Personal | Just A Car

1990 Nissan Maxima

I remember the day I came home and saw that my dad had bought this car.   It was 1990.  We pulled up the driveway and there it was.  We were so impressed–it had air conditioning, a stereo, electric windows and door locks, totally rad keyless entry, and it smelled fantastic.  The only other car I’d known that my dad had owned in my lifetime was a bright yellow 1980 Toyota Tercel, and it didn’t have any of the aforementioned luxuries.  The Tercel was pretty awful, actually.  Plastic seats that stuck to your legs in the South Carolina summertime.  No stereo (we used a Walkman that we rigged up with external speakers).  Did I mention the awful electric banana yellow color?  And the A/C barely worked–when it finally gave out, my dad bought this Nissan.

I know this isn’t the coolest car ever.  I’m not even sure it’s cool at all.  But I learned how to drive in this car.  I drove all over the place for years going to music gigs–the trunk is huge, great for sound equipment, suitcases and all that.  Once we had to drive through a horrible winter snowstorm with four or five inches of snow on the interstate and had not a single problem.  This car never broke down once in the 22+ years I knew it.  Yeah the windows didn’t roll down anymore, and the stereo speakers in the back were the only ones that worked, but who cares.  It was a great car, and on the very last day I had this car, it still had that great smell it had on the first day.

You might’ve guessed I traded this car in for a new car (more-or-less new anyway).  I was surprised how sad I was to drive away from the old Nissan when we left it at the dealer after trading it for the new car (I couldn’t believe they gave me even a single dollar for it).  The new car is great:  great stereo, windows that roll up and down, remote control door locks, hippy hybrid engine, and it looks pretty good.  It’s just not the same, though.

Maybe in 20 years I’ll love the new car like I did the old one.

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