Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New car.

So we are glossing over some pretty important stuff here (Amelia and my birthdays for a kickoff) but I had this already written for something else and so I thought I would post it and come back to the other stuff when I had a moment.

Well it finally came, it was supposed to be delivered Last Thursday, then Friday afternoon…then Saturday night…then Monday and FINALLY it came late Tuesday Exactly 1 week after it had left its destination 600 miles away and 5 days AFTER they promised me it would be here.

So aside from telling you that Atlantic Delivery, Llc. Is the worst delivery company and possibly the company with the worst customer service on the planet I will sidetrack from the ordeal of getting it to me and tell you about how I came into position of this car…and what madness possessed me to do so.

First, The car in question…or truck…depending on your sensibilities (Anna-Lisa insists it’s not a truck unless it has a bed) is a 1997 Land cruiser FZJ80 40th anniversary edition in antique sage with lockers.  Sure she has a lot of miles (229k) but she runs like new and is in great shape everywhere.  The seats are a little worn out and…well that’s it as far as I can tell.  Sources indicate that this model should run to 300-500k without trouble.  So far, It seems to be the case, it pulls well, the transmission shifts smooth and everything works perfectly.

So…why?  I sold my old car to make room for this; a 2005 forester XT 5 speed.  Now before you say “What?  You madman!  Why would you sell an AWD turbo charged manual wagon of glory for a 4 speed auto land yacht from Beige, inc.” let me assure you it was at least partially though out.  The Subaru was a great car, but I was never really happy with its compromise:  Fast…for an SUV and Capable…for a car.  It took me 5 years to realize that, no, you can’t have it all; there is no FRS unimog and anything that attempts to blend or blur those concepts is and always will be…a compromise.  So i wanted to stop the madness and get something that did one thing well, and this model always had such appeal to me.  The full plan is to come full circle and buy another car (a miata perhaps) that will take over sport car duties...but Anna isn't sold on this car we will see.

So there you go, as simple as that right?  Well, no.  If you have been following this purchase with the “halp” tag you will have read that all already, but it’s really only part of the story.

This is my dad, Handsome fellow aint he?  This man got me interested in camping, hiking, biking being outdoors and love of adventure and, despite being a bit aloof was a great father.  He passed away 2 months ago from ALS, but you knew that.

At this point it would be nice to be able to say that buying this truck is "something he would have wanted" it isn’t, even though he was looking forward to working in a 4x4 shop on cruisers with his brother when he retired.  Or that off-road and adventure travel was his thing…it wasn’t the case. Dad drove a prius in the years before he died, having owner mostly trucks prior (mostly suburbans and the like) and generally didn’t care too much for cars other than making sure they were well taken care of; he also did most of his own repair work.  He did introduce me to it though, in a 1991 4runner, a 1991 cherokee, and a 1996 rodeo.  No, the truth is that, when he died I felt the weight of the world fall down on my shoulders; family, work…even friendships felt precarious and weighty and, as lame as it sounds, I needed to feel free again.  I know a car can't buy my freedom and that no amount of gas can take me away from my responsibilities…nor do I wish to flee from them…but it seems that the capturing the spirit of adventure would suffice and somehow, this car captures the spirit of my father as well.  The smells, sounds and feelings all take me back to riding in the 4runner, being absolutely fascinated by everything on the car and around us as drove from adventure to adventure. At this point I want to be clear that I LOVE my family dearly and that THEY are the best things in my life and that I couldn't imagine life without out them and this isn't about running away as much as it is about capturing a spirit of adventure and freedom.

I don't personally believe in the idea that you should be defined by your car or the idea that there is one right car out there.  The one thing you can count on in life is change; styles change, tastes change, life moves on and cars come along for the ride.  Its not the car that defines my memories, its my memories that defines the car.

Thanks dad for all you did for me, I know its a weird way to remember you, so sorry about that.

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