Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Old Faithful

After working as an underwriter in the insurance field for about nine months, I made my first big grown-up decision. I saved and scraped, and was ready to buy a new-to-me, but used, car. Once I had my money saved, I spent hours on multiple car websites scouring the web daily for a few weeks.

And then I found a beaut, just outside of Chicago, Illinois, in the little suburb of Naperville. The year was 2008, and I had found a 1998 Honda Accord with 117,000 miles on it, being sold by its original owner. The color was raisin pearl, and it melted my heart. After talking with the owner and realizing this was indeed a really great vehicle, we were able to snag that thing for $4200. So, we spontaneously loaded up in the car with a couple of friends the next morning and road tripped to Naperville. After getting the keys and signing the papers, we moonlighted at a Chicago pizzeria, got some sleep, and woke up early the next morning to head back to T-Town. I put my OBU sticker on it, and I took the car to my Honda specialist mechanic, who confirmed that I did, indeed, "steal" the car. It was such a great car and such a great price. I was able to buy it right after it was listed and beat out the 15+ people that the seller said had called him between the time of me agreeing to buy it and making it to Illinois to pick it up.

That car has been a champion. I have had hardly any issues with it, and it was the first really nice vehicle that I have owned, and one that I felt like wouldn't break down on me. I felt great pride in knowing that I had paid cash for a really nice vehicle. That car drove me to and from my first job, drove us to our first house. It's the car we drove to take Karlie to OBU. It was also the vehicle we took to get our puppy, Boo. It's the car that we drove away from our wedding in. It is also the car we road tripped to Virginia in! That car has seen a lot of milestones in the life of our little family.

It recently hit another milestone:

Yes. That is 200,000 miles. And you know what? She still runs like a champ. I am so proud of my little car for making it this long, and especially thankful that it appears to have a lot of life left in it (knock on wood!). 

She looks a little rough, and the AC and heater both have their own "personalities." It could definitely use some paint. But, I am not really concerned with looks, because I love my car and it is dependable.
I'm hoping my little Accord has a lot of life left in her, because we have many more milestones to come.  I think it will be really hard for me to let go of my car when the time comes. I might even cry. (-:

Do you have a car you have loved like this?



  1. I bought my 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer the summer before we went to OBU. I vividly remember the day that car was finally mine -- I was so excited! It smelled so good! It was about $9,000, but when I bought it, but only a year old and with just 30,000 miles. It was one of the best financial decisions I've ever made, and not many people can say they paid cash in full for their first car, right? It's never needed major work, and I have taken super good care of it - knock on wood - but more than that, I too have SO MANY MEMORIES in that car. It has moved all over the country with me and we've had so many adventures together. Definitely an "Old Faithful" too.

  2. We have a Honda Civic (and an Accord too, actually) that rolled over 200,000 about 2 months ago. It's Chris's daily driver, and has been a great little car!

  3. We have been toying with the idea of getting a new SUV, and as much as I'd like to have a car without sharpie marks on the steering wheel and a dented back fender and a rattle in the AC fan and crack on the windshied and a spot on the running board where I scraped the side of the garage and .......I will certainly miss it when the time comes to move on. It's the vehicle that brought both of my babies home and has safely taken us to and brought us back many times. It has played Toy Story and Madagascar and The Office and Arrested Development on the DVD player more times than the hairs on my head. I think too, when a car is a steal, it makes it that much more sentimental. Bought the big white 2006 Toyota Sequoia Limited in early summer 2009 with 55k on it for about the price one would receive if trading it in...well below retail.

  4. Wow. What a great deal you have had! You were lucky enough to find a used car that can still perform well even after so many years. Well, I guess, closing a winning deal, like the one you had, boils down to researching about the best deals available before actually grabbing one.


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