My Automotive History

So, I stole this idea from www.15q.net, which is a cool website about mostly license plates across the nation. However, one section, the author put down all of his cars, beginning with his first. So, I'm stealing the idea! I wonder who else might do this with me? :D (Btw, I don't have pictures for all the cars scanned, so I'll put in some pictures from the internet as fill-in.)

My first car of my own - 1982 Buick Electra Limited

(By the way, not my car, but pretty darn close. I'll see if I can change the picture with a scan of my Buick later)

 This was a grandma car, literally. The original owners had bought it new in 1982 as a closeout special. They had had the engine rebuilt two years before I bought it, had the interior redone a year before. In other words, I was getting a car that was nearly brand new for $1200. The downside was that we had to immediately put it into the shop for $1200 worth of transmission repairs and the seat transmission (to move it forwards and backwards) went out in 2001, necessitating me to drive from nearly the back seat for the last year I owned it. When gas got to $1.75 a gallon, I couldn't afford the 14 miles to the gallon that I was getting. We sold it for $1 to a family that needed good transportation and a reliable one at that. A good first car.

Owned: June, 2002-July, 2002
Miles Driven: Approximately 50,000 - the speedometer broke shortly after we bought it b/c of a faulty wire. Disposition: Sold to another family in Mableton, GA

2nd Car - 1992 Mercury Tracer

Again, not the real car, but close.

I HATED this car. Dad found it for me from one of his friends at NAMB and we bought it for around $1500. The engine was underpowered, the steering horrible, and, as you can see from the above picture,  everything was plastic. It was not a car that was built for a 6'1'' person, and was often in danger of being blown off the interstate by crickets and grasshoppers. Most of the time, it was running on three cylinders because it would burn through spark plug wires, and most important...IT WOULDN'T DIE. I tried many times to kill the engine in this thing. Give it to Ford for finally building the indestructible engine. Even though it would burn oil, I wouldn't put any in and hardly ever took it to get an oil change. It would finally ping when it would be ready for another quart. What finally killed it was getting rear-ended by another person in Carrollton who was going around 35 and didn't hit her brakes. The whole rear end of the car was crushed, the trunk deck was lifted around an inch, and the rearview mirror popped off with so much force that it took an entire piece of glass from the outside with it.

Owned: July 2002 - September 2004
Miles Driven: No idea, but too many for my tastes.
Disposition: Totaled and sent to a junk yard in Ranburne, AL

3rd Car - 1978 Mercedes-Benz 300D

The most amazing car known to mankind.

This was and still is my all-time favorite car. I still talk about it at least once a week and still have a heart and longing for another one. We had a 1982 300D as a family car in the mid-90s that Nathan had a wreck in and was totaled. We had another 2 D-model Mercedes from 1996-2002, one of which was another 300, and the other was a 240. When the opportunity to have whatever car I could find for $1500 came up, I began to look for another 300D for myself. This beauty was what I found. A perfect body, but needed some light work underneath the hood and in the suspension. It had the Euro headlights, plether blue interior, and the original radio was still in it. I was hoping that this would be my long-term project car, but unfortunately, the original engine gave out at 340,000 miles, cracking two of the five cylinders while I was driving to work one day in Carrollton. We tried to sell it for a while, but it just sat. Sadly, in late 2006 I sold it for a parts car. Even more sad, I never registered it with Mercedes or wrote down the VIN number, so I won't ever be able to come across the chassis if I wanted to.

Owned: October 2004 - September 2006 (ran until April 2005)
Miles Driven: close to 100,000.
Disposition: Engine busted, sold to a junk dealer in Western North Carolina

4th Car - 1995 Mazda Millenia 

For a while, I didn't have any car to drive consistently. I drove a 1995 Dodge Spirit that had been my Mamaw's, then Dad's. However, Dad gave it to BJ without telling me or letting me have a say! I drove Dad's 1995 Toyota Paseo convertible for a while, all the time trying to save up enough money to buy a car. This one was not a bad car overall, but not a great one, either. Bought this through Craigslist in Blairsville for $1200. I only owned this for a short while because it spat smoke like it was a chimney. Apparently, the V6 model of this car had a problem with the scrubbers that were installed, but it cost quite a bit to get down to them so you could fix it. Instead of dealing with that, we sold it so that we could get something a little better and more dependable. Funny enough, I made money on the sale of it, selling it for $1500!

Owned: March 2007 - September 2007
Miles Driven: About 10,000.
Disposition: Sold to a guy in the Atlanta area.

5th Car - 2007 Hyundai Accent GLS 

This was my first brand new car ever. We bought it at Cartersville Hyundai (which, sadly, is out of business) for around $10,000. It was a fun little car, but that was the problem: little. When Tasha and I found out that we were having twins, we realized that we needed something much larger pronto. Thankfully, the resale value had stood up rather well and we were able to get more than we owed for it when we traded it in for our first van (see 7th car).

Owned: September 2007 - September 2011
Miles Driven: Slightly more than 40,000.
Disposition: Traded in at Capital BGC in Marietta, GA.

6th Car - 2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 

(unfortunately, we don't have a good picture of our Sonata, but it looked exactly like this)

The infamous 'trim piece' car...we bought this car when gas went over $4 a gallon. Tasha had a 2004 Honda CR-V (a car we should have kept) that was killing us on gas at the time. We traded that in for this car, and were pleased with it while we drove it. A good and roomy car, it did lack a bit under the hood, but it was a sedan and a new one at that. The problem for us was that right before we traded it in for our second van (see car 8), the back window exploded on us because of the heat. While all of us have heard of this before, I don't think any of us have ever seen it happen. When we took it to the dealership (because we were still well under the 50,000 mile warranty), we were told that the back window was only covered in the 10,000 mile warranty because it was a TRIM PIECE. I was seeing red. Needless to say, we quickly decided that since Hyundai couldn't actually stand behind what they stated their warranty was, we couldn't own any of their vehicles. We traded this car in after about a month of getting it fixed.

Owned: November 2007 - October 2011
Miles Driven: 48,000
Disposition: Traded in at Capital BGC in Marietta, GA

7th Car - 2004 Honda Odyssey EX-L

This is one of our current vehicles. We bought this because we needed something to bring the boys home in, and this really fit our needs. I told Tasha that if we were going to get a van, the only kind that I wanted was a Honda. She found this one at Capital for a song, and on top of it, it has all of the bells and whistles that one could ask for. It was just at 103,000 when we bought it (we've put on around 11,000 going between Blue Ridge and other places in it), and runs very smooth. Leather seats, heated seats, CD player, DVD player, 2-zone AC/Heat, side and front airbags, 4 captain chairs, and a tape deck. :D

Owned: September 2011 - Present
Miles Driven: 11,000 so far
Disposition: Still own

8th car - 2005 Honda Odyssey EX

(no new pics of the van yet - will edit soon)

We got this van after the Sonata fiasco, but also because we realized that we needed another vehicle that Tasha could get into the back of if the boys needed us. Since Joshua came home from NICU and on an apnea monitor, we had to be sure he was breathing. This is pretty much a bottom-of-the-line Odyssey, but it still has cruise control, a CD player (which we had to replace immediately after buying because the laser didn't work. Thankfully the dealership we bought it from paid for the Pioneer system we have in it now), and also room for 8. It's got a bit more pep than the 04, but it does sometimes ride a bit rougher than the other van. This is likely because it needs better tires than what came on it when we first bought it.

Owned: October 2011 - present
Miles Driven: Around 8,000
Disposition: Still own

Hopefully this will be the last vehicles for a while! More later!