Good Bye Neon. Thank You.

Moments ago, the tow truck from New Gate School dragged away our 13 year old Dodge Neon. This is the car Jen and I bought days before we were married and was our only car for 9 years.

Moving across 3 states. At least 1 cross-country drive. More iPod adapters than I can remember.

Cleaning the glove compartment was like high-speed review of all those years – through proof-of-insurance cards, garage receipts, and cassette tapes.

Three years ago (almost to the day) I asked, Which Car Should I Buy?. That was when our – then 10 year old – Dodge Neon had just surpassed the threshold where anything other the regular maintenance was no longer worth the investment [1].

When I originally asked about a a new car – I was envisioning a vehicle; equally compact, fun, distinctive, and with as much life in it. Something like a Cooper Mini, a VW Rabbit, or a Audi A3. But I asked you, because nothing called out ‘buy me’. What I didn’t anticipate 3 years ago was needing to fit 3 car seats in the PT Cruiser.

This week, we picked up the Neon’s replacement: a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan.

While it doesn’t fit all the criteria I originally outlined – it hits quite a few.

Plus one more I didn’t expect back then.

1. Shortly after this, it surpassed the point where regular maintenance was also no longer worth it. Issues left for the students at New Gate; dead starter, dent in rear fender, oil leak, missing hub cap, broken tail light, froze up rear brakes.