Click here for Part I.
1988 Chevy Beretta. My parents bought my older brother a car (a 1984 Toyota Celica, I believe) when he graduated from college, and they continued the tradition with me. I remember test driving several cars before we settled on this little manual-transmission 5-speed. The silver paint job began to flake off the roof a few years later, and I found out that there was a recall on lots of GM cars with silver paint from that era. The car made it through one fairly significant wreck (a sun-in-your-eyes rear-ending in Athens that I'll not soon forget), and served me well for 12 years, making the journey from Chattanooga to Athens to Charlottesville and finally to Conway. It was retired in 2001 when I was seven months pregnant with Archer; we drove it to Little Rock one last time and traded it in for ...
2000 Subaru Outback. This car was a one-year-old demo car when we bought it, and it's still going strong eight years later. With our no-commute lifestyle, we don't put the miles on very fast. I think we're up to about 70,000 miles now. I really love this car, and I love my mechanic (Skip's Foreign Car Repair) even more. Which reminds me, I need to get the brakes serviced -- I'm sure our neighbors are tired of the squealing.
1989 Oldsmobile Toranado Trofeo. Noel bought this car used in Virginia in 1998 or thereabouts. The sale was brokered by one of our co-workers at GE Fanuc who was always wheeling and dealing several jalopies. We brought it here to Conway and used it as our emergency second car. After some kind of accident that I have blocked from my memory, the insurance labeled it totaled, and we basically stopped renewing the registration. We sold it to a couple of guys who were doing some work on the house and expressed interest. They apparently never filed for a title or registered it, because when it got seized in some kind of crime investigation about a year ago, we got notified by the police as if it still belonged to us.
2005 Honda Civic Hybrid. Remember how all the talk about hybrid cars was just starting up in 2004-2005? I had seen a couple of early models when they were brought on campus as part of an environmental sustainability week we were sponsoring. When we knew we needed a real second car to replace the unreliable junker we'd been using as our backup, I decided on a hybrid. At the time it was about greenhouse gas emissions. Now when I'm getting 35 mpg tooling around town in stop-and-go traffic, I feel like a real smart cookie.