I'm a Military Blogger


Friday, June 25, 2010

Adventures in 5-Speed...MY FIRST CAR!

Today I bought my very first car. And when I say my first I mean MY first. My parents didn't give it to me as a gift, my husband didn't finance it in his name and "allow" me to drive it.

I went and I took MY money that I made working MY job and I bought MY car. I researched it myself, decided what I wanted, set up a test drive and mechanic inspection, and signed my name on the title. Once the title transfer is complete on Monday it will be the first car I've had that actually has my name on it.

So whats the catch?

Oh that's's a 5 speed manual and up until about 2 hours ago I didn't even know what a "clutch" was. But the car was just too good to pass up! It's a little blue Suzuki Samurai with a soft top, 6" lift and 33 inch wheels (did I mention I love off roading??)

It's always been a dream of mine to have a little off-road capable "project" car. I was putting that dream off for years because 1) I have no mechanical prowess whatsoever 2) most off roaders are manual and I can't drive them.

But the other day I was cruising in the middle of an unpaved Longhorn ranch in Temecula looking for an address for my Census Bureau job and I thought to myself how great it would be to have a tiny little off road jeep to rock crawl with. The truck is nice ('s badass), but it's a city truck. It's what you drive when you want to show off how badass you are without actually getting muddy. Plus, with an $18,000 loan, freshly painted side panel, and monthly trips to the auto detailer, it's not something my husband necessarily appreciates me dragging all over the county, putting on miles and wearing out brakes. It's his truck, that's HIS responsibility.

I decided that you don't learn how to fix cars by not owning one and you certainly don't learn how to drive a stick by avoiding them like the plague. So I took a HUGE risk and bought a 1987 5-speed Suzuki Samurai for $2,700. Only 79,000 miles (dang good for a 23 year old car) and the body is in great shape. The paint is a bit faded and the soft top is torn in some parts, but those are cosmetic and quite easy to fix.

I had to have my mechanic drive it back for me because of my ignorance at manual transmission.

BUT THEN....dun dun dun...Gaile from Deployment (again) came up and taught me how to drive a manual. We started in the parking lot of the LDS church and wound up out on some ranch roads below Pendleton. I only stalled out maybe....50 times ;) I even drove it on the road, with traffic and stop lights and windy turns!

My neighbor is coming over tomorrow to expand on my knowledge a bit, so hopefully by tomorrow I may actually be able to get up a hill without stalling out and rolling back down (*cough*...sorry about that Gaile). Or accidently releasing the clutch before the passengers are fully in the car (sorry about that again). Or without scaring the living daylights out of various homeowners, who I can only imagine were probably thinking "what is the stupid blue jeep doing out in the middle of the road jerking around and making those horrible grinding noises?

I have high hopes for this car. I feel more lift and bigger tires coming on, fresh coat of paint and a new top, roll cage, the works.

But in the meantime, here's a picture. Any suggestions for names are greatly appreciated:


Mel said...

That's a hot little car!

When I bought my first car it was also a stick shift and I had about 30 minutes on how to drive it and drove myself to work the next day.

I got to work sweaty and in tears because I stalled out in EVERY SINGLE intersection in the town. But I loved that car. I still own it to this day and it's my baby.

And I'll never drive anything other than a stick again!

♥Miss Brittney♥ said...

Thats pretty awesome! Congrats! :)

Skinnie Piggie said...

I've never owned an automatic car... it was mandatory in my house that we learn on my mom's manual. Then I ended up buying one for my first car and never looked back!

If I drive my husband's or end up being DD for friends, it never fails that I step down on nothing looking for the clutch with my left foot, haha!

Once you get the hang of it, you'll love it.

Anonymous said...

Yay for YOUR car!! That's so exciting! I love the color on it.

I've tried driving stick before and I just couldn't get the hang of it (or my dad was making me nervous, one of the two) haha

Gaile said...

Hey, I thought *I* was gonna blog about this??? LOL

Before driving it, I was going to suggest you name it Papa Smurf, because its cute and blue, but now I am not so sure the name is fun enough....I'm brainstorming for new name ideas now and will get back to you on that one.

On my way home, I realized I should have taken you for a spin in my hubby's car so you could get what I meant about the smooth transitions (his car is anything but smooth, but I am more aware of the friction point with that clutch, so it's easier)

Laura said...

LOL. Well I only blogged like 3 sentances about actually driving it, so feel free to feel in the rest

Jordan said...

the car is ADORABLE! I just bought a new car myself and I know what you mean about how great it is for it to be YOURS, without any help from anyone! as for names.... how about the blue bombshell? hahah have fun with the new car! youll do great driving a manual

Rigoberto Axelson said...

Congratulations! You can really say that this car is 100% yours. From the car hunting, buying process, up to its payment, all were done solely by you. What a courageous and brave act! Anyway, I'm sure that there's a lot you still have to learn about your car, don't think twice about asking help from your husband, or a licensed mechanic. It wouldn't hurt to ask.

-Rigoberto Axelson @ BrandonDodgeOnBroadWay