Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Name That Car

After months, possibly a couple of years, of procrastinating, I finally have a new car in my possession.

I've had a 1997 Corolla since 2002 and it has treated me well.  The last couple of years it's been showing signs of its age and I began to wonder whether all the wear-and-tear repairs were worth it.  However, true to form, I continued to procrastinate one repair at a time. 

This car came into my life during my senior year of college.  It made the trek from my hometown to the Quad Cities several times before I graduated.  It went all over Chicago during grad school and has transported me to many a White Sox game.  It's been to Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, even Louisiana. 

This car has memories and that is hard to let go of.


This car also rumbled loud around town and shook whenever I drove over 55 mph.  The tires were worn and needed to be replaced.  The black paint was peeling and portions of the car were rusting.  I, the music lover, was stuck with a tape deck and radio station with just 6 preset buttons.  The air conditioning.  Oh, I probably shouldn't tell you this for fear of your scornful look.  The air conditioning hasn't worked properly in over a year.  Yes, I suffered through a Southern summer without air conditioning in my car.  It was a rather damp experience.

So I knew I needed to say goodbye to 1997 and say hello to 2011, or at least 2010.  I also knew that I just wanted a new Corolla, no test driving or car comparison necessary.  I just couldn't make myself go to the dealer.  It makes no sense.

It wasn't until my dad told me that my registration would be expiring the end of February that I knew it was finally time to act.  This was my motivation.

I took a half-day off of work last week and went to the Toyota dealership.  After many discussions, it turned out that leasing was the most affordable option.  I was raised to be very suspicious of leasing so no one was more surprised than me.  Since then, I've heard from many people that are pro-leasing.  Maybe leasing is the new black.

Until my new car, I didn't realize all I was missing.  Y'all, I drive and I don't hear any rumbling.  It doesn't shake on the highway.  Rain is no match for my new tires.  And it even has a CD player!  I am in love.

Still, I haven't named it/him/her yet and my best friend's husband says this is bad luck.  They're coming into town this weekend and I told Mark he had the week to come up with a good name.  Even though I can't remember the name of my old car, I like the idea of naming cars.  My friend Nick suggested via Facebook that I name it Ozzie after my favorite team's GM.

In the meantime, I will continue acquainting myself with this beauty.  I think we're going to be good friends for the next three years, if not longer.

I thought I'd let you weigh in as well.  Do you name your cars?  Any ideas for my car's name?  Are you pro-leasing?


  1. I drive a 2001 Ford Focus, which I, too, have owned since 2002 (middle of December 2002), it only had about 26,000 miles on it - give or take a few hundred - when we got it. I have for the past two or three years thinking I need something new and bigger. I'll explain that in a bit.

    One day, I think my car backfired, when I was running low on gas and was pushing it to make it to the gas station (not literally but pushing my luck kind of thing). I think we (kids were with me) were going up a hill and when it backfired or made a noise that was similar to a backfiring, I reached over to the dashboard and said out loud - it's okay Bessie Mae, you can do it - so the name stuck - don't ask me where it came from - lol.

    My kids were 10 and 8 when we got the car, so no big deal as to room or stuff - has a spacious trunk, the back seats fold down for more room and it got us from here, there and everywhere. Fast forward five years - 2007, my son grew a ton - he is now 16, and over 6 feet tall (6'1" or 6'2" now), and my daughter is now 18 and is 5'7" or 5'9" (depends on the doctor's office which measures her - lol) and is a big girl. Even though I'm only 5'2", the car no long has the room to be comfortable for me and the kids. If I ever can find some funds or whatever - I'm getting a mini van. Not only for family stuff but for my books - I need the back space to put all my boxes and book related stuff - tables, prizes for the kids, books, et cetera - so my next option is hopefully a low-mileage (under 100,000 miles) low cost, mini van - I don't care what brand or model, as long as it is in good condition and will give me several years, I'll be happy.

    So that's my naming a car story (I don't think I ever named any of my other vehicles though) and I'm sticking to it - lol. - E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

    Where will the adventure take you next?


  2. Oh yes! I do name cars! Our current Sonata is named Moonlight b/c she is the color of moonlight (silver) and well, she is a Sonata, so it was an obvious choice "Moonlight Sonata!". My hubby's old gray Ford F150 is named Reginald (Reggie for short). As for your beauty, I think she looks like a Lily. :-)

  3. I had a 1990 Corolla until 2003 - loved it! We leased our 2010 Honda Odyssey a year ago this month and it's wonderful to think that we can just turn it back in and get a new one (although we do not like the current design so may just buy ours in the end). We drive cars to the ground so NEVER thought we would lease either. Even if we buy it out at the end we still come out ahead financially. And we named our Odyssey Iliad. Congrats on your new wheels!

  4. Congrats! I've leased my last few cars and I think it's the best decision for us young, single girls. I mean, it's probably the only time we'll be able to drive new cars!! Take advantage of it!

  5. I've loved hearing everyone's car-naming and leasing stories today! Thanks for sharing. There have been some good suggestions on the blog and off for what my car's name should be. I'll keep y'all posted!

  6. Congrats on the new car! It's always a good feeling to get a new car. My first and only so far new car is a Mitsibitchi Lancer and it has dotefully loved us since 2003. It is starting to show its age now too, but I am not going to give up on it yet. After all cars take a lot of crap from us, it's like they are part of the family.


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