Seven years ago, I purchased my first car. It was chosen by my parents, because I was working at camp in PA and I needed a car before heading back to Northland to work in the Admissions Office. I told dad, "No white cars, and please let it have 4 doors and get good mileage."
He got two out of three - the car was a 2-door. It was a taupe 1988 Mazda MX-6, manual transmission, and it had 93,000 miles on it. Although it may have been a little lightweight on the snowy roads of Wisconsin, the price was right. $900 and a few hours razor blading the dark tint from the back window.
A friend from Japan named him "Yuki" which, apparently, means courage. And Yuki was courageous. Ask our friends Tim & Sarah, who experienced a total baptism by "puddle" in the spring of 2002. We were driving from Mel's Diner back to NBBC campus during a torrential rainstorm, and a dip in the road was flooded, a little more than I originally eyeballed. I never should have made it through that flood, as we realized when 6" of water accumulated in the back seat floor. All the dash lights went on, the car was STALLED and still the wheels turned.
Then the semi came, it's wake baptizing us in the dirty water of the street. We were TOTALLY under water. Somehow we continued to the other side of the dip, where we bailed out the water in the McDonald's parking lot and I willed my heart to stop racing. God got us through, for certain.
My darling husband learned to drive a manual in Yuki. Before we were married, on the back roads of Wisconsin. That was fun. I kept making him stop halfway up the hills, just for kicks. He was such a good sport. And now, he drives Yuki to work every day.
In the past seven years, we have had to replace 2 axels, a radiator, fix the muffler, and put in a thermostat. We've definitely changed the tires. Yuki now has well over 250,000 miles. And, unfortunately, it looks like Yuki has reached the end of his road.
Estimates to fix the clutch are in the neighborhood of $500-$700. Part of me wants to agree to this cost, thinking that perhaps he would run for another seven years with similar upkeep costs. But I'm a bit of an idealist.
Seven years is a long, long time to get attached to a car. I'm attached. Big time. And no one can convince me that this car is anything but reliable. Mazda has a fan for life.
So...anybody have a cheap Mazda for sale?