by Justin Crockett
Some men feel the need to maintain a stable of flashy rides, to be ever-hunched over an engine deep in thought, to perpetually be soaping and hosing off tires. to sit in a driveway and rev a car motor inexplicably, repetitively, and loudly.
Me? I like a sensible sedan. Give me a vehicle and I will change the shit out of its oil. I will dutifully keep a can of Fix-O-Flat in the trunk. Tires? I’ll inflate the tits out of them, as per manufacturer’s recommendations.
I’ve had a few whirlwind romances, automobilically speaking. Each one left an imprint on my heart, and each one exploded spectacularly, as each lover’s embrace should.
note for pure gearheads: most of these are stock photos to protect the innocence of the vehicles that I have personally entered in my life.
1997-1998: The 1994 Ford Tempo
Bluetooth connectivity: No!
Drive Train: No, it’s a car
My first car, my first love. Some things they don’t tell you about a black car, though: when you open the door in the middle of the summer, the car itself actually exhales a hot breath of fury onto where your face was previously located.
I got my first Discman when I had this car, and the sheer amount of wires required to play that thing in the vehicle made it look like I was keeping something on life support.
My short time with this fine specimen ended when I backed up onto a bush stump and tried to keep going, rendering the transmission, in car terms, on my front yard.
1998-2000: The 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier Station Wagon
Color: “Fuck Me” Blue
Engine/transmission: Chevy Snarler with a dual-winged chassis(fuckin’ maybe)
Onstar assistance: No
6 CD changer: How’s about tapes?
Like a perfect blue boner unfurling onto the highway, this car….I don’t remember much about. It had room. Yeah, we’ll go with that. That fucker had room, for…things. I think the alternator went up, and I was too young to realize that’s kind of an easy fix.
So I think I just literally left it somewhere.
2000-2005: The 1997 Nissan Sentra
Color: Androgynous Burgundy
Engine/transmission: The much-anticipated Nissan Vroom with windshield wiper fluid reservoir
Tires: All four
Number of babes slayed by car appearance: 0
Number of raccoons hit and killed by car: 1
The workhorse of my early to mid 20’s, this magenta-ish abomination was all function, it even had a spoiler! During street deathmatch races, my drag was very minimal due to this!
One day, when I lived in Baltimore, someone broke one of the windows during the night and stole all my CDs. I walked to my car in the morning and witnessed the aftermath. I knelt to the ground in agony, and raised one solemn fist to the sky, swearing to my blood demon that I would find the antagonist, and vanquish him into a puddle of grief droplets. Then I walked to work. And then the city towed it five minutes later.
And then after I got it back, something else went wrong, and I think I just literally left it somewhere.
The Wasteland Years: 2005-2008
After the ordeal with the broken, tattered Sentra in Baltimore, I embarked on a long campaign of stoic walking and public transportation. Melting into the city hellscape, I lived off of the bones of the dead. I foraged the hopeless streets for any kind of connection, my hands stuffed in my pockets, my sunken eyes never raising. When I spoke, a hollow tone emerged that rattled off of the concrete and steel, and I made sure I always had quarters for the bus.
I eventually was gifted a true white whale: a Lincoln Towncar. What it lacked in turnability, it made up for with a complete lack of rear shocks. Which made every trip to Dairy Queen a rolling, bouncing, real-life Dr. Dre video.
At some point during work one day, the rear suspension firmly made a choice to resent the rest of the car, and drove itself into the asphalt. That’s right, the car had bounced so much, the rear axle snapped clean in half.
I think I literally just left it there.
A Rebirth, 2008-Present Day: The 2003 Hyundai Elantra
Color: Triumph Gold
Engine/transmission: Both there
Aux input: No…
Cassette tapes in trunk that date back to first car: Two
Gas tank that uses blood instead of gasoline: Dude, I wish.
Rising from the ashes, I got a hot tip on another sensible sedan that only had 11,000 miles on it. Seizing the opportunity, I grabbed the salesman by his stiff collar and shook him until his teeth collected in a pile on his stupid sales-y desk.
I still drive it. Girls around town find the nearest bed and lay in it on pure reflex now. I get about 30 miles per gallon, and that’s with EVERY gallon of gas. My carbon footprint is like a twelve. What have you done with your life today, loser?