In 1995 we bought the nicest, ‘best’ car we would likely ever own. All previous models required a certain amount of faith (and turning off the AC – for the cars that had AC) when going up a particularly long, relatively steep highway entrance ramp. My mantra: Grip the wheel and say, “Oh please, oh please, oh please.” That ramp never fazed this car, still doesn’t.

The trade-off: I insisted we keep the car for at least 20 years. We’re not tough on cars, so that hasn’t been difficult, more a problem of resisting of the Shiny New Thing Syndrome. It’s still lovely and well-designed, but the shine has definitively worn off.

As we roll into the car’s third decade, I did a mental recall of what we’ve replaced or significantly repaired just in the last two years: AC (now a must it seems), exhaust system, clutch (fortunately just a tweak), brakes, and just yesterday the battery. That last one previously replaced in 2005. The woman at the battery shop did a double-take.

Now we have an almost-10-year-old, 80-pound blind dog who can easily get in and out of that car. From the look on her face, she’s pretty sure she owns the thing. So the car remains in the family for a few more years. It’s still great fun to drive, surely our last 5-speed stick, but it’s a ‘sport’ model so a little low to the ground which gets a wee bit tougher to get in and out of every year. Perhaps that height suits the dog well.

The rust spots will be ignored, along with the squeaks and creaks that come with age. Hmm. I was talking about the car, wasn’t I?