Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A tale of two cars

Here’s a picture of my odometer after I finished driving today:

I’ve owned my 1986 Nissan pick-up for something like 12 years and well over 100,000 miles. The mechanic who changes its oil says that the owners of this model usually get sick of them long before the trucks actually die. Mine runs fine with a minimum of fuss. OK, it’s really grotty, the grille is held on with zip ties, the exhaust system makes unnerving clunking noises because it’s held in place with a bent coathanger, the radio had to be replaced when it would only tune into a Spanish-language evangelical station, the windscreen has a couple of rock impacts, the belts squeal when it starts, the rear bumper is bent from when someone tried towing something that was too heavy, the screens in the topper were slashed by a bear in Yosemite, it goes really slow up hills, the door of the topper won’t stay open or lock, and earlier this week when I slammed the door shut the mirror on the driver side just fell off and shattered, reminding me of the last 10 seconds of this. But it runs great, gets 24 miles per gallon, and shows no sign of quitting.

The trip which took it over 200,000 miles was down to Burlingame and back. I was driving my brother home, having picked him up from Manteca, California, yesterday afternoon. He was stranded there when his car, a similarly aged Honda civic, experienced a catastrophic radiator/engine failure on a nice 110 degree summer day. He thinks it’s probably time to get a new car.

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