Thursday, October 20, 2011

i love my car

We Americans love our cars don't we?  Back in 2010 I wrote a piece about cars being the modern equivalent of a household god... it was a fun piece and think the concept holds water.   Speaking of which, my first car was a 1964 VW Beetle.  It had it's issues.  It had rusted through in the wheelwells about half way up so when I drove in the rain, water splashed into the front of the driver and passenger compartments and would sit there until it dried out.  It sat there virtually all of the time.  I did drill a hole in the floorboard to allow it to drain but the hole would get plugged and the water would still sit.  Growing up in Pittsburgh, that meant that in the winter, it would freeze and for a few months each winter, I had an inch or two of ice on the floor of my car.  Air cooled VW's didn't do heaters either so I carried an ice scraper to scrape ice from both the outside and the inside of my front window.  It only had about 60K miles on it when I got it in 1971.  I loved that car and cried when the frame rusted through and I had to get rid of it in the winter of '73.

I've been through a bunch of cars since then.  Some I loved (a Fiat spider when it ran), some I hated (a Dodge dart convertible), most I just drove until we replaced them.

not my car but it looks just like this
I have a car I love again.  It is another VW - a 2002 GTI that I bought new when we moved to Santa Barbara.  In spite of the story (apocryphal?) of Bill Gates claiming that if automotive technology kept up with computers we'd be driving cars that cost $25 and got 1000 miles to the gallon, the technology has changed in incredible ways.  I think my bug had 40 horsepower and got about 25 mpg.  My GTI has 170 horses and gets 28-30.  It has nearly 140K miles on it and is still running strong.  Oh... the heater works really well (even though I rarely need it).  It is true that I don't live in a place where they use salt to melt snow, but I do live in a place where the salt breeze comes off the ocean all year round... and there isn't a spot of rust on the car.   With the back seats down I can carry all kinds of stuff - guitars, PA stuff, amps, suitcases, groceries, even furniture.  I have had to do very, very, very little in repairs beyond the normal replace the tires when they wear out stuff.   Yeah, I wish it got 50 mpg but I love this car.

The other day we were playing the "what would you do if you won the lottery" game.  You know the musician's answer - "gig until the money ran out."  I might consider that but I realized that I wouldn't replace my car!  I hope I can get another 140K out of it!  I love my car.


Patrick Gauer said...

You should've shared the real picture of your car, hehe. It seems like you love the car so much that you wouldn't replace it if ever you won the lottery! You probably have been taking good care of it. ;)

Carson Ahlstrom said...

Yup! Where are the pictures, btw? I wish you could share some pictures of your previous cars. In my case, I have only had two cars in my entire life. My first car died already, but thankfully, the other one's still in good shape.

roy said...

it really does look exactly like the one in the photo... even the same wheels

Anonymous said...

It sure does looks exactly the same, but still, that car is not your car. I admire the love you have for your car! By the way, did you gave your car a name? Have you even thought of naming your car?

-Sara Anthony