It seems that we have had to let go of several things we cherish in the past year or so, things that no longer had a good quality of life, such as our very old cats. Such is the case with my faithful Toyota pickup truck. I got word that the engine is completely shot. I’ve made the decision to take it off of life support.
The truck had a very long life, but not much mileage. The miles it did have were hard, though. It had been wrecked twice – first in a head-on collision with one of my church members (lots of theological implications there that we won’t go into) and once on I-85 in a multi-car pile up. Each time we were able to piece it back together, but after the second time we decided something a bit safer was needed if I was going to be making daily trips on the Interstate. The truck was relegated to gardening, hauling kayaks and bicycles, and serving as secondary transportation when one of our other vehicles was in the shop. In fact, as I searched for a photo of the truck, I couldn’t find any that didn’t show it carrying kayaks.
I learned how to drive on a pickup truck. Dad would take me out on the back roads around Gray Court in a 1958 Chevy truck with three on the column transmission. Those early experiences made me comfortable driving just about anything on the road. However, I didn’t ever get my own truck until this one in 1994. Shortly after getting it we went on vacation for a week, and I actually missed my truck. I told Laura I felt like writing a Country and Western song.
In the end it died of multiple failures. Apparently the head gasket was flawed, then the radiator cracked. Coolant leaked into the engine and ruined it. The only used engine we could find had about twice as many miles as the truck itself. Replacing it with a re-manufactured engine would run nearly four grand. After that, it still needed new tires, a paint job, etc., etc. It made no economic sense to invest in the repairs when I could get a later model truck with modern safety features (air bags, power steering, ABS) for not much more money.
I considered not replacing the truck at all. I could haul kayaks on top of my Outback, or we could get a trailer for them. However, Laura’s gotten used to having a truck available, and she doesn’t feel comfortable driving with a trailer, should she want to run some gardening errands without me. So, we’ll be in the market for a used, low-mileage, low-cost pickup truck that gets decent gas mileage. Anyone have one of those available?