The End of an Era

  I was going to write about my vacation from this past week, but instead I’m going to talk about the end-of-life of my beautiful 1987 Acura Integra RS, license plates MYTOYRS.  I have an appointment today to bring my car in for the Voluntary Accelerated Vehicle Retirement (VAVR) Program.  It’s one way for the state to rid the world of older polluting cars.  In exchange, I’ll be $750 richer.

It’s almost 1:20 a.m., and the appointment is for 11:00 a.m., but I haven’t cleaned out the car of my personal property yet.  I’m in denial.  Maybe I didn’t really make that appointment, and this is really not happening.  I’ve had it for over 22 years and 175,000 miles.  I’m way too emotionally attached to it, and it was like that in the beginning.  I wouldn’t let Daniel drive, I had to get it an alarm, I washed and waxed it every weekend. Twenty two years ago, I was in college, living at home, working part-time, with no real responsibilities.  It was a much more simple period in my life, AND my life isn’t that complicated now!  By losing the car, it feels like I’m erasing those years of my life.  I had just turned 19 when I bought that car back in 1986; I was in the middle of college, didn’t have my first real job yet.  Since then, I’ve had an almost 20-year career in human resources, married for 18+ years, my daughter just turned 12, and I’m about 10 years from retirement!  A lot has happened with while I’ve owned this car.

As the story goes, when I bought this car, I promised my parents I would keep it for 10 years.  Those 10 years went very quickly, so I never really felt like I wanted to buy a replacement.  Over the years, things broke.  Some got fixed; some didn’t.  For the past two years, the left hand signal hasn’t functioned well, but it wasn’t really worth it to fix.  The safety features of newer cars have improved immensely over the past 20 years as well.  I don’t have any air bags or traction control, and that would be good for the family.  It doesn’t have cup holders, but that’s probably the only fancy feature I really care about.  Although it passed smog last December, the registration fee will come up soon, so I knew I had to do it before then.  Right before I went to Kansas, I made the appointment for the Saturday after I returned because I knew I had to stop procrastinating.  From what I was told, I’ll be bringing it to a scrap metal shop.  They put the car on a list for 10 days in case a collector wants to claim in (fat chance!)… and then it gets crushed.

When I wake up, I’m going to clear out my stuff from the car and give it a quick wash.  After all, if I’m leading it to its demise, it might as well go out with dignity.  Then I’m going to take my final photos of it in front of the house. 

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I’m going to get enough gas to get me to the dismantler and turn the car in.  Then we’re going to lunch, probably at Harry’s Hofbrau, my comfort food place.  Afterwards, my reward will be to go test drive a car, the Nissan 370z.

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Maybe that’ll make me feel better… because right now, I’m just a little sad.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cz_scrap
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 07:01:00

    RIP-I’m sorry your car has to go-it sounds like you’ve had some good times with it, but it also sounds like it is time. You may find you do like the new car-when John restored the 1974 CUDA, he loved it at first. But after a while he realized that it was a lot of effort to drive and that the newer cars were so much easier(and when he got the corvette to replace it-he had way more fun-he can’t wait to drive it all the time in CA-which may be a night mare for me :().Hope turning in the old one wasn’t too traumatic and that you have fun driving the new one.

    Reply

  2. Annette33
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 10:39:00

    I felt the same way about my ’92 Plymouth Colt.  It my first new car, when I was working Cuba, New Mexico.  My mom went with me to buy it, even co-signed with me.  I was cool with having a stick shift, no clock, no cruise control, no lighter (for recharging things), and the windows were the old-fashioned roll down.  It was a real basic car.  I drove the car for 15 years before finally having to put it out to pasture.  The engine was worked on a few times, the window up/downess broke once, and the driver side door handle was broke forever.  I had to leave the car window down, so that I could open it form the inside.  I drove this car even after children.  Do you know what a pain in the butt a two door is, with kids in carseats, ugh.  My girls were 5 and 8, when the car finally lost its medal plate off the engine, just a house down from us.  It sputtered and died, to never be resurrected again.

    Reply

  3. munchies333
    Aug 29, 2009 @ 00:30:00

    What??? Your Toy RS is gone and we didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye?  Awww… a part of me is sad, too!  I remember when you drove it by our house when you first bought it. 😦

    Reply

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