On June 3, 2002, my little car rolled off an assembly line, somewhere in Korea. Two months and 11 driven miles later, I was the owner of a 2002 Midnight Grey Hyundai Elantra, which was really like a purpley color and not the grey one might envision.
On June 3, 2012, my car hit 200,000 miles while I drove north, half a mile south of 127th on I-355. A short while later, on Weber Rd in Bolingbrook, the milage read 200,011, which meant I officially had driven it 200,000 miles.
I don’t know if there are such things as coincidences, but how strange that my car hit such a milestone on it’s birthday? It was like the universe was in tune with me and my little vehicular friend.
And it is my friend, make no mistake. My car has been many things to me. It has been a mobile home. It has been a sanctuary where I can go to be alone. It has been a study hall and a dance club and been a picnic spot.
I have laughed and cried inside it’s cozy interior. Many a summer evening has passed pleasantly as I have driven along with the windows rolled down and the music blasting. Many a cold winter drive has passed with me toasty warm inside. I have spent more happy moments with my car than I have spent with some family members and friends.
It hasn’t been all fun and games. I’ve had to change a couple of flat tires and have replaced two alternators, a starter, a thermostat and two serpentine belts. And the check engine light has been on for over a year now because she needs a new catalytic converter. But given what I have put her through, she really hasn’t given me a super hard time.
This car has been one of those things I can count on. Maybe not to drive all the time, but certainly to be supportive in other ways. Some of the clearest and calmest moments of my life took place inside of it, when everything outside may not have been as clear or calm. And for whatever reason, I am most inspired to write things when I am driving it around.
Back in 2002, my Dad wasn’t sure it was going to be a good car. He was convinced that it was a lemon. But one of his best buds, my Uncle Sukhdev who really is a smart man, said, “Farheen, it would be a good car for you”. Turns out he was right.
I love you little car. Our relationship has lasted longer than some people’s marriages. Happy 10th birthday and a very happy 200,000 miles.