Goodbye, dear Klunker.

Unfortunately, the time to say goodbye to a very dear friend has come.

I took the Klunker on it’s final drive Tuesday night. That’s right. It is going to a new home… to people who I hope will grow to love and adore it as much as I have for the past 6+ years… if it doesn’t fall apart before they learn to do so.

We have survived quite a lot together, the Klunker and I. It was my first car to bum around town in. When we first got it, my dad took me for a drive to learn how to drive a stick shift. My brothers sat in the backseat, torturing me for my inability to learn such a thing immediately. I drove home, threw the keys down on the table, and announced that I would never drive it again.

I did, though, one early Saturday morning when my dad woke me up with the keys in his hand and informed me that I was driving him to the bank… without my brothers. I took him on a terrifying ride through the drive-through, where I stalled out about 17 times and then agreed I WOULD drive it again, but never through a drive-through. I stuck with that for more than a year, by the way.

The Klunker took me and several friends back and forth to community college about a million times, as we all dual-enrolled and carpooled together for a few years. It took me to “real” college in Kentucky (well… it was initially towed there), then made the 600 mile trip back and forth between home and there another million times… without cruise control, of course.

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We slid around on ice a few times in Kentucky, battled Kentucky winters without heat and Alabama summers without A/C, and dealt with what seemed to be a bad battery for a few weeks until it was discovered that the battery simply needed cleaning (it ALMOST got a ride on a tow-truck out of that deal).

The lock on the driver’s door froze for a while, then simply fell out, leaving me to unlock the passenger’s side every time I needed to get in for a couple months.

Together, the Klunker and I have killed a rabbit, an armadillo, many birds, and a kitten (R.I.P. Sequel the Kitten). We have survived a break-in, 2 minor fender benders, and almost died trying to avoid a possum, nearly taking out two of my brothers and a friend with us. We ended up in a ditch once, in an almost very badly-ending incident involving fog and passing another car… which has instilled in me a very deep fear of passing. Ever since then, I’ve been known to follow cars going 20 mph below the speed limit for long periods of time.

We got lost on the back roads of Kentucky once, in the dark, in the rain, and with no cell phone service. I painted hotel room door frames to get the money to put a “new” transmission in it. The backseat and trunk were filled to far above their maximum capacity many times… both with people and things. It has hauled luggage, lumber, camera equipment, a bookshelf that was technically too big to fit in there, a pair of hermit crabs, and a mannequin named Phillipe.

It never broke down completely, never ran out of gas on me, never left me stranded beside the road. Nevertheless, the time had come to get something a little bigger and a little more reliable… because we were afraid the day was coming when it WOULD leave me sitting somewhere.

To everyone who has ridden, driven, crashed into, or spilled something in the Klunker… it wishes you farewell. What’s your favorite Klunker moment?

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