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Autoquest ’10: Pre-resolution.

Wednesday, 17 November, 2010

I have purchased, taken possession and insured a 2004 Toyota Corolla CE. That’s the base model with only Air Conditioning, Daytime Running Lights and, oddly, power wing mirrors. The bad thing about DRLs at night, and this technology has been developed since my last car, is I lack confidence about whether I have actually turned off the lights when I park at night.

2004 Toyota Corolla

The actual car as photographed by its seller.

Factory radio with CD player, I do not yet know whether it plays MP3 discs, some minor and potentially claybar-proof scratches in the paint, an inexplicable bend from behind on the front bumper just above and to the right the license plate mount, the brakes are not that far away from a service, factory struts, two performance and two bald tires with banged up wheel covers, the headlights are predictably hazy, and a CV joint that will probably start making noise in the next six months … priced at 75% of book value and half the price of the new Hyundais I was considering. The battery has been replaced quite recently with an industry-only-brand battery. Maybe I should have let Don bench the electrics, but we’ll see.

It’s a nice, boring gray with a manual transmission. In fact, it may have a short shifter as the throws are not quite two inches. I keep shifting from second to fifth directly. Generally, undesirable in Austin but just right for your humble narrator. It’s so boring, it may actually draw charisma from adjacent vehicles. When I arrived on the lot to actually see and drive it I passed that car at least twice. Most people don’t like this sort of thing, but I actually do. Front wheel drive takes a bit of getting used to.

I found it on the internet on Sunday; looked at it and took possession Monday. A quick test drive and some checking on the electricals was all I really needed. I thought about calling Don, but he always says just get a cheap Corolla, Civic, Camry or Accord and don’t worry about anything else. I have done so.

I can’t wait until the can of New Car Smell wears away.

As soon as the plates and paperwork come in its getting Weathertech floor liners, possibly cheap seat covers, a dash cover and a sun block for the epic windshield. I may have to go out and get the rear window tinted. The post-2000 greenhouse is such that I feel like I do when I go outside without my trousers.

The only future personal automotive updates will be if there are problems, and I may chat about the very modest modifications as they are done.

Note the names and logos of the dealership in the above photo should not be considered and endorsement or recommendation, although they’ve been pretty good to me.


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