Cars I Have Known and Loved—Part 3 Cool Cars make a Comback

Then one day, a lifetime had passed. My husband and I had no more kids at home. We got a dog. We sold the last family van. We tore up the house mortgage papers. I flew to Chicago and drove a used 2002 Audi TT coupe home to where a four-door sedan had been parked. I was cool again! Another circle of life! Only this time I was old! The Audi was another car to love—with a six-speed manual transmission on a turbo 225 engine. MY HOT LITTLE CAR. Of course, horse power now is nothing like the 60s, 70s muscle cars, But still…

I drove that little TT until the wheels started coming off—almost literally when an axle broke. I had a great mechanic, and all was well, but too many things were going wrong, so in 2016 I traded for a 2014 TT Coupe. It didn’t have all that I wanted, but my husband, in a magnanimous mood, said, just trade up in a couple years. So I bought the car, knowing I had his permission to trade up someday.

At the same time, my husband wasn’t idly letting me have all the fun. He had been driving a used blue Lexus SUV. He looked like your average suburban husband. He said he wanted a truck. A big, four-wheel drive truck. I’ve always been the family car buyer (can you tell?) so I was on a mission to make his dream come true.

Car buying has changed so much since those early days of spending hours in car dealerships, negotiating with the salesman (always a man) who had to go to his sales manager for the final decision. I spend hours now on the internet scouring car buying/listing sites. It’s no longer buying the car on the showroom floor. It’s finding the right features in the right price band. So that’s how I shopped for Scot’s truck. His only requirement? That it be blue…

I had many requirements. None of them that earth shaking. We are city people. We didn’t need a truck to do actual work. But Scot had a vision of travelling the west, working while on the road, literally—one of us driving while the other worked on the computer. I wanted the luxury features, and we wanted a crew cab, so that it could serve as our family car when my tiny TT couldn’t.

I almost had a Ford F-150 bought in Alexandria, MN, but it was red. Knock out factor. But the price was so good I almost succumbed. The next day I found a blue truck on Cars.com, a couple years older (2012) but much lower miles. It was in south Minneapolis. Scot and I went down to take a look. It was blue. It had the Lariat package (luxury features). Towing package. NICE. It had these huge off road nubby tires. SUPERB! And it was in our price range after trade. OH, YEAH.

It was August 19 and the solar eclipse was August 21, 2017. We bought the truck, picked up a friend, and drove to Nebraska to see the total eclipse of the sun. Our twin grandboys were into the “Little Blue Truck” books, so our truck became the Little Blue Truck, even though it was a hulking, honking, gas-guzzling 4×4.

My husband died in May of 2018. He didn’t even get a full year of pleasure out of his Little Blue Truck. But since his death, I have had thousands of miles in the Little Blue Truck and have grown to love it more than Scot ever had the chance to. Scot had three things on his bucket list that were really things for me to do.

  1. Sell the Nordic Drive House (done)
  2. Finish the book I was writing (done)
  3. Sell the Montana business building (just done May 18, 2021, three years to the day that he died.)

I didn’t make much on the Montana building. I felt lucky it had sold at all. It was a nice storefront in an economically depressed community. I decided to take my mini-windfall from the sale of the building to replace the Little Blue Truck with a brand-new Little Blue Truck.

Of all the cars I have known and loved, I have only had seven or eight that were brand new. All the others, 20+ all told, were used or hand-me-downs. I ordered my Little Blue Truck in the middle of July, and am currently waiting in great anticipation for the news that the truck is here.

On August 2 I had a personal birthday party for the truck. That was her build date. Now I am watching the days pass, knowing it is likely on a transport truck or train coming my way.

This won’t be my last car, but I do know there will be a time that I will be thinking, “Last car.” Waah, I don’t want that day to come! But that will be “someday” and we will worry about someday some other day.

#audiTT #FordF150 #solareclipse #buyingausedcar #emptynesters #flyingsolo #roadtripping #crewcabs

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