After spending about a week in the Swedish fall season, complete with rain and temperatures that cannot seem to remain stable, trying to dry the inside of the windshield from fog while driving I made a heavy but necessary decision this weekend. I have finally realized that my beloved Toyota has been begging for a retirement for quite some time and I have also realized I have no choice but to obey it. Needless to say, it wasn't an easy decision since I really do love it but with the prospect of even more visits to the workshop to fix the surly heat fan, as well as the realization my little red trooper probably wouldn't pass the yearly inspection due to four lousy shock absorbers, I took a deep breath and went car hunting.
In the end I found a cute little red VW Golf from 1987 (so it's the same age as my Toyota, as well as almost the same color, if only a bit fresher in that area). It's got an automatic gear box, which was quite interesting since I've only ever driven an automatic once before, and only for a short distance. However, once I relaxed I realized that automatic is indeed easier than manual. I no longer have to drive for miles before realizing I'd forgotten to put in a higher gear (consequently lowering the amount of fuel needed). I don't have to watch how I balance the clutch and the gas pedals in order to drive smoothly. And the Golf is quite a bit more perky than my Toyota. Not that I'm especially much of a speed nut, quite the opposite. but even I have to grin a bit when the little red bullet takes off, and yeah, it is fun to press the gas pedal :).
Now all I have to do is switch the tires between the two cars (one of the prerequisites for my "new" car was that it had to have the same dimension on the tires as the Toyota. Since those tires, both sets of them, are less than a year old and I really don't want to put money into buying yet another set of tires).
What's going to happen to the Toyota, then? I wish i could say that it would get a well-deserved retirement, spending the days in a warm garage, all cozy and sweet. However, I only have one parking space, and I'm afraid I need that one for my Golf. So the Toyota will most likely end up donating choice parts to whomever wishes to do the surgery and then move on to car heaven. I will miss it, of course. It's served me and my family fairly well for so many years it wasn't an easy decision. But one has to know when it's time to put an end to the misery. And this is it for my darling Toyota, I'm afraid.
So, that is the ending of the chapter called "The little red pebble - going strong since 1987" in the book "Cat and the cars". However, stay tuned for the next chapter, "Red Bullet and the automatic", in the tragically comical story that is "Cat and the cars" or "How Cat pissed off the car fairy in a previous life and is paying dearly for it now".