First, I’ll start by telling you that Heidi was a car - my 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit
And yes, I had named it. If that seems strange to you just Google ‘naming your car’ for more examples of names people give to their vehicles: Bessie, Jelly Bean, Big Red, etc.
Anyway, back to Heidi. She wasn’t mine to begin with; Jp had picked her out as he thought she’d be a good economical car being a standard and a Diesel. He didn’t drive manual transmissions but figured it wouldn’t be so hard to learn. So he bought the car, and I drove it home. He tried it for a bit and then decided he didn’t like driving standard and since I absolutely love shifting gears, we traded cars.
We had a few hiccups in the beginning being that she was old; little things like a wire disconnecting from the fuel pump leaving me on the side of the Trans-Canada Highway (luckily near an exit so the tow truck could get me pretty easily). Trust me, when I tell you – if you have a car older than 10 years, you must get a membership to a Roadside Assistance Program (we have BCAA).
Compared to new cars things were underpowered, like my headlights, which were pretty dim - luckily most of the roads I drove on where pretty well lit. And the fan was underpowered – on a rainy day, of which we have many, I’d have to drive with my window open because I’d fog up making visibility a concern. I always kept a pair of gloves in my car and made sure I had a warm coat. Driving in the winter in below zero temperatures with the window down was not fun. If I had to transport one of my dogs, I most definitely had to drive with the window down and they’d fog me up so fast! In the summer, I’d roast at every red light/stop sign because there was no airflow – again, not a fun experience if I had a hot dog in the back seat. My wipers took about 4 seconds to go from the bottom to the top, if I put it on high – maybe 2.5 seconds? And there was drip on my right foot, so I couldn’t move because I’d have to keep it on the gas pedal.
By now you’re starting to wonder why I kept this car. Well after a couple of visits to the Volkswagen dealer we got her running really well and I didn’t have any mechanical problems with her the last couple of years. And because I didn’t drive too much and I could get almost 800 kms to a 30litre tank of diesel, I only had to get gas about 6 times a year – no kidding! And did I mention I loved driving a standard transmission?
I didn’t think I had complained too much about her, but according to Jp I did and he said he was tired of hearing about it. Plus every time I had to drive more than 20 minutes away from home, he’d worry that I’d make it back so he’d rearrange his schedule so I could take his car for the longer trips. Then recently we bought a new car, and the Rabbit was no longer needed. Because it was so old, he convinced me I couldn’t sell it for very much - however, when I looked on the internet I found lots of people who loved the old Rabbits, and mine was in really good shape. But then I was faced with taking out want ads and going through the whole process of people calling and test driving and all that selling stuff and he persuaded me to put it in the Scrap-it Program. And so, reluctantly I did.
Friday was the day I had to turn her in. She hadn’t run for a while and I had to call BCAA to jump start her, and then we headed to Chilliwack to the nearest scrap dealer who participated in the program. We had a good drive, she ran well, shifted well and it was difficult to turn in a car that looked good, ran good and who’s only major fault was that she was old. She passed Air Care with low emissions ratings but still according to this program, old vehicles had to go off the road due to emissions.
I was not happy signing her over to the scrap yard. And when I drove away, I was all verklempt (that’s really the best way to describe it) - I know it’s just a car, but it was an emotional moment for me.
So Goodbye Heidi, and I’m sorry.
There is no turning back. I didn’t want to do it. I’m sorry that you served me well, and now they’re going to crush you just because you’re old. I’m sorry I couldn’t find another person who would keep you going. You are gone but not forgotten.