340 | 365 (Eulogy for a 1992 Subaru Wagon)

340 | 365

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.

10 thoughts on “340 | 365 (Eulogy for a 1992 Subaru Wagon)

  1. Lauren

    I totally understand – our Mazda truck is in almost the same boat. No interior lights, the key can’t open the passenger door from the outside, it idles at 25 miles an hour (which is embarrassing at stoplights), and sporadic heat. Yet, I love it.

    Enjoy your new ride!

    1. Marisa Post author

      That it was. You know, you guys were some of the only people who could ever figure out how to open the rear doors from the inside. A mark of superior intellect, if you ask me! 😉

  2. Diane

    Drive safely! I hope your new wheels take you on many exciting adventures. I am picturing a carseat in the back soon!

  3. Lily

    You’re going to LOVE the Forester. I have the 2008 model and it still feels like I drove it off the lot. 🙂

    1. Marisa Post author

      So far, I absolutely adore it. I haven’t taken a road trip in it yet, but I can’t wait to do some extended driving in it.

  4. Rose

    Marisa! Congrats…didn’t see this till your post on FIJ this morning! I too, am a Subaru girl at heart and had 226,000 miles on my Impreza before finally selling it privately – YES – it sold and on Craigslist for a mighty $600 after the dealer said he’d take it as a trade for $150-$200!!! I had dozens upon dozens of inquiries…they are highly desirable cars even old beaters like you and I had!!!

    Currently dallying in a used Honda Fit, because it Fit My Budget, but I can’t carry more than 800# in it!!! It’s a spunky little car and I’ve nicknamed her Hissy! Gotta name for the new Forrester?

    Congrats and drive it in good health and be safe!

    1. Marisa Post author

      It’s true Rose, the old car just had to go. I’m glad to hear that you got $600 for it on Craigslist, as that is precisely what I got from the dealer in trade (after much negotiating).

      We’ve decided to call this car “Moto.” I realize it’s not very original, but it just feels right to us.


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