Thursday, July 16, 2009

He's a rolling bargain.

My husband is . . . thrifty. Always has been. If there's a bargain to be had, he'll have it. And that includes the cars he drives. We've been given cars before, as in, please come take this thing and we don't care what you do with it, just get it out of here. He puts a battery in it and drives it for two years. And I'm not kidding. This works great for us, unless you mind your feet getting wet when it rains and you turn left, but other than that, he's happy with it.

Over the years, he's driven The Car Bomb, Hoopty, The Scalded Dog, and most recently, The Hot Rod.

The Hot Rod is a '94 Pontiac Grand Am he bought from his brother six years ago for a thousand dollars. It had oil in the coolant and coolant in the oil, but the motor was strong and he needed something to abuse on the highways of Virginia and Tennessee. THR has 228,000 miles on it and a completely shot driver's seat (I can barely see over the steering wheel for the hole I'm sitting in when I drive). We had to rebuild the transmission two years ago. We've replaced the regulator in the driver's window twice, but not before we duct-taped a garbage bag over the window for a few months. Ben hit a deer with the right front on a trip to South Carolina last year. My right quad gets a workout every time I brake. The oil light comes on at random intervals. Each year at state inspection time, we go out and lay hands on it and have prayer. So far, so good.

Last week, Ben was talking to his brother and mentioned Mike's new car, in which the AC doesn't work, and said that was ok, he'd been driving without AC for six years. The following conversation ensued:

Brother: What?

Ben: Yeah, the AC in the Pontiac hasn't ever worked.

Bro: It worked when I sold it to you.


Ben: You mean, really worked? Cold air?

Bro: Yeah!

Ben: You're kidding.

So Ben took THR that very afternoon to the service guy, had whatever environmentally-friendly, grotesquely-expensive stuff they use in place of freon now put in it, and you know what?


All those hour-long commutes to DC in the dead of summer, sweat dripping in his eyes from the heat while sitting in Northern Virginia traffic. All the drives to Charleston and back for work. The job an hour and a half from home in the blazing heat of Nashville.

For $185, The Hot Rod lives, better than ever.

Be thankful ~



Karate Mom said...

My husband and I both drive Hoopties! (Hooptys? What ARE the rules for making made up words plural?) I don't think they're as bad as THR, but my husband's car doesn't have working air conditioning. We've had the mechanic look at it and it would cost more to fix than the car is worth, so he just deals with it!
Both of the cars are paid off, though, so we're thankful to drive them!

Deb said...