I bought my 1992 Subaru Legacy wagon in July 2003, from a woman who lived about ten blocks from my apartment. It cost $2,000 and was the exact car I had wanted during my high school years, right down to the blue-green color. I had been without a car for 18 months and it was such a joy to have the freedom to come and go as I wanted.
In the nearly eight years that I owned it, that ’92 wagon was such a good car. It always turned on. Every single time. It got good gas mileage, never overheated and did just what I needed a car to do — carry my passengers, stuff and me from point a to point b. I also so appreciated the fact that it was cheap. I did have to spend some money on it from time to time, including a putting in a new transmission and two new clutches over the years, but compared to having a car payment (particularly through those lean grad school years), it was quite a bargain.
It did have its quirks and inconveniences though. The air conditioning hasn’t worked since the first summer I owned it. The interior door locks and latches were slightly broken, so that you had to hold the lock open while pulling the handle. This was a hard procedure to explain to people and often I’d end up hopping out of the car to open the doors for my passengers from the outside in order to avoid the confusion. It required two different keys to unlock and operate, despite the fact that it was only supposed to have one. Some of the exterior trim had fallen off (though I was still carrying it around in the back seat).
The roof directly above the driver’s head was shriveled so that it looked like a brain. The interior lights didn’t really work and did not illuminate when the doors were open. The driver’s seat belt was held together with duck tape and the driver’s seat fabric was beginning to shred to pieces. The hub cabs were long since gone. Ever so often the hood would come unlatched a little bit (not so much that it would fly open, but just enough that it would have to be gently clicked closed). And finally, it smelled ever so slightly of mold.
Huh. When you list it out like that, it sounds pretty wretched. And yet, I loved that car.
We’ve been talking about getting a new car for a while now. Last summer was ferociously hot and Scott and I were both ready for a car that had a more advanced air conditioning system than just a hearty breeze. A couple of months ago, we test drove a Ford Fiesta, but it just didn’t do it for us. And really, I’m a Subaru girl at heart. Other than a brief dalliance with a Ford Tempo in the mid-nineties, I’ve always been a Subaru girl.
Tonight we paid a visit to the Cherry Hill Subaru dealership. Just to look and test drive we told ourselves. Three hours later, we’d traded in my beloved ’92 wagon and had bought ourselves a 2011 Subaru Forester. It’s a sparky silver color and has a dark fabric interior. We got a fairly basic model, however compared to what we had before, it still feels super luxurious.
Here’s hoping that this new car will serve us even longer than that trusty Legacy did.