Last month, I did something for the first time in a decade. I bought a new car.
Here it is, a Subaru Legacy sedan in Mystic Blue. (You can click the picture for another view.)
Once upon a time, new cars came into my life much more often. My father was a Chevrolet and Oldsmobile dealer, so our family always drove a "demonstrator." The theory was that if a prospective customer wanted to test-drive the latest Chevy, we'd let him take our demo for a spin. Actually, that didn't happen often; there were other new cars on the lot that the customer could try out.
But what did happen more often than I liked was that someone bought our demonstrator. It was usually equipped with all the latest gadgets (for example, one 1958 Chevrolet had "air-ride" suspension), so it was attractive to the buyer who wanted a fully loaded model at a slight discount. I remember a beautiful white-and-red sport sedan that I got to ride in only once before a customer took it away from us.
So the Thomas family changed cars several times a year. I realized this was more often than necessary. Once a year seemed about right. Many of our customers did buy annually, replacing their "old" vehicle every fall when the new models came out.
When I was in college I had no car, because students were discouraged from driving.
When I got a job in 1970, I drove a current-model Chevrolet. Around 1973, I moved up to an Oldsmobile. My father retired that year, so from then on, I actually owned the cars that I drove.
I stayed with Oldsmobile for thirty years, buying a new one every three years or so. In 1993 I purchased what turned out to be my final Olds, this garnet red Cutlass Ciera.
It was much more trouble-free than the earlier General Motors cars that I had driven. I could have traded it in, but there was no real need because it was running well. I had set aside funds for my next car, but I didn't have to spend that money because I kept this one year after year.
Oldsmobile, of course, will go out of business after the 2004 model year. I considered buying one last Olds, but my local dealer also sells Subarus.
So this is the car that I may be driving until I reach retirement age. It depends on which of us wears out first.