I can’t remember exactly when my parents bought the white Toyota Corona station wagon that stayed in our family until 1990, but that alone should point to how long we drove it. I know for sure we had it when we lived in California, which was the late 70s, so well over 10 years.
In its later years, that car earned the nickname of Sloppy Jalopy, mostly because when the paint chipped and it started to rust, the sides of the car had these giant Rustoleum blobs at random intervals. Or maybe there was just one and my mind is making it worse than it really was.
That car made trips from California to Nebraska to Alabama to Nebraska to Montana, where we finally let it go with I’m sure close to 200,000 miles on it. I don’t remember it breaking down a lot, but it wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure.
So it’s only fitting that my car is turning into my very own Sloppy Jalopy. I don’t have any paint chipping–yet–but my little jalopy and I have logged 125,000 miles together, and it’s getting to the point where little things are breaking. Like my locks. And my gas cap. And if I want to merge on the highway at a decent speed, I have to engage “turbo speed,” AKA turn off the air conditioner. And with the locks broken, I’m half tempted to just stop locking it during the day. What is the point?
I am planning on buying a new car next summer, perhaps one with heated seats, remote start, and an iPod dock. It will be a far cry from a Sloppy Jalopy. But I’ll miss my car. We’ve had some good times.