My ‘Vintage’ Car

I drive a 20 year old car.  My 1992 Honda Civic has over 335,000 kilometers on it and I love it.  The engine purrs like a kitten……well, except for earlier this week when it balked and ‘ran rough’ when idling.  I knew it was trying to tell me something, so I’d better listen!   It turns out that it was just the spark plugs and wires that I had neglected to change in the last 4 years/75,000 kms…..

There’s something to be said for driving an ‘elderly’ vehicle.  My car doesn’t have a dvd player, cd player, mp3 player (although we now have an adapter which plugs into the cigarette lighter to play Nellie’s iPod), power windows, air conditioning…….well, I think you get it.  When we first got this car in 2008, my teenage kids were amazed that they could open the windows themselves without the car being on!!  WOW, human-powered windows!  There’s so much space inside it’s amazing!  It’s technically a “wagon”, so when I fold down the back seats I can fit a ton of stuff inside.  Once, at a garage sale, I managed to fit in a chest, 3 arrow back chairs, a kids bicycle, and some other odds and ends, to the amazement of all.  I always have an old sheet in the back just in case I see something I need to bring home, like my muffler that fell off in the field while searching for our Christmas tree.  And I can fit in 5 adults and even our Husky dog, cooler, and assorted ‘camping equipment’ for our annual family camp-out at my daughter Kristi’s homestead in Westport……in one trip!  There are lots of windows to see out of and no real ‘blind spots’.

My car.......new

My old reliable car has been good to us…..it’s gotten Marty and Jeanette back into the city when they came for most  Sunday dinners in 2010 before they left for India….   I’ve learned again to navigate roads during freezing rain and snow after  I found some good, gently used for-4-months, snow tires on Kijiji….  it reliably starts to pick-up kids from school….. she takes  (former owner) Della and I on our ‘gal-pal’ day outings  …… And it’s SO easy to park – I usually exclaim “I love this car” every time I squeeze into a parking spot.  Compared to parking our old ’94 minivan or Chris’ 4×4 truck WITH snowplow, this compact little Honda is a breeze!

I like to keep my driving local -within a 2 hours drive to home.  If I need to go further, like to my sister Faye’s in Hamilton, I just take the train or ride along with Kristi when she goes to Toronto for a business trip.  I get terrific mileage -usually 500 kms to a tank of gas costing $35-40.00ish.

I appreciate how stiff something/someone older can be after sitting for awhile, so these days I plug in the poor old car for 3 hours or so before starting it,  when overnight temps are going down below -20C.   And when I do drive, I gently accelerate up to speed rather than stepping-on-it/peddle-to-the-metal.   Slow and easy…..just like me.  We’re a perfect fit!

Every summer, I like to sand down the rust spots as best as possible and use some Tremclad rust paint to touch up the spots.  It looks okay………..from a distance, with very little rust.  Underneath it looks great, considering the fact that for the first 16 years, the underside was oil-sprayed.

Once last summer, I pulled up at a stoplight,  beside a brand new Honda convertible – the driver looked at me and I looked at him – we smiled at each other when we recognized we were each driving a Honda – then he said “nice car” and not sarcastically either -I responded “nearly 20 years old and runs like a charm” and he commented that he hoped his will last that long.   I like to think that my car is just ‘broke-in’ at 335k and that I can still get a few more miles out of it if I treat it fairly and with respect.    I know the day will come when I have to say good-bye and send it to the auto recyclers, but for now I’ll just keep on rollin’.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maureen Sinclair
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 15:37:56

    Love it Linda & it goes to show if you take care of something it will last.TLC I would say.

    Reply

  2. grammomsblog
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 13:07:39

    Some Facebook comments:
    January 22
    Iona: And MY vintage car is 21 years old!!!… and it’s only just passed the 250k mark… and runs like a charm too!!… and hardly any rust on it!!! For 600 bucks – I’ve sure gotten my money’s worth!!!… Had it for 3 years now!!…With any luck – on my part – and the cars – I should have it well into my 70’s!!…LOL … Now THAT’S what you call recycling to the max!!!

    Iona: LOVED your blog by the way!!!… It’s what inspired me to write the above!!!…xo

    January 23
    Rod: I love reading your blog GMa! Although I’d have to say, if your little car was hooked up to a 9500 lbs trailer, my truck would get better mileage. 😉

    Grammomsblog: yes I suppose that’s true, but I could always borrow or rent a truck and not have the monthly payments lol!

    Reply

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