Thursday, January 8, 2004

Fifteen Faithful Years

The Mustang went into the shop for repairs today, so for for the next week I’ll be back in my faithful 1988 Pontiac 6000 LE Safari wagon.

Taken in Albuquerque in 1998

I bought it on January 7, 1989 from Cherry Capital Hertz Auto Sales in Traverse City, Michigan, where my dad found it when he was looking for fleet cars for his sales staff. It had 5,286 miles on it, and I paid $12,500 for it. It now has 237,500 miles on it. It’s been in semi-retirement since last summer, and next year it will go into A Auto Tech for a complete ground-up restoration.

Okay, you ask, why restore a rather unremarkable station wagon? Well, I’ve always liked wagons. I guess it has something to do with fond memories of trips when I was a kid to northern Michigan in the summer for vacations on the lake or in winter for skiing at Boyne Mountain. For you psychology majors, the Pontiac is an updated version of my mom’s 1967 Ford Country Squire – same color and fake woodgrain – which was the car I took my driver’s license test in 1968. It even has a cassette version of the first 8-track tape my mom bought for it: Dave Brubeck’s Time Out. So, maybe it’s a throw-back to my childhood, just as the Mustang is a reminder of my high school and college years. Not that I’d like to re-live them…but it’s a nice reminder.

Thanks, Pontiac, for fifteen good years, and here’s to another fifteen or more.