Vehicular Slaughter

So, Geoff and I embarked on the adventure of buying [yet another] car recently.  Thanks to a slew of unfortunate happenstances, we found ourselves in need of a cheap, winter car.  So, we started watching Craigslist for a suitable contender.  Craigslist is a scary place to look for cars in our price range, but we eventually found a winner. 

So, it's at this point I start counting the number of cars we've owned in our relatively short marriage and we are averaging nearly 2 a year.  Yikes! So, here's the rundown:

1994 Ford Probe - Maroon/Red Coupe
Where/Why:  The Probe was given to me as a Christmas present after I graduated High School.  I actually left the Probe at home my freshman year of college and brought it out the next year.  I will still driving it a couple years later when Geoff and I got engaged and married, making it one of our first two cars.  The Probe wasn't full of get-up-and-go, but it usually got you where you needed to go.

Why we moved on: One sad day in early 2008, Geoff and I (and Rubio) were heading to the Salt Lake airport to pick up my brother.  As we headed over the point of the mountain...the car 'popped.'  A moment later flames burst out (briefly) of each side of the hood and the engine came to an abrupt stop.  The Probe threw a rod on the freeway and never drove again. 

1986 Honda Prelude - Black/Rust Coupe (note, this is NOT an actual picture of our sad, leprosy-ridden car)
Where/Why:  When Geoff got home from his mission in early 2007, he knew he needed a car to get him to and from work.  He knew he needed a car even more when he realized he needed to drive the 40 minute drive to see me every day.  So, he bought the Prelude from his dear friend Scott.  He paid $50.  We easily got $50 worth out of the Prelude.
Why we moved on: The Prelude was never in "tip top" shape.  It went through oil like I go through Diet Mountain Dew (when I'm not pregnant).  When you drove it, enough fumes came through the vents to convince you that you might, indeed suffocate.  However, the car just seemed to keep going and going.  Ultimately, it became entirely too unreliable and Geoff would have to push start the car to get it anywhere.  In early 2009, it was time to take her to the junk yard.  Fun Trivia Moment: We took the Prelude and Probe to the junk yard on the same day. 

1999 Volkswagen Passat - Black Sedan
Where/Why: When the Probe gave up on us early 2008, we needed to replace it.  Fast and cheap.  So, we started searching Craiglist for a good used car.  We always appreciated the Germans, so when we found a '99 Passat with relatively low miles for a price well below "market value," we jumped on it. 
Why we moved on: In January of 2010 (January seems to be a bad month for us and cars), shortly after we arrived in Fargo, I was off to pick up a pizza for Geoff and I.  On the way, the car shut off.  Turns out the timing belt had broken on me as I was driving down the street.  The car wasn't worth the cost to fix the timing belt, so we sent her off to the junkyard.  It was a bittersweet day - the Passat was a really great car. 

2002 Mercedes Benz C230K - Maroon/Red Coupe
Where/Why:  When we decided to retire the Prelude, we needed to get a second car to partner with the Passat.  We looked long and hard for another P car, since the Parkers had owned the Probe, the Prelude and the Passat.  We narrowly missed out on a Mazda Protege - but eventually gave up the dream of an all P car existence.  We found the Mercedes - with very low miles for it's age and decided to get it.
Why we moved on: Just a few months back in June of 2011, we sold the Merc to a new family.  We didn't need two coupes hanging around with a baby on the way and had a decent amount of equity in the Merc.  The check engine light came on as we were selling it (big bummer), but we eventually found a blessing buyer who wanted it as-is (for a price reduction).  We lost our equity on it because of that, but still manage to sell it.  A win-win, I'd say. 

1993 Nissan 300ZX - Maroon/Red Coupe
Where/Why: The Nissan came into our lives in July of 2011.  After the Passat became immobile in January of 2011, Geoff and I became a 1 car carpooling family until the summer.  This gave Geoff plenty of time to research cars and find the one he "needed."  This came in the form of an oldie, but a goodie.  With extremely low miles and a moderate price tag, I had to consent.  The Nissan may not start with a P, but it's got all the important Ps: Power, Power, and Power.   With twin turbos and the most comfortable leather seats you'll ever sit in, this car has made Geoff a happy man.
Why we moved on: We haven't yet.  Geoff will be driving the Nissan until the snows come and then we'll put it in storage for the winter.  Geoff will likely put it up for sale in the spring - as it's not really baby friendly. 

2011 Kia Optima - Black Sedan
Where/Why: So, when Geoff bought the Nissan, we made a deal that, come winter, we'd garage that car (to preserve it's value and keep Geoff alive - since it's really not a winter-friendly car).  We planned to buy a junker.  Buying a junker is A LOT harder than it sounds.  So, we started thinking about buying a "real" car - especially since we'd sell the Merc when the spring rolled around.  We drove about every new car you can think of in this price range.  The Kia won.  We love this car. 
Why we moved on: We haven't.  We have had the Kia for almost a year now, and are still very pleased with our decision.  There's a couple years left on the lease, so we'll be happy for at least another 2!

1992 Volkswagen Passat - Red Sedan
Where/Why: So, winter is upon us, yet again, in Fargo.  For the Parkers this year, that means a baby AND snow.  That means the Nissan needs to get professionally garaged and we need a second car to get us to where we need to go.  So, we found this beauty on Craigslist and traded for a carton of cigarettes.  Just kidding - although we didn't spend much more.  It's got some rust and some dings.  The interior is in surprisingly good condition and, if it gets us around for the next 6 months, we'll be happy campers. 
Welcome to the family, Passat Number 2!

The rundown: 3 maroon/red coupes, 2 black sedans, 1 black coupe, 1 red sedan; 3 manual transmission, 4 automatic; 3 in the junk yard, 1 sold, 3 in our possession still;  Number of cars we've owned that Rubio has ridden in: 7; Number of cars we've had that Rom has ridden in: 5. 


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