I got an ol’ used car
and it runs just like a top
I get the feelin’ it ain’t
Ever gonna stop
— the prophets clark and crowell
I own an ’88 honda civic. it’s old and battered, like me. 250,000 miles. it’s time for a new car. lots of little issues and increasingly worrisome to drive. money isn’t a problem, and technology over 30 years has made new cars an entirely different creature, clearly worth the investment.
but i truly love this car. we’ve been friends for half my life, from the day it was a baby car.
i’m looking at buying a new honda fit. nudge under $20,000. bluetooth, fancy things like “air bags” and “air conditioning” and “power steering” as well as rear view camera and gizmo to keep you in your lane and the assurance that it’s new so you don’t have to worry about the wheels falling off on the daily 15 mile freeway commute.
but then it hits me. what if i took the money and got my car restored instead? an ’88 honda is like an old farm truck. motor, transmission wheels and a seat. not complicated at all. i am lucky enough to have a mechanic i trust who also restores cars. he says he can do the whole thing. interior, exterior, mechanical stuff.
i’m guessing it will cost almost as much as buying a new car, and an ’88 honda in mint condition is worth about 700 bucks.
but i don’t want a new car. i want my car. i don’t want to abandon an old friend until i must.
my head says it’s time for a new car.
my heart says i already know the answer.