Some of my stories gather a lot of interest but not to the degree that my husband sometimes does. He draws a lot of attention and gets all kinds of looks over his car.
Itâ€™s a sweet little ride called Pinkie Pie. Named so for its color and the My Little Pony toy horse our daughter was so into at the time we bought the car. When record high gas and diesel prices gouged our fuel budget, we decided to rethink our vehicle situation. It hurt to fuel up for parts runs, trips to town, and when we had to drive separate vehicles (due to morning commitments and livestock chores simultaneously).
My husband spotted a bargain on a privately owned fuel economy car. It had all the pre-millennium standard features: cloth seats, hand crank windows, vent air not a/c, manual-adjust seats (the lever kind that requires a hand to adjust), two wiper blade speeds, and a key to start and lock the car versus an electronic key fob.
My husband doesnâ€™t embarrass easily, but I expected at least a cringe out of him when we saw the carâ€™s purplish/hot pink color. Instead he named it after our daughterâ€™s toy pony, Pinky Pie.
He boasted regularly over Pinky Pie after it practically paid for itself within a year from all the fuel it saved. He bragged even more when it still ran like a racecar after the odometer started racking up 6-digit figures.
He also bought another model, year, and color car identical to ours that had suffered front end damage but had all four tires, a brand new motor, and plenty of salvage left for replacements. When hail took out Pinky Pieâ€™s back window, my husband attempted to replace it with the parts carâ€™s window, but broke it in the process of trying to get it out. He got mad but didnâ€™t get discouraged. Duct tape and my plastic painting drop cloth sufficed. Then one day a window corner came loose and flapped violently while he was driving home. Instead of wasting time and money at a salvage yard getting a replacement, he made a custom-fit Plexiglas alternative. He was proud of his makeshift window until it popped off like a beer cap and broke in two while driving one windy day.
He was almost too embarrassed to be seen going back for it, but his anti-littering and thrifty nature made him gather it up. He duct taped the pieces together and secured the Plexiglas window with extra glue and more duct tape.
Another day, he hit a deer and it started to overheat on the way home so we all figured Pinky Pie was doomed, until my husband had most of everything from the parts car and its new motor installed into Pinky Pie. Both car hoods were a mess but a little pounding and a good bungee cord secured the crumpled hood. It was another proud day when the car was successfully rehabilitated to full recovery after the accident.
Thereâ€™s been more attention drawn over Pinky Pieâ€™s appearance than any tricked-out, brand new, high-priced sports car, but the best part was we didnâ€™t have to pony up a lot of money for it, nor do we now when we gas it up for a ride.
This column was originally published March 1-7, 2009