amw (amw) wrote,

I'm growing up!

It's scary being adult. Today i rented a car to drive up to a small town about 60 miles away... to look at a car! I made sure to rent an automatic to avoid any spectacular stalls. Drove it home, picked up my roommate, and off we went. I was beeped at once, on a fucking roundabout no less. I hate roundabouts, they're the most stupid traffic invention ever. But after that it was smooth sailing. Arrived at this guy's house to look at the car, an 81 Celica XT liftback. My god, i'm actually thinking of buying a car!

So the car was in reasonable shape. Body looked its age, though it's been touched up and i couldn't find any rust barring a tiny bit of corrosion on the inside part of the trunk. Interior looked like shit. It's ugly in there. But that's cosmetic, yanno. At least it had a CD player. Mechanically it seemed to be sweet. The engine had a nice rumble, replaced in 2003 with a rebuilt twin cam twin carb model. New shocks. New wheels. New short shift stick. And yes, i drove it. And managed to fucking stall it, of course, when i took a corner and went "oh shit, no power steering". D'oh. But that's the whole reason i need a car in the first place. The guy i've had teaching me stick over the past few weeks says i'm at the point where i'm not going to get any better unless i have my own car and practise daily.

At last week's lesson i stalled twice - both times in traffic when i was getting confused with all the stop-start stuff. Hill starts are groovy now. Even groovier on that RWD Celica. But is it worth it? That's the $1200 question. Because it's unregistered i will have to get a temporary permit to drive it the 60 miles back here and take it to a local mechanic for a safety certificate and everything that needs to be serviced (with a bit of luck just tires and fan belt). That will be on the weekend. Then i will have to drive it to the registration center on a week day. Then i will finally get plates. What am i worried about? Getting pulled over by a cop and getting into traffic downtown. Because i'm scared of stalling the car. How fucking pathetic is that. I'm also a tiny bit scared that the safety inspection will turn up something significantly more expensive than just tires, even though everything seemed to be running smoothly.

The question is whether to get a $1200 car that's a good deal (given the engine can go for a grand by itself), but gamble on spending less than a grand on safety... or look for a registered car which will cost me $2500 for something that passes safety but will be equally old and uglier, minus the fun engine. I'm leaning toward going for it, because everyone i've spoken to says there's no way i'll get something nice for under 5 grand anyways. And this is the nicest i've seen. I want it :(

Which leaves me with just two things i need to do within a week. Gain the confidence to drive it back, hopefully without stalling once i hit downtown (heh), and gain the confidence to take a step like this. I've never owned a car. Today was the longest drive i've ever made. I've never owned anything worth more than a grand (my PC is a grand all up, all of my synths are less than that apiece). I've never had to deal with car insurance and registration and all of those wonderful grown-up things. And you know, the growing up thing is probably what's giving me the most anxiety about this. In reality i know it's no big deal and friggin 17 year olds do it for chrissakes, but for ME it's always been some distant thing off in the future. Out of all my friends (both younger and older), only one has a car. It's a whole nother world, and that's scary.
Tags: car

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