Baby You Can Drive My Car

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

10 Comments Baby You Can Drive My Car

  1. Raj

    That was funny and I think we have a budding comic in Abby.
    > The new car is boring. Everything works.
    Maybe you just need to break it in; in a Demolition Derby! 😉
    All some people do, when they buy a new car, is stare at it and touch it like its the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen. I’ve never known someone at the other end of the spectrum. Is this a sign that you might be a redneck?

  2. Becks

    Hey Tina-
    I get it. I own a 1990 Nissan Stanza. I love this car. I don’t even think of my car as an it- but a “she”. She gets me to work every day- but I only drive 10 miles round trip. The radio works- but if you turn it on, the left blinker goes out. Same with the lighter. If you use it, the right tail light stops working until you fiddle with the wiring in the trunk. Sometimes you have to use the shift release button to get her into gear. Still and all- I love the car. She always starts and the AC is still cold. The odometer reads 51,000 (I bought it from the original owner, a little old lady who really only took it to church and the grocery.) Now my hubby is in line for a fabulous promotion and promises me a new car upon recpt of his big raise. I’m conflicted. I’d love to have a new car- but I sure would miss the old girl. She’s just like me- not much to look at- but LOADS of personality.

  3. Tina D.

    Becks, I have to tell you – it’s been almost 3 days and I no longer miss that car. I thought it would hurt. But every time I lock the doors to my new car and NOTHING else happens…its wonderful.

  4. OzzyC

    Ah yes, the beater. I’ve had many of them, and for twisted reasons, I miss them all.

    I ended up here in a roundabout way via Nickie Goomba’s web site. Based on what I’ve seen so far, you’re the Anti-Nickie. I’d love to link to you, you know, in order to kind of offset his neo-nazi views with your apparently tree-hugging views. I figure most of us will arrive somewhere in the reasonable middle.

    Waddaya think?

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