jwg wrote an entry about cars recently, which triggered these thoughts.
My family was unusual for 1960's suburbia in that my mother did all the driving. My father did have a driver's license, but he claimed that the 1954 Plymouth Bel Air my parents bought when they got married in 1956 didn't work right for him. I believe he'd actually gotten scared after a minor accident, but he never said that.
In 1967, my parents had some success with a stock investment and went to Ocean Spray Dodge, where they bought a brand new Dodge Dart, in which we took a trip to Montreal for Expo 67. A few days after we got the car, Dad decided he would try driving it. Mom wouldn't go with him, so our neighbor across the street did. Dad backed the car out of our driveway, drove around the block, pulled back into the driveway. And never got behind a steering wheel again for the rest of his life.
Mom's attitude towards cars was that you keep them until you can see the road through the floor boards. About 10 or 11 years later, the Dart was stolen from the train station in town. I happened to be home from college so I saw the denouement of that. It turned abandoned, a few blocks away from where it was stolen. The police came to the house. When they told us they'd found our car, Dad said, "who asked you to?" Mom was angry because the thieves (presumably joy riding teens) had broken a window to get in, not realizing the door locks didn't work.
When my brother graduated from college, my parents flew to Michigan for his graduation. Dad had a high school friend there who had arranged their purchase of a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, which they then drove back to Long Island. Mom drove that car until the day before she died in 2014.
I didn't own a car until late 1985, when I moved to Los Angeles. I leased a 1986 Toyota Corolla and bought it at the end of the lease term. It served me well for 8 years, though it was annoying that there were a lot of non-standard parts that you had to buy from Toyota, at vastly inflated parts. The sealed headlights, for example, cost $65 instead of the $5 or so for a normal bulb. Similarly, their windshield wiper blades were about four times as much as those for other cars. The Corolla met a tragic end on a rainy day, when I skidded on a wet road and hit a guard rail.
I replaced it with a blue-green 1994 Saturn SL2, which I named Neptune. Neptune was the great love of my automotive life - not sexy, but practical and cheap to maintain. In its later years, the odometer failed and the air-conditioning failed and, finally, last summer, I decided that 25 years was a good enough automotive lifetime.
So I bought a white 2019 Hyundai Accent, which I named Twain. The logic is Hyundai Accent - Accent Mark - Mark Twain. With things being as they are this year, I've only put on a little over 15000 miles in that year and 4 4 months, but I am happy with Twain so far. I doubt that I will ever buy another car. This entry was originally posted at https://fauxklore.dreamwidth.org/484028.html. Please comment there using OpenID.