Before & After…

As some of you dear, few and far between, readers already know I (we) got a new car. New as in new to us, we couldn’t do brand new. We’ve now got ourselves a 2007 Hyundai Accent. When we got it it had 26,703 miles on it. That’s two records for me. I’ve never owned a car that was just five years old and I’ve never had a car with such low miles on it. It still hasn’t reached it’s first major scheduled service. Hell it still has (not for long) some original factory warranty left on it! Wow, that makes three records for me; age, mileage and warranty. One, two, three strikes… you’re in!? Something like that.

So as I’m sitting here listening to some classic Bob Dylan I thought I’d risk jinxing myself and do a little before and after of the new Accent and the Ford Probe that it’s replaced.

The Before…


My 1991 Ford Probe. Bought twelve years ago with 80,000 or so miles on it for something over four grand. Traded in (seriously, they gave me $500 for it, I couldn’t have sold it for that!) in 2012 with just over 110,000 miles on the clock. Okay, I don’t drive much, that’s only 30K miles in twelve years. I don’t get out much and towards the end there I didn’t get out because I was afraid I wasn’t getting back. Over the years I actually put more into repairs than I paid for the car but they were always $500 or $800 or $1000. A LOT but never enough to say STOP and go looking for something better. But it got to be twenty one years old the brakes were bad, the tranny was slipping, the A/C hadn’t worked for five years… since the year after I put $1,100 into getting it repaired (the shop that botched the job folded up their tent and left town). The passenger side window hadn’t worked in six or seven years. The seats were trashed as was the head liner and carpet. It needed… everything. It just wasn’t worth sinking any more money into.
Now, after trash talking it I must admit I really liked the smokey blue/silver color and that side graphic fit it nicely. I enjoyed having the sunroof. It handled pretty well and the three spoke rims are something you rarely see these days. The seats were really comfortable with serious side support. It got me places. If you look back at my older photography on the site it got me there to take the pictures and it got me home. It only stranded me on the side of the road once, on my birthday. I liked the car it was just time…

The After…


The 2007 Hyundai Accent. As already mentioned, low miles, warranty (not for long!) and newer than anything I’ve ever owned before. Trash? Okay… it’s top heavy and handles like a hamster roller skating on ice. Well, maybe it’s not THAT bad. It only has a 110 horsepower, that’s 30 less than the Probe which wasn’t any speed demon… that’s also 275 less ponies than my 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado which I sold before I moved down here to FL. The seats are brick-like with no real bolsters/side support. The ‘trunk’ (hatchback ‘area’?) holds the weekly groceries and not much more. It was also one of, if not the, lowest priced cars of it’s year. There’s some mild body damage and scratches on the car too. I also had to buy a set of four tires for it right off the bat. The tires that were on the car were total crap.
Now after saying… typing, whatever, that. I really like the color. When I was making a list of ‘What I’d Like’ (as opposed to ‘What I’ve GOT to have’ (automatic tranny, two door) a deep red/burgandy was one of the top colors (I’d probably have bought this even if it was electric pink with purple polka dots) we had said would be great to get. It’s GOT A/C! I live in Florida. Summer’s nine months long and I’ve spent years sweltering in a mobile oven everywhere I went. Now we can go places and be comfortable. Both windows work and I don’t have to prop up the tailgate with my cane (or worry about the tailgate crashing down on my head which happened and HURT like hell). The stereo works. Not only does the stereo work but all the speakers work too! It gets (supposedly, I’ve only just filled the tank) great gas mileage. It gets out of it’s own way okay, it’s no sports car but I’ve owned Vegas and Pintos and some anemic post-gas-crisis V8s in the past that didn’t accelerate as good. I had it up to 70 on the highway and it felt safe and sure footed and the ride was smooth. I even had to keep an eye on the speedometer ’cause it kept creeping up over 70. It also sits a little higher than the Probe making it a lot easier for myself and mom to get in and out of. Oh, it’s got air bags but no ABS. I’ve never had ABS so I won’t miss not having what I never had. What a sentence…
All in all it’s a good car and we’re going to do our best to keep on top of keeping it up. Regular maintenance and care and we should get a long life out of it.
Oh yeah… It’s got such a short hood and what there is angles down. From the driving position it’s like you’re driving a giant windshield with no car attached. I’m finally getting the hang of it but the first week or so I had a hell of a time keeping myself from speeding and I think not having the hood sticking way out in front of the view had something to do with it.
The only thing that sucks is it’s too damn hot out to go anywhere! Come on Fall!

Oddly enough I seem to have taken both pictures of the cars at almost the same spot on Melbourne Beach. 🙂

Hawk (say it with… an Accent!)

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