I had what I called a ‘comedy car’. My neighbor referred to it as “Your Cholo Ride”. It was a 1989 Nissan 240SX. The muffler fell off. It ran good enough without it. I enjoyed setting off a series of car alarms every time I drove down the street. I thought of it as my pronouncement of mobility. Everyone knew when I coming back from the grocery store.
It also had some electronic issues.
For some unexplained reason when I honked the horn, the doors would lock.
The previous owner had installed an alarm that was malfunctioning. So the car would CHIRP every couple of minutes. It was the thing that went TWEET in the night.
The driver’s key hole was broken. The passenger’s window was askew, so you could only close the door when the window was rolled down. Which the window wouldn’t roll down if you pushed the inside button for the door locks.
One time I had a parking space with the passenger door against a wall. The doors decided to lock on their own in the middle of the night. The only entry that my key would be of any use was in the trunk/fastback. So I opened the back and crawled through. Which wouldn’t have been that bad if the latch release wasn’t so stubborn that day, as to not let the back seat go down.
The fastback wind shield wiper wouldn’t shut off unless you had the defogger on. The defogger had to be re-set every 3-minutes. Eventually, the back wiper would still be going even with the defogger on. People would honk at me in traffic to tell me, what was obvious to me: my back windshield wiper was screeching across the back window on the sunniest of days. I lifted the wiper up, so it would just frantically wave back and forth. I did consider putting a hula girl on it so she would dance for the cars in back of me.
It was all glamor though. It broke down in the LA TWICE, in Arizona ONCE and didn’t want to pass smog. The radio and the A/C never worked.
The windshield fluid squirted the top of the car and whatever or whomever was unfortunate enough to be on the side of the vehicle. Back and to the left – but never on the actual windshield.
I would valet the car just to make the attendants laugh. “If you park it up front with the Jags, there’s a bigger tip in it for you.”
Now you tell me, would any self-respecting Cholo drive this car? No, this was a comedy car!
But through all of this, with regular maintenance, the engine started and the breaks stopped. Most people in LA have a close relationships with their hairdressers. I have one with my mechanic. Because of my beater, I’ve paid off most of his mortgage. In return he named his first born after me.
However, this car got me to almost 1000 shows around town. It took me to my first road gig, three hours away from home. It was paid for. It was faster than most 4-cylinders. The seats were comfortable and my dog enjoyed the rides.
I have refused to think that I have an emotional attachment to a car. But then someone pointed out to me that hate is an emotion.
I realized that I feel about this car like we all feel about that crazy relative we all have. Yeah, they are an embarrassment, they do stupid stuff all the time, but without them as a conversation starter – life is just a little dull.
Well, this week, actually yesterday, I sold my comedy car. I sold it to a 240SX enthusiast. I call them Nissan Treckies. It’ll be fixed up and re-sold as another incarnation. But for me, it’s gone.
I bought the first new car I have ever owned it my life. I have had a series of shitty cars. I have never owned a car with A/C, a radio, air bags, or cup holders – let alone that ‘new car smell’. Actually, to be honest, my new car – I don’t own it, the bank does. They let me drive it because I’ve agreed to pay them APR.
The new car is boring. Everything works. It has key less entry, power windows, good gas mileage, tilt steering, an array of cupholders and a warranty! In short, there is no poetry to it. No personality. No soul. It’s a rental car model. One in a FLEET of clones.
I’m considering the following as a bumper sticker for my new car:
-My other car was entertaining
-Honk if your car is exactly like mine!
-Appreciate My Depreciation
-Caution: Total Sell-Out on Board