When you’re in a financial bind, finding the right car can prove very difficult. My friend Josh and I found this out by trying to find him a good, reliable car for less than $1200. His Chevy Aveo was on its last legs and he needed something, anything, to get him by. Not being a gear head, he deferred to me to help him find his next ride.
Working within such a limited budget, there wasn’t much to choose from that wasn’t an incredibly long drive from where he lived. The first car l looked at for him was a 1995 Mercury Cougar XR7 that was in very rough shape despite what was shown in the Craigslist ad. The tires on it were ancient and cracked. The interior wasn’t in terrible shape, but the plastics felt thin and pieces snapped off in my hand as I tried to operate the seat controls. The check engine light was on and it drove very poorly. The man wanted $800, but I decided to pass.
The next car was the nicest I’d ever seen to come out of a junkyard. It was a red 1997 Crown Victoria with less than 80,000 miles. It was a base model with tan cloth seats and a cassette player. A worker at the yard said it had been owned by the grandparents of a young women who didn’t know what else to do with it. Sadly, it sold the day after I went to look at it.
Something important to know about Josh is that he is 6’ 4” and cramming his lanky self into any car was difficult to say the least. He fit well into most trucks but said he didn’t want to drive a truck if it could be helped. Oddly, we found a Suzuki Aerio sedan at another junkyard that he was perfectly comfortable in, but it had a distinctive… Kia Rio… quality to it that made me nervous.
However, while browsing Craigslist one day just before I was due to clock out, I found the above ad. With the strangest feeling, I sent it to him and asked him to call the owner. He set up a date and time to meet and we headed up to Corinth with a mutual friend. The owner’s wife looked very worn out, with sunken eyes, holding a cigarette when we met her. However, she gave us all a genuinely warm smile and was very helpful despite it being late.
The owner however gave us all the creeps. He was thin as a rail, covered in tattoos, with quick darting eyes, and greeted us in a cloud of vape smoke. I started my usual check through the car, listening to it run, checking lines, knocking on body panels for rust, cramming myself underneath to check the undercarriage, and checking fluids, the owner was getting upset demanding to know just what I was looking for.
During the test ride, he wouldn’t let either of us drive, and tore through the neighborhood like a bat out of hell. The car is straight piped from the cat, so it was mighty loud and roared away the whole time. Despite the experience, I couldn’t shake the feeling I had finally found him the right car.
After $900 had changed hands, Josh was now the proud (and very tired) owner of a Honda Accord that’s only a year younger than him.
The next time he and I hung out, I got the chance to do a little photo shoot with it outside my warehouse. The pictures you see are before he and I started to work on her. Oh yes, I forgot to mention her name… It’s Scootaloo.
He and I are both fans of the show My Little Pony, and somehow the name just stuck. Like the character, the car has had a rocky past judging from the many, many names listed on the bill of sale and other assorted paperwork he got with the car. Despite her age, little Scoots has always started every time the key was turned, seemingly willing to get out on the road and prove she has what it takes.
Despite the owner freaking out over my looking the car over the night of purchase, neither of us found any suspicious baggies or other contraband, thankfully. She’s cleaned up pretty well and despite her obvious…well used… condition, I’ve truly fallen in love with this little sedan.
I used to be very against older imports. I was so tired of hearing about how great they were, how well built, how responsive and so CLEARLY better they were than their American counterparts. Now, I’m not about to drop to my knees and bow down to the engineers of Honda for this perfect automotive specimen, but the more time I spend with Scootaloo, the more I understand why people like them. Most Accords I’ve driven were very bland, but this Accord is old enough to still have some quirks that I enjoy. The way the dash is laid out, the way everything feels like it was built to last. It’s a car I’m proud my friend gets to enjoy. He doesn’t care about them the way I do, but I’m happy to know he isn’t rolling around in the usual fair EVERYONE turns too when they need a cheap car. Sure, there are many Accords on the road today… but only one Scootaloo!