Is it actually possible to have an emotional attachment to a car and when exactly does it go too far?
Now, if you are like me, you’ll more than likely spend a lot of time on the internet watching car related videos on Youtube, you’ll more than likely search the classifieds nigh on every night and if you are into modifying like a lot of petrol heads are then you’ll definitely be looking up for the next part to get for your specific vehicle.
Now apart from the modifying scene which i’m not really involved with due to restoring my car, I spend a lot of time watching car related videos & I, like everyone else spend tons of time looking on the classifieds looking up certain cars I’d love to own but could never afford and after watching a ThatDudeInBlue video last night, this had me thinking, is it truly possible to have an emotional attachment to a car and when is it time to say enough is enough?
I bring this up solely because after watching that video late last night, it tapped right into myself and my C70 Coupé restoration project, I’ve had my C70 for 3.5 years now and while I love it to bits and progress is being made, there has been times when I’ve felt like packing it in and getting a new car, however due to the certain circumstances I went through while buying it, the memories I’ve had with that car and the people I’ve met along the way its honestly the only reason why it is still with me.
For those who don’t know, I bought my C70 a few years ago as my first car, it was never intended as my first car but after finding a few for sale and realising I could eventually afford to buy one, insure it and run it I was instantly hooked, so hooked in fact I spent about 6-7 months spending the bare minimum that I could honestly spend to actually buy my car, it wasn’t plain sailing as I was getting hassled by the college I was in at the time as well as other things like trying to stay healthy so I could get my license and trying to balance both saving for a car and paying general bills it wasn’t easy.
However after persevering for about half an academic year my patience paid off as I was finally able to get my C70 as I’d always planned and even to this day I still remember it driving into the cul-de-sac of the previous owners address and seeing it for the first time and instantly falling head over heels for it.
Even over the years it’s generally been a great ownership experience, however, there have been times with it where I’ve just fallen out of love with it, add this into the money I’ve put out on it over these years and it’d be no surprise that I have on many occasions looked at cars for sale within a certain obtainable budget and wondered “what if?” or “that’d be nice” but it’s never went past that stage due to my sentimental connection to the C70.
Now don’t get me wrong, the C70 is a wonderful car and at the moment, I couldn’t ever see myself getting rid of it – in fact I point blank refuse to part ways with it as I’m not one to give up on a project car whatsoever and while I still have money in my bank and tools in my shed, it’ll all be getting spent & worked on with the C70 as well as other cars in the mini fleet we have now stumbled upon owning.
Thing is though, while having the C70 all these years and fixing it and mostly enjoying myself with it, there has been many cars which have came & gone in that 3.5 years while I’ve had my own car and all of which I’ve taken a shining to in one way or another.
Take my stepdads Seat Leon for instance, now on paper it isn’t anything exciting, it isn’t a Cupra or a Cupra R, hell, it doesn’t even have the well loved 1.8 20V Turbo unit under it’s bonnet but it has a certain charm to it, now for me, I’ve never really got the whole VAG movement and that was because I’d never really experienced one before, but after getting the Leon for £300 a few months back and getting it roadworthy it has just completely stunned me.
It’s reliable, easy to fix, really easy to drive & overall a brilliant little car to own, now like some people, I’ve never been one to spend so little on a car as they have always tended to be complete wrecks but this Seat is a little diamond in the rough and whenever my stepdad has bought up another car to replace it, I’ve always been one of the first to talk him out it and that is purely because it’s so good, I couldn’t see us without it and the fleet will personally always have that missing piece regardless of whatever car he replaced it with.
It’s been so trustworthy over these last few months and has truly blown me away with how good it is that I’ve kinda got an attachment to it, this is also the same for the old Saab 9-5 Aero and now to a certain extent the Lexus.
I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of Japanese cars and that’s only due to previous ownership experiences with them, the Lexus is the 4th Japanese car we’ve owned and by far the best but the previous 3 just never hit the mark for me personally, they’ve all been good cars and ones that either sell well or ones which have a cult following amongst other fellow petrol heads but to me they just didn’t have a soul about them.
However for my family over the years, whenever they’ve got a car, like me, they’ve persevered when it’s came to ownership and just fixed the cars issues regardless of how bad the car is, now like myself with the C70, they have been the same with some of their previous cars and have fell for it regardless of it’s never ending problems which brings me onto my final point – when is enough finally enough?.
For me personally, there is a good few reasons why my C70 has stayed, those mentioned above of course and others too, if you take away it’s issues, it’s an amazing car to own, drive and to be around, it has a feeling that no other car has currently gave off and I know that once it is eventually at a point where it can be used without going wrong it’ll be a lovely car to own, also with sentimental attachment added into the mix, it’d be really difficult to just let go and I honestly couldn’t find another car to properly replace it with.
Also, it’s a great feeling driving around knowing that your own blood, sweat & tears have gone into it to make it the car it currently is, add that in with the mechanical knowledge you get from fixing your own car and you feel a connection that you normally wouldn’t if you were to leave it alone or to get someone else to fix it.
The only way I could find an instance where you don’t feel emotionally attached to a car is if it truly terrible to the point you don’t want to be seen in it, if it’s too common and it blends in way too much with the rest of the traffic or if it cost’s way too much to keep fixing and you just lose love for it which is possible with project cars and cars in general in fact.
Anyways, that’s enough from me, but here is a question from me to all you, is it truly possibly to become emotionally attached to what is essentially a mechanical object and when is enough actually enough?, I’ll leave that for you guys to answer.
Hope You Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson
So after a good few months without a proper family car due to unfortunate circumstances, we’ve finally bought ourselves another car to replace our sorely missed Saab 9-5 Aero Dame Wagon Auto (Known to us as Wasaabi), before getting onto our new car however, I’ll fill you guys in on what happened to Wasaabi and how we got into it’s replacement.
So for those who don’t know, we used to own a late 2007 Saab 9-5 HOT Aero Dame Wagon which was known by us as Wasaabi – it was given this nickname thanks to no end to it’s ferocious power plant, powered by a 2.3T HPT 4 cylinder Engine producing 260bhp & 320nm Torque, it was certainly a powerhouse and as a replacement to our previous Subaru Legacy MK4 Wagon it was certainly an upgrade in the right direction and everything was going fantastic with it – it was plenty powerful, had enough space for everything we ever needed, really comfortable and most importantly it was fairly reliable with easy to get parts and good parts prices etc. We had that car for about 6 months and we loved it dearly – that was until it was drastically cut short!
unfortunately for us, the Saab blew up with turbo issues, intercooler issues & exhaust issues due to too much oil in it, this meant that it had to get scrapped and my parents had to get a Mitsubishi as a stop gap, it done us well for the time we had it but it wasn’t in a good state bodywork wise & to sort it out properly would’ve cost way too much to fix so we had to get a new car.
I actually really liked the Saab, it was our first ever Saab and it was truly fantastic and the power was truly immense, even in the winter it was perfect, it was such a shame it went bang as it was never given the chance to properly shine, unfortunately, I tried to talk my parents into another Saab but they weren’t having none of it which was rather confusing and a right shame.
The Mitsubishi was actually fairly reliable but due to the bodywork issues, it was a right embarrassment to be in and the seats in it were unbelievably uncomfortable even though they were leather, after a few months of ownership enough was enough and it had to go!
however due to the Saab breaking in such a quick way and a lack of funds we had to get another car as the Mitsubishi – even though not too bad was looking worse for wear, this is where the new car comes in!
After my mum getting a new Job as a Live In Carer, we were finally able to splash out on a fairly expensive car instead of the cheapish run arounds we were used to so that’s exactly what we’ve done – Say Hello To Our 2006 Lexus RX400h!!!!!
Yes, as this title reads, we have finally got ourselves a big classy Lexus, we decided to get a Lexus RX400h due to the fact they’re Full Time AWD which is perfect for the upcoming winter months, it has enough space for 5 people, a massive boot plus Toyota/Lexus’ well known Bulletproof reliability and due to it having a Hybrid system similar to a LS600h, a GS450h & even down to the simple Prius, it provides decent MPG figures from it’s rather large engine, also the Hybrid system in it also brings in other great features like free Congestion Charge for going through London, lower tax price & lower insurance costs which is great considering it’s large sized Engine.
Which brings me onto that, Engine wise, it has a 3.3l V6 mated to two electric motors & a massive battery pack, combined it puts out 280bhp & a mighty 751nm Torque, this Lean, Mean, Green Machine has more torque than a V10 Touareg and isn’t far off a G63 AMG and they’re big thirsty V8’s & V10’s with double the litres.
Size wise, this sits window to window to a Land Rover Discovery 4 and isn’t far off the size of a 2nd Generation M Class Mercedes, It absolutely towers over my own C70 which isn’t exactly small and it makes my stepdads Leon look like a bloody Smart Car which is rather humorous to be honest.
Based on the MK2 RX Body shape, it is a rather handsome beast if I’m honest with chiseled good looks with some curves added into the mix as well, the rear lights are clear in colour which is reminiscent of Lexus lamps of prior years, on the door mouldings their is Hybrid badging attached to let everyone know it’s the low emissions model, It sits on 18″ multi-spoke alloy wheels, in the front, it has a different grille design to it’s RX300 & RX350 counterpart, different rounded fog lamp units, Xenon Headlamps & a slightly different front bumper, in the black it certainly looks the part and really looks classy.
Inside, ours is cream leather and really compliments the black on the exterior, on top of that it has everything & more than we could ever ask for or need, some of these include sat-nav, bluetooth for mobile phones, heated seats, electric memory seats, cupholders, 6 disc changer, dual zone climate control, tinted windows, Auto headlamps which swivel when you turn the wheel, Auto wipers, electric mirrors, electrically operated foldable mirrors, electric windows all round, a tilt/sliding sunroof, electric memory steering column, a power tailgate which actually lifts fully like on more prestige 4×4’s & SUV’s and last but not least, my favourite feature by far, it has a built in DVD Player with two rear screens & bluetooth headphones so you can watch films – add in the sliding & reclining rear seats & you can really get comfortable while on a long journey.
This has to have the best interior I’ve ever been in & that’s saying something – in fact I’d say this has as much if not more equipment & luxury as a similarly specced ML320 or Discovery & because it’s a Lexus and has Toyota underpinnings, it’s all going to work & won’t ever hardly go wrong and is so easy to work as soon as you get used to it!
Comfort wise it is unfathomably good, the seats are unbelievably comfortable, you have tons of adjustment in all the seats, the steering column also moves electrically and is memory so can be saved to whoever is driving it, all the controls for the centre console are within easy reach and still feel solid after 12 years of use, the centre box in between the seats slides back & forth to either aid rear seat legroom or front compartment space depending on what you want it for – this is definitely where this car shines!
Transmission wise it uses a CVT gearbox which isn’t exactly great mechanically speaking as they can go wrong but so far so good, there are no issues to report regarding that, also due to the gearbox used, it’s not the quickest getting up to speed as it does hinder performance quite a bit compared to a conventional automatic but that isn’t really the point of this Luxury Family Bus, however the power is definitely there as it can get up to speed without a care in the world & can easily overtake anything in it’s path, It’s no Saab Aero but it’s actually not as bad as I’d first thought.
Also with no issues to report is with the Battery pack under the rear seats, Toyota tend to change them every 10 years or so but ours is now a solid 12 year old car and doesn’t seem to have any paperwork to show that it has a new battery pack installed, so far it’s working fine but I’m dreading the time that it needs replaced as it’s £3000 odds for a replacement pack from Toyota/Lexus, time will tell with that to see if it needs a new one or not.
Driving wise it’s nigh on perfect, already it’s had new tyres which have made it so much quieter at speed and less jarring on rough roads, it’s a bit eerie when you start it up as it starts & runs on the electric motors up until 40mph when it seaminglessly changes to it’s silky smooth petrol engine, I’ll still need to get used to starting it as I’m used to hearing a conventional engine spring into life instead of a slight hum from electric motors, I’m also going to need to get used to the foot operated emergency brake as I’m too used to a manual gearbox which of course has 3 pedals instead of two.
I honestly can’t find any faults with this car and because it’s a Lexus, I can’t see us having any major issues with it bar a replacement battery pack which may or may not get replaced just yet, It’s so good that I’ve even been looking at a Lexus for myself due to how good this one of ours is, I’m not a big fan of Japanese cars if I’m completely honest due to bad experiences in the past with asian cars we’ve previously owned but with this, it’s changed for the better, I’m not a Japanese car convert but I definitely have a bigger acceptance to a Lexus than anything else which can only be a good thing. I’m hoping this car stays for a long time as it’s too good a car to get rid of – It’s a Hybrid you’ll be absolutely thrilled to own!!!
I’ll keep you guys in the loop a bit better than I did with the Saab and I’ll try and bring a whole lot more updates regarding it & our time with it so expect more to come from our wonderful RX in the near future. I’m hoping it brings a lot of people into Hybrid car ownership and takes the worries out of Hybrid car ownership that a lot of people still tend to have issues with these days!!
Hope You Enjoy!!
From Alex Jebson