This comment was by Merv Kaufman in reference to the post – Sometimes a Car Story is a Love Story
I remember the moment. I was poking through the inventory of a used-car lot in Manhattan and spotted the car. It was a three-year-old 1972 BMW 2002, and it looked as though it had been there awhile. It was dust covered, and its hefty rear bumper showed the scar of a heavy impact. The car didn’t interest me … until I was allowed to drive it, to experience the surge I felt as we powered up 10th Avenue.
It was a four-passenger car, with plenty of back-seat headroom and a trunk with a 17-cubic-foot capacity, unheard of today. I never regretted buying it, and my wife, Nancy, immediately fell in love with it. It was relatively small but compact, and it had no frills. It had a stick shift, no power steering, a primitive heating system and a fan that circulated the air. Parking proved a challenge, except that the car’s short turning radius did lessen the chore. We drove the car for 17 years … until we sold it and, in sadness, watched it being driven away by a man we knew would not give it the care it deserved.
That Bimmer was succeeded by a series of nondescript leased cars, which finally convinced us we had to own something again. “We just want a stripped-down model,” my wife told the new-car salesmen. “Engine, transmission, cloth seats, but, yes, power steering and brakes, but no other frills.” In the weeks ahead, we looked at a number of vehicles, domestic and foreign … until Nancy insisted we check out the latest 3-Series BMW.
I insisted she take the driver’s seat beside the sales rep. He directed her to move out in traffic; she pressed the accelerator and uttered “Whee” as the car easily roared down the highway. That was it; I knew it. But how to afford it? Well, try as we might, shaving off any frills felt we could live without—including paint colors other than red, white or black—but the car was still just out of reach. What to do?
Sitting there in the dealership office, Nancy looked out at cars aligned beyond the front door. “What’s that one?” She pointed to a lustrous blue-green model. “That’s one of our previously owned cars,” she was told. We immediately went to look. It was three years old, but it was clean, with low mileage, and undamaged. Even without driving it, we knew we should own it. And it had every frill that a 1999 model could possess. We owned and drove it for the next 14 years until it finally conked out.
We will never forget it—the only car we ever drove to make us forget that much-loved 2002.
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