Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Good Car is Hard to Find

In the new genre of pieces lamenting lost Sentras, established recently (as far as I know) by Julia, to whom I also owe this title, I offer my own grief.

At least Seb, who was fittingly named by Ilana, is going to a good new home with Ilana (I never called or thought of my car by its name until right now.), but transferring the title was more emotional than I anticipated. I've had that car for just under 8 years and just under 100,000 miles. It took me to St. Louis and back, to Maine, to North Carolina and Tennessee.

It was a model car with very few problems, despite it's age--a radiator something at some point, occasionally the battery would die and I never found out why (about three times in as many years, nothing very recently), a belt broke (and my dad and I--mostly my dad--fixed it in 32 degree weather--that is one tough engine to figure out), the heat shield came lose, which made a racket, but caused no problems (so we lived with the racket rather than paying to have it removed). Really it was the best car ever; our new (two-year old) car, for contrast, has already had to go to the shop twice and now someone hit it, so it will have to go back again. And because I bought the Sentra with a couple of scrapes, I never minded when I or anyone else (Francisco) added to the collection.

I didn't bump it too often--once I (gently) hit the metal that protects the gas tanks from cars at a gas station. I must have hit something else once or twice, but I don't really remember. Frankly, it's incredible that I didn't hit more things given the craziness of drivers on Lancaster Avenue. I routinely barely escaped with my life.

The car was small and comfortable and could take me really fast, like when I got a ticket for going 86, which thankfully I got waved since it carried the legal stigma equal to prostitution (some sort of misdemeanor). The car came without cruise control, which is why I got that ticket, driving alone at night on an empty road, listening to a basketball game.

And I loved the color. Neither Hopkins, from whom I bought it (for way too little money, if memory serves), nor Ilana, who gets it after me, like the color very much, but I think it's fantastic--one of my favorites. I wish I could take a swatch of paint with me.

If we didn't have a kid, I think I'd advocate just buying another Sentra. An experience like that one makes me wish to only ever drive Sentras again. But its small size, so comfortable, and yet Francisco and I would always bump elbows, has become a liability. Francisco also claims it's not cross-country-drive worthy anymore, although I'd beg to differ. 


Hopkins said...

Awwww! I'm so glad Seb was such a good car for you! Illana, take good care of him!

Diana Hayes said...
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Myrrh said...

Sad! The end of an era. (We finally sold my old crv right before our move - and not without some emotional moments on my part, including one final solo drive listening to "a little giddy!")
But. My favorite part about your car was when your first got it, and bragged to whichever boy was at LIttle Gidding at the time, "I just bought a car!" His response was the very natural "what kind of car?" And you froze with a little panic in your eyes, then a moment of relief as you remembered: "a green one. It's a green car." Which filled my sister and me with joy, since the car was, in fact, blue. (Or was it the other way around?)

Emily Hale said...

Ah! Well--I didn't mention that the Sentra's cd player died at the beginning of a 14 hour drive to St. Louis, so I haven't listened to A Little Giddy in forever and need to dig it out now that we have a functioning cd player again!

Haha--it was teal! But not really green.

That reminds me of the time that someone asked me where I worked at a party and I froze up because I couldn't remember and was then relieved to declare, "I'm a student!"

I'm sorry for your loss--that car took me to a lot of masses back in the day!