Monday, January 14, 2008

The Sal-Mobile

My car is a 1993 Chevy Lumina with 135,000+ miles on it, which I got free--FREE!!--from my favorite aunt when she traded up several years ago. I take great pride in the fact that not only is the Sal-mobile a semi-reliable means of transportation, it's also a statement. What it is stating is that I choose to have other priorities more important than a cool car. Of course, that's a bit of a stretch--after all, what could possibly not be cool about a "Euro" model with a spoiler? (Except, of course, that it's a spoiler tacked on the back of a 4-door Chevrolet sedan. It does, however, keep down the rear end when I'm powering through turns at 30 or 35 mph).

This hurts a bit. In high school and college, I drove a beautiful 1978 Mustang II Ghia with a 302 cubic inch V8 and a smoked glass sunroof. I was a car guy. Do you know how hard it is to be a car guy when your nicest vehicle is a 13-year-old minivan, and that's not the one you drive?

This past week, I thought it was finally over for the Sal-Mobile. The temp needle spiked and steam began coming from the engine. Not the radiator, or the top of bottom hose, but sort of a generic, engine-like area. Now obviously, when your car has zero resale value, there's a top-most limit to how much you'll spend on repairs. I was pretty sure this would be the job that forced me to buy another $500-1000 beater and drive IT into the ground. Well, my mechanic (a great guy named Phillip, who's been doing my repairs in his driveway since long before he opened his own shop) found a broken hose hidden where I didn't know one went. Thirty bucks, including the house call. I guess it's hard to keep a good clunker down.

Really, I can't complain. I've got power steering, power locks, power doors, cruise control, cold air, occasional heat, comfy seating for 5, cramped seating for 6, and, of course, the statement.

By the way, Becky says if I call it the Sal-Mobile, I have to have a super power. Well, first of all, Batman had a Batmobile, and he's got no powers. And secondly, I think making it for all these years without a payment is pretty super, all by itself.

11 comments:

bekster said...

Hey now, Batman still did cool stuff. However, the fact that you drive a car like the Sal-Mobile shows me that you are not going to afford the spandex suit and utility belt, much less any kind of specialty grappling hooks or hi-tech computer tracking equipment. Your "super power" should be something that fits your car, something like "fixing things with duct tape" or "looking inconspicuous in the 'hood"...

Of course, I can't really say anything. I used to drive a 16-year-old (at the time) mini-van to HIGH SCHOOL. It's a wonder I have any self-respect at all left (or love for my parents).

super Hubby said...

Just be thankful you don't drive the "Pimpdaddymobile"

C. S. Fox said...

I know!
We have gotten responsible in our young end of the beginning of middle age.
I have a 2004 chrysler that has an alter ego of a convertible.....
It dosen't get to have is top down much......
If it wasn't for ex-2 I would still not have a car payment....
I live & learn.....

Paul Murphy said...

Larry you do some good work in the "cheap" department, but you really can't beat a Murphy. In college, the premier of my coolness as a human being, I drove a 1992 Ford Aerostar Minivan XL. The rents handed it to me with 223,000 miles and I handed it back a year and a half later with 235,000 miles. People always invited me along to trips to Little Rock b/c I could fit all of their friends in my minivan. Last I drove it it had 258,000 and the transmition was on the verge of collapse. At one point it had a bead curtain in the "gunner" door.

Danny Baddeley said...

Heidi drove her 1981 Chevette until 2004. She would still have it today if an impatient teenager would not have parked his Saturn 2 feet into the engine. We called it the Blue Turd, but we loved it.

MichaelPolutta said...

I still drive my 1989 Mazda MX-6 GT with 238,000 miles, original clutch. My car is old enough to VOTE! It is the only new car I have ever bought. (All the others have been my wife's vehicles.)

She's been a GREAT car. I got almost 29 mpg on my last tank, and that's exclusively in Atlanta rush hour traffic.

Danny, you guys have the best (worst) car names ever. And you didn't even MENTION "The Booger."

Philip Murphy said...

If the Salmobile doesn't have superpowers, at the very least you should have a cool catch phrase every time you start the car... like...

Onward Ho! or
To The End of the Street, And Beyond!

Coach Sal said...

Wow--most comments ever for a blog post not about politics! I knew this would happen: "you think your car is crummy, well...." Still, it is a point of perverse pride for me that in 39 years of life (17 of them as a head of household), I have never owned a new car. And likely never will. Don't get me wrong, I do spend some money on other stuff. But make payments on a status symbol with wheels? NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.

bekster said...

Next time you should blog about bodily fluids. I don't know why, but people seem to think they're funny.

Tommy said...

You are the Man! I salute you and your no car-payment self! Both of our cars are paid for and I love it. They are better looking than your cars, but not by much. Lord willing I will never have a car payment again!

Lori Fitzgerald said...

SuperHubby is forgetting that the pimpdaddymobile was also free, as were our last 2 vans. Personally, I believe the free minivan may be quite possibly the most impressive car acquisition out there.

I agree with Becky - if you have a "mobile," you have to have a superpower, or at least really cool toys.

Hey - maybe your super power could be that you can cut things with the spikes in your super short hair. Or bore the ordinary, fabulous people, like me, with a single crack about politics. Now that Arthur is gone, I'm not sure what else you've got to offer.

Of course, there is that fantastic Salley grin.