This is Roger.
Or at least it was Roger. Whoever has the privilege of owning him in the future will be able to retain naming rights. Rog and I had a good run. In nearly two years, we managed to form a bond that was nearly impenetrable, even with his Pacific Northwest Special cracked windshield and the little "oopsie" I had when I dinged that Beamer back in November and scratched the spare tire cover. Despite that, Roger's tight turning radius and great visibility made me feel confident in my abilities to parallel park. Roger's fiery red beauty made me feel young and sassy. His tightly-tuned suspension made me feel sporty and confident. His seemingly unlimited cargo space made me feel flexible... and sloppy. The love between the two of us was deep, and I teared up at our departure. It wasn't so much that Roger was no longer good enough. It's that he suffered the fate of being worth a good bit of money, and in a household that is desperately seeking an extra dollar, it made him expendable.
So today I emptied Roger's many storage compartments and drove him up to Rodland Toyota in Everett where his replacement was waiting.
Barry is a 2001 Chrysler 3o0M. Beneath his stately dark blue facade lurks a plethora of luxury features that Roger was never able to offer: heated leather seats, wood grain trim, after-market HD radio, electronic climate control, Autostick (that allows one to shift gears manually without having to engage a clutch), and power everything. Barry also boasts very low miles for a 7 year old car, 29500, which is over 10K fewer than Roger had at the time of trade-in. Barry also isn't hurting for power with a 3.5L V6 (the same as Roger) and about 255 horsepower (which is only about ten less than Roger). Also, by purchasing Barry after getting a generous trade-in from the Toyota folks, we were able to net a very decent profit. We will also get a refund on half of our extended warranty. The gas mileage on the new car is a smidge less, however, but in the balance between performance, room, and economy, something always has to take a tumble, and I won't balk at a slightly higher gas bill if I'm driving a car I don't despise.
So it all worked out in the end, although I can't help but feel a sense of loss. Roger was the very first brand new car I'd ever owned, and there was a lot of sentiment associated with it, and perhaps a bit of status. But when one is broke, status has to take a backseat, and Barry is no slouch. I think we will eventually bond. He will entice me with his sleek leather and decent sound system. And admittedly, I was growing weary of Roger's inability to maintain a clean appearance with his charcoal interior that showed every speck and imperfection. Also, the prospect of purchasing new tires to fit his 19-inch rims was daunting.
So here's to new beginnings and a new road. As always, it will be fun rediscovering them behind the wheel of a new ride.