Has it really been five years since I bought my Accord Coupe? In truth, it’s been five years and a few days. In theory, the last payment was due on the first of March. I made it twenty days early and now I have the title. This is the first time I’ve paid off a car loan since I finished my Boxster in 2010; everything since then was lease-returned, sold early, traded-in, or bent in half.
Auto loans, much like pornographic images, are often loudly derided by their most thoroughly-addicted users. I’ve paid cash for a fair number of cars and bikes over the years but I never felt like braying about it. Where and when it was appropriate, I’ve never hesitated to borrow money for a car. It’s some of the cheapest funding you can get; I think my MKT loan is five percent, which would have been lousy three years ago but seems good now.
Anyway, the Accord is now paid off. It’s now entirely my car. Every once in a while, someone asks about buying it. I’m one of those everything’s-for-sale types so here is the Riverside Green “deal”: The car has 71,000 miles, one panel dent measuring 2 x 3 inches, fresh brakes all the way around, and a back bumper that could use a re-spray. I installed a Class 1 trailer hitch for a bike rack. $16,999 takes it home, FOB Powell, Ohio. The lucky buyer gets the OEM wheels with worn-out Primacy OEM tires, one set of O.Z. Omnias mounting one-third worn Cooper “performance” tires, and one set of Tire Rack special wheels mounting Blizzak winter tires.
You could do a lot worse for the money; this is a fast, capable, and charming car. I don’t expect anyone to buy it, which would suit me just fine.
Another realization brought to me by the arrival of the Accord’s title: it’s now been sixty-two months since Danger Girl and I were in our infamous crash together. When I signed the purchase order on the grey coupe, I wasn’t in any way sure about my financial, personal, or romantic future. Things seem more settled now. That could be an illusion. I hope it is not. It’s not just that my life is better than it was the day after the crash; it’s that my life is better than the day it was before the crash. For that, and for many other things, I am grateful.
Last week, I wrote about a far more ambitious purchase that did not go nearly as well.