My Automotive Timeline

Between excellent folks like CoFL and RPM, I feel compelled to bring balance to Oppo. We need people who have had some dubious vehicles to know that: what you’ve gone though... it’s okay. You’re not alone.

2000-something through 2007. Or ‘08: 1992 Integra AUTOMATIC


Hand-me down after my brother went off on missionary work. I did all the stupid teenager stuff with — and in — this car. Actually lived out of it for a week. It had high miles and many electrical problems, water leak, and so on. Timing belt snapped twice. 4th gear was going out. Some of the interior was missing. Comfortable driver’s seat. Drove to the moon and back in this thing. With chains on, it laughed at heavy snowfall in Bellingham.

Ran off the road by a Range Rover, drove it for 2 months before insurance totaled it, RIP.

2008-2011: 1996 Civic DX hatchback

I have no photos of this car.

Ate O2 sensors. Water flooded through poorly-installed windshield (fixed first week of ownership). Got 38 miles per gallon all day every day. Everyone loved the Integra (except cops). Everyone hated the civic (especially cops). People tried to race me, various racial epithets from RAM bois (R I C E), some games of chicken... I wished I was invisible during my 70-mile commute.

And one day I must have been invisible. Because I was rear-ended at 70 miles per hour on I-5. Hatch and rear suspension totally blown apart, but I literally walked away (although quite concussed...)


2011-2015: 1989 Toyota pickup - base base base base base


Bought this with the hilariously low payout from my insurance. The Toyota that started it all. 5-speed with a gutted interior. Rattle-can paint. Well over 300k miles. Never broke down. Somehow *excellent* in the snow with weight in the back. Engine had low compression on all cylinders, but it wouldn’t die. 26 miles per gallon, a dog but a great dog.

Sold it for $1,200 after I bought a different pickup you may have heard about...

2012-2015: 1985 Tercel wagon SR5 4WD


Still my absolute favorite car, ever. Bought for $300 with a snapped timing belt. Sat in a field for two years. My brother-in-law, dad, and I fixed it up during winter in my gravel driveway. The first drive after we replaced the belt (not fun job when it’s 20 degrees outside)... Best drive of my life. I loved that thing.

Rust and repairs that were beyond my skillset and budget (suspension, specifically), plus we had just bought a car and there just wasn’t room for six cars anymore. Sold it to my brother-in-law who fixed everything himself and sold it to a guy in Seattle. Still out there today, I believe.


2013-2015: 1984 Tercel wagon SR5 4WD


Biggest piece of shit on the planet. Seller fucked me. Lies upon expensive lies. Like... blatant evidence that I was in fact taken for a hell of a ride. I wish him poor fortune.

I sold this to a guy who did a 4AGBBQ whatever swap on it. I don’t remember because fuck that car.


2013-Current: 1980 Toyota Pickup SR5 Longbed

It used to clean up real nice, huh?

Need I say more? “Well—” IF YOU INSIST! Had sat for six years. Fired right up. Greatest value ever. Took this on my honeymoon. Moved three times with just this. Camping trips. I did have to fix a few things right away, namely the brakes, exhaust manifold gasket, exhaust, fuel filter. So about... $250, maybe? Wow. Oh, and the hours fixing the window regulators about half-a-dozen times. But that was all free. And back when I didn’t have a demanding job, so this could get my undivided attention. While the Tercel is my favorite *car*, this is my favorite vehicle, period, no debate, good day sir.

2016-... 2016: 1985 Celica GT

This photo gives me the fetishes.

Yeah, wow. Bet you guys never heard that I once owned a Celica. Well the truth is: I did in fact own a Celica! For five months. I could stare at it all day. I thought this was the greatest thing ever. And it was fun as hell. If I had more space, I would kept it and experimented a little more. But it had the most painfully uncomfortable driver’s seat ever. There was a water leak in the B-pillar somewhere. And the heat poured through the transmission tunnel, had no AC, rear windows did not pop out, so it was terrible on sunny days. Also if you went over 90 mph — so I hear — it basically felt like it was lifting off and the steering wheel did nothing. Scary, in a not-good way. If I could do it again, I would have shelled out for a GT-S with better seats, IRS, and stickier tires. Oh, and maybe AC.

Sold it for $2,000 to a guy who liked Toyotas even more than me.

2016-2017: 1984 Tercel wagon SR5 4WD


Yeah... third time? Not the charm. Immaculate shape, minimal rust... but a total shitshow under the hood and the suspension was just... totally fucked. Fucked so bad that 3 shops refused to work on it... I don’t know about you, but I don’t often turn away business. So when multiple shops do, that tells the story. Drove it all the time, though. Seller was not forthcoming but I didn’t follow my gut because oh God how I wanted another Tercel. Also at this stage of my life, all the spare time and willpower I had was... not there. Broke down... often.

One day, the engine went bye-bye on the freeway. Two hours later, I bought..

2017-Present: 2002 IS300 Sportcross


... this!

Thanks for reading.

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