For some reason, I’m terrible at learning lessons from others. It’s both a blessing and a curse. I’d rather be the one to learn something firsthand then have someone else tell me what they got from their own experience. While I’ve learned a lot, it’s gotten me into trouble a few times.
Against the urging of my family, I decided to purchase a ’72 Volkswagen Super Beetle. For some reason, I’ve always been drawn to older Volkswagen produced cars. I guess there’s just something about old, underpowered cars with virtually no amenities that really gets me going. For some reason, I got the idea in my head that, hey, now is as good a time as ever to own one. Boy was I wrong.
The first week I owned the car, I was in love. I could hardly drive it, but I was in love. This love came to an abrupt halt the first time it stalled at an intersection. I felt like a fucking idiot sitting there with 10 cars behind me, horns blaring. Keep in mind, I’m able to drive stick reasonably well, but the car’s refusal to idle was not only obnoxious, but terrifying. Every stop sign, intersection, and drive thru became an anxiety filled obstacle course. It was like I was riding the last bit of life in this old piece of junk. This, however, would appear minor compared to what happens next.
There is no greater terror than pushing down on your brake pedal, only for it to sink to the floor. As I rapidly pumped the pedal (that’s what you gotta do in a car without ABS, friends), I basically accepted that I was going to die as the car rushed towards the intersection. That was the first time I had to pull the emergency brake, and boy what a rush that was. I was able to high tail it back to the apartment to park the car, where it resided for the next few days.
Eventually I decided I’d have to take it to the shop (sidenote: Off Campus Foreign Auto Repair is great. Ed and Billy are two stand-up guys). I scheduled my appointment and then decided that I was going to drive the car the 3 miles to the shop in order to save money instead of having it towed. Let me tell you, that was the most intense drive of my life. Luckily, a good friend (thanks Tylor!) followed behind me to make sure I didn’t kill myself or someone else.
A few days after it went into the shop, I got a expletive filled call from the owner ranting about everything wrong with the car. Apparently the brakes were totally shot, and so was the suspension. Not to mention that the engine was doing some weird stuff. I got quoted at $1,500 for everything. It was at that moment that I knew I had fucked up.
I decided to just have them fix the engine so I could sell it with good conscience. I figured that I’d rather just cut my losses than have to deal with a car that gave me anxiety just looking at it. As I type this, I’m preparing to meet up with an out of town buyer tomorrow. $2,600 to get all this anxiety out of my life is one hell of a deal. In the meantime, I’ll stick to my 2017 Hyundai Sonata, I never have to worry about her dying at intersections.