So we woke up early today, returned the rental car, had a hot dog at the place next door, and waited for relsqui's dad to pick us up.
We got to Turlock a bit early. The current driver (the owner's son) ran out to get the car smogged (as California state law requires before the transfer of a title. We hung out in the office of the gas station which the owner of the car also owns and chatted a bit about gas prices. He had some interesting theories about gas prices.
Anyway, after some signing, exchanging of keys and check, and some last minute "Oh yeah, I should tell you about this!" bits, the car was mine!
This was how people on our route saw us:
...for an instant before we were out of sight anyway. I did not spare the horses.
And man, it's tiny. The front is approximately inline with the car next to it.
I drove it home and it was wonderful. This is where I watched traffic.
And after getting back and scrutinizing controls, I found the performance stuff.
You can't tell from the blurriness, but when you push that, a light on your console lights up that says "PWR". I know what that's an abbreviated form of...but I didn't need it to tell me that. I found out when I laid into the accelerator and the shifting pattern was later.
The transmission is quite nice -- it doubles as a manual after a fashion with some a few safeguards (nothing's perfect, is it?) and without the clutch.
The steering is *heavenly*. There were turns on the highway where I budged the steering wheel slightly from center and the response was magnificent. The suspension worked in such a way that I could have been fooled into thinking that there was no turn there. Flat and steady the whole way -- a marvelous ride.
This car passes the short drive and long drive tests with flying colors. I'm proud to own such a magnificent piece of machinery.
We dug around in the glove compartment. The neatest part is that apparently the second-to-last owner had a logbook in the front with all the gas mileage notes from the end of 1994 all the way to the beginning of 2000. There's also the original owner's manual and other assorted things. The car came with a spare, jack, and all sorts of tools -- no need to stock it.
I accidentally facilitated the accomplishment of one of relsqui's life goals. We blasted "Ride of the Valkyries" as we left the parking lot and replayed it a couple of times in traffic. We even blasted it over some annoying person's thumping bass.
Sadly, no one seemed to notice.
We stopped at Michael's to get relsqui some yarn. I realized I needed to get cash from the ATM, so I started off and she said "Hurry back". I chuckled a little and she added "Don't hurry too much". Awww....
Anyway, did I mention that I love my car? 8)