I have an Old Car

I started this post more than a year ago. Here it with an update of sorts.

I mean that in a personal sort of way. She’s only a few years younger than me. She’s close to being the first car I ever drove, and the car I mostly drove while in High School. I have memories of holding a flashlight for my Dad in the middle of the night when he had to get her running before work the next day. He probably could’ve afforded to get a new car but I think he enjoyed the tinkering the Volvo provided him. Even though I vividly remember him cursing it once. It was one of the last models from Volvo that didn’t utilize electronics excessively, which made it even easier to fiddle with. If you were mechanically minded of course.

I’ve been toying with the idea of finally giving up on the old girl. When our usual car (Honda) had a dead battery I tried to start the Volvo to give it a jump. No such luck, its battery was drained as well.
It’s an old car and it’s been through a lot. It was originally my grandmother’s, who passed away last year, she had given it to my Dad when I was still in middle school. When my Dad died in 2009 my Mom kind of let me decide if I wanted it. To be honest I don’t remember the whole process we went through. I do remember driving it up with my husband as my then 2yo was freezing from a northern front that blew cold the whole night we drove. When we left my mom’s we had been concerned about not having A/C then we were pleasantly surprised that the heater worked sporadically.
She’s never been a very reliable car and I love the idea of teaching my son to drive her when gets to that age. By then she’d been an antique and maybe he’d be interested in fixing it with Daddy at that point.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year. We tried to get her up and running with a few different fixes only to have it towed to a mechanic’s shop. Turns out it had a bad relay, a blown head gasket and probably a cracked engine block. Repairs would’ve totaled to over $3,000. As it stood the repair bill plus a new battery, spark plugs, and updating registration meant I’d already put in $300 and it wasn’t running. Kelly blue book online doesn’t even go back to 1987. I sold her to a pick n pull and barely broke even. Maybe her parts will help out someone else’s baby. It’s a deeply emotional thing to have to give up on something. Especially something that represents so many memories.


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