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July 21, 2007

I Didn't Buy My Car, My Car Bought Me

Girlphyte By Sue Van Der Hout -
I think that there's a car for every age and every stage. When we were first married, we were consumed with economy.  Then we had kids and we were consumed with safety.  Then the kids got bigger and the size of the car became an issue. As the kids got bigger so did the cars.  We maxed out with a van and stayed there for a long long time.  We can't get rid of it.  Every time we think about it someone needs to move something and we haul it out. When we die, the van is going with us.

Suddenly, life changed.  We were kids again.  The boys had grown up and bought their own cars. It was time for my husband and I to strike out on our own and buy "our" cars.
Because my older son lives and breathes cars, he was charged with the responsibility of coming up with a short list of "cars for mom".  First on his list was a Mustang (wishful thinking) and next was a Lexus sports car, the upper middle-class lux car of the moment.

The Lexus salesman and I didn't connect.  I don't think he was used to selling to women, especially women under five- foot- two, with six-foot personalities.  He really didn't ask me what I wanted, but tried to sell me. No deal.  Ask, don't tell.

As we turned to leave, a car caught my eye. It beckoned to me.  It was black, it was sleek, and powerful - a 2001 Firehawk, out of production, few on the road.  An orphan vehicle.  No more relatives. Iconic.  The dream of small-towners who wanted to drive Main Street. Totally impractical - a T. top, a hassle in summer and with rear wheel drive, a challenge for Canadian winter roads.  It had been babied.  Low mileage, high maintenance.  I bought it. Just like that.

When I need to climb over the snow, I still have the van.  But when I want to fantasize about living life on the open road, I have my baby. It even has its own website:  It tells me that there are only 48 Firehawks in Canada.  Yummy.  All the mechanics at my GM dealership love my car.  A couple of them own one.  We're related.      

My next car will be the "I'm an adult and I'm responsible", but for the next couple years, I'm the girl from the small town who can still rev at 50.  I'm driving the batmobile.

By Sue Van Der Hout of
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