Monday, August 22, 2011

My first car, the non-convertible Sebring. Part One.

The bringer of the sea. And death.
 I am the oldest of the five kids in my family. You might think that this age benefit comes with perks, but you'd be wrong. The keyboard that I am typing on, for example, is mine only because no one else in my family liked typing on it except me. So I got to use it and since it hasn't died yet, I still have it (going on over a decade, I think).

This method of accepting what others don't want is how I ended up with my Sebring. The Sebring started out on some car lot, happily awaiting the day that someone would purchase it; blissfully unaware that almost no one wanted a non-convertible Sebrings. A non-convertible Sebring is kind of like a unicorn except possibly more rare. Luckily, my great aunt decided that she would like a non-convertible Sebring and acquired the car in 1997.

She used the car some, but not much, and eventually it was a full time feature of her garage for the better part of a decade. Now, as I mentioned, I'm the oldest of five and there are not many years between us. So when I was eligible to drive, that meant my other siblings wouldn't be far behind. My great aunt graciously offered our family the Sebring. (Little did she know that my next youngest sister and brother would decide not to pursue their drivers licenses!)

The car needed some work. After so long in storage, mountains of mice had gotten a foothold in all areas of the engine and the doors, living their tiny mice lives like kings off of the air filters. Their presence was announced in ways that were less than pleasant - for example, turning on the A/C led to the expulsion of bits of mice nest and droppings, rather than cold, fresh air one might expect.

My dad has always been the awesome, work on cars kind of dad, so he set to work cleaning out the engine and removing the door panels to work on rewiring the sound system of the car. If you've ever take a moment to look at the wires of a car, you'll see that they come in multiple colors, much like a plastic rainbow. Throughout the years, we've come to learn that mice like to chew on orange wires the best.

Ready to hit the open roads of suburban paradise!
 Thanks to my dad's careful and patient work, the Sebring was ready to be driven like a normal car once more. The only problem was that no one wanted to drive it. My dad would, but he didn't care for how it handled (more on that in Part Two) and my mom hated how the steering wheel was so low that it jammed into her legs, even when the wheel was in its "uppermost" potion. As mentioned about, my next two siblings in line didn't even end up getting their licenses at 16 and I don't think it's a stretch to say that faced with the option of driving the Sebring, they chose the suddenly very rational option of not driving at all. As for me? Well, the Sebring was the car I learned to drive in. But more importantly, no one else - in the world - wanted it and that made the Sebring the perfect car for me. You might think I'm joking about this, but the next time you're outside, keep an eye out for non-convertible Sebrings and just tell me how many you see!

Tomorrow: The Joys of Driving a Sebring!

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