Friday Five: Vroom Vroom

Have to take my little car to the shop today.

It's no surprise. She's twelve years old, gets 38 miles to the gallon, and has given exactly three problems (all related to the teeny tiny battery). She's due for a little R&R.

It has been a long tine since I was in a auto repair shop (Oil changes, part recalls, and smog checks not included) So when the guy behind the counter started talking about all the things that could set off the "Check Engine" light, I realized, I had almost no idea what he was talking about.

See, this is the only car I've ever owned that I haven't taken apart and put back together, in one way or another. My general automotive knowledge has stagnated since 2001when I bought her off the lot.

(Thank you Mom and Jeff, for I never would have gotten through that experience on my own)

Then it occurred to me that its Friday and I better start composing my list.

Then it occurred to me that I have been the proud owner of Five cars (Not including my wife's) which makes perfect sense since this is a Friday Five.

So here they are in chronological order,

The Five Cars I've had:

1980 Volkswagon Vanagan.
Twas 1993, a gift from my dear old Uncle Matt (Professor Hubbard to the blogosphere). She was quickly dubbed "The Party Van" and become our home away from home my entire senior year. highlights include the time I fit 20 teenagers in the back (seat belt laws were lil bit more lax back then), then there was the time the entire wheel fell off on the freeway (not flat, FELL OFF!). We skidded for a hundred feet, sparks flying. No one was hurt, but we instituted a mandatory lug nut check for all drives of 20 minutes or more. Top of the line German Blaupunkt stereo plugged into two 10" speakers and I would rock Sgt. Peppers louder than anyone. I eventually blew up the engine. There were flames.

1983 Mercury LN7
After a year of designated driving, it was nice to have a little sporty two door. It was also a two seater and I accidentally taught myself how to drift on the windy curves up to Lake Berryessa. Had it a few good years before I, once again, blew up the engine.

1963 Ford Galaxie
What can I say, but that this car was like driving a cloud. And it was a chick magnet. And it spent more time in the garage than on the road. I rebuilt the top of that engine twice. (Thanks again to both sets of parents for dumping the money that would have gone to fund my college education) And everyone asks me why I haven't gotten Taylor a car yet. Highlights include all of them (I did mention it was a chick magnet, right?) Had I spent some time rebuilding the bottom of the engine, eh, well, I might not have blown this one up too. But I did.

1989 Acura Integra
Ahhh. My first experience with little front wheel drive, slightly sporty, Japanese, commuter car. What can I say? Change the oil, replace a few filters, and you've got 100,000 miles before that sweet little engine blows up. Only thing this car was missing, Air Conditioning. Which wasn't a problem in the Bay Area, but in the Central Valley, if I didn't find a shady spot to park, then I could actually feel the black plastic interior melting during my commute home.

But then, one day, I found myself with a grown up's life, with a grown up's job, and a grown up's Fiancé. It was time for a real car.

2002 Toyota Echo
There has never been, nor will there ever be, a more perfect car than the Toyota Echo. We've considered upgrading over the years, but she's just worth so much more to me than the Kelley Blue Book is willing to admit. Granted, her exterior was designed by the artistic director of "Back to the Future II" all bulbous and quasi space aged. And granted, the powder blue color scheme, is, well, you know, more than just a little gay, but the engine sitting on that front wheel drive transmission, was designed so well, it's still the engine powering the Prius today. Small it may seem, but the interior is vast. It's got room for five manly sized men and five set of golf clubs. Three cup holders, pockets everywhere, two secret storage spaces. It's carried an entire band and their equipment (Drums included), countless christmas trees,  it knows the Grapevine like it's own back yard, and my favorite feature (not including the gas mileage and high speed torque) is the instrument panel set in the middle of the dashboard. Seems like a weird feature, but once you get used to it, well, it's kinda like going black.

No one loves her like I love her, but that's just fine by me.

I hope she's okay.

Of course she's okay.

She's the echo that never dies.

echo, echo, echo, echo.

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