Girls Write Out
Monday, July 28, 2008

Once upon a time I liked cars. Really. I had a dream of owning a Porche 911. I loved my Chrysler New Yorker. Now THAT was a car! Dave had a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner when we met. I could hear that engine coming down the country road to our farm from a mile away. There's never been a more beautiful car than that Roadrunner.

Dave and I decided we were going to buy a new car with my dad's GM employee discount. Excitement was high as we got to the Chevy dealer and breathed in that new car smell. I was about to hyperventilate. LOL. Our excitement soon waned when we soon found out the employee discount wasn't what it used to be--it's not even 10% anymore on the biggest Chevy, the Impala. And forget about a trade in this market--they offered us $2000 for our van! Discouraged at the deal--or lack thereof!--we left with our tails between our legs.

We drove to dinner at Dave's favorite place (Mancino's) and I scanned the cars on the road and the ones in the parking lot. They all look the same. Blah and boring. There wasn't one that actually made me think, "now I'd like to have that!." Even my old favorite, the Taurus, is this rounded little ugly thing that has no style and no decent backseat anymore. Chrysler still has the most style of any vehicle, but the only one I really like, the Pacifica, is built in such a way that my tall hubby can't see out very well. Many of the cars we sort of liked had the steering wheel resting on Dave's knees. I do like the looks of some SUVs but the gas mileage is terrible.

So we're going to keep our Chrysler Town and Country van for a while. It needs a little mechanical work and maybe we'll even get it repainted, but the leather interior is still in fabulous shape and at least I like the style. Even if we'd hoped for something with better gas mileage, I can't justify paying that much money for something, that's well, just plain ugly. I don't understand how we've gotten to this place where all the cars look alike. What has happened to the car industry? Where did the style go?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:02 AM  
  Comments (19)
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At 10:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I agree. Give me a cute little Model-T Ford. I'll also take just about anything from the '40s too!

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Chelf said...

I originally thought the Pontiac Aztek was the ugliest car on the market; a Honda CRX on steroids. That body style grew on me, though, because it was... different. It wasn't the cardboard box of the Scion, Hummer, or Honda Element, and it wasn't the bubble of the "egg" cars. It was a totally new shape, and rather brave.

I like my cars to look like cars; the 90's Chevy Malibu, the 80's Ford Taurus, and (in smaller version) the 90's Geo (Chevy) Prizm are all good body stiles for me.

Even the Cadillacs these days are getting too rounded for my taste. I don't think that cars lack style these days, so much as style lacks durability. Fashion is more "IN" with cars than true Style.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

For me, the coolest car has always been the original VW bug. I had a '65 and a '73 and both "ran like champs" (as my father used to say). At one point, the '65 was only running on 2 cylinders--but it was still running!!! When I see one on the road now, I'm THRILLED. (The new VW bugs just don't hack it for me. "Herbie" lives on in my heart.) The other cars I loved were our red, 1950 Willy's Jeep and a green 1949 GMC station wagon (on which I learned to drive a stick-shift). Both were indestructible like tanks and so much fun to drive! I don't know what to think about today's car styles, but I'd say the car I have now is more tempermental and a lot less reliable than those old VW's, the Willy's Jeep, or the GMC.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

It went into gas mileage I guess because it's sure gone. I like the Chrysler's though. That's what your van is right? I like the new aspen, but of course you don't need anything big. I need a bus.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

I agree, Colleen. It's curious to me all the cars seem to look the same - they go boxy for awhile, then bubbly-looking.

I like my little Cabrio convertible, but when it's time for a new one, I don't know what I'll do.

Hang in there, the right car will come along!


At 12:52 PM, Blogger Krista Phillips said...

Ok, so I am bad and am unamerican and have a Toyota. I personally think that is what is wrong with the American car market. They are all ugly. I can't STAND the Ford Taurus. Ok, so it's supposed to be all great on mileage and 'comfortable ride' and stuff, but I'm sorry, its just plain ugly. We have a mini-van that we own for practical purposes (3 kids), but my toyota Avalon I got used from a friend at work for cheap, and I still like the looks of it, and it rides good, and is mechanically sound.

I do feel guilty from time to time because of my love of Toyota's, but then I get into mine and drive and my guilt leaves a little. It isn't my fault they aren't making reliable pretty cars!

Oh, and I never buy new! Dave Ramsey says not to... (LOL) Well, that, and I refuse to have a car payment (another dave ramsey no no) so I'll stick with my quite a few years old Avalon for a while:-)

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Krista, we have a Toyota too. A 2001 Sequoia we bought new (Sorry Dave Ramsey, I don't like other people's problems in a car, but we did't have payments) Anyhoo, that baby is at 118,000 miles and still going strong.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

I like Toyotas. We have a 2000Toyota Corolla, made at a factory in Turkey! I like our car because the front headlights are round like a Mercedes (instead of rectangular as the same year/models are in the US). The color, though, is silver-gray and boring. The same color as a vast majority of cars on the road! I would like RED.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

That's why we won't buy new any more. We go for a low mileage pre-owned car.

As for me, well ... if it has wheels and AC, and it gets me there and back, I'm cool. :D

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Andrea said...

I hear you! We are thinking of a new vehicle but can't decide so here we sit. Too many choices. Too much to think about! I know someday soon I will have to face it.

I have to comment on Mancinos! Great place to eat. We like it but don't go often. The one here has gotten very expensive for the kind of place that it is. I guess in a small town where there aren't many choices you can do that!

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Krista Phillips said...

I forgot about Mancinos... we had them in Indiana where I lived but they aren't in the south evidently... Yankee food I guess:-)

My toyota is a 97, bought it from a guy at work 2 years ago and it was in excellent condition (he was the only owner and was pretty paranoid about keeping it cleaned and maintained...) It is approaching 200K miles and we still haven't had to do anything to it besides regular maintenance. Best $5000 I ever spent!

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I do like how dependable a Toyota is! We had a truck that we drove into the ground. But they're not what you call stylish. You don't see one on the road and go ooh great car! LOL

And I agree with Dave Ramsey's advice! I'd just thought with my dad's discount and the rebates, we'd avoid that loss but since we didn't, we didn't buy. LOL

Our baby girl is home and she had to have her Mancino's tuna melt grinder tonight. :)

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Ok here is the deal. All the cars look alike because it cost so much to build dies to make body parts for the cars and one car starts selling and for the next 3 -4 years all the auto makes copy that body style. Someone decides to change their body style because their dies are old and they venture out a little farther ( SUV ). We no longer have design engineers we have mechanics designing auto so only the dealers can work on them and the dealers really don't know how, even with the new equipment and tools. Today the only way to figure out what kind of car you are looking at is to read the name plate on it. One more item while I'm on my soapbox. When is the last time you could look at a car from a distance and know what year it is. I enjoyed buying cars like the "65" Plymouth Sports Fury, The "67" Barracuda and the "69" Plymouth ROADRUNNER. Those car were covered up in the showroom to announce the new years model. Now you have to read the VIN no. to know the difference.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

So true, honey!

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Chelf said...

Dave... you hit on one of my pet peeves. It is VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) not VIN number. So redundant. No harm, though. I just noticed today my spelling gaffe from Monday. Styles, not stiles. Yeah. Fingers working faster than the brain on that one, and Spell Check doesn't catch homophones in the wrong place.

I usually subscribe to Dave Ramsey's advice, but I am with Kristin on this issue alone. I have never before bought new, but I have always had other people's problems. The Buick Century that we traded away (this past weekend, for a Honda Fit) was the fourth car to die or cost too much to fix. I could have seriously, happily, pushed it into a lake without remorse.

At 7:24 AM, Blogger hotcoffeenow said...

I'm a Toyota fan, as is my husband. I'm on my 2nd Sienna (08) and dh just traded in his G35 (which was a sweeeeeet car) for a Camry (09 - better mileage). It's tough being a Toyota fan in Michigan. They're pretty staunch American car supporters. lol But they're not the best looking, nor are they really quality, so for the money I'll go Japanese. But I do like the Chryslers if I was forced to buy American. With a gun to my head. A big gun. Maybe.

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Dave said...

hotcoffeenow, For your information TOYOTA like all American cars are assembled in the USA. All the auto parts are made in other countries. The American auto makers want people to believe their cars are all made here but little if any parts are made in the USA.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger hotcoffeenow said...

Thank, Dave. But I'm already well aware that my 'foreign' car has a higher percentage of American made parts (and is assembled in America by Americans) than the 'American' cars, lol. But living in MI we are bombarded daily by union workers who insist anyone who doesn't 'buy american' is a communnist. So I still call my car foreign and the big 3 are american. It's just easier sometimes. :)


At 11:54 PM, Blogger Margo Carmichael said...

We had a Chrysler Concorde. Such a pretty car, long and low. And the dashboard was so deep and I was so low, even boosting up, I couldn't see where the car ended and the curb--or the next car--began.

And dh absolutely refused to get me those red sticks like I'd seen on mail trucks to stick temporarily on the corners of my car.

I was glad to get rid of that beautiful car. *sigh*


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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