Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Car Drama, Part 2

Fast forward about 15 or 20 years and parents come to the realization that their progeny have to learn to drive. Not only do they need to learn to drive, they seem to need access to an automobile. At the time Lucas was learning to drive, we still had the 1979 Porsche. We also had a 1987 Jeep Cherokee we had purchased new when Lucas was two years old. The Jeep had become unreliable and too small for our family travels so our main vehicle was a Honda Odyssey mini-van. Dave was quite certain that Lucas would jump at the chance to take care of and drive the Porsche. I mean, how hot would it be to drive it into the Kamiak high school parking lot?

Lucas did not like the Porsche's manual transmission. It was a difficult car to drive--hard to shift and hard to turn. It did go fast and Dave had some tickets to prove it. No, Lucas wanted the Jeep. He liked being able to have an outfit he could take to trailheads. He loved getting stuck in the mud and driving through blocked off areas in our neighborhood and up and over curbs. I drove the mini-van, of course, and Dave managed to get to a bus stop in either the Jeep or the Porsche. The problem with the Porsche was it was dying. Every little noise meant $1500 for some obscure repair. Furthermore, it was becoming difficult to find people who could fix it.

Until the last days, the Porsche remained its pretty self. Pure white with good paint--a good polish made it look brand new. Dave loved the car and was heartbroken that Lucas had no interest in loving it as well. Kaley liked it but it was too much for her to learn to drive without an automatic transmission. Besides, the main issue was, it was no longer driveable. Things would happen even on the way to the bus stop.

Six years ago, we had our eye on this new house and though the house is bigger, we would be dropping from a three car garage down to a two car garage. The inevitable day had come. The Porsche had to go. Dave decided to sell it and I was skeptical. It didn't work! How could we in good faith sell a car that would not drive up our street? Dave had some minor repair done so that it would drive a little and it was "For Sale." Dave insisted someone would buy it who would want to play with it and spend time working on it----you know, car people. He said they would understand all of the problems.

A 17 year old kid contacted us and visited us with his father to take a look. The father was going through chemotherapy and he was excited to find an old Porsche for his son's first car. The father seemed to know about Porsches and had had one in his youth. I got the impression that our Porsche was the answer to one of the father's last wishes on earth. Geez! How could we go through with this? Needless to say, we priced it right. I did not want to be in the same room during the discussions though never did Dave tell an untruth. The kid had stars in his eyes and I am certain he was imagining all kinds of girls wanting to ride with him in the white Porsche. The father seemed to be at peace--oh man!? The car passed a test drive and off they went. We had a check in hand and one less vehicle.

Less than one week later, we received a distressing phone call from an extremely disappointed teen ager. The Porsche stopped working somewhere in the middle of a street. After being towed, a car repairman told the kid there was very little hope without a lot of money to get the thing going again. We had not cashed the check thinking this possibility may arise. The check was torn up and Dave had the Porsche towed to a place that takes old cars as donations for charity.

Dave never got over his white Porsche! Now that I am undergoing chemo, I think about that poor Dad and how upset he must have been.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our family car dramas.