One hundred thousand miles

They say 100,000 is the new 60,000.

Photo unretouched. No dinosaurs were harmed in making this picture.

Well, I don’t know that anyone actually says that, but hitting 100,000 miles on the odometer doesn’t seem to have the same panache it once did. It was like living to 100 years. Sure, things sagged a bit and you didn’t have the same get-up-and-do you used to, but it was a proud moment. “I’ve got 10o,000 miles on this baby” used to be bragging rights.

I just spotted the first fender rust the other day.

My mechanic tells me with the recent economy people are hanging onto their cars longer. For them, business us up.  So far up they moved to a new garage. That twas kind of in the plans all along. The surprise came when it was time to move out of the temporary bay in a steel building that looked more like a warehouse (or hangar) than an automotive garage, they kept it open to service the fleet accounts they’d recently acquired. Seems even fleet owners are hanging on to their cars and trucks longer. So what started as a move to a newer facility ended up being a move to TWO facilities. The old one came down to make way for a CVS drugstore — as if we needed another CVS store.

The beauty of a high-mileage vehicle is that (in theory) you don’t have any car payments. If you’re making payments on a car that has 90,000 miles on it, you should have somebody else make your car-buying decisions for you.

The downside could be that your repair bills start creeping up. Lately I have been spending a lot of time on the downside. There was the ignition problem that caused the already underpowered engine to lose power; there was the invisible ice boulder I hit in a blizzard on I-77 that knocked some stabilizer bars loose; and then the water pump failed. Cha-ching! The equivalent of six car payments.

If I can go a year without any more big repairs, it’s worth it.

Lately, 200,000 miles seems to be the new benchmark for longevity.  I know people who have Honda Accords with more than 250,000 miles. Yeah, they’re tired old rustbuckets, but they still run. And when you get down to it, isn’t that the point of having a car — getting from Point A to Point B?  Of course I’d rather do it in style — hmmm, Lamborghini or Yugo? Tough call — but wheels are wheels.

So as my almost-15-year-old son declares that he wants a Shelby Mustang — green with a white stripe down the middle — I chuckle to myself and hope I can keep the ol’ PT cruising for a few more years. Enjoy the ride, son.

Meep! Meep!

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