Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Four-Sixty

I currently drive a 2004 Corolla LE with just over 70K miles on it. It's been in one accident and had a flat tire recently, but overall it hasn't been any trouble and is a great little car. The A/C and heat both work almost instantaneously when I need them to. I keep up with the scheduled maintenance and it's running quite fine. I have a confession to make though, which I'll get to in a second.

My first car was a 1988 Ford Taurus. When I got it, the transmission sounded like one of those little toy cars that you pull backwards to make go. The alternator didn't work properly for the first few months because the prior owner had decided that a Toyota alternator would do just fine. The radio did not work, so a small cheap one had been installed underneath the dash.

My second car was a 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix. I gave it a mobile library with bumper stickers from the Goo Goo Dolls, Static Mind, and a couple of other select bands. The odometer was stuck at about 75K but the car must have had well over 100K when I got rid of it. This car had a very interesting quirk in that the ignition was junk. The only way I could get the car to start sometimes (and this is true, I have witnesses) was to SLAM the door shut as hard as I could so as to jar the ignition into a position it could start in.

The last car I had before I got my Corolla was a 1992 Buick LeSabre. It was affectionately known as "The Boat"; my brother once joked when I picked him up from the train station while he was in the military that though he was a Navyman, a boat was not necessary for his transportation. This car ran well, better than the other cars I'd previously had. The only problems it had were the multiple leaks (oil, transmission, radiator, and power steering) and a very loud bang that sounded like you were crashing into something if you turned the wheel too far to the left. The guys at Tweeter were quite worried when they pulled the car out of the bay after removing my Alpine when they heard that noise.

All three of those cars had one thing in common: the air conditioning did not work, and so I was left to the vices of 4-60 air conditioning. For those of you who don't know, 4-60 air conditioning is when all four windows are down and you're driving at 60 mph. This also means that in order to hear the radio, you have to blast it. Have to. Which of course means that you have to sing at the top of your lungs. Yes, with the windows open... and the wind blowing through your hair, and the driver's tan getting more prominent with every mile of road you cover.

Whatever you say about it, driving 4-60 air conditioning is kind of fun. Of course, in this day and age of fuel efficiency it's not the best thing for your gas mileage. Also, I am now blessed with a car that has reliable air conditioning for my warm weather needs. But sometimes (and here's that confession) I do miss the 4-60 air conditioning, usually on a 75-80 degree sunny and dry day. So when I get off the highway, I'll roll down my windows and indulge in a little 4-35 or 4-40 air conditioning. I'll roll down the windows, blast the music, feel the breeze and sun... and smile.

1 comment:

silverneurotic said...

Hehe, my past cars sound a lot like that. Actually though, my car now is beginning to give me grief.