personal category

my hoopty fantasy | 6:44 am | 12 July 2007

We’ve been able to manage being a 1.5-vehicle family for a few years now, with a driving car and a haul-shit truck (a giant gas-guzzling, back-firing, tweaky, exhausty 1986 Ford F150 that is horrible and yet awesome). Mr Dynagirl works out of town, so he drives; for about a year-and-a-half I worked along his route, so we could ride together, and for the last year I’ve been working on the opposite side of town but commuting with a friend. That luxury will probably be ending when Madison’s August Moving Party starts. Not only am I going to miss the drive-time company, we’re gonna need some wheels.

While I want to put this off as long as possible — I always find it nicer to spend new mone — this is kind of exciting. The last time I bought a car was 1994 (Holy shit, that thirteen years ago? No WAY). I’ve got some added needs/wants since my Saturn SL1. I learned how to drive stick in the parking lot of the dealer, and now… I can’t figure out how to drive an automatic. That’s probably a mental block, since, duh, it’s easy, and stick is just way more fun to drive. I’ve also gotten spoiled by the fahrfegnügen of our 2000 Passat (six cylinder). Seriously, that thing is like a dog when it hears the keys. “We’re going for a drive? Wanna go? Let’s go!!! Wrrroof!” Love love love it.

You can easily guess that I like cars that get awesome gas mileage (the SL1 got ~35mpg, back in ’94! I was a dork and kept a little notebook) and run forever. No matter what I get, I’m going to have to do something to be able to get my iPod hooked up to it, so that’s not really an issue; air-conditioning goes without saying.

I’d like a used car for a number of reasons besides up-front cost. It’s ridiculous that such a large machine as a car, with so much manufacturing technology and industry behind it, is so disposable. Why is something considered high-mileage already at only nearing 100,000 miles? Metal is good. Try getting a dent out of bondo. Oh, wait, it doesn’t dent, it shatters. I like the idea of a car that can be fixed without the aid of a computer. Cars shouldn’t come with operating systems; oh, hell no. My husband is great at fixing either, and, as cute as he is when he’s geeky, I do like seeing him sweated up working and on a car. (Oh! Banana*!! Sorry.) Plus, when the end times come, it’ll be good to have something more independently workable.**

So, here’s what I need:

  • manual
  • fahrfegnügen / low-end of “luxury”
  • awesome fuel efficiency
  • durable
  • $5-8k
  • dark blue, black, or dark grey preferred

Which brings me to a short-list of a (bio)diesel Volkswagen, Audi, or Mercedes. I love Volkswagens, I put Audi in the list only because they’re basically Volkswagens gone bland; Mercedes is unknown to me and quite alluring. Did you know that they have free roadside assistance for the life of the vehicle? No matter where you got it or when, you get a flat tire? Call ’em up. That’s pretty rad. Also, I want to earn one of these:mercedes million mile plaque

*our safeword at work for TMI.
** kidding! really!!

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