I’ve had my car since I was 23. So for the last 13 years I have driven the same car. For me, that doesn’t seem that weird and it wouldn’t be if my car had been brand new when I got it. But it wasn’t. It was already 14 years old. I drive a 1990 Toyota Corolla and I call her Carrito (little car). She was born in September of 1989 in Canada. I imagine she was a shiny white with a glistening black bumper. She only had one previous owner before me who took great care of her. When she came to me at the ripe age of 14 she had close to 70,000 miles on her odometer, now she’s up to 137,000. She’s been lightly used for short commutes to train stations and mostly garage living which has helped her maintain her youthfulness.
To say that she is reliable is an understatement. She has never stranded me anywhere at least not without letting me know something was wrong like the battery was dying or I left the lights on. She is a bit quirky and since I love lists here are her quirks:
- The locks were getting harder and harder to unlock so about 5 years ago, I stopped locking her.
- The trunk only opens with a key and it’s tricky – my hubby can’t do it.
- The gas cover also only opens with a key and its a separate key from the ignition/trunk key, its also tricky but since I get gas 12 times a year (last year it was 11) it’s not the worst.
- She doesn’t have power anything, except for steering. Yup I have to roll the window down old school.
- She’s zippy around town but getting on the highway is a bit of a challenge. 0-60 in five minutes flat.
- Also once you’re on the highway 60 mph is good but she starts to shake a bit at 70 mph , did I mention I have a 10 minute commute that doesn’t involve highways?
- She gets inspected every year and typically she costs me about $300-$400 a year but that’s usually all I spend in a year.
- I change her oil about twice a year and no, I don’t refill her oil regularly either.
- The heat and air conditioning both work and she still gets quite cold with the a/c but only on full blast. The lower settings stopped working about two years ago.
Overall she is easily the best $2,000 ever spent. She costs me about $2,000 a year including: gas, insurance and maintenance. Not too shabby huh? I think for the most part, most people are flabbergasted that I drive such an old car. But why would I get rid of something that has been so good to me?
I do fear the day to say goodbye is near, but I love the shit out of this car and drive her proudly everyday.