176,248 miles

That's the mileage of our 1994 Subaru Impreza when we finally said goodbye to it a couple of months ago.  Flags flew at half mast, black crepe paper hung, dogs wailed at the moon. What cost $13,000 in the fall of 1994 depreciated to the point that it was worth maybe $300 if you squinted just right and said a silent prayer.

But the Subaru mostly got us where we needed to go and only in the last two or three years was it truly embarrassing to drive, due mostly to that weird ghetto sunlight oxidation disease that fades the paint in ugly splotches.  You can always tell who doesn't have a garage by driving around and seeing which old car has those faded stains.

Faced with the prospect of a swiftly failing transmission (i.e., the car would every so often just kind of, like, drop out of fourth gear into third while driving at 40mph, no big deal), the Cheese Fry was unwilling to spend another $3000 to eke out a few more months of life.
But the Subaru taught us some important lessons.

* Jamba Juice stains won't come out, especially not Banana Berry.  We had to look at the same purple seat stain every day since 1998.

* A papasan chair won't fit inside the back end.  You'll have to lash it to the roof and creep it home.

* Those little replacement bottles of exterior paint you get from the dealership... looks nothing like the factory exterior paint once you take it out of the bottle.  You might as well buy a set of poster paint from the corner Walgreens.

* Manual transmissions are a lot of fun at first.  Then it's not so fun.  Then you start to curse the person who invented it.  Stick shifts were not meant for gridlocked stop-and-go traffic in a community full of steep hills and curves.  You can get worn out just from working the clutch pedal.

* If a quarter falls between the seat and center console, it's gone forever.

* You'd be surprised how many people just assume every car out there has power locks and power windows.  Whenever someone pulled up on the passenger side to say something ("where's the freeway?" or "you have a flat"), we had to do that lame lean-over to stretch out and hand crank the window open.

* If you drive away from a gas station with the nozzle still shoved in your gas tank, turns out you can completely rip off your gas tank lid.  And scare the hell out of the other customers at the pump island who likely envisioned a blooming fireball consuming everything.

* There's something about the chemical properties of the door pocket that turns wooden pencils into something akin to stone.

* We still don't know what that white smoke was all about.  And always only at the top of hills.

* No matter how much we had to pay AAA each year, it was always a bargain.

* Those letter plastic letters that spell "Subaru" on the car hatchback cost about $85 each.  Rather than replace one that fell out, the dealership actually advised us to just peel off the others.  So we did, turning our car into an unidentifiable stealth vehicle.

* An AM-FM radio sometimes isn't enough.

So how far is 176,248 miles?  

That's 930 million feet, which translates to 310 million yards.  That's roughly 3.1 million football fields laid end to end.

176,248 miles would allow us to drive back and forth from Los Angeles to Tokyo 16 times.

On a more cosmic level, we drove our Subaru a little over seven times around the earth's equator or 26 times around the moon.  

And if our Subaru were a rocket, we would have made it almost 3/4 of the way to the moon from earth.  The Apollo astronauts surely didn't have Howard Stern on Sirius to help pass the time.

Goodbye, Subaru.  It's been... fun.

1 comment:

  1. Just read this. Hilarious! Up until the very end ... Then that line! Noooo!!!