Friday, October 3, 2008

The Old Dodge

There she stood, the old 1990 Dodge Shadow that my mom still has and incredibly, still runs and starts reliably. The paint, badly weathered and suffering from clear coat wasting disease, had large chunks of clear paint peeling away from it. Cars that are driven in Winnipeg year-round have a hard life. The -30 winters and +36 summers can really take a toll on even the best cars. 
This car was inherited when my stepdad ( recently deceased) inherited the car from his father, who past away in 1996. Back then it was in better condition. While it drives good enough, the exhaust has a leak and there isn't as much power any more in the old girl. The radio works and so do all the lights, but the car has serious suspension issues (needs new shocks), the brakes function but the tires are very old. 
Riding in the car is an interesting experience. The seats are very comfortable, even more than the ones in my newer Subaru. You sink in like an old couch from your grandma's place. The radio works - even the tape deck. The car lacks A/C but does offer an automatic transmission which works good. Leafs were blowing through the vents because this car is not driven much at all.
I felt guilty because no body takes care of this car anymore. My mom drives it but that's about it. So I took my time and detailed the inside and outside (engine). The old Dodge sure is gutless though. And it has this strange habit of sounding a small bell when you lift off the accellerator. I swear it sounds like a tiny telephone ringing under the engine bay. When my stepdad was alive in 2005 I told him about this and he didn't believe me. I took this same car to go drive a 2006 Porsche Cayman S a few days later (on a bet). I'll explain THAT story in a few days time.
I don't miss the dodge. As soon as I got home, I hopped into my Subaru and marvelled at how much power and braking ability it had. And then I sat back, remembered a time when my stepdad's dad drove this car and I felt sad. Both are dead now, and the only legacy that is left is this odd Dodge. I admire it's tenacity in trying to keep alive year after year.

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