After getting my driver’s license at 17, I talked to my parents about finally getting a car. I don’t remember why I didn’t get my license at 16, but perhaps it was because I had such a spiffy bicycle the ladies loved. *Ring a ding a ling * was the sound of my bell every time I rode by a hot girl.
It always felt odd that I had to walk or ride my bike to school when other kids got to drive their new Ford Explorer SUVs, and VW Jettas. Even my parents drove an 8 year old car at the time. Oh well, I thought to myself. Perhaps one day.
THE HIDDEN GEM THAT WAS NOT A GEM
The day I got my driver’s license was one of the most memorable days. One, because I failed the written test the first time, and my mom wasn’t too happy. Two, because my parents took me to “Fresh Choice”, an all you can eat buffet restaurant to celebrate. I had dreams of rumbling in a 5.0 liter Mustang for my first car. Nothing sounds so beautiful. In fact, I actually test drove one of my classmates because he was selling it to buy an Acura NSX! “$9,000 and it’s yours Sam!” Yeah right. All I have is like $900 bucks, but I sure am glad I got to test drive!
My parents gave me a $2,000 budget, so I searched the Auto For Sale section of the papers gleefully to find my dream vehicle. Damn, even in those days $2,000 wasn’t too much money. There was no internet at the time mind you so all I could do was base my impression on some text in a paper. I finally stumbled upon one ad that just sung to me, “Excellent condition 1987 Nissan Sentra with only 135,000! Seller is running for District Supervisor. Only $1,699!” $1,699 was $500 cheaper than all the other comparables and I thought I had a deal.
We drove out to the aspiring District Supervisor’s shoddy apartment and took a look. What a junker! The car had a faded yellowish color, with a newly painted driver’s door, because obviously someone bashed into it. Even still, we took it for a ride, and I just loved it. We paid cash on the spot and drove it home.
With all the scrubbers and cleaning chemicals I bought from the auto store, I got to work detailing every single inch of my new baby. I even got one of those scented pine cone car fresheners to hang from my rear view mirror. It was a dream come true. My very first car to drive to school in!
Too bad only a month had past when * boom * my clutch broke down and my car no longer could shift gears and move. No wonder it was $500 cheaper than all the other cars in the paper. I had to replace all of the CV boots as well. $1,100 later, the car was as good as new. Curses to you District Supervisor! Now I remember why I don’t trust politicians. It all started at age 17. I’m glad I started with a piece of crap, because nothing could have been worse!
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Updated for 2017 and beyond