This post is written in conjunction with the 30 Days of Writing, a blog challenge devised by Nicky and Mike at “We Work For Cheese.” I’ll be participating throughout the month of June. If interested, you can see my post with the details of the challenge.
Please note that some of these posts will be serious, some will be normal, and some will be an attempt at humor. This one is on the fun side.
There’s something to be said about feeling in full control of your car.
Heading down the road, shifting away, feeling the RPMs kick in and take off. A quick downshift on a corner and feeling as the car catches the road and smoothly glides into the next straightaway.
Several years ago, I was in the hunt for a new car. But this was one of those types of searches where I didn’t have a lot of time. My then-current car had engine issues and it wasn’t really reliable or safe to drive.
So I needed new wheels.
About the only thing that I needed to have was a stick shift. Everything else was negotiable.
I searched and searched to no avail. The car dealer I always went to couldn’t get me what I had wanted. I opened my search and looked all over. Nobody seemed to have anything that met what I needed — in other words a stick shift with the mileage to match the price. (Sorry, I’m not paying $275 per month for five years for a car with 85,000 miles on it… not happening).
Then I got talking to the one salesman at Volkswagen. For some reason, I inquired about lease deals. I had never really considered a lease. With my job at the time, I put a lot of miles on a car. So it wouldn’t make sense.
He told me a great deal on new Jettas.
Intrigued, I went over to test one out. It had been a while since I had driven stick shift, so I asked him about the clutch and everything else. He told me to “get on it,” and “not to worry.”
Apparently, when VW people visit the dealership — as well as others — they really push the cars, as that’s what the cars are made to do. That’s according to the salesman, anyway.
I took the car out slowly. My test drive was no more than four or five miles, but I punched it a bit. I tested the feel of things. I shifted through and really got a feel for how things went.
When I got back to the dealership, I asked how long it would take them to get it ready.
After the paperwork and a day wait for detailing etc., I picked up my new ride. It had a whopping 325 (or so) miles on it. This was my first new car and I was stoked.
My car is now approaching 150,000 miles. It’s had a few downs along the way, but overall, it’s been one hell of a car. I’ve seen a lot through the windows of this car. And it’s still fun to drive it.
I was thinking about that Sunday as I drove through some country highways with the twists and turns I’m so used to. The sky changed from a brilliant blue to dark storm clouds and back to blue.
This car is more than two tons of metal and parts. It’s been a part of my life since 2005. It’s been so many places throughout the Northeast. Maine, New York City, Philly, Washington D.C., and other places. It’s visited Canada more than once. This car has traveled seasonal roads and zipped along long and straight highways. It’s been at events and everywhere else.
And for that, I love it.
As I came home today from a few different events, I thought about what this car has been through. I slipped through the gears with the ease that it has always had. As I crested one of the mountains I drive up over, I saw the tail end of a rainbow. Quite the view. I stopped and attempted a few images before I got back into the car and continued on.
It’s funny, too. Outside of taking it into the shop, only two or three other people have been behind the wheel of this car. That’s how much I think of this car and what it’s like to be behind the wheel.
I know, one day, I’ll have to move on to a new car. And that day will be hard, without a doubt. But no matter what, this will be one car that I’ll never forget. It’s been the best car I’ve owned and I’ve never felt more comfortable behind the wheel of any other car.
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