A few months ago my car broke down on me on the mainland. My current car is the “newest” vehicle I have had since learning how to drive and its system is computerized. Once it is broken down only a garage can really figure out what is wrong. Just not intuitive at all. I bought the car new back in 2006 after doing plenty of research and I am pretty happy with it so far.
As I sat there desperately waiting for AAA to arrive and either tow me or jumpstart me (I sure hoped for the latter), I started reminiscing about my previous two cars. My first own car was a 1988 Subaru Justy with only four gears, but boy did that little car go! It would zoom up the hill we lived on with four adults and a trunk full of groceries like nothing. About half a year into owning it a piece of the muffler fell off and the car sounded like it had gotten a major tune-up from then on out.
As I roared through the streets of Los Angeles, I got almost too familiar with what is under the hood of that Subaru. Sometimes it just wouldn’t start and I had to pop the hood and jiggle the starter just a bit to the right, and boom, it started to purr. Eventually no amount of jiggling did the trick and a nice man from my neighborhood helped me exchange the starter.
I had to retire the Subaru eventually due to the clutch going out. The replacement clutch would have cost more than the car was worth at that point. For a while I relied upon public transportation. Then I came upon a pristine 1985 Honda Civic CRX by chance and jumped on it.
Even though it came with lots of quirks and a huge “personality” I absolutely loved that car! My secret weapon on that one was a hammer. Yup, every month or so it would not start and I had to use the hammer to pop a piece back down (I think it was the starter, but my mechanic could never quite figure it out) and it would run perfect again for another month. Every week I had to add a quart of oil, it just simply disappeared to nothing, and no, there was no leak! But I have not found another car since that had the same drive feeling! I cried when I had to relinquish it to the scrap yard. It kept failing smog and the State of California offered me $1000 to retire the vehicle. I was poor, I took the money.
Lately I have been looking at pickup trucks, just the little ones. The models that appeal to me the most are from the late 80’s and early 90’s. I am wondering what my next vehicle will be and which part I will have to jiggle or hit with a hammer to make it run.