This morning, during my grueling 7 minute commute, I noticed that I will, in all likelihood, cross the 158,000 mile barrier with the Montero this afternoon. I had to laugh...because never in our life have we had such a great second car. We don't quite all fit in comfortably - we've got the Suburban for that - but this thing goes anywhere and still looks great. If only I could get the CD player to barf out that disc that's stuck in there.
I got to thinking about some of the bombs I've driven over the years. After deciding to list a few, I struggled to keep it to four. It could go on and on....Here they are in descending order of quality.
82 Toyota Cressida (jet black)
This was Toyota's luxury car of the day. It was big for an import of that age, and featured a six in line engine that was a dream. I had 200,000 miles on it, a sunroof and badly cracked burgendy leather. I also had more motor than transmission, so the second time I dropped the tranny, I got rid of it.
81 Audi 5000 (submarine gray)
I remember arguing with my dad on this one, who could not conceive that the car really had a five cylindar engine. This had 225,000 miles on the odometer (but it was broken so who knows) and the what I believe to be the world's only driver-controled variable pressure fuel pump, wired to a dining room light dimmer switch in the dash, but that's a post unto itself. I sold it for $600 and the new owner was t-boned in a week and tripled his money.
70-something Datsun B210 (medium blue)
This could very well have been the ugliest car ever built, bar none. I even had the honeycomb wheels. I desparately needed another car and had only $600. My friend found this - I didn't really want it but knew that if it was in good condition I'd have to take it. It was prestine...145,00 one owner miles. It would get 35-40 mpg and was actually more fun to drive than you would expect, provided you didn't let the revs drop under 4,000. I finally hit a pothole hard with it and the doors would no longer open. I sold it for $450 minus the cost of a tank of gas (no kidding - it was quite the negotiation process).
66 MG Midget (red with a black top)
Let me be clear. This was a horrible excuse for transportation. It was so incredibly tiny. The engine was less than a liter in displacement but had TWO carburators. They were the size of walnuts and needed sewing machine tools to work on. The second happiest day in a man's life is when he buys an MG. The happiest day in his life is when he sells that MG.
In light of all that, I think you understand why I whispered a prayer of thankfulness for the 158,000 mile beauty I'm driving. It's a jewel.