Monday, June 07, 2010

Car Issues, the Manual Trans Kind

(From the New Yorker, June 14, 2010 Issue)

My beloved (and I do not mean that sarcastically!!) Camry is approaching 250k of accumulated mileage (that would be 400,000 km to everyone else in the civilized world) .  Rust is beginning to be noticeable where it hasn't taken on the tinge of the natural red color of the car.  The multiple belts are whining in the morning when I start the car, such that the Ever Loving Wife is labelling my early morning work departure a "getaway".  She is strongly suggesting that my presence on our block (well, I mean, my presence in my car) is causing our family's goodwill to be tanking like the stock market.  Divorce innuendos are tossed if I don't dump that other woman, my 1999 6 cylinder 5 speed manual Camry, soon.  Like yesterday.

But what's a driving loving guy to do?  Both Toyota and Honda have opted out of the 6 cylinder/manual trnasmission field.  No Camrys.  No Accords.  I'm still a bit averse about approaching a Ford or (God help me!) a GM produced car to the point that I haven't even checked to see if they offer such a combo.  I know Toyota's had their serious issues lately, but that 1999 Camry has been a treasure.  It still has some pep although the driver's seat has sunk down so low that I feel like a low-rider...or an 80 yr old guy with my hands raised high up to manage the steering wheel.

I've been checking out alternative manufacturers and some used Beemers seem like possibilities...but that price difference?  Well, the cheap guy within me is arm-wrestling the manual shift guy residing close by and I'm not sure who'll be slammed to the table first.

Maybe a nice bow on the 1999 Camry just may do it.  Or, how about if I simply crank open the windows, crank up the stereo, and blast Kings Go Forth as I drive away each morning.  At least, the belt-whining should be drowned out.  I'm still shooting for 300k miles (480,000 km) on the car.  Hell, I bought 60k tires when my baby was on 240k!  I need to get my money out of those tires.


I feel your pain. Our '01 Echo has 319k (rest of the world) kms on it, and I'm looking at sinking in some serious remedial money: new exhaust, repaired a/c. We also drive last year's Yaris (no factory installed deficiencies yet -- knock on wood). The new car is a spanky thing, but both my wife and I prefer the older car. It earned our respect and gratitude early and rewarded us for it often. So now it struggles a bit: does that really signify The End? Surely not...
This Global Economy is so much BS. I figured out that I could actually get what I want, namely a 6 cylinder 5 Speed Manual Trans Camry!
If I got an airline ticket and went overseas and was willing to deal with the paperwork and add'l expenses of ocean-frieghting the sucker back here.

Unlimited choices and Global Economy, my...backside.
I'll be checking into horse and wagons soon...or maybe consider a general overhaul.
...I'm starting to sound like an old coot more each day...Damn, I wish I'd never sold my '55 Chevy with the straight 6, 3 speed Hurst on the floor. Now, that was a car.
You've gotta test drive a Turbo 5-speed VW! I wouldn't trade mine for anything, and nothing beats German engineering...same as a Beemer only cheaper, imho. :-)
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home Verging on Pertinence Just some more disposable thoughts clogging up the hinterlands

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Click for Wilmington, Delaware Forecast Locations of visitors to this page eXTReMe Tracker
follow me on Twitter