Car History

SEE PHOTOS BELOW
It should be noted that most of the automobile models which I have owned and driven and with which I have had largely positive experiences — are now ‘extinct’ (=no longer made).  I don’t know what that signifies about either the owner or the vehicle, but it seems important for some reason.
Bought first car when I was 34 in 1987.  I had gotten my driver’s license like all ‘good Americans’ in those days at age 16.  In small town or rural parts of the country you need an automobile to get around.  No other options. Because I lived in city I could take public transit or walk.
Here’s my own car facts…
So back to 1987:
78 Ford Fairmont. Car number one. In San Francisco. Drove it three years.
Moving back to Pennsylvania in 1990 I purchased 77 Dodge Diplomat with low miles.
Next car was 79 Dodge Diplomat…a luxury model…purchased in mid 90s. Got it because I’d liked the first one…and the luxury version had air conditioning.  My only speeding ticket ever in that car…due to broken speedometer.
In earIy 2000’s I finally got out of 70’s cars and purchased an 84 Dodge Caravan with fake wood on side. A good car that eventually rusted through the floor.  It’s true with these early cars that “Rust never sleeps.”
I then got a 90’s Dodge Caravan. Both caravans were great for hauling people and all kinds of STUFF all over. Helped with wife’s second hand business.  This was my last used vehicle, not counting cool car we got for daughter for her high school career…Chevy Malibu. Can’t remember exact year (late 70’s), but it was old and heavy and muscular but did lots of spinning and sliding in snow.
Hyundai Elantra was first new car.  We really thought we’d arrived! Prosperity was finally here! I remembered back to feelings I had had when my parents had bought their first new car, a 65 Chevy Bel Air. It was suddenly a whole different world.
We kept the Elantra for only a short time and sold it.
The next vehicle was a 2005 PT Cruiser while keeping the Caravan. My wife finally got her license. I had been the ‘wheel man’ for over 20 years…or she took the bus.  I didn’t mind that responsibility, but I can’t believe it took us that long to see the wisdom of her getting a license. It helped her in many ways in terms of independence, but it also became so much more convenient for the family.
When the Caravan died…with front end dropping out on road in front of my house, I sold it for scrap.  I then passed the PT Cruiser on to Isabel and leased a 2008 Honda CRV for two years. Leasing became my only ‘luxury’ in life of hard work…it was nice having new car and they were dependable. ..I’d become fed up with used car breakdown and expense issues.
Next in line was a 2010 Honda Element…wanted to sit higher above the road…I’d liked that with the Caravans.
We then passed the 2005 PT Cruiser on to our daughter for her time at university…my wife drives very little so our cars last longer than usual.  I then got her a 2009 Chevy HHR.
After the Honda I ended up with a 2012 Jeep Patriot.  Yesterday I turned it in…after 3 1/2 years…now that we are retired and moving to city with lots of public transit, we are going to get by with one vehicle. Also will be doing some road trips here in the East before we leave and cross-country to get to Seattle after the house sells.  Hoping the vehicle holds up well. It only has 40,000 miles on it at this point.  It seems strange not having a car in the driveway…and getting used to the new interior.
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