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Old 02-24-2005, 11:16 PM   #1
michelen
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Default End of an Era

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
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Old 02-24-2005, 11:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michelen
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>

   
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Old 02-25-2005, 12:10 PM   #3
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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...

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Old 02-26-2005, 05:26 PM   #4
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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
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Old 02-26-2005, 05:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michelen
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michelen
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.

   
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Old 02-26-2005, 06:06 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 02-27-2005, 02:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michelen
I hope it's bicycle weather soon!
It certainly is down here! but I never leave home without at least one spare tube...

Shane
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Old 02-27-2005, 07:37 AM   #8
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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
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:29 AM   #9
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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
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Old 02-27-2005, 12:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
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
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