Wednesday, June 24, 2009


No, not the kind that connect to your vacuum cleaner. I'm talking emotional attachments we form to inanimate objects.

For some odd reason, I become attached to my automobiles. I know it all stemmed from driving my grandfather's 1976 Chevy Malibu (blue vinyl bench seats and 8-track). From that car, I moved on to a 94 Nissan Sentra. That car was my baby with only 230,000 miles on the engine and still running strong until some idiot backed into it, busted the headlight and signal light to the point of $1200 repair bill. I cried when I had to let her go. I wasn't even home when they took her away.

Now, I have a strong attachment to my 1982 Volvo aka The Bean Machine. I was recently considering buying a new car and every dealership asked about my trade-in. There's no way I will trade in my car - that's what I told every salesman. But why not get rid of a car that's 26 years old with a leaky sunroof, no overdrive, an AC with a slow leak so it needs to be serviced annually, and only gets approximately 230 miles per tank of gas?

I even thought about the cash for clunkers program which didn't start until this month. I could have, potentially, received $4500 trade-in value.

But I wised up for several reasons...

1. I love The Bean Machine. It's solid metal. Metal will crunch a fiberglass automobile - so it's essentially like driving a tank on the road.

2. Although it does not have overdrive, the car hauls @$ and most people are smart enough to move over when they see me barreling down on them in their rearview mirror.

3. The body is in great shape. Unfortunately, the dashboard just started to crack, but I plan to order a cover (which I should have ordered two years ago) to prevent further cracking. I even replaced some body molding clips and put the chrome trimming back on. I've even picked up additional lug nut covers just in case I lose another (thanks to Uncle Mike for losing two within the span of 2 weeks).

4. It's big enough to haul garden supplies. Although my sentra was so flexible that I could put furniture (except a queen size bed and sofa) in, my volvo does great at the garden supply.

5. It's a car that will run for over 300,000 miles on the same engine with minimal care.

6. Never get rid of anything that's paid for. In this economy you never know what will happen. I could lose my job today and struggle to make my car payment. So I always have something to get around town in.

Yes, I did buy a new car last week. But do you want to know the funny thing? The new one is sitting in my driveway while I drive the Vovlo daily (to/from work/school). I actually missed driving my volvo and now we're back to being friends (he's not acting like a spoiled child and stalling in the middle of the street).

If I ever consider getting rid of The Bean Machine, I will sell it to someone who will love it just as much as I do. I wont take it to a dealership only to have it sent to the scrap yard.

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