By on February 18, 2013

They don’t build them like this anymore.

At the back of the car lot was death row. It was there where the real “one foot in the grave” cars were lined up, where desperate men with cold hard eyes gave the deadbeats serious looks, weighing the options while nodding gravely to themselves. Whether I wanted to be or not, I was just such a man.

Poverty and I went way back. Thanks to my mother’s generosity I hadn’t been homeless during our first brush, but I knew well the psychological toll that the inability to support oneself takes on a man. To end that extended period of unemployment, I had rolled the dice and taken a dead-end job teaching English in Japan and now, after two and a half years, I had come home with money in my pocket. But without a steady job and with no prospects on the horizon, I felt poverty’s familiar presence close at hand, and the old feelings of inadequacy had returned with shocking intensity.

As sure as if we had shared a secret handshake, the man who emerged from the ancient travel trailer that served as the car lot’s office, recognized my situation at first sight. Despite all the stories that swirl around salesmen at this type of small independent lots, the man seemed sincere in his desire to help and he knew his inventory well. As we walked through the lot, he spoke about how this or that car had found its way there, hinting that some cars might be better than others but holding out little hope of any diamonds in the rough.

At the back of the lot, I took a quick look at the lowest of the low. I was just about to leave when I saw it. Wedged in sideways behind the last row of cars, up against the unpainted plank fence that marked the edge of the property, I caught a glimpse of a triangular rear quarter window and a once expensive aluminum wheel. Always a lover of cars, I recognized it at once, a mid-80s Nissan 200SX. “What about the little Nissan?” I asked.

Would this pique your curiosity? It got my attention.

“That one.” answered the man rolling his eyes, “That one was a mistake. I took it in trade to help some people. It runs bad, the alternator is out and I think it needs a turbo.” He paused while I craned my neck to see. “I won’t make any money on it if I pay to fix it and I can’t sell it on the main lot the way it is. If you’re interested, I’d sell it as a mechanic’s special for $500 but I’m telling you it needs a lot of work. Don’t get mad and throw a brick through my window if you buy it and can‘t fix it.”

I needed a closer look. Together, the salesman and I pushed the car out from the shadow of the fence and into the harsh light of the mid-August sun. It was filthy and its grey paint was well oxidized, but the car’s sides were still dent free and its lines were still razor sharp. With the help of a battery box we started the car and I climbed inside to cycle through the readings on the digital dash board. The oil pressure was good and, after the engine warmed, the temperature gauge stayed solidly in the green. True to the man’s word, however, the volt meter showed no bars at all.

Simple and surprisingly functional, the 200SX’s digital dash allows you to change your gauges at the push of a button.

I climbed out and gave the car a long, hard look. The car met my gaze with a whirring turbo and an uneven idle, but it seemed somehow unapologetic for the fast life it had led. Thinking hard, I walked behind the car to check the tailpipe for smoke and, as I did so, caught a glimpse of my serious, scowling face reflected in the rear glass. The sight stopped me cold. How many times had I seen a hiring manager wear that same expression before rejecting my application out of hand? Unpleasant memories and repeated disappointment welled up inside me and flashed into anger. It wasn’t right. Not long before, everything had been so promising but it had all come undone so quickly. I looked at the Nissan and realized the same could be said for it. We were the same. We didn’t deserve to be here. My emotions got the better of me and, without further thought, I turned to the salesman and struck the deal.

After swapping the dead battery for a fully charged one, I drove off the lot in fits and starts. On my way out of town I stopped for oil, filters and tune-up supplies and then limped the six miles home to the sounds of occasional backfires and the shrill whine of the turbocharger, its pitch rising and falling as I worked the accelerator.

Once home, I raised the hood and made a long, close examination of the engine bay. Years of neglect were evident but at the very least everything was still there, Moreover, nothing had been modified. Filth was everywhere, with one exception – the alternator was obviously new. I ran my hands over the part checking for trouble and soon found it, a broken wire connector. It took less than ten seconds work with a crimping tool to fix and upon starting the car I was greeted by a stack of green digital bars on the volt meter where previously there had been none. Score one for us.

The Nissan 200SX

Clearly, the car’s prior owner had a problem with wires, I thought as I listened to the engine‘s lumpy idle. Back under the hood I took a quick look at the spark plug wires and found that they, like the alternator, were not so old. I researched the firing order and, sure enough, two of the four cylinder’s eight plug wires were switched. The repair was simple and the engine sprang to life and idled smoothly when I turned the key. Confident I was in the right track, I completed my tune-up and ended by changing the oil and filters.

With the mechanical work completed, a test drive was in order and on the street, the difference was immediately apparent. With the misfire corrected and fresh oil coursing through it, the engine ran smooth and strong as I accelerated through the gears. The oil change also helped to quiet the turbocharger. Boost was clearly evident as it kicked in at higher RPMs. I relished the feeling, and my test drive stretched into an hour long back road blast. Together, we had turned a corner.

Later, back at home, I washed the exterior and worked on the paint with an old can of TR-3 I found in the garage. I didn’t get the dramatic results Mr. T did in the commercial, but when I was done the car did look better. I finished up by shampooing the carpets, cleaning the glass and fitting some inexpensive seat covers to make the cabin a more pleasant place to be.

The completed project was not a show winner, but neither was it the near total write-off that the salesman had thought. My modest efforts were rewarded by a fast, eager little car with great handling and from the day I brought the little Nissan home, my life began to improve. A week later, I landed a job in a local warehouse and began to slowly beat back the specter of poverty. I was still driving the little car when, a few months later, I landed my dream job and was called away to a new life on the East Coast. Sadly, I was forced to leave it behind.

I know that cars are only tools, but in our short time together the little Nissan was my faithful companion on a thousand speedy adventures. Our spirits had nourished one another. When the car had a problem, I repaired it. When I had the blues, the car banished them with its boundless energy and enthusiasm. It was a relationship unlike any other I have ever had with a car and together, we were more than the sum of our parts. If machines have souls, then surely we will meet again.

Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He also enjoys writing and public speaking where, according to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.

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76 Comments on “Mechanical Soul: How a 200SX Turbo Saved My Life...”

  • avatar

    IMO, this is the best of the new writer’s stories yet. Good, entertaining story that is not overwritten or trying too hard. The fact that I liked this car in high school didn’t hurt either…Are those pics of the actual car? If so, it was in great shape!

    • 0 avatar

      Outside, other than the paint, the car is in great shape. Under the hood it was neglected but unmolested. Inside it was a wreck. It was one of the filthiest cars I have ever sat in and its prior owner was a nasty chain smoker.

      The guy sold it so cheap because it was so filth, I think. Also, he really thought the turbo was burned out and figured with the car’s other problems that it would be a net loss. Good for me, and probably OK for him – I bet he broke even on the deal.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with you WRohrl, THIS is the caliber of writing that first hooked me on TTAC. Great story.
      Mr Kreutzer, I missed your initial story the first time around and have gone back (as have others) and given you another vote for the good. Keep ’em coming

  • avatar

    Stories like these are the reason why TTAC stands out in the sea of car blogs!
    Job well done.

  • avatar

    Great story. Best of the future writer series for sure.

  • avatar

    Great story. It reminds me of some of the good treasures I myself have found that others thought to be trash.

  • avatar

    Excellent! Just want to add my $0.02 and say Thomas is my favorite of the new writers.

  • avatar

    Good piece. Well done. My (still original) ’92 “Classic” SE-R continues to provide the same sort of affirmation.

  • avatar

    Great stuff

    But you pretty much won the lotto with this one

  • avatar

    Bravo! I was pulling for you and the car throughout the entire read. It’s a shame that you had to leave it behind. I hope you kept the VIN and the name and number of the person/dealer who bought it.

  • avatar

    Great first time at bat. Hope to see more in the future.

  • avatar

    It was a joy reading this article. Growing up with the B13 Nissan Sentra, this article resonated well with my feelings.

  • avatar

    Amazing story – keep it coming! I will send this one to my friends who are constantly bugging me about getting a new car. It explains why I like my old Civic better than I ever could.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    For some reason, the S12 never gets any respect. Overshadowed in the ’80s by its big brother 300ZX, then completely kicked to the curb by the S13 Silvia/insert numbersSX.

    • 0 avatar

      Didn’t the 200SX and the 300ZX share a lot of rear suspension parts? The 200SX could be had with the same (maybe detuned?) v6 in the 300. I myself had an ’87 200SX but it was neither turbo nor v6. I had the CA20E. That engine was not good, but it kept running for me. Burned oil like crazy, sucked in an intake gasket, blew out a few spark plugs (might have been helicoiled once before), etc. BUT, I loved driving it. I could toss that car around like crazy and it fit a lot of stuff. One epic designated driver story was I brought NINE other people home after a near riot broke out at a club in downtown Toledo (at least: 2 in the hatch, 3 across the back bench, 1 laying across their lap, 2 in the passenger seat, 1 stradling the stick). I have other stories about that car but the most valuable thing it had going for it was POTENTIAL. I spent endless hours wondering how I could soup it up since it’s family (240’s and 300’s) were such potent cars. I never did anything to it other than add hundreds of watts and multiple 12″ subs. It might still be delivering pizzas today on and around the University of Toledo. Who knows.

    • 0 avatar

      The 200sx SE shares the non-turbo VG30E V6 drivetrain with the Z31 300zx. If you’re willing to throw some money at it, it’s easy to bolt a turbo on and get 400hp or more out of it without opening the engine up. Alas, like most cars with the semi-trailing arm rear suspension design, they are passed on by anybody wanting to do anything fun with them.

  • avatar

    A wonderful article that hits on many levels. A lot of us have had moments of self-doubt, followed by brighter times. And yes, a car can provide a helpful sense of self, of confidence building (as when you correctly diagnose and fix something). Keep writing – you have talent.

  • avatar
    Piston Slap Yo Momma

    This guy FTW. Also, a great car to score for a pittance, and I always liked the absurd ersatz spoken warnings and digital dash this era Nissan had. Similar to Mr. Kreutzer, I also went to Japan and returned home to poverty except that I quit a decent but hated job as a sh*t-eating cubicle dweller at Dell Computers to go. Fed up with co-workers who only talked about recompiling their Linux kernels and tweaking 3d accelerators (bo-ring!) and feeling my soul ground away on the stone wheel of corporate ass-kissing, I decided to go to the land of Haruki Murakami, Cornelius and Hayao Miyazaki. My return a year later was a let down of amazing proportions as I wasn’t willing to go back to the cubicle farm. On a positive note, upon returning I did score a mint condition ’88 Prelude 4WS Si for a song that gave me 100k of trouble free miles. I don’t know if Thomas Kreutzer is officially among the TTAC ranks, but I certainly hope so.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for your kind words, you’ve made positive comments on everything I’ve written so far and I really appreciate it. I feel like I have a fan. :)

      I’d like to hear your story, too. I bet we have a lot in common.

      • 0 avatar

        I was in South Korea for a year, from 08-09 (couldn’t find a job after college – recession ftw), and I saved a pretty good chunk of money, even though I didn’t try that hard.

        Bought a pristine ’00 A8L, ha.

  • avatar

    Nice – thanks. Been there and had that feeling a couple too many times.

  • avatar

    This is a really, really good story. It’s also among the rare success stories from an old forgotten car.

    If I was 5-8 years older, I definitely would have owned one of these. Shame they don’t exist anymore.

  • avatar

    Well-written, entertaining story.

  • avatar

    That was a fantastic story, hit me right in that gooeee emotional gut! It got me good…

  • avatar

    Maybe we are biased because that particular car speaks to those of us who grew up in the automotive dark ages but I also thought this was a great story and the best of the new authors.

  • avatar

    Loved the story. I am curious, though. In what year did this happen?

  • avatar

    Very nice. A really personal story without self-aggrandizement. Love the line about catching your reflection in the window, have seen that look myself.

    • 0 avatar

      Such a perfect analogy that was too, as I have often felt when applying for jobs… “If only they’d give me a freaking CHANCE!!”

      He gave the car a chance, realizing his own experiences, and wound up with a winner.

  • avatar

    I loved reading this story! Great work!

  • avatar

    Reminded me of youth, impossible odds when driving beater VW’s between Seattle and LA and fixing them in the middle of freaking nowhere. Great write.

  • avatar

    Great story; felt that I had to vote “Good” so I went back to your Future Writer one to do that.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    Great story – I can really relate to the early struggle against poverty and the satisfaction of getting a decent ride going cheap.

    It’s just kind of sad that after a seemingly promising escape from poverty the author has now ended up living in Buffalo.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a temporary thing, but I actually really like Buffalo. It’s a wonderful place to live with incredibly gracious people. Our first Halloween here my kids scored more candy than I got in 12 years of trick or treating where I grew up.

      You’ll never catch me saying a bad word about this town.

      • 0 avatar
        Kevin Jaeger

        I kid, I kid. But it did strike me as an odd place for a world traveler to eventually settle on.

      • 0 avatar

        My first choice was Ulaanbaatar but that fell through. Buffalo was offered up because I wanted to go somewhere with snow.

      • 0 avatar

        Count yourself lucky that you did not get UB.

      • 0 avatar

        Props to Buffalo; many old cities are actually beautiful places. You just have to look a little harder and see them in a different light.

      • 0 avatar

        Welcome to Buffalo. You have in very short order discovered what is exceptional about this area – the people. That takes perception.

        Buffalo’s worst days are behind it now – you can probably see that in the short time you’ve been here.

        Nice work – you are obviously a gifted writer. Congrats on the TTAC gig.

      • 0 avatar

        Thomas, well written and emotionally gripping. Your writing style is excellent. While I never had to wrestle with unemployment (and I am grateful for it) I have been in emotional states that my car helped me deal with. My first bonding with my car was when I had it for three days and took it to college. My father had called the first night back to tell me my grandfather had died. Living in a dorm as a freshmen gives you zero personal space, so I ran down the stairs to the parking lot and drove to a remote corner of campus. This was just the beginning of a relationship. The car still sits in my heated garage to this very day.

        Kudos for Buffalo and wanting to live where it snows regularly. When I retire, my wife and I will move to New England and select a place in the mountains. When I lived in Oswego NY, snow was pretty much permanent from mid December through April. I so look forward to that again.

  • avatar

    Been reading TTAC for a long time, signed up to say this is a fantastic and well-written story. Kudos.

  • avatar

    Definitely the best so far. Perfectly written, interesting, just great. I want to read more from this guy.

  • avatar

    I really enjoyed reading this story as I can really relate to it. Poverty and ropey old cars have been constant companions of mine for quite a few years until recently.

  • avatar

    Very entertaining read… the Nissans of that era were really underrated. I remember owing a B12 Sentra coupe, built like a tuna can, but handled surprisingly well.

  • avatar

    Thomas, I was (overly) critical of your first article, but this was excellent. Like others have said, it strikes me as being genuine without sounding like a forced attempt to emulate another writer.

    Best of the new writers’ work so far, excellent work!

    • 0 avatar

      Actually I think your first comments hit the mark, honestly, but the truth is I am my own worst critic. I am thrilled and humbled by all the positive comment this and my earlier stories have received. TTAC, it turns out, is a tough crowd…

  • avatar

    *golf Clap* thank you sir. I was so immersed oi reading your article that my wife asked if somethings wrong. Bittersweet memories as a low-life airman (E-3) and his beater; end-of-the-line 240sx flooded back. Uncertain about the future, barely holding on to the present. One can only hope that as “disposable” as newer cars are, people will still get a chance to the life lessons of working hard and waiting to catch the big break.

  • avatar

    I love this story, reminds me so much of my own experience rescuing an 88 Mazda MX-6 GT about 10 years back. I was helping a coworker find a car for his son, and we had the run of the wholesale bound trade-ins at a local dealer where his BIL ran the parts department. I was totally smitten with the 80s style: electronic suspension, motorized “swing” vents and the sweet sweet Recaro style seats.

    The car needed a little help but got me out of car payments on my crappy Buick, and turned out to be a *fantastic* car. I drove it for about 4 years and should have held on to it.

  • avatar

    This is one of the better stories that I’ve read in a while (and I read a lot), a fine number of people have had times like these where they’ll buy an old beater, fix it up, and somehow their life seems to follow, its nice to see someone share their story.

    This didn’t really work with me though, it took me several cars to work into a nice Volvo sedan, once I did I found myself making money and meeting old friends that I thought I would never see again.

  • avatar

    About the same time this story took place, I had a ’82 Datsun 200SX. It also was a beater. My first secondary car bought just to get back and forth to work so the wife could have the nice(r) car to get around town. But the Datsun was a blast and I could take it apart and not sweat about getting it back together again before having to go to work the next day. I learned a lot by working on that car: Fuel injectors, gas tanks, dash electronics… That little beater was fun! Good memories. Well told story!

    • 0 avatar

      The beater lot in San Antonio I bought mine from had an identical car on the back fence. The dealer told me I could come to the lot and get any parts off of it that I needed at any time. I basically stripped that car over the next couple years.

  • avatar

    Your story sounds so much like mine I am starting to think I have an alternate personality that writes.

    ‘…sincere in his desire to help and he knew his inventory well.’ This guy is where again? I’d drive a fair distance to deal with someone like this’

    Also ‘The sight stopped me cold. How many times had I seen a hiring manager …so promising but it had all come undone so quickly.’ send a bit of shiver down my spine…waaaaay too familiar.

  • avatar

    I really enjoyed reading this. This is one of the most interesting and well written things I have seen here in a long time. I can relate to this story and the feelings expressed.

  • avatar

    Good story Thomas. Reminds me of the time I bought a 73 Vega wagon for salvage price because the GM dealer said the oil leak was from a cracked pan. I had visions of rolling the car on its side on the lawn and welding the pan but discovered a loose drain plug! The rest of the story isnt so good, the famous aluminum cyl. wall was scoured enough to cause oil consumption and plug fouling.

  • avatar

    Great story, Thomas.

  • avatar

    I had an ’86 non-turbo 200SX that I likewise bought for small money when funds were scarce. It had various faults but had character, was easy to fix, and was exceptionally sturdy. I loved that car, and I loved this article.

  • avatar

    yes, Yes, YES. finally. I have had three cheap old sr20
    powered cars in the last couple of years and can relate to the reference of a machine’s personality.

  • avatar

    A white 87 200sx notchback faithfully shepherded me through the college years (5-speed RWD in Rochester NY … yet never stranded in the snow!) when reliable transport was at a premium. My sister borrowed it for an impulsive jaunt to VT one evening and totalled it trying to turn left across two lanes of traffic, bringing home only my regret in not giving it a proper goodbye.

  • avatar

    “They don’t build them like this anymore”

    You’re damn Skippy they the don’t! If they did they’d want $40,000 for it. $50,000 if it was a GM. I remember these cars like it was yesterday, and recall the had a dramatic or comical amount of rear lift and squat between shifting gears. I drove one belonging to a dealership I worked at and that’s just what I remember about them.

  • avatar

    Great story!

    That’s how I feel about my old ’88 Nissan Maxima GXE that was my high school car, it was a hand me down from my dad and I hated it. I wanted a Mustang back then and yeah I was an ungrateful punk. I put that car through HELL, redline neutral drops? Yup. Revving the piss out of the VG30E, oh yeah…. (that motor sounds marvelous at full song though!)Hitting speed bumps at speed, parking lot j turns with the e-brake, all that.

    Nothing fazed it. That car was unkillable. No matter what stupid thing I did with the car, nothing harmed it. It gained my respect. Plus, quite honestly the damn thing was just fun to drive, my dad used to compare it to the BMW’s of the era and yeah, it wasn’t that much of a stretch and that era Nissan was the genesis of the ‘4 Door Sports Car’ and it has the best damned brakes I’ve ever had in a car. I still have this car to this day.

  • avatar

    Well done.

    My Dad was a Nissan dealer mamaner since they were called Datsun. I remember sitting in the 200 SX turbos on the showroom floor in their digital glory.

    My Dad was a truck man, so he always drove home in the then new hardbody trucks, so I never got to ride in any until they were well past their prime.

    There is also something to be said about the importance of having a car, espcially a slightly cool one, when you are not feeling up to the task of being.

  • avatar

    You illustrated the reason why most of the readership is here: the emotional connection they share with their automobiles.

    I almost wept after coming back (for a visit) from a four month straight work assignment to drive my old cavalier. In those four months, my personal landscape changed drastically and I came back to the one thing that has been a constant in my life for the past 11 years. It has outlasted a marriage, 6 places I have called home, and whatever else I can say to illustrate that I have ‘grown up’ with this car. Even in negative Fahrenheit temps, it started up after sitting for four straight months – as if it was reassuring me.

    I know exactly how you felt in that moment you bought it.

    • 0 avatar

      Cars to some of us are indeed like family, not appliances! (Which is why I almost wept at some of the COC videos from a few years ago!! Unless a vehicle is a “fleet queen” from new, almost every one will be brought home, shown off to the neighbors, and be a point of pride!)

      As much as I am looking forward to taking delivery of my new car in a couple weeks (and especially as fortunate and blessed as I feel to be in the position to do so, given today’s circumstances), I may still shed a tear as my current car is driven away.

  • avatar

    Great story. There is your lot more to life with cars than driving around an airfield with smoke pouring out of the tyres (that will be replaced on some other guy’s dime).

  • avatar

    Well done sir. Great read; please stick around for a while.

  • avatar

    Fantasic story, man. I can honestly say that I had almost no interest in the subject vehicle but after reading the first few lines, I found myself sucked in and ended at enjoying the entire article. I love the fact that you placed emotions from your darkest moments in public view for the better good of the article. It shows a personal touch that (I believe) a lot of authors don’t show.

    Now… off to find out more about these 200SX turbo’s. I’m a DSM man for tinkering (and there’s always some to be done) but this might be an enjoyable “different stroke”.

  • avatar

    I really enjoyed this story. I actually was disappointed when it concluded. I wanted it to be longer. Not a lot of writers I can say that about.

    I bought a pair of 200SX’s a few years back for $500…for the pair. Unfortunately they ended up languishing as other projects got bumped in front of them. Ended up selling the pair for $600 to an enthusiast somewhere in SC. I found a couple of spare computers for them (an 83 and an 84, IIRC) a few months ago while cleaning out my basement.

    I really relate to the message behind this article. Cars are more than simply random assemblages of steel, plastic, and rubber. But it isn’t what’s in the _car_, exactly, that means so much. It’s what the car brings out in _us_. My daily driver is an older model- so old, in fact, that it pretty much requires a real, old-type tuneup every other oil change or so. I’m talking about gapping the plugs, setting the dwell, fiddling with the carburetors, and in general going over the whole car with at least a cursory glance. Don’t get me wrong- it’s great that modern cars are so reliable, and clean, and efficient. And I’m not saying we should go back to 1940’s era technology. But, there’s something inherently good and useful and even medicinal about having to tend to an automobile like that. When I finished the most recent tuneup, I took her out for a blast down the freeway and thought to myself, as I rowed through the gears and stirred up the revs, “Man, this is a great feeling. All these people in the other cars I’m passing…they’ll never know this feeling.”

    I call it, “The importance of having to set your points.”

    By the way, a good friend of mine lives in Buffalo, and is trying to find a home for his 1977 AMC Matador Barcelona. He just doesn’t have time for it anymore, with family obligations, and wants to find her a good home. It’s a non-rusty, Southern car, too. If you’re interested…

  • avatar

    Thank you Thomas ;

    Your story takes me back 40 years when the beaters were very different and I was a dirt poor young married man with a child to feed….

    I still buy most of my vehicles from junkyards….

    Please keep the good writing coming .


  • avatar

    wow thanks for the tip on the other thread. To be honest then, I had skimmed through this but never got around to reading it. If I had know it was a Nissan maybe I’d read it earlier. I was thinking it was Honda. Honda stories are only read before Toyota stories and the the uber German trio stories.

    Did you read my Ka stories? Now I feel a coonection to you. I’m pretty much doing the same as you now. Though I didn’t know poverty as a child, I’m close to it as an adult. I saved up enough for 2yrs that I’ve given myself to turn things around. It’s a daunting thing, seeing poverty coming close.

    As to the car, I can relate. In these dark days I often go out for long drives in it. Like the Nissan it is a driver’s car and has made me enjoy driving again. Unlike you, if things work out, I intend to keep the Ka around forever. As a monument to my dreamed re-emergnece and to keep me humble. My experience has been a humbling one. I’m better for it (if I overcome it)

    There have been things going wrong with it. Things breaking. Some things I have been fixing, somethings the shop has honored the warranty thank God! The worst was the car overheating. I had the head gasket work done because of it. But I guess it helps us bond to the cars doesn’t it. Perfection is boring (part of my dislike for ToyoHonBMWaudiMBenz) comes from that. Plus I hate pretense. The Ka has none.

    Damn, now I feel close to you man. I’ll read everything as soon as I see it!

    One more thing, was it Berlitz? If it was…

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