Junkyard Find: 2007 Kia Sedona, Wisconsin Hippie Fingerpaint-n-Stickers Edition

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

I had the opportunity to visit a Green Bay wrecking yard earlier this month. Most of the inventory was made up of the 10-to-15-year-old GM and Chrysler midsize sedans you’d expect in the Upper Midwest, but I also found this eight-year-old Kia Sedona that had been converted into a Wisconsin Culture Wars Fighting Vehicle (prior to getting wrecked and scrapped before its tenth birthday).

New-ish minivans tend to hold their value well enough to be worth fixing when crashed, but not when they’ve been covered with ineradicable layers of paint and bumper stickers.

Wisconsin has had a high-temperature political landscape going back to the 19th century, producing politicians such as Senator Joseph McCarthy and “Fighting Bob” La Follette. Right now, Governor Scott Walker is working to finish the job that the Kohlers and the Taft-Hartley Act started, destroying organized labor and its allies once and for all and bringing about either Morning In America (if you’re a Buick-driving resident of the suburbs) or a fascist theocracy (if you’re an import-driving urban-dweller).

In most junkyards, I see about ten junkyard vehicles covered in right-wing stickers for every one with a lot of lefty stickers (here in Colorado, vape-juice stickers outnumber both), but fingerpainting a vehicle remains a weapon of the progressive left only.

Still, I think the revolution would be better served by a Porsche Ultra High-speed Urban Reconnaissance Unit than a Sedona.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Aug 31, 2015

    “And that’s why you’ll never ever see a real liberal running this country.” Speech over, Ricki drug the edge of her Swisher Sweet around the rim of the empty Arizona Tea can in the holder nearest her. A dark circle of ash and ember put off a little smoke, before she tossed the butt out the open window. The Sedona picked up speed as they headed east on the 161, out of the last town they’d encountered. Checking the rear view, the flick of a thick wrist caused a hemp bracelet to slide down on a hairy arm. Bernie was following closely behind. Ricki gave a casual wave, and Bernie quickly flashed the one working high-beam on the old Legacy Brighton. “You know I’ll still come out here and visit you, and you can visit me. It’s why I’m leaving you Vannie. It’s a couple hours each way, max.” Patting the plasticized dash, she smiled over at Jerica, who was nervously twirling a dreadlocked bit of oil-slick, dirty hair between her fingers. Jerica’s glare was icy. “And YOU KNOW I can’t get along with that mainstream prick. You couldn’t either. An-“ Quickly, Ricki cut in “Like this is a choice – like anybody but the fu-king state could fu-k up our lives like this?” Secretly while her mind whirred amongst their heated words, she’d think of what Bernie said to her a few nights ago, “Think of how quiet it will be around here, we can have more… people… around. I know you wanted her to choose a life for herself, not too much influence and that. But we’re just SO… restrained with her here, I guess.” Ricki had sighed and turned over after that – she knew Bernie was right, just couldn’t bring herself to say it. But as Bernie pressed those hefty breasts into her back, she’d managed a little nod. The somewhat dilapidated farm house came into view, and Ricki snapped out of her daze. “Look, we’re here, so put on a little smiley for your mom, huh? It’s not like he’ll go to PTA meetings or decide to send you to some Catholic school.” She gave a fake shudder and so did Jerica, in unison. Sharing their final laugh for a little while, Ricki climbed out of the Sedona, and walked around the front, waiting for Jerica to meet her halfway. They embraced, Ricki’s stringy hair falling around Jerica’s stout shoulders. “Be good.” She slipped a little grass into her daughter’s ratty Jansport before turning and settling in next to Bernie in the Brighton. --- A couple weeks later, and those dreads were pressed back against the side of Vannie, oily scalp mixing with even more dirt as it brushed against the multicolored metal. She had been all around the car for a good 25 minutes. Looking up at Jessica, she drew in a breath and wiped her mouth “God you’re wet.” Jessica looked down, “You about finished? I can’t think of what else to write.” Jerica buttoned a couple of the buttons on the front of Jessica’s jeans. “For now, but it’s your turn.” “Ah sh-t!” Jessica gasped, joint falling quietly to the ground from her left hand, as a figure silhouetted only by the starry country night had come out a side door of Our Savior’s Lutheran where they were parked. “Time to gooo!” Jumping in, she fired up the tired Korean’s heart as Jessica hopped in behind, putting extra effort into slamming shut the sliding door on a dried out track. Flooring it in the gravel, number elevens were left behind them, their washable paint markers standing like a phallic testament to their activities there. Making a hard right onto the same road that brought her, the original balded tires found it a bit too much to cope. Five seconds later as Jerica shook her head to clear the cobwebs; she stared straight at the trunk of a maple. Jessica was on the floor in front of the second row, and her head was tilted at a weird angle between the front seats. She was not making any sound. “Oh my God, JESSICA!” she screamed, thinking her dead for sure. The figure from before approached, cloaked all in black. “Child…”

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    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Aug 31, 2015

      @RideHeight What's your take on this University of Wisconsin funding cut for basketball arena thing?

  • Mike C. Mike C. on Aug 31, 2015

    How can you tell he's a King? (he hasn't got shit all over him)...

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.