Archive for November 3rd, 2023

In the autumn of 2014, I asked my readers for help in buying a new car; I was moving to Seattle and there was no way the old farm truck I’d driven for years could be depended upon to go so far. Altogether, y’all raised about $3000, and I found a 2003 Hyundai for only $3300 because an insurance company had totaled it due to body damage from a severe hailstorm.  That car took me hither and yon for almost a year, until in October 2015 a careless person came shooting across several lanes of traffic during a rainstorm and directly into my path.  Fortunately, my car’s book value was $5000, so that’s what the insurance company paid me; even after spending $3000 on another used car, that left me $1700 ahead from where I had started (not counting tag fees and the like, because I think of those as operating expenses).

That burgundy 2000 Honda Accord was one of the best cars I ever owned, and when in May 2019 I was told the transmission was shot and would cost about twice what the car was worth to replace, I sold it on Craigslist as a “mechanic’s special” for $400 and bought another escort’s unwanted 2002 Saturn for $1000, which still left me with $1100 of the money my readers had given me in 2014.  The Saturn carried me around dependably until September 12th of this year, when it was rear-ended on the highway and completely totaled.  It took the insurance company a month to pay me a little over $2400 for it, then we had to find a suitable replacement for a similar amount of money, no easy feat nowadays when even older used cars are getting snatched up practically as soon as they’re posted online for sums the equivalent could never have commanded even 8 years ago (especially since I no longer live in Seattle and can’t tell most owners “I’ll be there in an hour”).

But Grace’s mojo has never failed me, though this time it was accompanied by far more grumbling than usual; on Wednesday I brought home this 1994 Honda Accord, which despite its age was a good deal: it was really clean, obviously garage-kept and babied, fully loaded, with everything working and sold to me by its original owner, practically the stereotypical “little old lady from Pasadena”, whose father had given it to her as a gift brand-new.  So nine years after that original request for help, I’m still $1000 ahead on my car fund; it’s kind of amazing that not only have my loyal and generous readers kept me in reliable transportation for nearly a decade, but also with a good head start on repairing or replacing this one when it, too, succumbs to entropy or Fate.  

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