My First Car

It was always my plan to have, own and drive a manual stick shift. Did I know “how” to drive one? No. But that did not stop my plan. At that time, everyone except one person among my associates, friends and family had, owned or drove manual shifts and to me, there was so much more in the manual stick shift; like action, speed and looking and feeling “cool” while driving (LOL!!! I was young). My Mother though, tried to discourage me from getting a manual car; however, nothing was a deterrent.

Now, let me not see someone driving by operating a manual shift, and especially a female; oh my goodness!!! There I was off daydreaming that it was me that just drive by in my “whip”, up and down shifting with ease. I’d dreamed I made the engine roar as I shifted. I felt I was the one that took the curves on the corners tight with precision in my sporty manual shift car. No one could tell me it wasn’t me.

Once I had my license w and permanent employment, it was only a matter of time before I’d be signing a contract on the dotted line for my manual shift vehicle. I was figuring out the insurance, gas, maintenance and car payment with my paycheck before the hours where put in the system for the payroll to get processed (shaking my head, while I’m falling out on the floor laughing real hard). I talked with my credit union about an estimated car loan payment amount depending on if I’d decided to get a loan with them, I shopped insurance rates, I started paying attention to gas stations en route to work – after all that would be where I was going to stop for fuel once I had my ride, and I even inquired with my best friends older brother about the best place to get my car serviced – either with the dealership or with a good mechanic I knew and trusted. I was getting my mind around what I knew was going to happen.

Then some things started happening in corporate America like job layoffs, corporate streamlining and company cutbacks. My emotions around these events were that nothing was going to stop me from whipping it in my coupe. That’s right; I’d already given consideration to the fact that I was going to have a two door. I’d loved the idea of this car so long; I felt it was going to be a classic for me years past its purchase.

At 22 years of age, the current year’s vehicle being a classic seemed like it was a long time away for me. Hey that would put me at 42 years of age, which at that time, I couldn’t even imagine. Speaking of being 22 years old, at that time I hadn’t gotten my college degree yet since I worked full-time and went to school part-time; I’d been hearing, that a college degree would make it much easier to acquire a car and get the best financing. My position on that negative talk was that someone was going to finance me without a degree at my age; someone was going to see and appreciate the value of how I was acquiring my education and would view it as my being driven and tenacious over someone who cruised through college strait thru for four years. I had confidence and faith that when I was ready to pick the dealership where I was going to purchase my manual shift automobile, the heavens would be in alignment and the car would be mine.

Knowing that the car would be mine, I took the advice of my co-worker and selected a particular car dealership, which had in inventory the car that would become ‘my baby’. Honestly I didn’t know what color; I didn’t know if it would have leather or if it would have automatic windows. All I knew was that it would be a coupe and it would be manual shift.

I walked into the dealership by myself, not knowing what to expect and not knowing how to drive a manual shift. I asked a salesman if I could test drive one of the Honda coupes. The salesman got the keys and handed them to me. I said “oh no, I don’t know how to drive a manual shift; I’ll sit in the passenger seat, while you drive. I’ll still be able to get a good feel for it”.

It was the first time he’d experienced that but he did admit that of all the manual shift vehicles made to present date, the Honda Accord manual shift was the easiest to learn on as the car would adjust to the faults of the learner without harm to the vehicle; in a manner of time the driver would learn, rather quickly what should be done and in that the car wouldn’t have to adjust any longer. That was interesting to me. I didn’t know that about the Honda and that was the car I’d planned, wanted, determined on and was going to buy.

Yes they tried to tell me that I didn’t have enough of a down payment; however, in my spirit I was resolute that the car was mine, so to me, they needed to work it out.

Yes, they tried to tell me that without a college degree the interests and payments were too much for me to afford at my present salary and income to debt ratio; however, in my spirit I was resolute that the car was mine, so to me, they needed to work it out.

Yes, they tried to tell me that I might not be able to handle the car loan note with the car insurance; however, in my spirit I was resolute that the car was mine, so they needed to work it out.

I said it once and each time they came to me with “something”, the look on my face said it all; I was resolute that the car was mine, so they needed to work it out.

In my mind, I was thinking about what I need to do and how I needed to do it to get the car home, because the car simply was mine.

Today “Smurf”, the name I gave my first car, is a classic at 20 years old. To date, Smurf is the car I prefer to drive…its low, its fuel efficient and it’s a fast whip of a manual shift.

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