In 2000 I became a free agent. I left the high paying corporate job and was making more time for my creative life. I had bought a brand new car the year before, a Passat, and loved it. Four doors and a trunk, what a concept. For eight years before that I drove a Honda CRX. The CRX had been my dream car since high school but I was happy to part with it for the larger car. However, my freedom from a full time office job was more important than a new car so I sold the Passat in 2000 to eliminate expenses. I drove a "Rent-A-Wreck" for a few weeks while I found a suitable used car to purchase.
2000 was an interesting transition year. I went from serious income to not very much and realized I had placed a lot of my identity on my job title and income and by extension, my car. Letting that all go and refinding my true identity was important but surprisingly hard. When I went out with my friends, I stil wanted to spend the random $200 on stuff I didn't need. It was a hard habit to break and I felt like an outsider suddenly, though none of my friends cared or even noticed, I'm sure. LA being a car culture place, I also hated letting my brand new car go, but I was wise enough to hate a car payment more. I felt sad that I couldn't afford the new car -- felt sad for one afternoon -- then sold it. I drove an old beater and found so much freedom in not caring about what kind of car I drove. Being free from a full time job I didn't want to do meant so much more than any shiny new car.
One day I remembered a friend of mine had an Acura he might want to sell. I called him up and the timing was perfect. We made a deal and the car was mine for cheap. It was a 1993 Acura Integra with 131,000 miles on it, the important part being it was an Acura (hard to kill those) and my friend had taken great care of it. I took it to the same mechanic and soon decorated it. It was two doors and no "trunk" but it was paid for and it would last a long time.
Today I'm selling it. She's 15 years old with 175,500 miles. That averages about 5500 miles per year. (Nice when you work at home.) Makes more sense to have it go now and off our insurance while I'm gone for four months as it was time to start thinking of a newer car. (The Acura was going to start needing work in the next few thousand miles that would cost more to me than the car is worth.)
I'm not sad to see the car go, it's time (and lordy I loathe those passive restraint automatic seatbelts!!). But it is a transition to whatever comes next in our car life. Kurt asked me what my dream car is. And I have to be honest, I don't have one anymore. The CRX was my dream car and I got to have it. Now my dream car is something that doesn't require much maintenance, looks decent, has air conditioning, cup holders (seriously, not having cupholders for eight years was a drag) and is cheap. (Cheap = less than $20,000.) For the next four months, I don't even have to think about it.
Adios Acura! Thanks for the years of service, may you enjoy your new life with your new owners.