In about 2 hours, the auto wreckers are coming for my '93 Plymouth Sundance. Cheez_Whia, my mom, gave this car to my husband and I in 2002. We were unmarried at the time, he was just starting at UCLA and I was barely getting my shit together at JC. “You can drive it until it dies!” she said, and die it did in January 2003. Being poorer students then than we are now, we despaired at having to buy a whole new car, and dropped a new engine into the Millenium Falcon (as my mom called it).
6 months after that, we were on the way home from Colorado. Fifth gear just gave out and we had to drive from Parowan, UT back to Lancaster, CA in fourth gear. We hung on for a while until the whole transmission just died; when we took it out, we saw fifth worn completely smooth. $300 and a lot of sweat later, and the noble BruinMobile was back on the road.
Its last road trip was in November of 2004, a little over exactly two years ago. It drove my husband and I to get married ($10 in CO, woohoo!), to visit my family, and to go ghost-towning on the way home. The car was actually a POS 4 banger with the soul of a Land Cruiser; many is the rutted, muddy backroad that it whomped down with hardly a complaint.
The BruinMobile has seen much of the Mighty West; Las Vegas many times, Sequoia (twice), Yosemite (also twice), the Eastern Sierra, Monument Valley, many ghost towns of Utah and California, and Colorado uncountable times. It has hauled mountain bikes, bales of alfalfa, sheep feed, camping gear, drunk people, firewood, furniture, groceries, a Randall full stack (yep, we crammed a full stack in that car!), guitars, microphones, kegs, you name it, the BruinMobile has hauled it.
I learned to drive in that car. I can’t count how many times I dumped the clutch. Probably I contributed to the eventual decline and fall of the transmission. I learned how to change oil, tires, coolant, fuses, and whole engines from that car.
BruinMobile, you will be sorely missed. You always got us There and Back Again. You took pretty good care of us, and we returned the favor by abusing you endlessly. Good-bye, as you go to the great Pick-a-Part in the Sky.