rid of the dog snot (big jowls)!

  • Tara C says:

    Don’t own a car and hope never to own another one, they are a huge bother and expense. I borrow when necessary.

    • cinnamon says:

      If I lived in an urban area I think I would belong to a car club. But here it’s sort of necessary. Plus for getting the dog from here to there.

  • Teresa says:

    Here in the US, dealers are marking up prices (purportedly due to pandemic issues) adding on a surcharge of sometimes $50,000 to the price of new cars…boo!

  • Alityke says:

    No personally owned car anymore. I had a very girly Fiat 500 with lily decals bought from a friend when I retired & she emigrated to Oz. In 4 years I did less than 2000 miles so decided to rehome Fabulous Frankie Fiat. Sold to a friends husband as a gift for his daughter who had passed her test and got her degree results that day!
    I now drive DH’s VW 4WD for the few miles I need it & taking mum for her medical appts etc.
    No I’ve never had any car freshener other than applying my scent for the day when I worked!
    Enjoy your new to you car

    • cinnamon says:

      I like Fiats. I hankered after a Panda for ages and really enjoyed driving this one till it started to have to go to the garage a lot more and to feel like I should look at the undercarriage after each drive no matter how far. I’ve felt for years that I should learn basic mechanics. I can change a tyre and a battery but not much else.

      • Alityke says:

        Fiats are so pretty but not made for UK weather. I once had a white Uno, looked so cool but the daily motorway commute killed it after 9 months.
        Forgot to wish Joe a happy barkday too! Oops