The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 June 2006

Tears are not an option

They come standard, dammit.

I bade farewell to my faithful traveling companion today, cleaning out what was left of my personal possessions and sending off the paperwork to sign her over to the ghouls of the salvage business.

(Aside: This is not intended as a slur against the nation's auto recyclers, from whom I've bought parts before and will presumably at some point do so again, but there's still some residual grief here. She was only six, fercrissake. Beyond adolescence, surely, but way too young to retire, especially this way.)

(Further aside: If the eventual auction buyer decides to fix her up and put her back on the road, I'd love to hear about it. I promise not to tell your insurance company that you have a salvage title.)

Found in various nooks and crannies, and retrieved:

  • Four one-dollar coins.
  • One spare back-up/stoplight bulb.
  • Two spare turn-signal bulbs.
  • Cord for hands-free cell-phone use. (Used once.)
  • Owner's manual. (Explanation to follow.)
  • Warranty information on new tires. (To be trashed.)
  • Three bank night-deposit envelopes.
  • Umbrella, black.
  • Two bungee cords.
  • Swiss Army knife.
  • Generic pocket knife.
  • Box of assorted automotive fuses.
  • Tire gauge. (Old-style pen-type.)
  • Eyeglass-repair kit. (Includes two very tiny screwdrivers and a magnifying glass.)
  • Ice scraper, light-duty.
  • Six pens (and two pencils).
  • Moist towelette from Famous Dave's. (Probably no longer moist.)
  • Adjustment knob for driver's seat height.

I was on a very tight onramp today when it dawned on me: you don't know how much you miss a car that can handle these things with aplomb until you start driving one that can't. And maybe it's a bad idea from a purely-psychological standpoint, but it was at that moment that I decided that I did not want to go test drive everything I could possibly afford: I want a known quantity, a car I can drive without having to relearn the fine points, reestablish the rapport, redevelop the finesse, all over again.

So my beloved Sandy will be replaced, in my garage if not necessarily my heart, with one of her sisters: I'm looking for another 626, not the same color if at all possible, model years 2000 through 2002. This was not a popular car — sales dropped in each of these three years — so there are damned few to choose from in town. (And by "damned few" I mean one, plus one I found in Duncan.)

Accordingly, I addressed myself to CarMax, which had one yesterday but doesn't today, and if none arrives over the weekend, I will have them truck one in from another location. (I've already spotted a likely prospect, in Nashville.)

I hasten to add that I'm not looking for a girlfriend who resembles my ex-wife; that's a totally different dynamic.

Posted at 2:58 PM to Driver's Seat

TrackBack: 1:30 PM, 17 June 2006
» Tire Tracks from Yippee-Ki-Yay!

As you may already know, Charles Hill had to cancel this year's World Tour after Bambi totalled his Mazda. This update led to some commenters talking about some of the rides they have had to let go of over the years. I have a pretty good list, ...

...[read more]

I, too, have waved goodbye to several old friends.
Poison Gas - victim of rear-end collision, junkyard
The Grey Ghost - Up & died, donated
The Meth Lab - Up & died, donated
The Magic Schoolbus - Tranny, donated
Flash - Sold, for the asking price to a person that wanted the car, appreciated the car, and said the name would remane the same.

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 3:06 PM on 16 June 2006

It is amazing how thoroughly attached we can become to our vehicles (among other things). I was the proud owner of a PoS for many, many years and spent waaaay to much money on its repair and maintenance. And yet the car had to catch fire and become a complete loss before I would admit that it was time to let her go. It took me several months to be able to replace her with what I now drive. I truly and completely feel your pain.

Posted by: belhoste at 3:44 PM on 16 June 2006

I suspect you can understand more than most what it does to me to say good-bye soon to my little Sentra I have owned for 10 years and 4 months. That is more than 1/3 of the time in which I have been driving, and I have owned 16 vehicles in all - if I didn't forget any when I just tallied them up. I cry when I think about it, but I have set a target of end of September, when the inspection sticker expires.

Oh yeah... the Sentra has a salvage title, thankyouverymuch. It was a total, sat a few years, got fixed the rest of the way, and bought by me with 51,400 miles for $2000.

Best. Buy. Ever.

Even with having to immediately spend $400 getting the struts and stuff right.

Quirks and all, I will miss her when she's gone, and it's hard to imagine anything else being more than "just a car" by comparison again.

Posted by: Jay at 9:44 PM on 16 June 2006

but, but, but....why not fly to Nashville, get your new car and continue on the World Tour from there?

Posted by: Jan at 10:24 PM on 16 June 2006

I, too, have waved goodbye to several old friends.

Hmmm. Likewise. The comment I started to write about my own vehicles I've said goodbye to, got too long to inflict here, so I may post my reminiscences on my own blog instead.

Posted by: McGehee at 9:26 AM on 17 June 2006