It’s time for a new car, yes! Finally! Now that my youngest son has successfully tackled the stick shift, I can pass the keys on to him. My 11-year-old white (marshmallow) Volkswagen Jetta has served me proudly. It took us to California when the kids were small and ploughed to the tops of ski hills with a honk and a wave as we passed the occasional SUV stuck in the snow on the side of the road. You could fit a body and then some with its Sicilian size trunk. People were always amazed at what the little Jetta could pack.
It was a very SAD day when I sold my 1988 Alfa Romeo to my brother-in-law to purchase our first Jetta (we owned more than one), the “official” family car. We went for practicality and never looked back. It was a great alternative to the minivan, which I vowed never to own. Sorry, no offence to any of you who drive one. I don’t care how many kids you can stuff into one.
My first car was a 1981 Ford Mustang, a surprise graduation gift from my parents. My father worked for Ford and was determined to find me a safe and reliable car. Not only was this the best first car ever, but it was the start of my love affair with cars.
However, before my Mustang, I had test-driven several convertible two-seater sports cars, which I couldn’t get enough of. But then I saw him, Richard Gere, in the movie American Gigolo, driving his sexy convertible 450SL. SO F’N HOT! It was a game changer, and I became obsessed with convertibles. Then, in 1986 I traded in my beloved Mustang for a 1979 Fiat Spider 2000, another fun car, navy blue with a tan interior and great stereo system. After driving around in my Fiat for a few years, I decided the maintenance cost was more than my bank account could handle. With Fiat being the acronym for “fix it again, Toni,” I should have been wiser.
So with that, my parents stepped in again and suggested I drive something more practical. Again with the practical! Introducing my new Honda Prelude! This relationship didn’t last long, six months to be exact. So in 1989, I purchased and fell in love with a red Alfa Romeo Graduate, named after the film classic. With the roof down and the wind in my hair, it was my baby and the car of my dreams. Complete with personalized “LLOREA” plates. Too much?
So, bringing me back to the beginning, “It’s time for a new car,” what kind of car? Is there an image I want to portray? The practical side (seriously?) of me thinks I should purchase another Volkswagen, a Tiguan perhaps? How about something sexy? What does that say about me? Am I the only one who thinks about this stuff? I’m a single 50-something woman, and I don’t want to be a cliche or stereotype.
This will be my car, so it has to be fun, right? Can I let go of the four-door Jetta for a sports car? IDK, I’m having a hard time with it.
Full disclosure, I test-drove the new Fiat 124 Abarth. SERIOUSLY, I could get used to calling “Toni” to fix my car after this test drive. The car drove like a dream. Keeping this in perspective, I drive a Jetta city, so anything will feel amazing. LOL. My son says, “It’s a no-brainer, get the Abarth, you’ll still have the Jetta for any family rides, and you can drive the two-seater car the rest of the time.” I’m actually considering this. Do I go for an automatic or manual? l wanted to ditch the stick, but once in the Abarth, it screams stick shift! What to do?
What would Mrs. Robinson choose? In the movie, “The Graduate,” Mrs. Robinson was seducing a much younger Dustin Hoffman… would she like the sporty new Fiat, its barely consenting age 😉
As for my Alfa Romeo, it still ranks hands down as my favourite car. I know I’m probably overthinking my decision. Once the nice weather kicks in, I’m sure I’ll know what to do.
We spend a lot of time driving around in our cars, maybe too much time, and perhaps we take it for granted. But, for those family vacations, going to the movies, quick stops at the grocery store or heading to the beach, a car isn’t just a car.
A car is a journey to our destination.
Photo credit: collierautomedia.com