149,311 Goodbye Golden Car

We got our Saturn 10 days before September 11, 2001. Saturn was a revolutionary company at the time.

Their slogan was:

A Different Kind of Car Company. A Different Kind of Car.

And it was.

It was the no-haggle car company. You paid the same price as anybody else who purchased a Saturn. It was supposed to be the American answer to the Japanese competition. They built them differently. The plant was all new.

The doors and side-body panels were made of polymer instead of steel. This made the car lighter in weight which gave it better gas mileage. But even better was that the entire outside of the car was like one giant bumper. So your car didn’t suffer the normal dings and dents in parking lots. And rust was never an issue for the panels.

My 2002 coupe had a cool little side-door that opened backwards— a “third door,” they called it. It made life about 1000 times easier when my daughter was a baby. It was super easy to get the car seat in and out. The leather seats made it easier to clean up vomit. No need to cave and purchase a mom-car. We were even able to fit a large TV in the car one time because of the cavernous space created if both the regular car door and mini car door were opened at the same time.

We almost drove it all the way to Chicago in the days after September 11. We were supposed to fly on the 14th for my cousin’s wedding. But flights were cancelled. Rescheduled. Cancelled.  Along with all the sorrow of the disaster and the joy that I looked forward to at my cousin’s wedding, I was worried about driving my brand new car the more than 700 miles to Chicago. We scored train tickets. The car would go on to last for many many miles.

It was the most reliable car I’d owned.

But recent years were not as kind.

Perhaps because my Saturn was lower to the ground and less visible than all the SUVs around here or because so many drivers are distracted these days, other drivers kept crashing into me. Rather, into my Saturn. Stop lights. Parking lots. Somehow, drivers managed to hit me in ways and at times that I could not avoid.

Then the basic repairs started coming. Nothing that wouldn’t be expected from a car pushing 150,000 miles. But it adds up.

It was time.

Thanks for carrying our family so far!

Good bye.