Emily and I have been living together for 29 years. In that time I believe we have owned 11 cars;
1984 Buick LeSabre – 1992 – 1994
1990 Mercury ? (Like a K car) – 1994 – 1998
1998 Saturn SL2 – 1997 – 2006
1990? Chrysler(?) Town & Country Minivan – 1998 – 2001
2002 Subaru Legacy – 2001 – 2009
2003 Honda Odyssey EX-L Minivan – 2006 – 2021
1996 Subaru Outback 2009 – 2012
2002 Toyota RAV4 – 2012 – 2016
2004 Volvo XC70 – 2016 – 2018
2010 Volvo XC70 – 2018 –
2016 Volvo XC70 – 2021 –
So on average we seem to get a new used car every 3 years when the car needed repairs more than it was worth.
However, there’s one car out of all the above that lasted the longest, the 2003 Honda Minivan.
I just finished cleaning all our papers, coins, pens and junk out of it in preparation to sell it. I’m a little sad.
I’ve said ‘goodbye’ to cars before, mostly ones that were damaged enough to exceed their value, but this is a little different, we’ve never had a car this long before, and certainly not one that has been present for so much of our lives. A few numbers. We got it in 2006 with 28,000 miles on it. It has almost 226,000 miles on it now. We’ve been driving it for almost 15 years. Our youngest son, Marshall (14), was born a month after we bought it, we brought him home from the hospital in this car and he’s never known a home without this car in the driveway. Owen (18) probably doesn’t remember a driveway without it either. It drove Owen to school every day for the first several years of school.
It drove all over Hancock County Maine, back and forth from Bar Harbor and It’s driven from Maine to New Jersey numerous times and has even driven as far as Michigan, Tennessee and even to Canada when we drove up to see Niagara Falls. It’s carried kayaks, bikes, and mattresses on it’s roof rack. It’s been filled with up to 5 kids going to water parks, movies etc. It made numerous trips from Ellsworth, Maine to Williamstown, Massachusetts when we were moving in 2011. It made many trips with our 2 extra-large dogs to and from visits to the ocean and lakes. It took Owen to countless Gymnastics practices and meets all over New England. With its rear seat folded down and back seats removed it could carry a large amount of stuff, whether that was appliances, lumber, boxes, furniture purchased at garage sales etc.
It’s on it’s 3rd transmission now, and it’s probably only worth about $250. It needs new rear brakes which the mechanic estimates will cost over $600, and there are few other things that need fixing too. It’s certainly time to let it go, we’ve bought a nice new used car so we don’t need it anymore.
When cleaning out the car I found a receipt from Borders Books in Bangor, Maine from 2/17/2008. There were also dozens of ‘Chuck E Cheese’ tickets in the glove box. I just peeled ‘Pirates of the Caribbean window decals off the side windows by “Marshall’s seat” and a ‘USA Gymnastics’ sticker off the back window. I pinched out sand from Goose Rocks Beach out of the back pockets of the front seats where sandy flip-flops had been stored. The front passenger seat drawer had long forgotten kids CDs and old maps
It’s been a really good car, kept us safe for almost 200,000 miles, been a big part of our lives for a long time… and it will be missed.
Safe travels on your next adventures Minivan.