Cash, Clunkers, and Timing

23 07 2009

Cash for Clunkers! the latest rage with the government. As usual, I am a day late and a dollar short. I sure wish  I could have benefitted from Cash for Clunkers in years past.

I had some real clunkers. We went to a neighborhood gathering one evening and while there, my husband bought me a Jeep. He took it to the shop to have it checked and the block was cracked. Then we found out, it had no emergency brake, but that was alright, because I wouldn’t ever have an emergency anyway. The block was repaired and by now we had too much money in it and could not sell it, so I drove it for years. As long as I got a good running start at a hill, I could make it over the top. But I always had trouble starting the Jeep. I pushed, asked for pushes, and my children all grew up knowing how to push that Jeep. I always parked on a hill, had a good knowledge of putting it into 2nd and pushing on the gas so it would start as I rolled down the hill. The gear shift was on the steering wheel. One day, when I shifted, the gear shift handle broke and then I had a little bitty gear shift on the steering wheel. My husband finally sold it for $150. to some happy young man who was still driving it many years later.

Next, I had a big boat of a car that my husband had finally worn out. I drove it for quite awhile. And it wouldn’t start either. There was no way I could push that one or ask anyone else to push it. I went to buy weekly groceries with all my kids in tow one Friday morning. When I came out of the store, the car would not start – again. A taxi drove by about that time and I just got in it with all my kids and groceries and went home. When my husband  asked me where the car was,  I told him I left it in the parking lot. After that, we bought another car.

We had one of those gorgeous 1960 models with the big square windshields. It just squatted and died one day. We sold it for the price of the windshield.

It’s not always the old cars nor the cheaper models that are the clunkers. We bought a brand new station wagon and I drove it 50 miles. Then the carburetor would not work and I was stranded as usual. My kids got sick when they rode in the back because the gasoline  fumes were so strong. Never trusted that car. When we had a little more money, we bought a fancy sports car. Sometimes, it would only turn right. That was great if you wanted to go to the right. We sold that one, too. When we finally hit the big time and bought one of those super duper models that everyone envied, I watched my car being towed out of my driveway almost as much as I drove it.

Cash for Clunkers!  I wish I had known.