When I met my Beloved five and half years ago, he owned three vehicles:
- A 2006 Infiniti G35, which he drove on our first date on Dec. 3, 2006. He was more impressive than the car, but yes, I noticed it.
- A 1994 Ford Aspire with 250,000 miles and a hamster engine which he drove in the Minnesota winters while he stored his pretty (fast) Infiniti. In that particular year, the Aspire conveniently went into service about three weeks after our first date.
- A 1987 Chevy G20 “leisure” van, used primarily to store and, later, transport belongings to and fro when we moved from Minnesota to Illinois in the summer of 2007. It was a beaut.
I didn’t know it then, but my Beloved has an affinity for vehicles, and those three cars were only the latest in a series of vehicles he had owned over the course of his lifetime and only the first three of 14 he would own over the next five years with me.
He sold the van shortly after we arrived in Illinois, and he sold the pretty (fast) Infiniti in late 2008 when his son started having an interest in cars and Tyler didn’t like the potential combination of horsepower and driver inexperience. That’s when we got a new car:
- A 2009 Honda Accord. Brand new. Purchased from one of his commercial insurance clients.
He sold the Aspire to his mother, who wanted a winter car to save wear and tear on her Cadillac (you can’t kill an Aspire).
In early 2009, my Beloved embarked on a personal challenge to turn a $500 Christmas gift into $5,000. He bought a number of somehow-flawed vehicles, made a few repairs and cosmetic improvements, and sold them at a profit:
- A 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse.
- A 2001 Mercedes-Benz E Class (a sweet ride, but a little, shall we say, leaky).
- A 1999 Land Rover Discovery.
He parlayed his profits into ownership of the renowned motor home which we’ve used to visit Texas, the Gulf Coast, Florida, Wisconsin and Minnesota:
- A 1983 Pace Arrow, a fine specimen of 1980s recreational vehicle workmanship. Click here for the story of its most harrowing 36 hours of operation.
Then there was the Summer of His Wish Content in 2011 when he and his brother made a bucket-list wish come true by becoming race car drivers. With juiced-up jalopies. Acquired for $650 (or less). At a quarter-mile race track. Paved with dirt. But still, race car drivers.
They powered through four vehicles (and 17 tires) last summer:
- A 1992 Oldsmobile Tornado, nicknamed “Sweetness” (and oh, in her Bears orange-and-blue attire, she was sweet). Read more about her and my husband’s speed addiction here.
- A 1987 Cutlass Calais, dubbed “Tiny.”
- A 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis which didn’t last long enough to be named.
- A 1994 Dodge Shadow, nicknamed “Tiny Too.”
That summer, my Beloved also acquired a ride that could not be missed when we decided to hand off the 1999 Dodge Durango (the only vehicle I’ve had in the course of our relationship) to my stepson:
- A 2000 Cadillac Escalade which he found online and purchased without seeing in person from the owner two states away. For tips on a potentially problematic acquisition like that, click here.
If you’re counting, that’s 13 vehicles in five years. And I’m not counting the two trailers, a boat and two pop-up campers he owned or bought and sold during the $500-to-$5,000-project or the cars he helped find for his mother, our two nephews and my stepson.
Which brings us to No. 14:
- A 1994 Jeep Wrangler with an inoperable engine. Its form is quite nice in sleek, nearly rust-free black, but its function has something to be desired.
Check out tomorrow’s Minnesota Transplant post for all the details on why my Beloved would buy a car that doesn’t run and what he’s doing about it.