My first car was a 1968 Chevrolet Suburban. It had issues (an undiagnosed cracked manifold among them) and after many months of frustration, sat in the driveway for a few years before being sold for scrap metal. After that, I drove a Civic (flipped 1 ½ times, totalled), an Accord (transmission failed), a 1971 Beetle (t-boned by a mid-1980s Blazer, totalled), a Prelude (rear-ended, totalled), and the Forester that I traded in when I bought Hank.

Hank was the first car I bought all by myself, and the only one that I said goodbye to over many months. It was hard.

When it finally became clear that I’d be selling him, I started documenting things. Things like:

his last commute home,

his last night in the garage,

his last commute to work,

last parking space at work,

last highway trip and exit ramp,

last left turn and last signal light,

last parking spot (with a view of Chris, the future salesperson, in the background),

last statistics,


and his final resting place (as far as I’m concerned)…

Then, the day came.

I pulled into Metro VW at the appointed time and met up with Jalisa, the nice lady who handled some or all of the buybacks at Metro.

Afterwords, I test drove the car I planned to buy: a White Golf Alltrack SE, with the driver assistance package.

The test drive took a long time, really. Too long. I had to wait 15 or 20 minutes for Chris to bring the car around, then we looked at the car for a bit before heading out. And after the test drive, I looked quickly at the black versions, and then had to go inside and say hi to Chris’s manager for some reason. Selling back Hank took maybe 10 minutes, the actual test drive took maybe 20, but I was there for almost two hours… Unbeknownst to me, this was a harbinger of things to come.

More on that later.

I enjoyed the test drive thoroughly, but wasn’t as enamoured with the white as I hoped. Luckily, they had two black SEs on the lot, and Chris told me they had the driver assistance package in them. I told him I would be back to buy just as soon as I got paid for Hank.

I booked many hours in Hank, and have many good memories of and with him. He was a great car, and I miss him. Thanks for the memories, buddy.

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