In a previous life, I was a big wheel in a Fortune 5 company. I literally jetted around the world and lived in several far-flung and exotic places. Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo, Toronto, London… But as the company downsized, I saw that likely, eventually, I, too would be made redundant.
I took a leap, went to medical school, and changed careers. And vehicles. I went from a small, expensive, snazzy sports car to a pick up. That tomato-red 4-wheel drive truck was symbolic of how much my life had changed. First, jet-setting, business suits and brief cases, long hours behind a desk, hobnobbing with customers or traveling.
Then: studying at an upstate New York university, wearing jeans and sweaters, hard work in lecture, lab and long hours at the library, then as an intern. With the truck as my transportation.
For a while, the odo was broken. It crapped out when it read 135+ thousand miles. I figure I drove about 50 thousand miles before I got it replaced (this took several years). Based on the history noted in my gas log, is a pretty accurate estimate. I changed the oil every 5 thousand miles, and had it tuned up regularly. I’m not mechanically inclined (I am female, after all, and blonde to boot! That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). I had a great mechanic and whatever Dan said had to be done, I had done.
I drove that Toyota to Georgia several times. To California and back. (No air conditioning! wow!) From upstate NY to NH about a zillion times. When the truck started having too many problems with rust and the electrical system to fix, it became a planter for a bit. Then, finally, just this spring, I came out of denial. Off it went for parts and then recycling. At the time, the ‘new’ odometer read just over 190,000. A conservative guess and a low-ball estimate is that the truck had run with very few problems approximately 375,000 miles. I suspect it was closer to 400K.
I miss my truck not only because of how much time I spent in it, and the memories it triggers. I miss it because it was a great hauler, took a ton of abuse, had an amazing amount of miles on it, and just kept going. Even after I upgraded to a primary vehicle and kept the Toyota as a winter rat, I’d still drive it for pleasure.
My current rat is a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and it’s a great vehicle to have to carting my herd of large dogs around. It, however, holds about the same amount of cargo as my Volvo station wagon (V70). I can’t just slip a couple of pieces of sheet rock or plywood into the back. I miss my truck!
This sounds like something my parents would say: They don’t make ’em like that any more!