When I started work at IBM in January of 1990 (yes, it's been 18 years now...but that's a topic for another blog entry) I was driving a 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Sedan DeVille. It was powder blue on the outside with white leather seats and boasted a 126" wheelbase (distance between wheels). It also had a 500 engine.
1976 History and Specs
Someday when I come across a pic of it, I'll show it to you. It's a long story why I was driving that car (and a 1966 Coupe DeVille before that), but that's also a topic for another blog entry.
What I wanted to talk about in this entry is my 1991 Acrua Integra. You see, I was driving around the Klingon Battlecruiser as Rick once called it, and I was getting ready to start work at IBM RTP in April of 1991, and Dad wanted to make sure I had a reliable car to drive. We'd rebuilt the engine in the Cadillac after an overheat ruined it, and it was never the same. Also, the gas was cheaper than now, but not cheap! That 500 could really burn up some gas. So, Dad took me car shopping. I drove Ford Probes, Honda Accords, Pontiac Trans Ams, Dodge Intrepids, etc. Dad really wanted me to get the Accord, but they weren't sporty enough for me in 1991. I had to have a spoiler, and the car had to be blue. We compromised on the Acura Integra which has a Honda engine but was way sportier than the Accord. Dad threw in an extra $3000 so I could get it in blue (only the high end GS came in blue), and it was a done deal. Sun roof, CD player, spoiler, 30mpg, it was GREAT! I'll always have Dad to thank for being patient with me and steering me in the right direction with that car.
I drove the heck out of that car until Rick moved from Concord to Willow Spring. It was 150 miles each way between IBM RTP and his house in Concord, and I drove back and forth a lot.
The car continued to serve me well commuting from Willow Spring to IBM at Regency Parkway in Cary and then to IBM RTP. However, when Joey came along, it was just too hard to get him in and out of the backseat. We could just barely squeeze the carseat in the middle behind the two front seats. It hurt my back and wrists getting him in and out. In 2003, we ended up buying the Honda CR-V and the Acura became a secondary car.
In the last few months, Rick and I realized that we were out of room to park cars. With his work van, small trailer, big trailer, and the Honda CR-V and now Odyssey, there just wasn't any room to park the Acura and not enough opportunities to drive the Acura, so Rick washed it up and put it up for sale.
Except for a sparkplug coming loose on 2 separate occassions and making me pull off the road, and another couple of times that the car just would not start after being flooded? I don't think that car ever left me stranded. It continued to get great mileage. We had the AC converted so we could keep cool in it. The engine and transmission were still in good shape.
We sold the Acura on 12/31/07 for $1500 with nearly 264,000 miles on it. In a way I was really sad to see it go. That car was really good to me, and like all good chapters in life, they are hard to close. But mostly I was ready to move on. And besides, I have another blue car now;-)