I bought a car, Honda Prelude that’s more than 20 years old. Why would I do such a thing?
Of course it started snowing right after I bought the car. Fortunately, those are winter tires already in place.
I missed owning a car. I like to tell people that I miss my old van, but I don’t miss paying for it. That car was a financial disaster, a money pit that sucked my wallet dry. I don’t intend to repeat the experience. My personal financial situation has improved since then, for one, but more importantly, I won’t allow this car to take quite so much of my money.
The purchase price was $1300, and insurance for a year is a bit less than $700; SGI never got the memo about my clean driving record, so my insurance rates will go down a bit once I sort out that paperwork. The car has a 5-speed manual transmission, which I’m enjoying more than I expected to. I’ve always driven automatics before, but I was taught how to drive a stick long ago, and while I’m not good at it, I can do it without too much embarrassment. So far, I’ve stalled it twice, once on Saturday after I bought it, and once on Sunday just driving in traffic. I expect to get much better at this basic skill in short order.
I don’t intend to drive to work, I walk as it is and it takes me between 20 and 25 minutes, even when it’s -30C. We’ll see how dedicated I am to this non-automotive-commute concept I am this winter, but parking is fairly obnoxious and expensive at the University of Saskatchewan. My across-the-hall neighbour also works on campus, but I doubt I’ll carpool with him unless I get really lazy and wussy in winter.
This car is for fun and adventure. I wanted a car that was different, and not about the practicality. There aren’t many 3rd-generation Preludes around, and I’m told especially not in this colour. The van was a purely practical vehicle; I had a lot of fun with it, but its primary purpose was to solve transport and logistics problems – 7 seatbelts or 2 cubic metres of mobile storage space are powerful options in many situations. This little car, however, is all about the drive, not what’s compressing the springs. It’s not precisely a sports car – on my budget, anything truly fitting that category is unattainable or undriveable – but it is a “sports compact coupe”, a low-slung 2-door with an engine just a bit bigger than it precisely needs to be, and suspension set up for taking corners a little quicker than is absolutely necessary.
There's a list of things I'd like to fix or improve about this car. It needs a good once-over by a professional mechanic, soon, but I alreadyknow it needs a cooling system flush, an oil change, and some work on the power steering system (there's a leak of fluid somewhere). The timing belt is famously a weak point in these cars, so I want that replaced in fairly short order, too. These are all jobs I could theoretically do myself, but I don't have a garage or many tools. Some things I will do myself include just generally tidying up the trim, both outside and inside. There are a few pieces of plastic that hang from the body or are not tightly screwed in place, for example. One job I can do myself, I think, is fixing the heater blower - currently, the fan only blows on the 3 and 4 settings, not on 1 or 2, and it's pretty noisy. I suspect it needs disassembly, cleaning, and a check of the electrical connections.
I’m going to take this car out for drives, as regularly as I can manage. I want to explore, especially in central Saskatchewan, where I live. I want to go camping, and just generally get out there and see what there is to see. This car will let me do that.
More pictures, just because.
I like flip-up headlights for no good reason.