Sometimes we just fall in love for no reason at all, and sometimes there are a million reasons, but in the end, it’s true what they say: the heart wants what the heart wants.
I’m not sure what it is about my little red 1999 Toyota Solara here in Vancouver, but my whole heart belongs to it.
I bought it second hand, already a few years old. This is the day I brought it home (old house).
My boys saw it and decided that I can’t be seen in a car which has a “bra” on the hood and that had to go, and removed it right away. Over the years the bra got lost. I’m fine with that. It was never a girl car anyway.
I suppose I love it so much because this is the first car I researched, found and bought for myself. It’s a post divorce car, it’s a need for a reliable to drive my little girl around as a single mother car, it’s a red sports V6 to satisfy the aggressive racer in me car, and it’s a car which I spent MY money on…you know, not OUR money, as in marriage property, just MY money. My car. My baby. No one can take it away from me mine.
Maybe it’s not so little. It’s one of those rare four seat, two door, five speed, manual coupe ideas at a reasonable price, which just doesn’t seem to happen any more. And, to make it even more amazing, the rear seats fold down giving access to the boot, leaving tons of room for skis, golf clubs…etc. (Not that that’s even necessary, because it actually has a dead body trunk.)
As you can tell from this photo of a just turned 12 yr old Chloe about to cut the wrapping on her birthday prezzie; a WWII wooden, steamer trunk I bought for her and drove 50 km home, over highway at 110 km/hr, strapped to the boot lid with cellophane, it has served us admirably over the years.
I can tell you, there was more than one nervous driver following behind me on that day. I sort of have her permission to show this picture to you…lol…but she’s 23 now and still loves that trunk. It sits right beside her bed and serves as her bedside table.
Over the years, Robert helped me adjust my car to my taste. He helped me fix tons of stuff, replacing bits here and there, getting me beautiful low profile wheels and tires, advising me on better, louder and more throaty sounding silencers…well, over the years he’s helped me keep and maintain my little red sports car. As you can see, the license plate has my lucky number 13 in it and FDL, which R said stands for “Fully Developed Lady”. I love that.
Anyway, why I’m telling you this.
There came a time in my life where my father passed away and my mom gave me his four wheel drive Toyota 4Runner. Now, in my world before my little red sports car, I only ever drove SUVs here in Vancouver, and mainly to get thru the access road to my cabin and bomb around off roading, and drive somewhere fun and remote, take all my clothes off and jump in a lake (story for another time). Driving the sports car down that road was a bit of hell, (which is one reason that the car never got lowered to make it even sexier on those low profile wheels.)
And then I bought this house, and my work became at home, and C turned 16 and started driving and doesn’t know how to drive manual, and suddenly, with a mortgage and bills and house and life, it didn’t seem practical to run two cars and I parked up the solara in the garage. And for about three years, I was in a bit of tug-of-war with myself. That devil on my left shoulder said, “Trade it in on a new sexy mustang. You know you want to! You like those new mustangs! The solara’s old, it’s unreliable…it’s not exactly a hot sports car, is it? I mean, what is it? Just a common, old Toyota, not a Porsche or something rare and important. You don’t want it. Look, it’s only going to get old and rust and cost you money you can’t afford, and no one is going to give you any money for it anyway. Mmm, sexy V8…” And that angel on my right shoulder stays perfectly quiet and just goes and shots a cupid’s arrow straight thru my heart and into my stomach each time I look at my red sports car. You know what I’m talking about?
I actually made myself sit in the driver seat and said to myself, “You know what V? You have to make a decision! Decide! And decide right now!” And you know what happened? I sat there in that driver’s seat and cried.
That’s it then. My red sports car is here to stay.
Which brings me to the next chapter in the red sports car saga. Fifteen year old cars need work.
Thank goodness for Robbie. This autumn he replaced and fixed so much. I bought a new battery, I insured it for the next three months and we took it out for a drive with R listening for glitches and faults, helping me deal with any mechanical issue.
There was one non-mechanical issue which was bugging both of us. Cars sold in BC should be certified as not having come from the East Coast of Canada, where the weather is more severe, roads are salted, and cars rust. My car had this certification. Also, all serious car accidents must be reported in the sales contract, but the dealer must have lied. My car was from the East Coast and developed some rust in the driver’s door sill, but more importantly, it was in some sort of car accident and had been oversprayed with some cheep paint plus gloss coat, which started to blister and peel just a year after I bought it.
So with me fully committed to my car, R and I decided that we can fix the peeling paint. We drove it out to a car paint specialist who gave us samples, which I toured round the car comparing, we chose a paint colour, had it made into a spray can and got to work.
Days of sanding using progressively finer grades of paper, followed by a sealer and bottom coat…
Followed by a glossy new and beautiful red flecked with gold top coat.
Look how lovely! Look at the brilliant reflection.
So I know and acknowledge that between our two countries I now own four cars, and that might just be a bit ridiculous. The saving grace I suppose is that I can really only drive one at a time.
But just now I’ve been driving this one around as much as possible in this nice weather and stopping it for photo ops at beautiful parks. (And, as my friend Charlie Chester suggests, I will slam it (lowered on further down to look better on the low profile tires). 😀 )
You know what? This might seem shallow and superficial to some, but I’m genuinely and fully happy each time I get behind the wheel of my car and bomb around town. And happiness is what life is all about.
Thank you so much my darling Robbie. I wouldn’t have this beautiful car without you. 😀