Mag’s Wheels

My parents bought me my first car ever when I was a sophomore or junior in high school, I’d say 1981/82. They spent $750 on a ’75 Monte Carlo. It was dark brown with an off-white vinyl hardtop. It was a two door model, each door being approximately 6 feet long and weighing 500 pounds. I had to sit on a couch cushion to see over the steering wheel and needed binoculars to see to the end of the hood. It was a giant pimp car, which I told my mother and she said if I kept whining I would never drive any car again. I used to leave the keys in the car wherever I went hoping against hope that it would be stolen. Of course, it wasn’t because who the hell would want that car?

This is not my actual car, that I know of, but it is identical.
This is not my actual car, that I know of, but it is identical.

When I went away to college my parents sold that car. They were punishing me for some reason.

I didn’t have a car in college because my school was in a village and I didn’t need one. I didn’t have one for the three years I lived in Boston after college. Boston has the T and nowhere to park so I didn’t need a car there either.

When I moved back to Portland in 1990, I got the first car that I had to pay for, a 1989 Honda Accord.

Again, not my car but close enough.
Again, not my car but close enough.

I loved my little gold Honda Accord. The headlights flipped up when turned on so that was pretty spiffy. I had that car when I got married the first time. I remember filling it up with wedding gifts to be returned, eventually winding up with a trunk full of stuff that I couldn’t figure out where it had been purchased. One lovely spring day, I played hooky from work and went garden shopping with my mom. I realized as we were pulling our wagon up to the car to put all the plants in the trunk that it was full of wedding gifts. Oh dang! I opened the trunk and Voila! Someone had gone into my car, which was never locked, and had taken all the gifts so I could put the plants in! Win. WIN!

After having two kids, I realized in 2000 that I needed a bigger car to hold all the gear. I got a 1998 Ford Explorer.

Still not my actual car but make model color, my car.
Still not my actual car but make model color, my car.

It was more like a truck but got me where I wanted to go. No real good stories from this car (and I understand that you may not have considered the other car stories “real good”). This car had a key pad to open the car so I didn’t need to bring my keys into the gym with me (that tells you how long ago I had this car….the “gym” …..riiiigghhtt). One day I went out to open the car and the combination wouldn’t work and I was stuck at the gym! I called Mitch and told him about this fiasco and he said he would come get me and then I looked up and realized, I was trying to get into the wrong car.

In 2006, I went out to lunch with my pal Danni who wanted to look at an Acura MDX. I went along for the ride and wound up buying a 2003 Volvo XC 70 wagon. I loved that car. I had the old Volvo until March 6, the day we left for Nevis. That day the transmission light came on, the car gasped its way into the driveway and I said, “I’ll deal with that when I get home.”

Upon returning from Nevis, I had to figure out what to do with the dead Volvo in the driveway and figure out a new car. Salesman Derwood was working on the new car deal and what sort of trade in, etc. I went on Craigslist to see what Volvo XC70s were going for and saw an ad:

Looking for a Volvo XC 70. Must have clear title, less than 170,000 miles, and be broken, preferably the transmission or timing belt. Prefer a car owned by anyone named Maggie.

It didn’t say the Maggie part but other than that, that was the ad and I sold the damn thing for $1500.

FINALLY, yesterday I got my first ever NEW car! It’s a 2015 Ford Escape just like my pal Janet’s in SF!

My actual car. My actual new car.
My actual car. My actual new car.

My Ford Escape has Bluetooth in it and all my phone contacts are in the little whatever thing in the car and I can just say, “Call Katie Denver” and it calls her! I can ask for directions and it will give them to me. And and and….it has Sirius satellite radio free for 6 months. Sure, they are just getting me hooked knowing that I will pay for it after six months. This means that I never need listen to anything other than 70’s, 80’s and Frank Sinatra music for the rest of my days.

Which, as it turns out, is very similar to what I listened to in that ’75 Monte Carlo.



21 thoughts on “Mag’s Wheels

  1. Woo hoo! My first car was a Maverick and my Daddy painted it orange with a Starsky and Hutch white stripe, then a Mustang, then a Charger–all used, my Dad was a whiz at fixing up cars (inside and out), so I had some bada*s cars, Mags. I got my new car last year — a white Honda Accord with all the bells and whistles, moonroof. You can most likely mash your button for Siri on your iPhone (if you have an iPhone) and tell her to text anyone in your contacts. It’s like the Jetsons or something.

    I have ALWAYS wanted a Volvo station wagon. I love the way they look and I bet you were sad to see her go, but now you’ve got that big roomy new one and you’ll make lots of memories. And, that new car smell thing. 🙂

    1. I loved that Volvo but they are a pain to maintain. Getting a new car on lease is the best because the maintenance costs are built into the monthly payment! How exciting is that? Not that exciting. I’m getting old 🙂

  2. My husband and I just bough our first car together, an Acura RDX. He’s a car snob and had owned a brand new car before but it was a first for me. New car smell really IS a thing! Who knew?!

    Also the whole experience almost gave me ulcers because hubs loves to negotiate and I hate it more than almost anything on this planet. It took us 4 days to buy that damn car and I better own it for the rest of my natural life.

  3. My parents had a 1973 Monte Carlo in silver with a LANDAU top … So sophisticated and stylish. I learned to drive in that car and thought it was pretty damned fancy with its 8 track.

  4. Addie

    name her stella, teach the family to sound like marlon brando, put a basket of cheap white tshirts next to the door and you’re ready.

    “der, hon, where are you going?”. “why, i’m taking STE(rip off the shirt)LLLLAAAAA to fred’s for some groceries.”

    “okay, snoodlebunnikins! remember, no carbs! it’s still lent!!”


  5. H. M. Stuart


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    www aleksandreia com

    Alexandria might also be the perfect place in which to write about issues and interests which may not yet be an ideal fit for your current blog.

    If you think you might be interested in becoming a Resident Author, let me know and I’ll forward our formal invitations for you to look over and return, if you decide to proceed.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  6. For me owning my first car was so empowering. Going where I wanted when I wanted, yep that was the life. That was until everyone I knew wanted to be picked up or dropped off, even when I am bone tired. I don’t have a car right now and that is all right by me. A new car will certainly mean new rules.

  7. Pingback: Mag’s Wheels | raquel91407's Blog

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