My ’94 Honda Accord with a 5-speed transmission has a classy, sassy way of sporting her 170,000 miles. She’s twice been repainted and had a few scratches dermabrased – the equivalent of a minor facelift. In 2004, I chose a Porsche dark green to replace the dulled black paint. Another five years under the desert sun, and the girl needed a retouch. Now she’s a Subaru green. In dim light, the car darkens to green-black. In sunlight, the metal shimmers with an under-the-jungle-canopy green. A gorgeous color!
You may think that paying a whopping $25 auto registration fee and being eligible for historic plates in two years, the car would be a clunker. Quite the contrary. The car boasts a chip-free windshield, Hawaiian motif bucket seat covers, tiger print floor mats, tinted windows, and no dings. I ride a low 22 inches above ground without GPS, back-up screen, heated seats, climate data, leather or any of the add-ons installed in newer cars. I have just the basics – a Pioneer AM-FM radio, cassette, and CD player. That’s really all I need for listening to recorded books and NPR. Of course, the car has air conditioning, air bags, and a heater, and strands of dental floss float around.
“I’ve been looking for a ’94 Honda,” the emissions test guy said last year. “Your car is really nice.”
“It’s nice enough for me to drive.” I appreciated his compliment as I took the paperwork and drove off.
Last month I met up with flattery again. I pulled into Beyond Bread for a loaf. A 20-something guy got out of a shabby 2-door Nissan, which he parked next to Ms. Honda.
“Excuse me, Miss. I saw your car on Campbell and followed you into the parking lot.”
“Really? Why did you do that?”
“I like your car and wonder if you’ve thought of selling it?
“Well, I like my car, too, and it’s the only car I have.” I turned and walked, thinking rye or whole grain. He stayed right with me.
“Would you take my name and phone number in case you change your mind?”
What the heck. I feel for people trying for something better. “Sure, let’s go in and you write down your name and number.”
While I bought the bread, I did an on-the-spot Barbara Walters interview. Drew told me he’s an automotive student at a school in Phoenix. He has an awesome 18-month-old son and needs a 4-door car for the kiddo, car seat, and all the paraphernalia kids require to get from here to there. My question about his wife had a pretty sad, but not totally unexpected answer. No wife. Actually, no girl friend either. The young lady did not take to motherhood. She’s out of the picture. Drew’s parents care for the awesome tyke during the week.
“Thanks. I’ll keep your name and number.”
I put the paper into my pocket and took the loaf of rye. “If I win the lottery you can have the car. Better yet, I’ll buy you a new one.”
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