Archive for the ‘Cars’ Category

The Death of a Salesjob

Posted: September 22, 2014 in Cars

We brought home the Blue Beauty in March of 2011. John’s dad drove it through that summer during his transition from living in Florida to becoming a resident of the Guest House.  Its 50,000 mile reading on the odometer never seemed quite right and we’re pretty convinced we got duped on that one.

After Ralph headed back to Florida for the winter, it became Joshua’s car to drive to school. Josh did manage to terminally damage a couple of tires after miscalculating a corner but the car more or less ran OK, albeit with the “Check Engine” light on most of the time. Then the horn stopped working. There were multiple electrical issues that apparently plagued the model. Our trusted shop, Foxy Auto, spliced around multiple shorts for us and kept the Sentra going.

When Grampa died, he wanted Josh to have his Hyundai Elantra and the Nissan passed on to Jake. It wasn’t much later that it failed the emissions test during an annual safety inspection and things went really downhill. Excessive frustration, a new exhaust system, several oxygen sensors, and too many dollars later, the car was back on the road.  Then there was the mouse that set up house in the blower motor. Then there was the factory defective blower motor.

By now the car was audibly tricked out with a new radio, new front door speakers, new rear deck speakers, and a thumpin’ subwoofer in the trunk. With likely more watts than horsepower, it at least sounded good.

Just last week, the death knell was heard. Jake came in hot, overshot a turn, and found a granite curb. Seems the front tow hook was the first thing to be grabbed by the rock and it dragged the whole front end off to an angle before the right front tire and rim were destroyed along with some suspension parts. Repair costs exceeded the expected residual value and, at 8:52 AM on September 18, the Blue Beauty was pronounced dead. Its remains were carted off as a donation to the American Heart Association.

And thus we welcome The Gray Ghost! It’s official paint color is “Moon Shadow Gray Metalic” – we’re hoping that it doesn’t haunt us!!

This puppy is a 2004 Toyota Corolla that we bought from a firefighter and part-time car dealer in an adjoining town. It’s coming to us with 105,000 miles already logged but it seems in good shape and ready to serve. Corollas get a great review from Consumer Reports and we’re hoping this is one of those “forever” cars.

Be on the lookout for the Gray Ghost and, if it’s taking a corner just a little hot, be sure to give it plenty of room!

Josh’s “Sweet” 16th

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Cars, Family

Josh celebrated his 16th birthday on April 16th. It was a low key affair with a few friends over for calzones and cake – but it was a lot of fun.

Josh completed his Driver’s Ed classroom work the following week and obtained his Learner’s Permit. We’ve now designated him as the family chauffeur – making sure he gets plenty of  driving experience in the six months leading up to his license eligibility. He’s been practicing both in Blue Beauty and in Shawn’s big SUV. We think he’s gonna be a great driver!

Happy Birthday Josh!

The Blue Beauty

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Cars, Family, Grampa

We’ve got some additional car needs coming up. Ralph will be here for the summer while his car stays in Florida. And this fall, if he progresses on schedule, Josh will get his driver’s license. And just maybe, he could then help with some of the endless schlepping that he and his brother seem to require!

So.. John did some reading on up on cheap cars that might be good for a teen learning to drive. He narrowed things down to a handful of models and went looking on Craig’s List. Before long, he found the Blue Beauty!

She’s a 2001 Nissan Sentra with only of 50,000 miles on her. Yah, she’s got a dent in the hood and a scratch or two. But she’s also got good tires, a cassette player, and rides like a dream!

She’s home now. Inspection imminent. And then we’ll put her to use!


Posted: August 24, 2007 in Cars

It was not John’s fault!!  Bottom of the exit ramp, traffic, he stopped, guy behind him didn’t. Ooops. Pain in the rear.