Saturday, August 1, 2015

My little green machine: I wouldn’t say it’s vintage yet, but it’s getting there

Earlier this week, I took my car in for it’s annual inspection & oil change. I decided to try someplace different, as I’d heard good things about the new Goodyear garage nearby—and while “my old place” was right up the street, they lost my business last year when I called to make an appointment & the guy on the phone asked for my name, make & model then said “okay but you know this is a Chevrolet dealership, right?”

First of all, you have one of those “Authorized PA Inspection” signs out front, I believe they apply to ALL CARS. Secondly, I’d been coming to you for the last 8-9 years!

Anyway, these Goodyear guys couldn’t have been nicer. When I approached the woman at the front counter & said I was there to pick up my car, she said “What’s your name hon.” “Morris, Doug.” “Oh, we’ve been waiting for you!” She gets on the mike—“MATT, SAM—YOUR GREEN HONDA COUPE IS HERE”. She then smiled at me. “They’ve been all over your car since you dropped it off yesterday!”

Three guys came inside and proceeded to tell me how much they liked my car. The first one (Matt, who owns the garage) said “We love this little ride! If you’re interested in selling, you’ve got 3 offers on the table right now. Sam here owns 2 vintage Hondas!” (Excuse me, did he just say vintage?) The second guy (Sam) says “Your engine isn’t even broken in yet, you haven’t got 25,000 miles on it. You don’t see many of these in green either. Your interior is so clean it looks showroom mint.”

When I told them I could count the number of times someone has rode in the passenger seat on one hand, their eyes bugged out!

Finally, the third guy says “If & when you decide to get a new car, DON’T use this as a trade-in. Don’t even sell it at fair market value, it’s worth more than that.”

I thanked them for all the kind words (and promised myself I was driving straight to the car wash for some much needed TLC—and I did) but I couldn’t help but be a little mystified. This is 2015, right? I realize it’s close to 13 years old, but ‘classic’? ‘Vintage’? It’s not like people are flying around in Jetson-cars!

I’ve owned this Honda since October 2002, and it’s my very first car (and chances are, will probably be my last.) That pesky seizure disorder in my younger years prevented me from being eligible for a driver’s license until I was 33 years old, and by then, I was no longer feeling the need for speed. Still, I was always embarrassed when I got my license renewed every few years “for ID purposes only”.

A  “non-drivers” license from 1988; I was not a happy camper

But after my dad passed away in 2001, I thought of my mom being alone and told her I wanted to learn to drive, and visit more. She said that’d be great but she was still against it.

I wasn’t exactly encouraged by my driving instructor either; when she picked me up for my first lesson, I said “I bet you don’t get a lot of guys my age”. She said “Oh, I teach more adults to drive than teens! But I should give you a heads up, while older women make the best students, men—just the opposite. I’d say half of them quit after the first couple lessons.” Great!

I guess I beat the odds, because on July 27, 2002—3 months before my 41st birthday—I passed my driver’s exam and was the happiest Doug on the planet. I didn’t waste any time getting my new car either, I knew just what I wanted—a brand new Honda Civic Coupe in Clover Green Pearl.

Not everyone feels the love for the car like I do, though. Last July when I was visiting family, I was outside washing my windshield while my 10 year old niece Sophia rode her bike around me. I said “Honey you like my car, right?” She said “it’s alright, why?” I said “cuz I figure it’ll be yours someday, so I’m trying to keep it tip-top for you!” She said “NO THANKS!”

When I got home that night, Shawn sent me the picture below. It turns out after I left, that turd-bird had my sister take her into town JUST SO SHE COULD POSE NEXT TO HER FUTURE WHEELS. Okay Sophia, we’lll see! 2014-07-27


  1. I meant to comment on this a few weeks ago; it looks like a great little Honda and as spotless as the day you first drove it home! I kept my Honda for about 10-11 years--they do seem to run forever, I wouldn't sell or trade this one in either, especially with the low mileage. It should easily last you another decade.

  2. Thanks Pam! Well, getting started with the driving thing so late in life, I've never been part of the "average car buyer's circle" anyway--I have no need for the latest style or gadgets. I just feel I lucked out with this one :)


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