It's been nearly a year since I have survived without an automobile of my own; sure, my friends have been overly generous in allowing me to borrow their vehicles, and I am beyond grateful for the privilege. But it's not the same as having a ride of my own. I get emotionally attached to automobiles. I give then names, polish them and feel more than a slight tinge of physical pain when they get dinged or damaged.
But you know what? I'm so fucking glad I don't have a car to fret about these days. The city is cracking down HARD on all types of shit, and you only need to have 2 outstanding tickets before they will boot you know. It's such bullshit. And don't get me started on the Red Light cameras.
But whenever I see a car that I used to have, it makes me nostalgic, sad and even angry. Let's take a look at the 3 rides I have previously owned and loved the shit out of.
1998 VW Jetta GT (aka Jettadia I)
This was not a fast car, as it only produced roughly 125 HP, but I worked that 5-Speed tranny like my life depended on it. And it was my first car! The feeling I felt while driving it home from the dealership was intense, I still remember the smell even. It was not easy giving it up at the end of it's lease, and I still wish I had it, because even though it would be a 11 year old piece of shit, it still rocked.
2002 VW Jetta GL (Jettadia II)
My fetish for German cars continued unabated, to the point that a deal breaker was the color (gotta be black). It was also slow, but perfectly capable, and the blue/red interior lighting scheme was the shit. Unfortunately, it literally burned my ass once. The seat heater over heated and literally left a mark on my ass. That sucked. But I drove that fucker from Chicago to LA and back, and damn man, I still remember pulling to the side of the road in Monument Valley. Fucking amazing.
When I bought this car I was so fucking hungover. But I was insistent on getting a great deal (always buy a car near the end of the month when salesmen are eager to make their numbers). I went to one dealership, than a competing one. I took a salesman's business card, and wrote down the offer, than took it back to the first dealer...and they totally fucking caved! God, that car was sweet, fast as hell and so good looking in that paint color. Of course, "Lil Bad Ass" was bad news...rear ended 3 times, wheel stolen, side swiped and ultimately jacked all together. Sigh. It was not meant to be.
So now my "ride" is the bus, or the train or my feet (or my bike, although that didn't turn out so well!). But it's all good. Having a car in Chicago is such a source of stress, not to mention excessively expensive. I really miss shifting a manual transmission though...it was an unlikely source of pride.