I have some funny rides
A lot of people have cool first car stories. Mine is the exact opposite. My first car was bought for me, by my parents, while I’m out of state RV-ing with my car-loving boyfriend. I didn’t have the cell strength to receive pictures, but my mother told me it was “generic” and was very excited that it was available. Excited for a generic car? That’s about the depth of my parents' car knowledge. I passed on the “exciting” news to the boyfriend and he thought I was joking. Neither of us saw the logic in how anyone could be excited for a generic car or how a car could be bought for someone when that person wasn’t even there.
That car my parents were so excited about was a used Honda Civic that was brown-ish and silver-ish in color. It already had some 80 thousand miles and was only a few years old. Not much wrong with it, but then again there wasn’t much to it in the first place. Still, a functional car with a working CD player? Any college kid wouldn’t complain, much. There was a small catch. I had to share the car with my brother. I was commuting 30-ish miles to a private college and going during the work week. He was going to the local community college but had about half of his classes on the weekends. We split the car for a while, but fortunately, he got sucked into a local car club and decided to buy a used car of his own. So while he spent his money on some shiny used red car, I got the brown-ish, silver-ish car back.
Boyfriend all the while had a used cougar, with a manual transmission and a handful of his own modifications that he and his car loving best friend worked on. Now that I’m in the picture with literally an intentionally generic car, I had some explaining to do to the best friend. Turns out parents didn’t want their daughter commuting to college in anything that would stand out. Just something to get the job done. So that’s how I saw cars; a functional object to get me from point A to point B and back.
Through the years, the boyfriend had to work on his cougar to keep it running until it eventually kicked the can one last time. Then he inherited an old jeep with about half the warning lights on. Luckily most of the issues were things he or someone he knew could fix himself. Not bad for a guy in college. My skills for car repairs included putting air in my tires with high heels on and knowing that check engine lights shouldn’t be ignored for too long. I’m pretty sure the only time that car got washed was when one of my parents had to borrow it for a while.
Several years go by and boyfriend popped the big question and he got upgraded to fiancé. When it came to discussing a wedding gift for each other, the MVA happened to be doing a special for license plates. They were doing a limited release on 1910 Vintage tags. The default tag was VR0001, or whichever number you secured. However, since it was a till death do us part type gift, he was given the choice for a custom tag. He chose it to say “CAR”. It was around that time that he also secured his own new vehicle, a 2012 Ford Focus. He ordered it straight from the factory and got his choice of features, which included nothing fancy (intentionally) and manual transmission. That vehicle became a ride which my fiancé could enjoy without having to pull over and dump a gallon of coolant fluid in twice a week.
But something happened to me too. Vehicles suddenly had personality. They weren’t just something to get you from point A to point B (and back). The vehicle you owned was another way to represent you. It was another median for art, for self-expression. That Ford Focus, with a license plate spelled out CAR, was called CAR. When we’d debate who would drive, that question would go, “you wanna take your car or CAR out?”. CAR was not just its custom license plate, it was its name.
From there, the vehicles we owned had some meaningful story behind it. We bought a jeep from the local coffee barista for $700 and named her Terri. We both went through motorcycles phases. Hubby’s Honda Hawk was named Jenny, after the girl who gave us dance lessons for our wedding dance. My Duke KTM was named Duchess. The Duchess was sold to a friend, since borderline racing bikes weren’t my style. Seeking something more cruiser style, I ended up with a red, white, and blue Honda Shadow 750 RS and named her Pinstripe.
I eventually conquered the obligatory car wife duty of learning to drive a manual transmission. Although I wouldn’t recommend learning to drive a manual while going to paramedic school and raising a one year old. Stalling is hardly the soothing motion that can lull an infant to sleep during teething season. Nonetheless, my vehicle adventures continued to grow. I went on to expand my wheel driving capacity to 6 wheels and being able to safely run red lights by taking my Emergency Vehicle Operator Course. Luckily by then I was proficient at driving with my left hand. After all, in an emergency vehicle, you drive with your left hand and manage the siren with your right, since technically by the book, you use the bee-do bee-do sound when driving on the road and the wee-woo wee-woo sound when approaching an intersection.
With now having a certain pride in the vehicle I was driving, I started seeking something that represented me. CAR was, after all, technically my husband’s before it was ours. Terri was considered a working project vehicle. And well, I couldn’t take the shiny ambulances home, even though I’d wash them at the beginning of every shift. Hubby had been sending me neat cars for years from various websites, such as Japaneses classics LLC and Bring a Trailer, as well as pictures of his own projects with Nissan Skylines, Mercedes, and Subaru’s. While occasionally these cars were just completely obnoxious or impractical, some were for sale. What he didn’t expect was for me to actually buy one.
Enter JoJo, the 1992 Mitsubishi Pajero and she is very unique. She’s right hand drive, manual transmission, and just the most fun little truck I ever owned. Buying JoJo was partially impractical, since it meant we’d have to make the repairs on our own. But she ended up being my primary commuter vehicle during fire academy, since Terri was starting to become more work than what she was worth as a daily driver. JoJo would rattle if you went above 100 km/hr (yeah you read that right) since having only 99 HP meant you were cruising in the +3000 RPM range if you went much faster than that. But she still managed to squeeze out a better fuel economy than the jeep and she had basically no rust.
(Terri is behind Jojo)
Suddenly, I wasn’t just the only girl at the firehouse who could drive a manual, I could manage a stick with either my right or left hand (heh). Now granted, I’m still no grease monkey but I can handle the basics. They taught us how to change a tire during week 2 of fire academy and by the end of academy, we had to understand the difference between disc brakes and drum brakes and how to check slack adjusters on the trucks. But something more important sprouted and grew. Pride. Not only was I fitting time in to wash the ambulances and fire truck in between being on the busiest medic unit in the county, but I was washing my own vehicles too.
Once I’m off rookie status, the Pump Operator and CDL classes are in the near future, since I plan to upgrade my driving capability to 10 wheels and learn to drive fire trucks. Did my then boyfriend, now husband, predict that a dorky science major would become a future truck driver? Not likely. But then again I never expected my own journey to go this way either. I thought I’d end up with some shiny Mazda that goes zoom-zoom in a quiet research lab but instead I’m in a bright red truck that blares wee-woo wee-woo en route to my next adventure.
spacekraken last edited by
@TessLacoil This is awesome, and welcome to oppo! There's at least one other RHD manual Pajero kicking around here (@ITA97) and emergency vehicle certifications sound intense (in a good way).
CB last edited by
@TessLacoil That's quite the vehicle history!
Emergency vehicle operations are a mix between fun and angering. Fun because some of the road rules become a little more optional. Angering because morons don't know what a flashing light and siren mean (or that oncoming traffic on a two lane highway needs to pull over too).
Qaaaaa last edited by
Man, that license plate rocks.
This is awesome! Emergency vehicle licenses sound really intense. Just how rigorous is the training for the ambulance driver's certification? But it sounds like the fire truck driver's certification is even harder seeing as it is a much larger vehicle. Several months ago I all of a sudden always saw the massive center hinged ladder truck with the rear cockpit on the trailer out and about. I figured it was a new driver getting in some practice as they were intentionally taking it down my narrow street, presumably for the difficult entry and exit points and need to slalom between parked cars.
Few people are brave enough to daily a RHD Pajero. It's even a two door! You have excellent taste in vehicles!
Haha, CAR is such a great vanity for a car that is entirely unassuming from the outside. It seems like you seem to prefer naming vehicles after adjectives or non-proper nouns instead of people names. I tend to like naming things after other inanimate objects or adjectives too.
Were you on Kinja? I don't remember the username.
beefchips last edited by
@tesslacoil lol highly technical
you use the bee-do bee-do sound when driving on the road and the wee-woo wee-woo sound when approaching an intersection
dead_elvis last edited by
@tesslacoil This is damn good Oppo!
Vondon302 last edited by
@tesslacoil This is good Oppo.
frinesi2 last edited by frinesi2
Ladies and gentlemen - my wife
RallyDarkstrike last edited by RallyDarkstrike
Hey @TessLacoil ! Sounds like you'll fit in just fine around these parts!
Excuse all our craziness, haha! Take a read of the User Guide sometime if you feel you need an overview or if hubby doesn't give you a decent one himself
Have a pic of one of our local volunteer Fire Department's pride and joy's that I was behind once in town! They regularly take it on drives through the town in the warmer months to delight the locals and keep her in good shape....obviously doesn't go to fires anymore, but it's like their mascot...runs like a top!
Not the best shot, but it's this one....it's a 1930s Dodge they've had since new!
@whoistheleader No I wasn’t on Kinja on my own but I was indirectly connected through hubby (@frinesi2). Decided I wanted to share some stories of my own since I have had some adventures lately on the shiny 6 and 10-wheeled rigs.
@rallydarkstrike My first fire station has this beauty restored recently and is on display in our legacy hall.
1947 Mack fire Engine (photo pulled from their website)
RallyDarkstrike last edited by
@tesslacoil Oh, that's lovely! Love the two tone white/red on the top there!
@tesslacoil congrats, I think you may be the first non Kinja poster on the Hyphen! I really enjoyed your writing. You should stick around and share some more stories if you like. It's a great community here.
@tesslacoil I love the livery on that one. It's such a beautiful machine.
Shop-Teacher last edited by
@tesslacoil Welcome! It's crazy how life takes its turns
Taylor Martin last edited by
I like CAR, and your entire eclectic collection!
annoying_salman last edited by
I love your JoJo the Mitsubishi Pajero! Do you plan to write about JoJo more in-depth? I can hardly find articles that discuss those generation of Pajeros in recent years, and adding your personal story with them just make it even more interesting.
StreetsofPerth last edited by
@TessLacoil Hi from another newbie. That's a great story about your vehicular adventures and how you got to where you are. I like Jojo the Pajero. Easily my favourite generation of Pajero.
Poor_sh last edited by
Awesome! But I'm mostly here for the vanity plate. Brilliant!