Bye Bye Capri (sigh, tears, sob)
It was my first car, a graduation present from my parents and my grandmother (we always joked that she paid for the moonroof). It was new in 1980 and very cool. Special edition, racing stripes, moon roof that came off, hatchback, 5-speed. I loved that car. It went through everything. Traveled with me all up and down California - Hwys 99, 101, 1, 5 - when I worked in Agriculture. It went to the lake and drove down on the sand when I visited the family and went water-skiing. It drove up in the snow to go skiing and even got completely buried in one snow storm. It drove out to Death Valley where we camped in the back because it was way too cold outside to sleep on the ground. It drove down to the beach every day when I lived in South Redondo. It drove to Yosemite and many other places. 180, 787 miles. Nearly all of them put on by me. Mom and Dad did put a few on during my Japan years when the car lived at their house in Palo Alto. Other than that, it was all me. Just me and the Capri. That car took good care of me - even when I did the "bad" things in the pre-DUI days and drove home on auto-pilot. I could have been killed but the car took care of me. It was like a 4-wheel drive, driving over any terrain and boy, did I take it some rough places. It never complained and just kept on going. I loved that car. I would take the moon roof off and store it in its case in the back and just drive along with the sun on my face and shoulders. Never had an accident until I got hit in a parking lot after driving it for 19 years. That got fixed right up and it kept going. Passed smog test after smog test, even at the test only station. Gradually, the steering began to get loose and then, one day, about 6 years ago, I decided to get a new convertible. The Capri became my trusty second car. It was great, with the hatchback, for hauling the dogs around, picking up water heaters, plants, bricks and other household chores. In time, even that usage diminished. The car still drove fine but the steering was a little scary and the air conditioning had broken. I just didn't get to drive it much anymore. I asked around in case anyone wanted it but there were no takers. One day, a letter came in the mail from the Air Quality Management District about their vehicle buyback program. I procrastinated for a year - not bearing to part with my beloved car but, at last, money became an issue. Even though the savings will be small since my reg and insurance are almost nil, I need to cut back on expenses as much as possible. I finally made the hard decision to sell it back to them (sigh).
So today, I started it up for the last time and drove it out to Milpitas (just like going home) to Pick Your Part and filled out the paperwork. The girl came out and checked it out to see that it would meet all of the criteria before accepting it. I asked her what they were going to do with it and, as she took her red marker and wrote the word, CRUSH, in big red letters on the side, I got my answer. Ohhhhhhhhh, I cried, it is going to be crushed. I was crushed. I know it is just a car but it was soooooo emotional for me. She wrote CRUSH on it many more times just to make sure and every time felt like a stab in the heart to me. So that is it. The Capri is going to the big speedway in the sky. I bought a disposable camera at a nearby store and took final pictures. Will post them here when I get them developed. And then, after 26 years, it was goodbye. BYE, BYE CAPRI. You will be missed. (sob!)