Is getting 20 years and 200,000 miles out of our 1993 Toyota Camry Wagon 2 much to ask?
I ask because at 16 and 163 I’m starting to feel like a surfer at the end of a long ride pressing up and down on the board with my feet while trying to get the most out of the 12 inches of white water.
I could write a “Marley and Me” like book about the car and me, but oddly we never named it. One admittedly short chapter would be about the time I drove into the garage and THEN realized the bikes were on the roof.
The picture below isn’t the actual car, but it looks an awful lot like it. I had bike racks drilled directly onto the roof early on and the wife must have been mad at me a few years ago when she dented in the right front bumper.
Tinting the windows was the best decision ever. Let’s just say the ladies have paid the wagon and me A LOT more attention ever since.
Mechanically it’s pretty solid, and the tires are relatively new, but the driver’s door handle snapped off a while back so now I have to grab the remaining two inches with two fingers. There are annoying electrical problems too. The interior dome light doesn’t work even after replacing the bulb so I keep a flashlight handy. And after replacing the turn signal bulbs, the instrument panel lights shuts off after every use of a turn signal (all fuses are fine). Blondie and blonder found that very entertaining on the way to school last week. I wouldn’t wish the upholstery on anyone and the inside roof has a bit of residue from where water probably seeped in through the holes that were drilled for the rack.
Oh, and sometimes it won’t start until it feels like it even though the battery is relatively new (faulty safety neutral switch?).
Killer radio though and a good radio compensates for a lot of shortcomings.
Since I don’t know if the air bag will open, and gas prices have plummeted, I’ve taken it back over. I’d rather kill myself than my wife. “Here lies Dad. He took one for the fam.”
Speaking of dads, mine always got 8 years out of his American cars back in the day. I think he’d be proud that I’ve doubled him up and I like to think he’s rooting for me to stay on the bull until it completely tires.
I have to admit though, the Venza looks nice and I’ve been looking at “pre-owned” Highlander Hybrids on Craigslist. The question is, can I hold off until the London Olympics? I wouldn’t bet on it.