Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby you can drive my car!

      My wife drives a 1988 Mercedes Benz.  I don't know the make or model, it is sort of black with tan leather interior.  It replaced the 1978 Toyota Station Wagon she drove for over 25 years.  The Toyota (we don't name our cars) was pretty reliable and always took us wherever we wanted to go.  We have hauled hay in it, took the chickens to the vet in it, my daughters to soccor practice and an occasional movie and a date.  It was an accident finding the Mercedes, I wasn't even looking for a "new" car.  It was in the parking lot of the business where I get my metal work painted with a "for sale" sign in the window.  I didn't even notice it.
    Most Americans love their cars, tend them carefully, wash them often, drive them for show, park them in heated garages, and treat them better than their lovers.  I don't even know one car from another.  I would be a horrible witness at a bank robbery, couldn't describe the getaway car at all.  I don't know one year or model from the next.  The truth is I don't even see them.  I can drive down the street and you could quiz me about any iron work or art or construction sites I might have passed but don't ask me about the cars.  I just wouldn't know.
    What I expect from a car is that it will start, start every single time and get me to where I want to go.  I want that and I don't want to be a slave to it.  The continuous insurance payments are bad enough, I don't want the car payments also.  That is slavery to me, indentured servitude, a promise of my future labor far into the future.  I like working because I want to, not because I have to.
     I was with a friend and he saw the Mercedes, black with tan leather interior.  It had 67,000 miles on it.
When  it was new it cost $75,000.  I can't even imagine that.  For a car?  People  drive these fancy cars for show, a sign of accomplishment, sign of success. Maybe it is, for that twenty minute ride they want to be really comfortable.  It is a pretty incredible car I ended up buying it, just like that, on the spur of the moment, no test drive or anything. $5,000 bucks!
    I have decided that cars are not an extension of one's personality but a chance to isolate yourself from the world, from everything else, and maybe even from yourself.  This car is a dream.  It is more comfortable than my bed and far more powerful than any shop equipment I own.  Power and comfort and hundreds of conveniences for that twenty minute ride.  It will easily go 100 miles per hour and it seems like forty  The seats are heated, can you imagine that? and adjustable with a toggle switch, it is like an airplane.  They go up and down and back and forth and angles I have not discovered.  The headlights have their own windshield wipers! and the outside mirrors are heated and it has environmental controls, each seating area with its own heating and cooling!  The radio is some kind of surround sound, I thought I was in the very center of the orchestra. There are a lot of knobs and buttons I haven't tried yet.
     It is a little extravagant and embarrassing and when people see it I am always explaining that I bought it for $5,000.  I thought I would tell you too.
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Barbra Joan said...

They say confession is good for the soul. Ok, consider it done and your forgiven for having a Mercedes.!!!! Even an old one is status I suppose. (not that your interested in that of course)!
I drive a 20 year old Toyota my dad gave to me in '96 when he couldn't drive anymore. It was five years old at that time and had only 21K miles on it. Still runs like a charm and after all these years it jusr hit 100K miles. ok so I don't travel much.!
The best part? It was my dads, I sit in the seat he sat in, I touch the steering wheel he touched, and I feel surrounded by his love when I am in there. I'll never part with it. When it gets too old to move . I'll make a planter out of it !!!!!

AutumnLeaves said...

Embarrassing? I'd say that you are one saavy shopper! Love Barbra's story. And yes, I was teasing you, Jer. I was thinking about blogging about what I ate that day...! LOLOL

PAMO said...
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Kay said...

I will be the first to admit that I want a reliable car. That said..the car payments are outrageous! I bought a beautiful 2004 Dodge truck in 2006, diesel, turbo,2500 Cummings engine, lots of chrome, blue paint job that matched my eyes. I was going to hook it up to the horse trailer and use it a lot. I did haul hay in it..but sold the ugly kelly green trailer and eventually the only horse I liked the truck was a superfluous commuter! Although I still have 2 horses..they are glorified unridden pets. I paid off the truck and the transmission began to go! I sold the beastly truck and bought 2 1995 Nissan pathfinders for cash and have never looked back or missed the truck. But the best car 1961 yellow VW bug. Now there is a car I miss. I never named my cars either..maybe I it is black or gold pathfinder..well the gold one runs the black one needs a part..sigh...

Clipped Wings said...

And here I was thinking that when I put in my post that I drove a Toyota Solara, you would be rolling the eyeballs. Made in USA can sometimes go out the door when it comes to car choices. The comfort your Mercedes gives you sounds wonderful. I'm just not the type to name my car either, but being the first new car I have ever owned, and probably the last new car I will ever own, I baby mine like a child, except for the cleaning part, I know, I'm a bit lazy on that point. It's 8 years old, been paid off for two years, and drives like a dream, even though it has nearly 200,000 miles on it. I need it to last, cause I'll probably be driving a clunker after this one. Sad to say, it has been attacked four times by others in cars on the road, and has put me through a lot of body shop repairs in its earlier years. My neighbor's door cruncher incident, set the interior up to drive me crazy moisture-wise, and put me in my place on taking good things for granted. In winter, many days the moisture and ice is on the inside of the windows, as well as the outside; and I always have 3 rolls of flattened papertowels on the passenger side back seat floor that I rotate out every time it rains, so I can keep the swimming pool from filling up. No one has been able to find that magic repair that will make it water free, so my ride comes with a little discomfort thrown in here and there.

Maundering mutterer said...

Whenever I see a really nice car, I say 'In ten years' time, I will get THAT MODEL for cash!' :) Nice bargain you got there!