I remember around the time I was out of a childseat mother had a Geo Metro. Being the only car I really experienced I never really thought anything of cars. I was only into fire trucks and semis (which I refered to as “truck truck beep beeps” for most of my younger years). I know that after that car my mother vowed to never have a hatchback again. To this day even a Lexus CT is a penalty box to her due to bodystyle.

After the Geo was an Oldsmobile Achieva Sedan which I remember she loved and was used for a lot of road trips. I really liked the car because she really liked it and I remember she made a five hour drive to Colorado Springs, drove around for a week and filled up on the way back home. I know this because she always references this experience when the car is brought up. Fuel range wins over many people just as often as power, Oppo. Eventually the driver seat caught fire in the driveway and fire trucks came to put it out, which was a great moment in my childhood! The Achieva made dreams come true for me.

There was an Oldsmobile Cutlass after the Achieva which killed all the love she had gained for Oldsmobiles and I remember that she vowed to never purchase a 4-cylinder car again. I also know that when once she prioritized price and perceived value, reliability and ease of ownership became the biggest metric in which she would judge all vehicles and she was now willing to pay the premium.

The last car is a 2004 Toyota Camry which she bought brand new in 2003. That was probably the best car out of any of these. I remember being at the Toyota dealership and they had some car called a “Spyder.” I wanted her to buy that car purely because spyder was the coolest name I ever heard for a car! I also remember that she tested out a Honda Accord V6 right after the Camry V6 and hated the ride quality compared to the Camry (they did have vastly different levels of isolation). The salesman kept talking about the Accord’s athleticism and how it would out corner the Camry and my mom asked what corners did she need to “hotrod” around. That experience from when I was around 14 or 15 years old made me think sporty cars were pretty weird purchases for regular driving when you could have comfort and zero stress at the same price.

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So, from my mother I learned that:

1. Hatchbacks were the lowest form of transportation you could buy.

2. Fuel range is power.

3. Random car fires are the best way to get a fire truck in front of your house.

4. The devil lives in 4-cylinder engines.

5. Comfort > Sporty. 

Then about 3 years ago I turned into an enthusiast and ended up with quite a few shocks as you may be able to guess.  

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Next time Ill tell you how my stepdad’s car purchases impacted me.