She's gone. More revealing photos of her are here.
When we first met I wanted to keep her forever. My plans were to buy her surgical augmentations in the form of a more rigid suspension, a turbocharger and performance exhaust system. I would adorn her with jewelry such as fairings and wheel bing. I was going to strap on the helmet and take her to SCCA beauty contests for all to admire at regale at in her appearance and her performance. I was in love. Would it last?
Then it happened. On cold, snowy midwestern nights when I needed her most she said no. She told me no because it was that time of year. If I forced her to perform she only spun in circles, out of control. She was dangerous, unpredictable. After a few days when the slickness was gone and the roads dried she would be fun again. Let's go, she begged. Well, a guy can only take that kind of attitude for so many years before it's time to part ways.
A few days ago I began to head back to the bars, looking for a new date. I didn't tell her. I drove to the usual bars and found out that the type I was looking for were few and far between. I wanted one like my old one and nothing else would do. Another thing I wanted to avoid was a long courtship, one where I needed to pay for expensive dinners once a month. My type is called a CILF, a Car I'd Love To Find. One that is older, broken in but still had that youthful appearance. So I headed to the older bars where the older ones were looking for newer guys. Ran into a lot of skanks, sluts and way to many that had been abused.
Then I saw her. She was beautiful. The same age as my sports model. She looked as good too. The last guy really took good care of her. What a sight. Being familiar with this model I looked for wear in, you know, those hidden places that would show her age. She looked ageless. A bit older than the one I had but not very much more mileage.
I took her out for a spin. It was love again. When we arrived back at the CILF bar I told the bartender I would evenly swap my sleek sporty girl for his sturdy gal with the nice rubber. Even up, tit for tat. We wheeled, we dealed, we went back and forth but no, he wouldn't budge. He wanted an extra two grand tossed in. Nope, I walked away. Driving the my hot gal home I gave it a lot of thought. After considering everything, he was offering a fair deal for what I would be getting. She had much more to offer and was in as good of a shape as the one I cared for and took care of so much.
Arriving home I called him and offered to meet him halfway. If I could come in with some extra cash but not as much as he was looking for would we have a deal? Sure, c'mon in he said. Happy dance time.
Look, here's the story.
When my old Jeep began to crap out at 120,000 miles it was time for a new one. The wife begged me not to buy another Jeep or truck. She didn't like driving them. Why not get a regular car this time. I don't like 'regular' cars I replied. Her response was why not get something sporty? So I did.
The Mazda MX5 (nee, Miata) was a real treat. I loved it. Always lusted after old MG's and Triumphs. I finally had a better equivalent in as much as it was new, employed modern technology and was very attractive. And she performed. There were those days with the top down heading through those country twisties without a care. She was nearly impossible to flip over. Once past second gear the acceleration was pleasingly responsive through sixth gear. Had her up over 100 mph a few times. It was sweet.
I am now back where I belong, being a Jeeper.
After test driving this 2006 model it had all the feel and drive of a new car. The paint, the engine, the underbody were all nearly new, just like the 2008 Mazda I took such great care of. Plus, this Jeep has new rubber AND a new ragtop. The interior is a bit more luxurious than my old Jeep. Unlike the old gal, this one will perform in all weather along in all road and off road conditions.
With this Jeep there are a few after market goodies too such as the Smittybuilt bumpers, side rock guards, light guards, road lights and a wired 2" Reese trailer hitch.
Time will tell if buying this used vehicle pays off. I haven't bought a used vehicle since high school and swore I would never do so again. This one just feels right, it's a trade and not an upgrade or downgrade in age condition or financially. New brakes are a possibly, an unforeseen mechanical issue are to be expected but otherwise I'm betting on getting another 50,000 carefree miles and 5 years without making any payments.
One thing I am not fond of is the automatic transmission. But it also has cruise control so the wife likes driving it a lot more than any of my old Jeeps.
Compromise can be a good thing when all are pleased. Maybe that's why we have been married thirty six years.