Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Autobiography, Part 4: The Present

Last you heard, my 2nd 4Runner had been stolen.

Like something out of an ad

My dad, taking pity on me after having three cars stolen in three years, decided to offer me a bailout of sorts. He sold me his Jeep at a significantly below-market price. That was fall of 2004, and I've managed to hang onto it since then. For extra piece of mind, it's equipped with Lo-Jack's Early Warning System, which calls my cell phone if the car moves without the Lo-Jack keyfob present.

The Jeep has served me well over the years. With a relatively small lift and 33" tires, it's no taller than a stock fullsize pickup and makes a great city car. With 4.10:1 gears and ARB air-locking differentials in the axles and a 4:1 low-range transfer case it's quite the mountain goat. It's such a good match, that The Missus has forbidden me from ever selling it, no matter the justification; she knows that six months later, I'll just either want it back, or would just go buy a replacement Jeep (isn't she great?).


Speaking of The Missus, marriage to my lovely wife in May '05 brought her '00 Dodge Ram in to the fold. Her V6, 2wd, short-cab, short-bed pickup (basically as wide as it was long) never failed her in the 101k miles that she had it. Once you live with a truck, it's hard to give up the utility it offers. Finding a great deal on a drill press, giant suitcase and/or a stoplight at a garage-sale never presents a challenge.

Exterior 1

Between the Jeep and the Dodge, we never really had the ability to carry both people and things. That all changed with a semi-spur-of-the-moment response to a Craigslist ad for a 1967 Ford Country Sedan. There will be many more posts to come on The Wagon, but here are the basic facts: 390ci engine, seats for 10, needs lots of little things done, and it always starts (after a couple of tries).

Wagon in the Campsite

After I finished grad school at USC, it was off to the salt mines. Without giving up too much detail, The Missus and I commute from Glassell Park (just north-east of downtown LA) to Sylmar, and then Valencia. It's 45 miles one-way, which was a lot of miles to be racking up on a 101kmi Dodge pickup. Alas, the truck moved on a more purposeful life with a contractor down in South LA, and was replaced by a 2006 Subaru WRX wagon.

Our Subaru (2)

We couldn't be more happy with our purchase. Bought 1-year used with 8k miles in August 2007 for roughly $6k off the price of a new one, its now got creeping up on 60k miles. The blessing/curse of a compact sportwagon is that it's the right car to take for almost every trip. It'll haul four people and their snowboarding gear for a weekend no problem. Less burdened, it'll haul ass through some of southern California's best driving roads. Since we've had it, we have to make excuses to drive the other cars, because the WRXagon can pretty much do it all.

Wrapping up, I've got a mental image of the teacher turning on the lights after a riveting nature film, only to find the class half missing or asleep.

We've made it to the present fleet of cars...but I suppose there is one more thing I could bring up...

1 comment:

Braff said...

more info indeed... maybe some cross-posting with