When we last checked in on my vehicular adventures, I’d sold the BMW, acquired a beautiful VW Golf, and also got a crappy little hatchback with dubious origins for my brother. Believe it or not, after just three months I’ve owned another two vehicles. I’m beginning to think my strong desire to constantly trade my cars for other cars is a sign of deep-seated psychological issues stemming from an unstable childhood, during which my toy cars were occasionally confiscated and given away because I had too many of them. But probably not.
In March we said farewell to the small mechanical lagomorph, a convertible Rabbit that I acquired by trading, and then traded for a Porsche. In fact, those were part of a long string of trades stretching back to late 2013, when I bought my first truck for $900.
It was actually a surprisingly good truck for the price, especially since it brought home a free Porsche and transported me safely through a lot of nasty winter weather. I got tired of the rattles and groans and general crappiness, though, so I traded it for another crappy vehicle (in hindsight, it was not a good trade).
At first, the Honda CRX looked promising. It ran well, had a fun amount of power, and the Prelude seats in it were pretty comfortable. But on the way home, I ran over a pothole and one of the bolts holding a brake caliper to the hub randomly jumped out. The rest of the drive involved a lot of disturbing scraping sounds. On top of that, I added oil to the engine and then forgot to put the oil cap back on, which resulted in an oil-soaked engine bay by the time I got home. To make things worse, I discovered one of the wheel bearings was dangerously worn out. A couple weeks and a few hundred dollars later, thanks to some bent suspension components that would not go back together, it was finally roadworthy. I promptly started hating it for many reasons and traded it for the VW Rabbit.
That was a good trade, even though I had to put some cash on top. I loved the car so much that I put quite a bit of money and time into improving it. Sadly, it just wasn’t very nice to drive in cold and wet weather, and I live in a place where you can almost forget the sun exists between September and May. I wasn’t able to sell it during the winter, but when spring came I pulled the car cover off, drove it around a bit, fell even more in love…and then traded for a Porsche.
Another good trade. The second 1987 Porsche 924S I’ve owned was in decent condition, although it had a few sketchy mods and damaged parts. I picked up a parts car the same weekend, dug through my ludicrous stash of Porsche parts, and fixed a lot of issues without spending any money. Again, I wanted to keep this car, and nearly did, but I couldn’t justify owning two identical cars. So after several months, I finally traded it for another truck.
Same year, slightly different shade of red, same body, but it was a 2500 model with much lower miles and in far better condition. I am not fond of Chevrolets, but after several months of trying to get rid of my extra Porsche, I figured this truck would be easier to move. I was right–after barely two weeks, I stumbled across the perfect small truck on Craigslist, and drove 160 miles to the Oregon coast in order to trade.
Now I’ve got myself a 1998 Toyota Tacoma 4×4, with a four cylinder engine and manual transmission. I’m quite happy with it. Sure, it’s a little rough and I have too much money into this long string of trades, but it runs well. I’m getting a custom front bumper made, and I have some fun plans for improving the truck. Maybe now I’ll stick with what I’ve got and stop trading all the time.
The Tacoma is my new daily driver. My brother’s crappy Sprint just died a pathetic death, so he’ll be using my Golf, which I’ve been trying to trade or sell. That gives me an excuse to keep it, at least. I didn’t want to sell that nice Golf.