Different Autos for Different Seasons

Different Autos for Different Seasons

  • Mike McCurry
  • 07/20/16
From Mike McCurry’s “Talk of the Town” column in The Clarendon Courier, July 21, 2016
The car salesman in his effort to show off the fancy new parking sensors instructed me to back up towards the car behind us, just to see what happens.  Being new to the car market (and not having ever experienced the beeping parking sensor), I thought he meant that the truck would stop itself.
So I put it in reverse and hit the gas!
The salesman soon realized that if he didn’t stop me, we were going to crash into the side of a new Cadillac.  Luckily for my cat-like reaction time, at the last second, I hit the brake, nearly ruining my shopping experience, and most likely causing my passenger to get fired.
I read recently on Bloomberg News that new car buyers hang onto their vehicles for an average of almost six years or 71.4 months.
With all of the shiny new vehicles we see around town, that average seems a bit high. There are many reasons we buy big new vehicles.
For one reason around here, you can’t get into a carpool if you own a four-passenger car! Many people purchase minivans or SUVs even when they have only one or two children for this reason. You simply need a bigger vehicle when you’re carting around 5-6 children to a ballgame!
I was thinking lately about the evolution of my car ownership and what affected my buying decisions over the years.
I purchased my first car for college.
I paid $2000 for that yellow 1979 Mazda GLC (“Great Little Car”). It lasted all through my college experience and for a few years afterwards. It was It was a sad day when that Mazda finally died. It truly was a great little car.
The second car was my bachelor car – a tricked-out black Riviera.
It was a coupe with only two doors and had a sound system that would pump out the beats.  When I sold the Riviera, it brought in more than I paid for it because there were plenty of guys like me who wanted and appreciated a sweet ride.
As I got into the business, I needed to “look the part,” so I had a series of fat Caddys, my favorite of which was the Cadillac Concours DeVille. It was the higher-performance car in the Cadillac line, and had more of a road feel than a traditional cushy ride.
After getting married and we began to have children, we graduated into the minivan. Yes, it happens folks. We needed a vehicle that is made for transferring car seats seamlessly. The first thing we did was go see our buddy Mark Rediehs at the firehouse to help install them.
We haven’t graduated from that minivan yet but Amy would like to.
The last vehicle that I purchased is a permanent fixture around town. Some people might think that I’ll even be buried in it. Yes, the Cadillac Escalade truck is older than my first child (thirteen years) and has beat the average age of ownership for sure.

I’m sure the dealership caries new vehicles that have many more fancy gadgets today than when I last purchased.  I wouldn’t mind having a backup camera to take the place of my parking sensors. I heard cars might even park themselves one day and save you from accidents. As for our minivan and the truck, maybe I’ll wait to buy a new one when they do.
Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian prince; Indian Guide Dad;  a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker.  Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around the area.  It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlights a new business or announces school happenings.  He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting residents and even a little about history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.
1979 Mazda GLC

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