Hello everyone. My name is Tom Nardone from I Am Tom Nardone. I have become good friends with Hey Joe Online, and Joe has invited me to write an article for his website. I write only about things that I can find humor in. I have a uniquely skewed view of the world in which we live. I Thank you Joe Smith for the opportunity and I hope you all enjoy the show.
There is something about old beaten up cars that I find beautiful. It is like being on the road with a seasoned veteran as opposed to some newb vehicle. While it is maybe not as smooth or comfortable, I do get some piece of mind from the experience this car has over most of the other cars on the road. We just drive down the highway laughing at all the other younger cars, still with there innocence, as they are being driven assholes who cant drive them.
A while back, my son Brett came to an age and a bank balance where he could by a car.(parents worst fear) So as he did as he often does and he enlisted my help. When my wife heard my Ideas regarding Brett’s first car, she quickly stepped in to save Brett from what she believed to be a sure disaster. Yvonne looked at me like I was a lunatic. She said “Tom you are deranged. I accept that about you. Don’t infect my son with that kind of thinking”
Here are some facts about me and the cars I have owned. I have never made a single car payment. I have never washed a car that I have owned. I just don’t like cars. I know a few things about cars and how to do minor engine repairs from watching my dad. I do minor engine repairs not because I want to, but because I am one cheap bastard when it comes to things that I have to take care of.
My Brother Phil and I were having a discussion one day and he asked me “Tom how come every car I have ever seen you drive, is a garbage can?” My brother Phil is a successful realtor in Atlanta GA. I said “Phil what is your payment on that car?” His answer shocked me. “$575.00” I explained to Phil that the combined total of my first three cars is $787.00. Every month and a half he pays as much as I did for my 1980 mustang, ’83 Dodge Aries station wagon, and my ’76 Buick Skylark.
I said “Phil, if a car needed a tune up and a new set of tires every single month, would that be a deal breaker for you”. He said “Hell Yes it would!!” Yet he was paying for one every single month.
I believe that my method and criteria for picking a used car is infallible. It has served me well for many years and it is the only way I will ever buy a car. I don’t want a nice looking car because who wants to steal a car that is a clunker. That’s right nobody does. The most important thing is the mileage. That tells the story. Most cars dot not make it to 100k miles so if you happen upon one, and that, my friends, is a rare find. That is a car that has proven itself. This car has gone around the world 4 times and now it is here and it is mine for the taking. This is the only way I buy a car.
I paid a grand total of $187.00 for my Dodge Aries. I owned that car for 3 years and I beat the hell out of it. It had a hundred and forty thousand miles on it when I bought it. I never one time ever saw the engine. I am sure it had one, but I never saw it. Because I never even popped the hood, or changed the oil. Three years and forty thousand miles for the low, low price of $187.00 sounds pretty reasonable to me.
Sadly One day I parked it at a gas station. When I came out of the gas station entered the vehicle, started the car, but it would not come out of park again ever. I pulled on the column shifter until it broke. I then sighed and was very angry that I would have to walk home a mile and a half. I got out of the car, and walked away about ten or twelve feet. I turned around and faced the car. I nodded toward it, in appreciation for its service. I then began my trip home never looking back.
I left the car for dead. I never had it towed or even made a phone call on its behalf. I just decided that there were probably other people who would get tired of seeing that car parked there before I would. Certainly they would do something about it. When I got home my wife (at the time) asked what happened. I explained it all to her. She said “You are just going to leave it there? So I guess the world is just your own private dumpster now?” I just told her yes, and I went to lie down and take a nap.
I never thought about it again except each day when I would drive past it on the way to and from work. I would drive by and see it there parked right by the front door of the local Spinx station. For six days it sat there, and then one day it was gone. To this day, I do not know the reason for its demise. Perhaps it was my years of neglect. Maybe I just believed this car to be immortal and it would just run forever in spite of my disregard. Maybe I was just curious how long it would live on its own.
I still maintain that Brett would have been well served to adopt my method for picking his first car. As it turned out he got a two thousand dollar SUV of some kind and after getting the car, the registration, and the insurance; He went out on his first date with his girlfriend and when he let her drive she ended up totaling the car after he had been driving it for only 2 weeks.
So in the end the whole selection process ended up being a moot point. I still say I was right. My way, he would only be out about $187.00 rather than two grand.I have explained to people, when I speak, you should look at that as if lightning has come down and carved you a set of instructions into the concrete. I see people who have complicated their lives simply by not following my instructions to the letter.
I can only lead them to the water. I can’t force them to drink it.
I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.
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