Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I've driven more than my fair share of junky cars.  My first car was a 1994 Geo Prizm with less resale value than a used Twix wrapper.  In college I drove a 1997 Chevy Blazer without air conditioning or any mirrors.  And as recently as last year I drove a 1995 Ford Bronco with two steering wheels. (Okay, that was kind of awesome.) And I was proud to drive those cars.  Not because I'm a glutton for punishment, but because it makes for a lot of fun stories.  Plus I never had to worry about scratches or dents or dings (or duct tape repairs).

My newest addition to the list is no exception.  I am now the proud owner of a 1993 Acura Legend.  As is the case with all the other cars, the main reason I drive the Legend is its price.  And that price was nothing.  I will always choose a free car that embarrasses my wife over a car I can't afford that saves my ego (dignity is way overrated anyway).

But I'm particularly proud of this car.  Because I actually had a hand in fixing it up.  With the help of my father-in-law and a detailed repair book, we replaced the fuel injection o-rings and cushion rings, replaced the battery, and used duct tape as a substitute for the rubber stopper under the brake light switch that had dry-rotted over the last 9 months.  And the day before doing that, I could only have identified the battery among those parts.

I have absolutely no knowledge of cars.  My automotive expertise extends as far as what I learn from Adam Savage's side notes on Mythbusters.  I couldn't tell you the difference between a piston and a valve or the difference between an axle and a strut.  But I can follow instructions.  So I spent a good four hours under the hood, on the ground, and upside-down replacing fuses and slicing up my knuckles on the brake pedal mechanics.  And we got a car running that wasn't running at the beginning of the day.  So if I can't take pride in my ride, at least I can take pride in making it my ride.

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