With a trunk full of j-pop (part 1)

Well… I finally did it.

After years of trying, I successfully recovered my first car.  It is now safe, and dry- err moderately moist in my “TODO” bay at home.

To rewind: Once upon a time, a teenager that couldn’t drive stick and desperately needed a “cool” set of wheels was bequeathed the family’s albatross, a 1984 Saab 900 8-Valve Turbo 5-Speed Sedan.  It previously was owned by his brother, who rejected it because he had to check the oil, and his uncle before that, who gave it away after he blew the head gasket.  It used oil, had dirty upholstery, needed a radio and new headliner, and was pretty far from “cool”… but wheels are wheels.

The Saab took the teenager on many an adventure.  From getting a flat in the middle of an abandon military complex during a full, blue moon,.mild to moderate offroading, to just cruising around town. From Washington to California, and then on to Louisiana, the two are virtually inseparable.

Years later, this teenager is now a young man, heading off to college 500 miles from home.  The Saab dutifully carries this young man, his possessions, two arcade style DDR pads, and a 10-disc changer full of burned j-pop CDs to and from Tulsa through his first year of many.  At this point I would like to add stories about first times, beer cans in the back seat, and fogged windows.  This however, was not to be, for you see this young man was to be an engineer, and girls and beer were not in his future… or past.  But this story isn’t about him.

After a year of holidays back home, grocery runs, and just driving around, the dutiful Saab was nearing 200,000 miles and starting to show the strain of heavy use.  After a breakdown during the journey home, the young man’s parents, reasonably concerned about the extended reliability of a 20 year old Swedish sports sedan, presented the young man with a 2-door Honda Accord EX V6.  And it was good.  And the young man parked his faithful Saab with the parents and he did not look back.  He had the “cool” wheels he long wished for.

Many moons pass and the young man is now an adult, an engineer, and a petrolhead.  Several project cars under his belt, an empty parking bay in the garage, and a Top Gear tribute to Saab have him thinking about his old, faithful daily driver.  A text message is sent that sets in motion three years of hostage negotiations…

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