Sunday, May 25, 2008

A new car: the art of compromise

For a number of years now, I have been driving my wife's beloved Toyota Camry as my primary to-work-and-back vehicle. When we go somewhere together, we exclusively drive our now-seven-year-old (and, up until yesterday, the 'new vehicle') Honda Odyssey.

As far as I know, Julia has not set butt in the Camry in some number of years.

Well, as all implements of transportation eventually come to, the Camry finally reached the end of the trail this week. I stopped by to talk to our mechanic a few days ago, and he said that the symptoms--the car was simply dropping out of gear at the least excuse--indicated a $2500 - $3000 transmission replacement was needed.

I drove the car back and forth to work two more days, and in that short span of only 15 miles, total, the transmission went from "I wonder what's wrong" to "Holy crap--am I going to get home before this thing stops dead??"

When I parked her in front of the house Friday, I knew that was the end.

So, Julia and I decided, after seeing how expensive used cars are if you look for anything under ten years old, to buy a new small car.

The Honda Civic was the easy choice to make...sort of like an IT guy deciding, two decades ago, to buy from IBM. Go with the winner, you know? For IBM, those days are long gone, but the Civic is at the pinnacle of popularity, both for fuel economy and for quality of construction.

I was thinking, given that this was the first new car in my entire life (54 years, for those of you who have not kept up--and get with it, would you? Do you think I am writing just to hear myself type??) that would be primarily mine, that an electric-blue, two-door coupe with a five-speed manual transmission would be perfect.

Late yesterday afternoon, I drove away from the dealership in a silver Civic sedan with automatic transmission and four doors.

This, I am told, is what married men would term, "Compromise."


Olivia said...

That's a precious compromise, Rick, and I'm sure much appreciated by your wife. Your first new car---YAY! How exciting!! It sounds very nice, indeed. Wishing you many happy miles, O


Rick Hamrick said...

My post prompted a good conversation. My wife was concerned, based upon what I wrote, that I was feeling somehow slighted.

That was not the case at all, and I think we came to a meeting of the minds in that regard.

She did not for a minute argue that she was not royalty. I mean, you can only go so far with commoners, you know! (grinning the entire time I was typing this reply)

Bottom line: we have a great car which meets all our needs, and the cost was within what we could afford to pay. What could possibly be wrong with that??

Thanks, Olivia!

Sylvain said...

Sounds like a great purchase Rick, congrats. Hope you get 15 years out of it, and then you buy a Lincoln Continental. It's ok, they will be solar powered by then.

Rick Hamrick said...

Syl, I am planning, 15 years from now, to get a Lincoln INTERcontinental, which not only is solar-powered, but can cross oceans with ease at about 50,000 ft.

In the meantime, the Civic is showing itself to be a good choice!

Thanks for stopping by, my friend.