Last week I said goodbye to my first car -- my 2002 manly VW Jetta TDI. It wasn't planned, but it turned out to be a blessing.
Angela and I were in Wichita Falls for the Spook'n'Spoke bicycle ride the day before. Sunday morning we packed up the car to join our friends at church in Dallas. It was the second night in a row with freezing temperatures. Angela's parents said goodbye quickly before going back inside to the warmth of the house. Since the Jetta has always had a difficult time starting on cold mornings, I knew we would be there for a few turns of the key. After the third attempt, however, we thought we should use the smartphone to problem-solve. As we're looking up a few websites, Angela noticed smoke rising from the edges of the hood. I quickly stepped out and noticed an orange glow on the ground below the engine. A quick look under confirmed that a fire was building. I told Angela to get out and check for a fire extinguisher in her parents' place. I then advised her dad to call 911.
By the time the fire department arrived, the car was finished. I have a few pictures below. Unfortunately, none of them show the three foot flames coming out of the sides of the hood.
I'm thankful for the Jetta. It served me well for 10 years. I'm also thankful for the people at Augustine Insurance in Dallas and Gene Litton's people in Wichita Falls, both Allstate people. They turned my car into a sort of phoenix: Rising from the ashes, a check appeared. Finally, thanks to my parents for a great car. It served me well for 169,000 miles. Though I don't recommend VWs to others due to their cheap, plastic interiors, this one had a great engine and took me to LA and back many times.
Do you have any good stories about how you ended your relationship with your first car? I'd love to see how you said goodbye.
Now for some pics. (By the way, I hate Blogger when it comes to pictures. Apologies.)