Speaking of things that are red hot. {The story of every car I’ve ever owned.}

You may have thought you learned everything about me last week when I answered about a hundred questions. Here’s something else though:

I’m kind of obsessed with cars.

A good friend of mine joked last night that I change cars like some people change clothes and I can’t argue with that. In the last 15 years that I have been driving, I have owned 8 cars. I guess my car hoarding problem is on par with my shoe hoarding problem.

“What? Only 15 years?” you might be asking yourself. “I thought Salt was way older than that.”

Well…I am. Also as a teenager, I was lazy and/or completely terrified of taking my driving test and as a result I did not get a license until I was 20 years old. Just imagine how desperate my friends and family were for me to stop asking them for rides everywhere. Desperation in 1998 apparently cost $500 because that’s how much my father gave me to buy myself a car. I’m sure the price would be much higher today, what with inflation and everything.

Meet Clyde:

This is a dramatization and not the actual Clyde. I do have pictures of the real Clyde, but they were all taken with a film camera because...1998. I still carried a beeper back then.

This is a dramatization and not the actual Clyde. I do have pictures of the real Clyde, but they were all taken with a film camera because…1998. I still carried a beeper back then.

I know I’ve addressed this somewhere on my blog before, but I name all my cars. Is that weird? What is probably weirder is that I gender-assign them as well. Sorry not sorry.

Anyway, Clyde was a 1987 Ford Tempo. He was a giant piece of crap that might as well have had a big neon sign on top begging people to hit me. I got rear ended by a Suburban within the first two weeks of driving him and went on to get into several other accidents, none of which were my fault. But he was my first car and I loved him. Clyde’s best features were his completely useless luggage rack on the trunk and the fact that I put on so many bumper stickers that in the end I’m pretty sure that’s what was holding him together. Somehow I ended up driving Clyde for 2 years until one day he just stopped working…while I was making a left in front of oncoming traffic. Luckily this would be the one time that no one ran into me.

After Clyde there was Sake.

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Also a dramatization. I live nowhere near mountains like that and although it was the year 2000, I still did not have a digital camera.

Sake was a 1991 Honda Accord with really bad sun damage. I bought Sake myself and I LOVED him.

Actually this car was pretty cool. Sake’s best features were POWER WINDOWS AND A CD PLAYER. And one blown speaker, but whatever. I swore up and down that I would drive that car until it fell apart underneath me. That didn’t happen because someone made the huge mistake of showing me a picture of the new Mini Cooper that would be released soon in the US. Then a dealership opened up a half mile from my house. I was done for.

This is Dee:

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Actually Dee. It was 2002 and I was very technically advanced at this point.

Dee was one of the first Mini Coopers sold in the state of Maryland and the reason why I fell completely in love with quirky, small cars. Because she was part of the initial batch of Coopers she did have some issues, but I still loved her. I actually started up a car club in my area and would organize drives and get-togethers for fellow Mini owners. I started dating a guy in California that I met because he also drove a Mini. He convinced me that I needed to buy the supercharged version. So in 2005, I traded Dee in for Boo:

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And if you were wondering where Boo got his name:

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Boo was wicked fast. I traveled across the country, all over the great state of California for the next 3 years, then shipped him back east on a truck when I moved home. To date, I owned Boo longer than any of my other cars: 5 years. That’s when everything started to break and my warranty had run out so I knew it was time to move on.

At this point I wasn’t a fan of the redesigned Minis so I didn’t want to get another one, but I wanted to stay in something very small. Maxine was the obvious choice.

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MAXINE SMART. GET IT!? God I’m so clever.

The Smart car was totally cute and totally impractical, especially for a woman considering having a child at some point in the near future. I was sure our days together would be numbered, but it was fun while it lasted. Do you know how many people can fit in a Smart car? I do.

The answer is 8 as long as you don’t plan on driving anywhere.

One of the more interesting adventures I had with Maxine was driving her to Ocean City for a weekend festival and the last night there, a bunch of what I assume were drunk college students on senior week literally PICKED HER UP AND MOVED HER. I got a ticket because they put her down in an illegal way and I had to call the cops and fill out a police report. Totally obnoxious, but makes for a great story now. I didn’t have to pay the ticket either.

So then I got pregnant with Betty and the search was on for something with 4 doors that could fit an infant seat. Whereas I felt like most of the new moms I knew were lusting after minivans, I wanted the smallest car that I could safely get away with. The compromise was Bruce Wayne:

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My Mazda 2. Bruce was a good car, but lacked pizazz. I wasn’t supposed to care about stuff like this anymore though because I was about to become a mom. I drove Bruce for less than a year and then moved on to Blanche, who I’ve mentioned before on my blog:

IMG_6026

Blanche is a Mazda 3. Safe. Practical. The mommiest mom car I would ever drive. She’s also the biggest car I’ve ever owned and it was a scary adjustment learning how to parallel park her, but we worked it out in the end. Blanche gets us from point A to point B and those were the only points I need, right? How many times did I need to tell myself before I finally believed it?

Ugh. I missed my small cars so much.

My husband – who just so happens to sell cars, which is the most enably profession ever for someone like me – knew that I was jaded and the other day when someone showed up at his dealership with a new trade in, he told me all about it. I drove by on my way to pick up Betty from school and saw the car outside. It was love at first sight.

The dealership generously loaned me the car (total perk of being a salesman’s wife) last weekend so I could test it out, see if I was comfortable in it, and test Betty’s seat in the back to see if it would even fit. The minute I was behind the wheel, I knew she was mine.

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Meet Fifi LaRouge.

I am by far the best car namer EVER and I didn’t realize how monochromatic all my past cars have been until I wrote this post. She’s so RED!!

Betty loves her too. When we walked outside she exclaimed “I ride in Mommy’s new car!” and the fact that Fifi is the same color as her beloved Elmo is a huge selling point. She sits up higher than she does in Blanche and has a much easier time seeing out the window, hence I get commentary on every dog, truck, person running, or playground we pass on her way to school.

She’s already something of a car enthusiast herself anyway.

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We still have Blanche, but my husband drives her now and I will occasionally if we have to go on a long trip. We traded in our other car (a black Mazda 3 with no name) for the Fiat.

I can’t wait for my lunch break so I can go for a drive.

What was the first car you ever owned? What was your FAVORITE car you’ve owned? Do you name your cars weird things like I do?

Happy New Car Tuesday, everyone!

xo,

Salt

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38 thoughts on “Speaking of things that are red hot. {The story of every car I’ve ever owned.}

  1. laurenwayjurlee says:

    My first car was a gold Ford Focus station wagon. That thing bit the dust after 2 years! My favorite car was my Dad’s hand me down Toyota Solara. I loved that thing!

    You sound just like my fiance with the cars. He leases cars and never keeps them longer than 2 years!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Solaras are actually really awesome! I had one as a rental when I was home for a visit once. It was ridiculously huge compared to the Mini and I couldn’t park it at all, but it was very comfortable to ride in!

  2. Andrea says:

    Love your new car! Definitely practical but not a “mommy” car. The first car that I bought myself was a Chevy Malibu – the “blue bu.” I drove it until it got totaled and now I’ve been driving my Honda Accord for 7 years. I’m so ready for something new, but with 155,000+ miles it is ridiculously reliable. I love not having a payment so I’ll probably hold onto it for another year or so.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you! Hondas really do last forever. If I wasn’t so indecisive, I could have kept my Accord for many more years. It was an older model, but barely had any miles on it when I got it.

      I don’t know what life is like without a car payment. That sounds spectacular!

  3. piratebobcat says:

    Haha, you belong in a tree because you’re a nut! 😉
    My first car was a Chevy Nova – which I thought was funny because in Spanish, No va translates to “It doesn’t go” Haha!
    When I was a kid I was given a big teddy bear from my grandparents. It had a big ribbon around it’s neck. I asked what it said, “Super Price!” it read. I thought that was his name. Funny thing is I didn’t think the name was strange until I was a teenager and it finally clicked what his name meant. Haha I still have Super Price.

  4. Sara says:

    Love FiFi! My first car was a 88 Toyota Corolla – my older brother had her when he was in high school, I don’t think I named her, but here I am referring to her as a “her”. The first car I ever bought was a 2006 Toyota Corolla – I did name her “Ginger” as she was red and had black interior (like a soulless Ginger). I had her up until 2011 when (due to working in the car business) one of my stores offered me a silly amount to trade her in, so I did and got a really great Chevy Cruze, which lasted less than a year b/c C made her debut and the car seat made the car just impossible. I got my “mom-mobile” the Chevy Equinox which I haven’t named and will be keeping until she’s paid off (or until I’m tempted by another one of my managers)

    • runsaltrun says:

      I just laughed out loud at my desk @ soulless Ginger.
      Seriously Mike makes it WAY too easy for me to jump from one car to the next. But I think I’m going to hold on to Fifi for a very long time. 🙂 Honestly I’m still shocked that I could fit an infant seat in the 2. That thing was pretty small. I never would have been able to get her into the Fiat rearfacing.

  5. irenejean says:

    The new car looks sweet! My first car was a white Subaru Forester that I named Frosty, my second car (I got him a few months ago on New Year’s Eve), is a blue Subaru Impreza and I named him Azulito. I love naming cars too. 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you!! I’m so glad you don’t think I’m crazy with my car naming! Subarus are awesome. My brother has a WRX that he has put a LOT of money into making very fast. In general I’m always just so jealous of the ones I see on snowy days around here. Everyone else gets stuck and the Subys are just rolling around like no problem.

  6. she's going the distance says:

    you are the best car namer of all time. My first car was a blue camaro which i named Kitty, cause she purred. Then i had a pontiac grand am which i called “the boat” cause it felt huge..and right now i drive a kia sport age who I call “Kid-A” after radiohead because the logo just reminds me of the Kid-A album art.

  7. Piper's Run says:

    Love the names of your cars! My car is “Murphy” a Blue Honda Civic that will probably only be with us for another year (if we’re lucky) then it’s on to something else. It’s the only car I’ve owned!
    Enjoy Fifi!

  8. SuzLyfe says:

    I love your car history, and how much you love your cars–I’m a car girl too. My first car was my dad’s old BMW 733i (1984–didn’t even have the 3rd break light or airbags haha)–it was a giant grey tank that you could hear from a mile away. But it was impenetrable–a true german tank. I named it Eli because it reminded me of an elephant, but Ellie is a girl’s name, and this car was masculine. Mom’s old Chrysler Town and Country was Elmer (it stuttered–shimmied as it drove), the new blue van was Zoe (reminded me of the Zoloft blob) and then her Audi was Heidi. My Rav4 is Tally, as in Tally Hoooooooo!!!
    And I love Smart cars. Too much. Not as much as I love you, obv.

    • runsaltrun says:

      My dad has a 1985 5-series BMW still! (My brother drives it!) Those old BMWs are AWESOME. See? There is definitely either masculine or feminine about cars. The fact that you just said that makes me feel less crazy. These are all such great names! I love the name Heidi for an Audi and Tally too!

      The Smart was definitely fun and it was fun getting a bunch of confused stares as I drove it around. I actually parked it head in to the curb once downtown when there weren’t any other parking spaces and I didn’t get a ticket. I. LOVE. YOU!! ❤

  9. Fezz says:

    The Maxine story never gets old. I love Fifi! My first car was a 90 Accord. My favorite was my GTO, RIP. I do not name them, unless you count the occasional Asshole.

    • runsaltrun says:

      I had no idea you had a GTO! That is so badass!!! Haha the Maxine story is hilarious now but at the time I was ready to knock on every door in Ocean City looking for those guys.

  10. Corinne says:

    My first car was actually the Nissan Maxima that my step-dad bought without ever having driven one before. Seriously, he’d only ever been in one as a passenger, felt comfortable in it (he’s 6’2″ and nearly 250 pounds at that time), and convinced my mom they had to buy it. When he got a truck, it became my mom’s car….and when she got a Saturn, I got the Maxima. That thing was ugly (maroon exterior with light tan interior, totally stained from when two 12-packs of Diet Coke exploded in the summer heat) and the driver’s side door lock was broken, but it ran for a very, very long time. You know that scene in Rock Star where Jen Aniston has to get out on the passenger side and it’s all awkward? Yeah, that was me getting out of that Maxima. The transmission gave up….on the busiest stretch of road in Annapolis coming out of Edgewater….in front of a church….10 minutes before services let out….but it lasted nearly 280,000 miles!

    The first car that was ever really “mine” (as in, I paid all the bills for it) was a 2002 Mercury Cougar. It was very much a man’s car before I got it. Less than 18,000 miles and 4 years old? Also an ugly color combination. Tan leather (no seat warmers…ugh) and the strangest shade of “green” ever. It looked beige, or silver, or truly green, depending on what the light was like when you were looking at it.

    Anywho…..not trying to be a creeper AGAIN, but I totally remember seeing Boo at that apartment complex we both lived in for a couple years but never actually knew each other. I was SO JEALOUS of the person who had that car!

  11. littlegreenrunningshoes says:

    So many cars! I love it Salt! I’m sure Fifi is going to be a fabulous ride for you and Betty. My first car was a Mercury Grand Marquis that had a powdered blue bottom and navy top. It was classy. Then I moved onto my maroon Buick Park Avenue ULTRA with a super charger. Next came the classy tan Ford Taurs and now I drive my beloved tan Chevy suburban. I have a thing for big cars just like you have a thing for little cars! Enjoy Fifi!

  12. michelle says:

    Fifi LaRouge does have a nice ring to it! Does she run on champagne? I hope so. My favorite car was my bmw 335 named Pepper. I felt like everything was so cramped after C came along that I traded her in for a Murano. I loved that car so much I got woozy in the dealership when we started signing the paperwork. It’s all good now though. I really like it!

  13. Kelly @ Turned up to Eleven says:

    Aww… Boo and Dee – totally remember those fun little vehicles!!! Many a fun night was had riding in both!! OK, we’ve been friends for how long, how have we NOT discussed that our first cars were almost identical?!?! (Mine was a 1986 Mercury Topaz, same body style as the Tempo, and his name was Merky… after Merky and Lurkey on Rainbow Bright). I too name my cars (all boys) Your remember Whitey right? My BMW?

    Don’t feel bad… you’ve had 8 cars, I’ve had 5 cars, well 6 if you count the Jeep I drove all the time before my first car, that wasn’t technically mine.

    Congrats on Fifi – she’s a fox!!!! LOVE HER and always knew I could see you in one of those from the moment the commercials started airing here!

  14. Kerrie says:

    Wow that’s quite a collection! 🙂 I really want to drive but its so expensive over here I thought twice. :/ I priced up insurance for a £500 Corsa (15 yr old, 1.1l) and it was going to be £1000. I figured if I saved the majority of my wages I could save up and get my licence and a car with a similar insurance quote at the end of the year or just over. Then I realised I wouldn’t be able to afford to insure it the year after + pay for mot & repairs & road tax. I’m saving for my licence now, I reaching the age were insurance drops a good £600 haha… And I would totally name the car! Any car/motocycle/airplane/boat needs a name.

  15. irishrunnerchick says:

    I was reading this and started thinking “She would love the Fiat 500” and then BOOM – Fifi LaRouge (awesome name).

    I didn’t get my license until I was 25 (!) and have only ever co-owned one car. It doesn’t have a name but its official color is listed as ‘champagne’ so you know it’s classy!

  16. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says:

    My mom always use to name her cars when I was growing up! I never did, but I’ve only had one car which I still have. Its 13 years old but still going strong! (It’s a Honda Accord and apparently they can get like 200,000 miles on then, I’m at about 135,000 so hopefully it will last me a while longer!)

  17. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Haha, this was funny. You have had a lot of cars! My first car was a teal chevy blazer…it was pretty cool when I was in highschool. I think I’ve owned 4 cars. The blazer, a Toyota corolla, Honda accord and now a Toyota 4Runner. I’m dying for a new car!!

  18. runningsouthern says:

    Congrats on the new car! I have never really been a car person. My first car was a white ’98 Z28 Camaro. I got it when I was 15 and drove it a little over a year, when we realized the heat didn’t work in it (in the middle of winter) and I had to drive around covered in blankets with gloves and multiple layers. I got a new car before the next winter.

    I named my current car because I love it so much. (The only car I have ever really loved, although I thought I loved another one once). Her name is “Fancy” because she is red and named after the greatest song ever written by my favorite red head, Reba.

  19. Pandora Viltis says:

    My son named his car Leticia, but yes not allowed to drive her right now.

    I’ve only had 4 cars, two of which we still own (my husband got my 4Runner when his Audi died and I got the new car). I have a soft spot for my second car, an Acura Integra, because it was the first car I bought. The 4Runner is 15 years old and I think soon to be replaced. My first car was a piece of crap Mustang. My current car is a Honda Crosstour that I love (although it seems to have turned into a “ding” magnet the past couple months.

    No names for any of my cars. I’m so boring.

  20. Falyn @ Slacker Runner says:

    Yay, I thought I was the only one went through cars like candy. I am currently on #9 in 14 years I think? My first car was a champagne colored Mercury Cougar with whitewalls named Nessie like the Loch Ness Monster because she was huge. I like bigger cars but currently drive an Altima because it gets good gas mileage and isn’t too small.

  21. samantha couch says:

    i love fifi – so cute! but i’m the complete opposite. the bigger the car, the better! hence, i drive a Hummer H3 right now. but my first car was a mustang convertible, the newer body style in 1997ish. i don’t know what the hell my parents were thinking gifting that to a 16 year old girl!

  22. Ange @ Cowgirl Runs says:

    I loooooove the Fiat’s! LOVE THEM!
    My first car was a 1983 Honda Accord. Yup, my car and I were born in the same year, then it was a 2001 Honda Civic, then a 1996 VW Jetta, a 2005 Nissan 350Z, a 2006 Honda SIR, a 2010 Nissan 370z and now a 2013 Audi A4. You will need to pry that A4 from my cold dead hands, I freaking love that thing to DEATH. If I didn’t drive on wintery roads all the damn time, I’d probably have a Fiat because I LURVE them.

  23. kristenk says:

    This is one of the most amazing posts ever! I also love small cars! I used to have a VW Cabrio convertible that I was in love with, but then when I was 22 I crashed her on the PA Turnpike while eating a Wawa sandwich! It’s a funny story, but I actually ended up totaling it and was in the hospital for a hot minute so it was pretty bad. I had to buy a new car ASAP so I chose a Toyota Yaris which are so cute! I loved my Yaris but had to trade it in a few weeks ago for the Jeep that would be pulling our U-Haul across the US to Alaska. The Jeep is no fun to park 😦 But if you ever get one, Betty will be up so high! I feel like I’m driving a tank and can see over all the other cars so she would probably love it! Anyways, I’m in love with your new car! It’s so adorable and it should be so much easier to park! I wish I could have one of those here!

  24. fitnessmeetsfrosting says:

    Pahaha OMG you go through cars like I go through hair products! So fun though!! My first car was a Honda Pilot. I loved that thing, mostly because it was big and I felt safe and it had a GPS because I’m directionally challenged. Luckily it was big and safe because it was totaled when a stupid beyatch ran a stop sign flying off of a freeway off ramp and plowed into me. Unfortunately this ruined me and I only want bigger cars now. I wonder if they make a tank-hybrid?

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