Friday, April 03, 2009
200 Grand and counting
It was episode 11, season 17 of The Simpsons. Principal Skinner gazes out the window of his office, to his car. It is, we learn, a 1995 Toyota Camry. 1995 was, according to Seymour Skinner, a good year for the Camry.
When I saw this the first time a laughed. I was proud owner of a 1995 Toyota Camry. I am still owner of this car, and today it turned over 200,000 miles (I-15 Southbound at the north Lehi exit).
I have put a fair bit of money into preventative maintenance for this car. But when I try to think of what has broken then been repaired, I come up blank. Do light bulbs count? The brakes needed work, but that was wear, not failure. Same with the struts. Try as I might, I can't think of a single repair of the "it broke" variety that has set me back more than 20 bucks.
The best $400 I put into this car was for a trailer hitch and a 4 by 8 utility trailer from Harbor Freight. Picture this. 800 pounds of "stuff" in the trailer. 12 hours of driving, across the Salt Flats and Nevada, over Donner's pass, then to Oakland, CA. Even with the trailer, I did better than 30 miles to the gallon. The car took it all in stride - just another day's work, just another commute.
As I once said to a friend, if you can't do it with four cylinders, it isn't worth doing. And the Malkuth-mobile has 2.2 liters of smooth, determined power running through a 5 speed manual gear box. Put it on Cruise Control and drive to the edge of the earth.