Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cars I Have Owned

No favorites list today, but I do have a list (and this blog is rather long, so if you're not interested, I understand!). Since I have already listed my favorite cars I didn't buy, here are a list of cars I did buy! They aren't all that exciting, and I don't (or can't find) pictures of all of them, but these are them:

Taken in front of my parents' house in Santa Barbara
Can you believe I got a red interior, with a hatch???
#1 – 1978 Pontiac Sunbird. I bought this car brand new, sitting on the lot. Actually, my Dad found this car for me (I was stationed at Ft. Greely, AK at the time and was on my way to Ft. Huachuca, AZ, where I would end up meeting my hubby!). I had dreamed of owning a Toyota, or a Firebird, and certainly not a stick-shift. Dad owned a Sunbird stick (5-speed) and I hated it. But this one was a 4-speed, where the shifting was a bit easier. Still, for my first car to be a stick, well, let's just say I learned on the drive home that you can't start out on a hill in second gear! I owned this car until I was married (Dec 1979) and headed back to Alaska (Ft. Wainwright to be exact). That's when it got sold and replaced with…

280Z is on the left. Ford Bronco on the right. This was
taken in 1980 at Ft. Wainwright, AK. Yep, both cars were
plugged in!! Brrrr!
#2 – 1978 Ford Bronco. We figured it was a practical buy. And it was. But not a very good one for a family. No back doors to get to the back seats. When our son was born (in 1982), we rigged a way to attach the car seat between the front seats. Don't know how safe that all was, but it seemed to work (and he was never injured!). Once our tour of Alaska was complete and we moved to New Jersey, a more practical (and easier on the gas) car was required and so we sold it and replaced it with…

Taken in 1987 in Beech Bottom, WV. I am fascinated
with snow, don't you think?
#3 – 1984 Chevrolet Cavalier. First car I actually ordered new. And another stick. By this time I had no problem with a stick (my husband owned a 1978 Datsun 280Z 5-speed). We thought we were smart getting a car without a cigarette lighter (since we didn't smoke). Never thought about needing it for plugging in electronics. We owned this car until around 2000 (my son eventually killed it, but he grew to love sticks because of it), but in 1990 my husband's Z was in an accident and we replaced that one with…

Wow! No snow!
#4 – 1989 Chevrolet Corsica. With two small kids, his old two-seater just wasn't practical. Plus, it was now in really bad shape. The woman who hit him (or who caused my husband to run into since she stopped in the middle of the road unsure whether she was going to go straight or turn left), owned a car dealership. They just received in a lot of Corsicas that were from a rental agency. We pretty much got our pick on the lot using the money the insurance paid for the repairs and turning in the Z. If money wasn't an issue, we would have probably kept the Z (because I know my husband really loved that car). This car lasted until around 1998 (my son killed this one first).

#5 – Chevrolet Astro Van. I can't remember the year of this monster (probably a 96 or 97), but we bought it used and it replaced the Cavalier. It wasn't my most brilliant buys, but it came in handy. The deciding factor of getting rid of this piece of junk was when the electronic door locks kept shorting out in the heat and draining the battery (kept clicking open, then closed, then open, etc. – even when I drove it!). We finally had to just disconnect the passenger auto door locks.

#6 & #7 – Ford Tempo. Yeah, we bought two of these stupid vehicles. Without photos, I'm having a hard time remembering their years and when we bought them. We bought one from a friend, the other from an auction. The one from our friend ended up going to our daughter. The other, my husband. There were so many problems with his, though, we barely owned it a year and sold it to be replaced it with…

#8 – 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. This used car was strictly an impulse buy (and for my husband) that we bought in 1999 (I believe). We learned never to do that again. But the car was fun to drive and we drove it into the ground (or maybe that was my daughter? I can't remember!).

#9 – 2000 Nissan Altima. I bought this in Nov 2002 as a new car (it was used as a transport car by the dealership and had 4000 miles on it, but was never technically sold, so I got the full warranty). This car replaced the Astro Van. And I was back to driving a stick. I really had no problem with this car. The original battery lasted nine freaking years! I would probably still be driving it if I knew my daughter did not want to buy it after all. But it got sold in 2011 because I had already bought my replacement (and we had no reason to own 4 vehicles).

#10 – 2003 Ford Ranger. We bought this used in 2005 and still own it. It's a stick and my husband and daughter are the only ones who drive this. There was a time we needed a truck and getting this one seemed to make sense. We keep it because it comes in handy as a spare.

#11 – 2008 Toyota Solara Convertible. My husband's main car (and I cannot find a picture!). We bought this brand new and still own it. I told my husband it was his midlife crisis car. He didn't know he was going through a midlife crisis, but he certainly didn't argue with me! He loves this car.

#12 – 2010 Nissan Xterra. I figured this would replace the Ranger. But my husband likes keeping the third vehicle and we had an easier time selling the Altima than the Ranger. Plus, the Ranger comes in more handy (for when one of the kids moves or something like that!). Ever since I featured the Xterra in my first book, I fell in love with it. I would prefer it were yellow, but hey, they weren't being made in that color anymore. Too bad. I really like the yellow ones, but I didn't want a used car.

Do you think 12 cars in 34 years are too many? I always thought we kept cars a long time. But those used ones really didn't last as long as our new ones did. I guess because we kept better care of them from the beginning.

I sure hope we don't have to buy a new car for a very, very long time! I kind of like the ones we have now.


Anne Gallagher said...

My first car was a Gremlin, then a Cordoba, then I owned 6 or 7 VW Rabbits/Golfs/Cabriolets, a Nissan truck, then a Chevy S-10, then a Dodge Ram, another Golf, an Astro van, then an Escort wagon, a Dodge Stratus, and now a Hyundai.

Maria Zannini said...

I have a car post coming up in a couple of weeks too. (Not how many, but how long to keep one.

Unless I missed one, I think we had 12 cars in 37 years. Greg isn't comfortable with less than three vehicles between us. It's usually one car, one SUV, and one heavy duty truck to haul trailers.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Anne - My mother owned a Gremlin, and it was handed down to me to use (temporarily), then someone rear-ended me and that was the end of that! I really liked that car, though. It had a lot of uumph to it!

Maria - My husband likes having 3 cars, too. And the Ranger has come in handy as a back-up vehicle (as well as a hauling vehicle).

Jennette Marie Powell said...

My first car was a Sunbird, too! It was a 5-speed manual, and it was cool because it wasn't a hatchback and was a turbo GT. I got a good deal on it because it had been a demo car and had 3000 miles on it. It was also how I met and got to know my husband!

I've had 4 cars in 24 years, so I keep 'em a while. The only one I didn't love was a '95 Saturn sedan. It wasn't bad, just not fun like the others. :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Jennette - I think that's what my Dad had. It wasn't a hatch and it was 5-speed. I guess he liked it so much, he thought I would, too.

Now, cars are all about being fun. Practical went out the window when the kids moved out!