The History of my Cars

(#19) 2004 GMC Envoy XUV (Jan 19 - ?)

This was previously my mom's, then my brother's vehicle. At the time of purchase, repairs had elapsed on it and he was not able to drive it. I made a trade and fixed his computer for the title. I had it shipped to Kansas City from Fort Wayne, IN. He had taken it to a shop previously just to understand what it would take to drive again, so I had a starting list to work from. Basically the rear shocks (air) were rotted, so I replaced them with springs and put new shock absorbers in. Not sure if the rotor / caliper went bad during or after the shocks (since it was sitting very low), but the rear brakes needed new pads/rotors and 1 side needed a new caliper. It had been in a couple of accidents and the passenger door didn't open very far, so I found a fender at a u-pull-it and replaced it (hence the green fender). The transmission was replaced less than 10k miles ago and the tires are good, so it has those things going for it. The final thing is to fix the gas leak, which appears to be the fuel sending unit gasket.

The best feature of the Envoy XUV is the retractable roof. This feature was offered for 2004, 2005 model years and are referenced as the XUV trim level. The tailgate opens as either a door (to the right) or truck tailgate (drop-down) depending on which button you use to open it. The back glass rolls down, then the roof slides open similiar to a garage door. This design is flawed in several ways and often doesn't work on these models, however this one does work and it's fun to watch. The vehicle has a 'mid-gate' which allows you to close off the rear cargo area from the rear passenger area. The cargo area is completely water proof and designed with drainage so you can power wash / clean it out easily like a truck bed.




(#18) 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica (Jul 18 - ?)

Getting tired of driving the truck across Kansas City (40 min commute each way) every day and wanted something fun and better on gas. Looked at various cars and decided to see what Fiat offered. I was never drawn to the 500, but the new 124 caught my eye. 2 youtube videos and 1 test drive later, we found one we liked. It's new (54 miles) and a 2017, so it was discounted and hard to say no to. They only get shipments of these every 6 months (so they say) and had limited, but a variety in stock. It shares parts and an assembly line with the Mazda Miata and some refer to this is as the 'Fiata' although it has a Fiat engine. It's fun and I look forward to continuing to learn about Fiat and enjoy this car, it's already been a blast. Our first driveable convertible too (sorry, not sorry Sebring).



(#17) 2018 Ford Fusion (Mar 18 - ?)

Caught our eye in late winter and we were ready for another change-up. This time we opted for the Hybrid. It looks like the same color, but this one is black, has a larger screen inside and push-button start. We also bought this one new.


(#16) 2014 Ford Fusion (Jul 16 - Mar 18) - Hayley

Found this little gem while looking for a car for Matt. We had sort of given up on the Sebring by this point, but needed something for him to drive. The Aurora was struggling and the Sebring was losing hope. My first Ford and we loved it. It was great on gas and comfortable to drive on road trips. The color is actually Deep Blue, but it will only show if the sun hits just right, normally it just looks black.



(#15) 2007 Toyota Tundra (May 15 - Jul 18) - Tina

After looking at several trucks, Tina stood out in many ways. First her color of blue was very appealing, but she had all the qualities I was looking for in a truck. The bed was over 5' (6.5'), lots of room for passengers in the 2nd row. She is a blast to drive and it's nice having something really comfortable to drive again as the FRS gets uncomfortable on long trips and ole Roxanne is great, but is aging.

I put 2000 miles on her the first week I had her with a trip to Wisc, Indiana, back to Wisc, back to Indiana then back to Kansas. I knew I had made the right choice.



(#14) 2006 Chrysler Sebring (Nov 14 - May 17)

Bought this out of someone's yard thinking it could be fixed for Matt to drive. It was a convertible and had 52k miles on it and the paint and body was is excellent shape. It 'only needed a water pump'... Long story short that water pump is quite buried in there. Got it mostly disassembled, disconnected the old water pump, but still couldn't get it out of the car. We determined that we needed to remove even more of the motor, but gave up on it after realizing it may never run again and wasn't worth the additional time or money. Sold for cash to someone that just wanted the transmission out of it. Good riddance.



(#13) 2013 Scion FRS (Apr 13 - May 15) - Veronica

Meet Veronica. I have been planning this car since I first drove one in late summer last year. It was early morning, dew still on the grass and I was out garage sale hunting with a friend. A sign by the road read: "Today, Scion FRS Test Drive". I looked at my friend and no words were spoken, we turned around. They had already setup, but we were early. They had a PS3 setup with Gran Turismo 5; only 1 car available (I'll let you guess). An FRS on display for looking throughly inside and out, along with other promotional items. The course was setup at a Police test course and had cones marking the path, 3 cars waited at the start; Sophie nervously standing by in the parking lot. A few more people showed up, and then we were all able to 1 by 1 take a cars around the course. I did two laps, then road with my friend on one of his laps. It was quite exhilarating and despite them forcing us to leave traction / stability control enabled the car slid with ease around turns. Good promotion, I was sold.

The color was a difficult choice at first, but in the end she had to be orange. The color was a perfect reflection for what I see in her. Although the automatic was surprisingly responsive and agile in the test course, a manual is what I ended up getting. Had an orange automatic been on the lot, my choice may have been different. I put over 1k miles on her in the first week if that speaks to the fun nature of driving this car. The accessories (Scion's favored method of upgrade packages) include the 'Scion' applique on the back bumper, spoiler and tinted windows.

Veronica is a 2013 model year, purchased in the year 2013 on the 13th week of the year and is my 13th car. Happy trails curvy roads!

Devoted page to Veronica pictures HERE




(#12) 1998 Mazda 626 (Apr 12 - Aug 12) - Sophie

Meredith was just about past her prime and at a good value for trading. I first saw Sophie online and the next day went to go test drive her. She was perfect. Comfortable ride, good options and clean. A few scratches here and there, but it will be a car for driving to work, so that's going to happen anyway. She needs an antenna and she's good to go. Pictures coming soon.

Sophie's accident HERE




(#11) 1996 Oldsmobile Aurora (Mar 12 - ?) - Roxanne

Well after months of looking, I have finally found the right one. She is very well kept and has 47k miles at time of purchase. My plan for now is to make her my hobby car and get her running smooth again. A car that's 16 years old with 47k miles tends to be a little stiff, so need to change out some fluids, fix a couple of sensors, then get her back on the road again. We'll see if Meredith hangs around much longer after that.

Devoted page to Roxanne pictures HERE



(#10) 2006 Toyota Camry LE (Feb 10 - Apr 12) - Meredith

My latest car after trading in Trixie and moving to Kansas City, MO. I needed a car with a lower payment and reliable enough to last. Meredith fit this bill. Bought it with just under 57k miles and being beige on beige, it was about the most basic car on the lot. Drives smooth and gets the job done. Nothing to complain about, nothing to brag about. A Camry is just another car.





(#9) 2009 Pontiac Vibe GT (Aug 08 - Feb 10) - Trixie

It only took one test drive and I knew I wanted this car. I went right back to the dealership and told them to sell me that car. I am not sure what chemistry there is between a person and a car, maybe its the slight resemblance to Medea or the smell of fresh leather, but I found a car I could connect with and appreciate. She also introduced me to SiriusXm, which I still use to this day.

I did have one minor accident if you want to call it that. I was driving some friends home and I was heavily medicated because I had the flu or something (might be unrelated). A landscaping rock was laying in the road and Trixie ran right over it. The tire went flat in about 2 seconds as I put a huge gash in the tire. I am not sure if it's because I didn't see it or what, but I called another friend to come pick up these friends while I called OnStar. A tow truck showed up in a few moments and put my spare tire on. I can't remember the exact price of the tire, but it had to be replaced and it was expensive. It was the first low-profile tire I had purchased and wasn't expecting that price.

I also had to pick up food for a LAN in this car and filled the back with food. See picture on GT page below.

Take a look at the pictures, she had her first photo shoot on her second day.

Devoted page to Trixie pictures GT Page Warning: high quality images may take time to load

(#8) 2008 Scion Xb (July 07 - Aug 08) - Medea

I leased the Scion in July of 2007 and loved it (until I drove the Vibe). The biggest upgrade enhancement I enjoyed over the 2005 Scion is the cruise control and the auto transmission. It is also bigger - such as overall length, storage and engine. It was a good car while I had it, but I didn't feel as though it fit me as well as the 05 Scion or the Vibe.



In-dash TV/stereo


Carputer made the transition as well to this xB.


(#7) 1993 Toyota Tercel (April 07 - Aug 08) - Teri

Teri is a 1993 Toyota Tercel. I bought it so that my brother would have something to drive. I usually only drove it when it needed to go to the shop, but it was a fun little car to drive. It is also the most expensive thing I have ever bought off of Ebay. I never even went to go see it or to meet the previous owner, just bought it and arranged to have a shipping company deliver it; which they did, to my Columbia City address. I was in Bloomington. It had hit a deer when I bought it and needed repair; I was able to make everything work on my own such as replacing the hood, headlight, grill and radiator. And it made for a nice surprise to my brother. I traded it in on Trixie because my brother got another car and Teri needed a new transmission.

Devoted page to Teri pictures HERE


(#6) 2005 Scion Xb (Feb 05 - July 07)

My Xb endured a lot for a new car. Even without me trying to modify it. Although I did put my Panasonic slide out TV in the dash and two 15" subs in the back with Audiobahn amp. Ah yes, before college. Well after all of that. I rear ended some idiot who decided to hit the brakes. (Click the link below for more details). I had an incident with some idiot and paint. It also had a chip in the windshield from driving so much on the Interstate (semi probably kicked a stone at it (I think I remember the semi)). And then I parked in a hail storm (stood under an awning and watched). I couldn't catch a break with my new car.

My modifications after beginning college included a 15" touch screen mounted in front of the passenger seat, which could be moved to either of the rear seats for video watching. The computer sat nicely under the passenger seat and allowed me to play any of my 75 Gigs (then) of music at any time. Of course I did not leave the monitor in my car all of the time. That would be asking to get stolen. The last summer I had it, I put a 12" sub in the rear floor and a moderate amp with/capacitor. I then bought a new in-dash screen, this time with /navigation to replace the stock stereo. Along with the carputer (actual term) it complemented the inside of the car nicely. The Aurora would have been proud (see Aurora stories).

See some of the accidents that I got into with the Scion: Here




(#5) 1998 GMC Sonoma ( Oct 04 - Feb 05)

Next up, a 1998 GMC Sonoma. It was great during the winter, although it still did not handle as well as my Aurora. I took the ABS fuse out of it because I got better stopping distance in the winter without it. The 4WD was only good in the snow or in the woods. The Aurora's traction control proved better on the slick roads. Not economical either and that is the reason for trading it in on the 05 Scion. These pictures are not of my actual truck, only color and model.



(#4) 1990 Cadillac Brougham ( Feb 05 - Mar 05)

This was a fun car, a 1990 Cadillac Brougham. It was a convenient purchase at the time and I enjoyed driving it. Very dependable, but not economical (14mpg highway). I drove it to Bloomington, IN from Columbia City, IN (3 hour drive) and around Indianapolis for a few hours and with a hearty 173,000 miles on it; awesome car. The car kind of gave you a vibe that you were a pimp or drug dealer, not sure why. It was also the first non fuel injected car I had ever drove. I only owned it for about two months. These pictures are also not of my actual car, only color and model.



(#3) 1991 Mazda 626 ( Aug 04 - Aug 05 )

This was my third vehicle; a 1991 Mazda 626. I bought this car hoping it would last me through the winter as a project car that I could drive after the Aurora. It ended up getting scrapped the next summer and was never a vehicle I could rely on daily. Before I bought it, it hit two deer and ran over/hit a third deer. The car was in a lawsuit for faulty repairs (before I owned it) and before the deer and lawsuit it already had a salvage title. I drove it over 2 hours home without a drop of coolant in the radiator. It could then only be pull/push started and ran another hour without coolant. (Mind you this isn't smooth driving- this is a car that has clearly been abused and was being driven by a novice manual driver :) ) Don't ask me why I assumed the previous owner had topped it off with coolant, but he hadn't and I regret not checking. One word sums up this car BEAST. These pictures are not of my actual car, only model and color. I basically just used it to drive around the field for fun and to teach a friend how to drive a manual.



(#2) 1995 Oldsmobile Aurora (~Feb 03 - Oct 04)

This is my favorite car so far, although Trixie is a very close 2nd. A 1995 Oldsmobile Aurora. I had this car for most of my high school career and I love it to this day. Maybe someday I will find a car that I can love more than this one, but until then here we go.

The biggest reason that I loved this car so much was its durability and driving style. I used it for paper routes almost every weekend during winters which I cannot explain the stress it took here, it held up very well. It was expensive to fix when it needed it and therefore chose to delay many repairs -- then sold it.

Some up front facts about the Aurora before the lengthy short story. The Aurora was about $35,000 brand new and $16,000 when we bought it in ~1998. The battery is located under the rear seat instead of under the hood. It has a 4.0 liter Northstar engine (like a Cadillac, but smaller). It also has every bell and whistle of the cars at the time - heated seats, auto adjust seat and mirrors, traction control, power trans feature (over-drive off in other words) and about an electrical engineers' worst nightmare stock from the factory.

A short list of the modifications include: upgraded stereo to my Panasonic in-dash TV unit, subs (various styles/types), wing to the trunk (wing=giant spoiler), removed center console to make room for PS2 - then decided I needed cup holders, but not the stock ones, because come on, so I removed the PS2 and made some cup holders out of PVC and wood. Don't worry I painted them black. I then needed switches for everything including the reverse lights (so I can scare people?). The garage door button compartment looked like a good place to start. I removed the button and drilled two holes. Long story short - I had a new red dome light and two switches. I also added two more switches to the stereo panel faceplate. I also got this idea that I could put the PS2 and a VCR into this built in cabinet in the back along with my amp. I removed the rear seat (all of it (including the back part)). The design is a little complicated to put into words, so long story short I had the three things mentioned installed along with some red LED fans, some plexiglas so you could see into the trunk (to see the subs) along with some blue accent lights. I covered all of the wood with black carpet. Looked great actually, but only lasted for about two weeks. I had no rear seats or trunk space and you may see the complications this brought. Oh yeah, and I had a car alarm installed. Did I mention I drilled a hole into the gas tank in the process of Operation Remove Rear Seats. I can safely say I added over 200 feet in additional wiring to the car's schematics. I knew what wire went to which fuses and could also draw a diagram of exactly how I bi-passed (or re-wired) the stock options to my newly crafted switches. It is safe to say I had no problem drilling holes in anything on or in the car, hence the wing, gas tank, removing major interior components, but if there is one thing I do regret doing other than selling it, it would be not taking pictures. My friends could tell you more, as this is a short list. These are not my actual car pictures, only color and model.



(#1) 1991 Chevrolet S-10 (Aug 02 - ~Feb 03)

This was my first vehicle; a 1991 Chevy S-10. I was in a rare accident involving a windmill (see pictures). This was a great first vehicle because it didn't matter if you damaged it, unfortunately it was not the same case for the windmill. I didn't like this truck when I had it because it had no options, but looking back at it, a great first vehicle. I also learned that if you stop really fast with unsecured cargo in the bed you will bend the bed up against the cab. Ahh, that's what bungee cords are for; should have bought some.




(Rental) 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier (June 05)

This was my first rental car (a 2005 Chevy Cavalier) while my 05 Xb was in the shop. It was a piece of crap and I would never recommend this car to anyone. It is a toy, not a real car and I treated it accordingly. It does not even deserve two pictures or even a mention, but since I did have to drive it for awhile (32 days 6hours 18minutes 52seconds) I am warning the general public: "Toy not recommended for daily driving, people having concern for safety or who for people who don't like wasting money." I was doing a routine brake check in it (brake pedal completely to the floor from about 50mph) and it died; just shut off. I killed an automatic by stopping too hard; which I did not even know you could do. I also made sure to test the handbrake, about every time I needed to turn and park. We would randomly open the doors while driving and slam them shut as hard as humanly possible. We would also just randomly punch the inside components, the toy was seemingly durable, but then again, so are toddler toys. Maybe it was all of the built up teenage rage, who knows, I beat the crap out of this thing. FYI: POS.



(Want) 2008 Aston Martin DBS ( ? )

The car of my dreams for some day when I can afford it, whatever the current model year is called: some descendent of the Vanquish. They are custom built in England and sell for about $450,000. I would like one of these sometime in my life or at least to drive one. Do you think it resembles an Aurora? Just a little?


Hope you enjoyed looking at my cars. They are a big part of my life as you can see. My only regret is that some of the pictures I have are not of my actual car. I 'stole' them from the Internets. Sshh.