Wednesday, June 30, 2010

GunDiva: A Brief Driving History (and a long post)

This is the car I learned to drive in:

1977 Toyota Corolla 5-speed, total baseline model, no bells and wistles.

This is the car my parents let me take my driver's test in:

Or thereabouts.  No matter.  The point is, that it's roughly three times the size of the Toyota, with power steering (yes, I tried to kill the examiner while turning a corner), automatic transmission, and power brakes.  Yeah, even at a fairly early age my parent's were trying to off me.

After I graduated from high school, I took my grad gifts and bought this (only mine wasn't in nearly as good a shape as this one)...

Yup, paid $300 cash.  Had to bleed it's brakes every time I drove it.  Not once a week, not once a month.  Every. freaking. time.  Yup, got good at bleeding all four brake lines by myself.  Drove it 'til it died.

Since I bought that gawdawful Ford Courier in 1989 (I think the one I bought was early 70's), I've driven pretty much disposable cars my whole life.  My all-time favorite disposable car was this one...

Okay, my Mighty Mav wasn't even close to being in this good of shape.  I picked up the Mighty Mav from a friend whose best friend had driven it through the front doors of our local Diamond Shamrock (I paid $100).  I was then hit by an idiot a year later, who knocked the rust off of the original dent.  A cop saw the idiot, wrote her a ticket that pretty much guaranteed that I would forever love the Mighty Mav.  The idiot's insurance paid me a couple of hundred dollars for the "damage" incurred by their insured's idiocy.  I drove it 'til it died.

Thus has been the story of my long and semi-varied car past.  There's been a Chevy Corsica that my ex-husband tried to slide down the side of one of the dams at Horsetooth, a Ford Taurus that I got in exchange for the child support my ex-husband wasn't paying that left me stranded in Denver when the transmission exploded, untold number of 80's Honda Accords (my total go-to car).  I'm pretty sure I've thrown in a Toyota or two as well.  And a Jeep Cherokee that was killed when a ramp on wheels ran a red light and flipped us over.  Oh...and a couple of minivans.  Thanks to Mom and Bill during the rough years when they were the ones who let me use the Jeep (RIP) and the minivans.  You know, right up until they died.

So, basically, I've only ever driven disposable cars.  I've never paid more than $1800 E-V-E-R for a car.  And I've always driven them until they died.  Wait...I sold the Suzuki Samauri...that one didn't die.  But only because I sold it before it died.  That's another car I loved.  Had to spray starter fluid in the air intake to start it most of the time, but it loved the cold weather.  Ran at its best when the temp dropped below 40 degrees (but the heater - not so much).  Damn I miss that Sammy.

Yesterday, marked the first day of my "grown up" ownership of a car.  I broke out of my $1800/car rut and bit the bullet.  I mean, I've already got $62k in student loan debt that I'm paying on, why not add another $20k ($17k plus taxes and dealer handling, of course)?

My demands were simple: a car that would get at least as good gas mileage as my '89 Accord (30-32 mpg), under $20k, that I could haul my trap thrower, guns and horse crap in.  RockCrawlinChef and I wandered car lots on Sunday and found a few that fit the bill: a Kia Soul (love them hamsters), a Scion (xB and xD), a Honda Fit (ugh, hideous, marked that one right off the list), a Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Cube (oh, hell no, I'm not buying a "cube Mobile Device"), a Toyota Corolla (remember, I learned to drive in one).  Yes, you will notice that there are no American cars on the list.  That would be because this is the American car I want and I can't even come close to affording it...

Now, this is a S-E-X-Y car.  To borrow from the Ashinator, if I was a car, I'd so have sex with this car.  Lots and lots of sex.

However, the Challenger is definitely a look-don't-touch car and wwwwaaaaaayyyyyy out of my price range.

After spending Sunday walking the lots, we came back and did research and I did side-by-side comparisons of the cars we'd looked at.  I promised RCC that I'd test drive all of them, but alread had my heart set on the Kia Soul.  Monday, after RCC got off of work, we set off to the dealership.  I drove the Soul in a standard transmission and really, really liked it, but wanted to drive the automatic.  I hated it.  Had I not driven the standard first, I would have walked away.  Since I'd promised RCC we'd test drive them all, we left the Kia dealership and headed over to Toyota to drive the Scion.  I didn't like the xB - the a-posts were in the way and I was unpleasantly surprised by a bicyclist suddenly appearing in the road.  I did, however, love the xD.

I didn't actually drive all of the cars on our list, as I'd already narrowed it down to two in my mind. It was a toss up between the Scion xD and the Soul. I liked them both equally. True, the Soul had a few more creature comforts, but I could have gone either way.

Let me tell you, the ONLY reason I bought the Soul over the Scion xD (yes, it was that close), was the salesperson.  The Kia salesperson was pleasant and easy to deal with.  The Toyota salesperson was a moody little bitch (and he was a boy) who had nothing to say to either of us during both of our test drives.

Let me introduce you to the newest member of the family...

She's yet unnamed, but I'm sure we'll come up with a good one for her.  Afterall, she's my first ever new-new car and I'm almost forty years old.  I'll take my time to come up with just the right name for her.


Aunt Crazy said...

I just got a new car (new to me) too. I love yours! How exciting to have a brand new, new car for the first time EVER!!! I hope you love it forever!

K. Erickson said...

You could always call it "Hurley" or "Hurl" for short. Given the color and all.

Allenspark Lodge said...

I called it "Metallic Pea Green" but she says the color is "Alien".

K.- I'll be calling it Hurley from now on. Thanks!
(WV="wokshift" Sounds like something from a Chinese restaurant timecard)

Anonymous said...

Can I say it? Will you be offended? That is U-G-L-Y!!!

I myself am a similar car girl. Bought my first brand new car in 2007. Bought a Hyundai Tuscon too, so don't think I'm a car snob!

I hope you enjoy your new drive. New cars (new all together or new to you) are always exciting!

Leiah said...

I have an 05 Sorento I bought in 07 and I love it! The a/c went out some time last year and I finally decided to get over my ostrich syndrome and take it in to see how much it would cost to fix it. $259. Seriously. I sweat my a$$ off for almost a year and that's all it cost? Great. And I also drive my cars until the wheels fall off. When I traded in my 91 Civic in 02, it had 241K miles on it. I know - sweet, right? LOL!

Deejo said...

I miss that old Corolla. Try finding an old one nowadays :(

We're still ungodly happy with our Sorento. Actually, we bought ours in spite of the salesman, just 'cause we liked it THAT much. I hope you like the Soul just as much. And don't listen to Vinomom, she must be too 'old' to get the appeal of the Soul. Sometimes you just don't want to blend in with everything else out there. You'll find that little sucker is truly usable and a lot of fun. I hope you sprung for the Sport package. The tauter suspension is worth it, especially for mountain driving.

I'm happy for you. You deserve a nice little new car.

The Challenger is s-e-x-y, but you can get a brand new Camaro around here for $19,995. Sure it's only got a 6, but it still makes over 300 horses. Lotta car, little moola. Was tempted, but practicality won out, hence, super comfy Sorento.

Enjoy it!

GunDiva said...

Aunt Crazy - yay us! New cars for us!

K - So it's puke(ish) green. Guarantees that Digger won't want to drive it - he's said so multiple times.

Bill - just wait 'til I get my European racing stripes! And her name is NOT going to be Hurley (K, you're just egging him on. Really, I have to live with him, he doesn't need any help.)

Vinomom - It's kinda like Cabbage Patch dolls - so ugly, it's cute. And I'm thrilled. I've been driving Accords for so long, I've forgotten there are other cars out there.

Leiah - I've talked to several Kia owners who have nothing to bad at all to say about them, including my brother Deejo, who has the Sock Monkey car like you do. Guess Sock Monkeys weren't my thing. I'm more of a dancing hamster girl.

Melanie said...

I have also never owned a new car. The closest I've ever come was this year when I bought an '09 Chevy HHR...that I'm totally in love with...and its Cherry Red...and I bought it on Valentine's Day :) Yay for me.
About the name? Metallic Pea you say? How about Sweet Pea??

Candance said...

YAY for you for getting a new car!! Now I feel like a total douche for freaking out because I get a new car every three years and I have to drive my current not-a-minivan until the freaking wheels fall off because, you know, I'm not married anymore and therefore I don't have the luxury of getting a new car just cause I want to.

Momma Fargo said...

Love the wood grained station wagon...reminds me of the Brady Bunch. LOL. New cars are awesome!

Mr. Daddy said...

Now that was a funny post...LOL

happy for you getting a new car.

and the comments were the best part...*snicker*

you could hyphenate the name: Hurling-Sweet Pea...OR if you prefer...Sweet Pea-Hurling....ROFL

GunDiva said...

Gentlemen - that would be you, Bill, K., and Mr. Daddy - I'm not sure "thanks" is appropriate for your suggestions for the car's new name.

Playing on the Alien theme, her name is Ripley.

Bill's suggestion of Linda Blair or just Blair was a very close second, but it just didn't fit.

K. Erickson said...

Okay, GunDiva, it's your car. You can call it whatever you like. But Ripley though? Ripley was a tough, kick ass character. That name would have fit better with the Challenger you lust after. The Kia Soul is a small, slightly neurotic car. If you're going with the Aliens theme, shouldn't you name it Newt? Newt even fits with the color. If you decided to keep the Ripley name, just know you'll be paying your car's therapy bills for feelings of inadequacy.

Rachel said...

I am totally cracking up over the comments... you have some awesome friends!

I love your new car! I couldn't take my eyes off one that was an identical color the other day... they look like they are fun to drive!

Don't ask me about names. I am still refusing to name my replacement Escape because nothing feels right. I still miss my Ducky :(

GunDiva said...

K - she's embracing her inner Ripley. And, while I loved Newt, she was just a scared little girl. My Ripley isn't (and really won't be once RCC's done with all the cool stuff he wants to do to her).