yesterday I pronounced the arrival of my $1000 daily driver, but being without my phone I was picture-less, so here are pictures and details.

Imagine you have a white Corolla, what other option for modifications is there aside from tofu drift machine?

mods however, are somewhat counter to the point here. My objectives were to find a daily commuter car that has 4 doors (because my kids tire of climbing into my hatchback civic) and A/C (because it gets hot in the mile high city in summer)

So her true form is... dull. She’s white on the outside, with a mixture of beige and brown on the inside.

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so, $1000, that’s me there, feeling briefly rich. Sure it’s my money, but it feels less substantial when it’s in a bank instead of in your hands

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for anyone unfortunate enough to be in my work or oppo or social media chats, they’d know I’ve been hunting for a daily since basically last year when I got the Civic. I ranged from ~$2k beaters (civics, hondas, corollas from the 90s), ~$6k used with basic features (Fiestas, newer Corollas and Civics), ~$12k new cars at entry level (Versa, Yaris), or the ~$15k used with features (TSX, Accord, things from 2010+). Having seen that Corollas of this generation happily live on into the 300,000 mile range, finding one with less than half that for only $1000 in good condition I was at the guy’s place ASAP

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I met a nice young man who was a teacher on break, he and his wife were moving out of state so she could do her medical fellowship, and he had ambitions to hike the PCT! Two cars unecessary, their newer Forester got to stay, and their reliable 1 owner Corolla got the boot.

Having snagged it late that night, I drove it to work in the morning... without plate :S

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yup, if you are fumbling around for the gas door lever (beacuse I didnt know which side to park at the gas station) and generally look suspicious, and have no plates, you’ll get pulled over. He was nice, I showed him my paperwork, which legally permitted me to travel for 36 hours with no plates. He said “you’re doing the right thing... oh hey, lemme close this gas door for you” and sent me on my way.

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Then off to get emissions test, passed with flying colours

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Then home to join my collection of 90s JDM

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So lets talk “features”. It has 4 doors, which means easy access for my human children (and their fur baby)

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Even Zoe finds this interior super dull *MASSIVE YAWN*

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It has an engine. 1.6 liter 4A-FE, which got a bump from 100hp to 105 hp for just the 1997 model (slightly improved side impact protection, and midly changed exterior for that year too)

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It has A/C, crucial if you want to arrive at work, or home I suppose, without back sweat. It has REALLY good A/C, like, BRRRRRrrrrrrrRRRRRR

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A spacious trunk. It swallowed all 4 of the summer tyres that came with the car with ease

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It has a set of summer and winter tyres

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It has a pretty badge that sounds classy, but really jsut means it’s the base model with some fancy thrown in. From wikipedia

special CE (Classic Edition) sedan was offered and it incorporated a number of popular features in one value-priced package

Among the standard equipment were the options for power windows and locks, A/C, power steering, a four-speaker stereo, manual remote mirrors and special floor mats and exterior badging

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manual remote mirrors

HAH! that SOUNDS fancy, but...

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anyway, it has a goat sticker

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and a random assortment of surface rust spots I’ll need to address to stop them spreading

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but back to features, power locks and windows! very handy for a family car. No remote lock, but turning the key twice in the lock undoes all the doors, and that will suffice

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dimmable dash lights. now you might think “why is he showing us that?” and it’s mostly because, as you are about to find out, this is about as high a feature as anything else the car has to offer

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it shows speed, heat, and fuel. AND ONLY 138k on it!

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It has a radio. and when I say a radio, I mean radio. No CD, not even a tape deck! ONE fm and one am set of 6 presets. THATS IT

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It’s a commuter car, so an automatic is good for that stop/go traffic I endure, and gives me more freedom to flip people off as both hands are not needed for steering/gears. I think it’s a 3 speed auto? I don’t know. It’s acceptable, but I test drove the 5 speed manual and stirring your own gives a little more pep when needed than the auto can muster

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a cupholder, that while average is better than the origami nonsense in my civic

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a coin/ashtray

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It was lacking a commuter essential, so despite promising the wife that this car will have no mods or projects... I took a blank space and added a metal knob for the magnet on my phone to attach to

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It did have its two remaining hubcaps split front to rear, but in the interests of curb appeal I have moved them both to the one side so my across the street neighbours are tricked into thinking it’s a better car than it is

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But most impressively of all, $1000 got me a car that had been well taken care of, had recent work done, and a stack of papers dating back to original purchase showing substantial work done. I’m the 3rd owner!

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and that my friends, is what $1000, and a years of constant craigslist hunting can get you.

Lastly, she needs a name. I like to base the names of my cars on the license plate (see RuqSaq and Ruqus as examples). Open to suggestions based on BXL

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  • Alix Perez (as this DJ has a songed titled “BXL”)
  • Box Lad
  • Biloxi
  • Boring and Xtra Lame
  • BaXeL Foley
  • Be XceLlent to each other