After living in Boston for nearly nine years without a car I started shopping for one in 1999. Not having a car was starting to be more of an inconvience than owning one would be, and Warren was encouraging me to drive more and more. Warren actually did most of the shopping, as he knew more about cars and had a firm idea of what I needed. In May of 1999 he found a used 1987 VW Jetta. It was silver grey and had 136k miles on it. I ended up buying it for $1900.
In the beginning I didn't have high expectations for Cloud. He ran fine, and was very responsive. This is a must living in Somerville, where you need to get from a dead stop to 30 mph near instantly if you want to drive at all. On the other hand, the car didn't look like much, and my driving ability was very rusty. I expected to either total the car within six months, or have it die under me in that time. Not only did the car exceed all my expectations by lasting much longer, but he was a fun little car to drive. I drove it all the way to NY for a dance competition one year, and we also took it up to Montreal in February for La Classique Du Quebec another year.
The car was not without its problems. I replaed the battery, a front axel, and three of the four tires, but this is what I'd consider normal wear and tear. The fron axel is certainly normal wear and tear for a car that was regularly driven in cambridge. It should also be mentioned that the power stearing never worked. This was only a problem while trying to parallel part the car, and it was easily overcome. I can thank Cloud in part for the current buff state of my biceps. The main problem with the car was the fact that water collected in a little pool behind the driver. It was no big deal in the summer, but in the winter it caused me to need to scrape ice off the inside of the windshield.
Cloud was still in running condition when I got my current job in the summer of 2002. Since I'd be driving to work everyday, it was clear that a new car was in order. In three years I'd only put six or seven thousand miles on Cloud, and a thirty two miles a day wasn't going to be good for him. I was so fond of Cloud, though, that we went a got a new 2003 Jetta. The VW dealership suggested that we donate Cloud. We tried, but no place that took car donations wanted one that old. I was actually a little miffed. I valued Cloud, but they wouldn't even take him for free. In the end, Cloud ended up sitting on the driveway.
We did recently get a card from a towing company that said "junk cars wanted". That's the place that we called. I'm hoping that they'll see the value in my trusty little car. They must if they're taking him away for free.