A few years ago we outgrew our minivan. We could no long fit our family and stuff (stuff like groceries) in it at the same time. Matt’s parents still had Matt’s childhood van sitting unused in their driveway. We asked them if they would be willing to let us take it off of their hands and they obliged.
As you can see, it needed some work (a long spell in the dry heat of New Mexico helped). We replaced the air conditioning (a must in the desert), replaced the wheels, the leaf springs in the back, gave it a lift and tinkered here and there every time a problem came up.
Problems like when the starter wouldn’t work and I lived with a steering column on my kitchen counter for who knows how long.
Or the time that we were leaking fuel and had to make sure we parked facing downhill in order to guarantee that the van would start. I have never been so grateful for Matt’s willingness to fix our cars for us than when that happened. What would have cost us thousands of dollars in a shop turned out to be a 25 cent o-ring that needed replaced.
Some people think that we are crazy for driving around this puppy. It certainly isn’t the prettiest thing on the road, but it big enough to hold our family, several sheets of plywood, a stroller and a ton of groceries at the SAME TIME! Not only that but since it’s a diesel we get great fuel economy and since the vast majority of carbon emissions a vehicle creates happens when it is manufactured (not when it is driven) than the “greenest” think you can do is buy used and drive that beater until the end of your days.
Another think I love about it is because it’s so old (1985 I believe) there is very little electronics in it. We have power locks and windows but that is about it. Any time something breaks Matt can be counted on to fix it! No “computer machine” to mess with.
The van loved New Mexico. Moving to New Jersey has given us a new set of challenges. Namely, rain and snow. You can imagine the havoc damage the precipitation in this area will have on our rusty old van. The roof was already leaking. We needed to fix the rust etc. before winter set it.
That time came last week.
The van that we so lovingly named “Cousin Eddie” (a bulging, beast of a van in a blue leisure suit) is no longer.
She has been spit polished and let me tell you she cleans up nice!
We had the rust fixed, the dents taken out, painted and a new windshield put in.
I no longer feel like I’m getting glares of death every time I drive into a parking lot full of Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW’s. Which is pretty much everywhere (what is the deal with people trading in their car every year anyway?)
But you still shouldn’t ask me to back up.