a nice reliant automobile

In the first picture of my previous post, you can just make out my license plate. I’ve had a vanity plate on my car for something close to 15 years now.

My first car was a 1976 Nova, purchased from Nat’s family in 1987. That car did not have a vanity plate, but I can remember the plate number – 898 BMN.

My next car, purchased in 1990, was a 1981 Toyota Corolla. This was the car that got the vanity plate “GRGOYL” because Utah vanity plates only allowed six characters at the time. At one point, its plate got stolen. When I got it replaced, Utah had expanded vanity plates to seven characters, so I put the A into the replacement. This car survived my first marriage and its end in divorce, but met its demise at the rear end of a semi in 1994 – with me and two others inside it!

The next car to sport the license plate was a 1990 Corolla GTS. I had this car until the bank repossessed it in 1996 after I lost my job at Packard Bell. I went without a car for almost a year after that, and rode my bicycle everywhere. I was in very good physical shape that year.

A 1986 Nissan Sentra was next. This car developed various mechanical difficulties after a couple of years and had to be replaced. I later sold it to a guy walking by who was initially interested in the Thunderbird on the property that belonged to Mike Biesele. Not too long after that, the guy who bought it told me it had been towed before he got it registered, and wanted me to go get it out of police impound. When I called the police station about it, they asked me to come in and talk to them about the situation. The discussion started to sound like and interrogation … after it was over, I learned that the guy had used the car in some kind of drug-related crime, and they had ruled me out as a suspect.

In the meantime, I had bought a 1988 Toyota longbed pickup truck, which served me faithfully for a few years. It fell into disuse when I got my newest car and was ultimately towed away by a junkyard. I would like to own another truck, but it’s not worth the money.

In February of 2001, I got my current car, which is in the picture from yesterday’s post. It’s a 1991 Toyota Camry DX. Also visible in that picture is a 2002 Chevy Express 3500 – a 15 passenger van on a 1 ton chassis. It represents the very first brand new car I have ever bought – it had 8 miles on it when we took it for a test drive. I would like my next car purchase to be similar to the Toyota Prius, but run on diesel rather than gasoline.

4 responses to “a nice reliant automobile”

  1. I went carless until May of 2000, when I got myself a Toyota Corolla on lease from one of the local dealerships. Right now, I’m driving a 2003 Toyota Camry, also on a lease, but when it’s up (in January), I’ll buy it out. I love that car, it’s so *quiet*, the gas mileage is incredible, and well, I think I’m pretty much a Toyota fan for life.

  2. The license plate of the Chevy Nova before I sold it to Shawn was VVK 250. One of the only license plates I can still remember.

    Another interesting fact is that my wife, Erin, used to “cruise State” in the Nova while Shawn owned the car (I belive Shawn’s sister, Lorina, would drive it).

    I, myself, have wanted a vanity plate for quite a while. I just haven’t been able to decide what to get. Any suggestions?

  3. Well, I had a similar experience with the cops and my car that was sent to the shop.
    I think it was back in ’98 when I was working at Associated Foods (a couple years before Sandscar… some will know what I’m talking about) I was a bundled up jolly soul, running orders in the frozen foods warehouse. One of my fellow employees that I had begun to consider a “friend” also worked part time at a mechanic shop (owned by his father.) The clutch on my ’91 Pontiac Grand Am was going out and had a very bad oil leak. So of course I bring it to my “buddy’s” shop to have them replace the clutch and check out the leak.
    Two weeks later after being told they were waiting for a part I get my car back. The next morning, while engrossed in a PvP battle while playing Ultima Online, I hear a knock on the door. To my surprise it is two police officers wanting to know where I was that night and they had a pager of mine in their hand. Come to find out, there was a car that had been broken into that night, with the stereo and speaker system stolen out of it. They had found my pager inside the car or near it, I can’t remember. That pager had been under the drivers seat of my car for over a year and had never been activated. The cops left, but I did have to go get finger prints done later that day. I don’t think they ever found who did it.
    To make a long story short, that same day a piston head cracked and I had to get it replaced. I’m pretty sure there was more replaced in that vehicle besides a clutch and some minor work.

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