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Wed, 11 Aug 2010

New Bike/Kayak/Gear Transport Mechanism - 19:13

New gear transporter (fullsize)
My old car (pictured with my multi sport boat on the roof) (a 1991 model Toyota Corolla 4wd Wagon) finally packed it in around a month ago. The head gasket blew, the car had done 363,000 on its first engine and was getting on in years. Though I was not happy with the idea of scrapping a huge hunk of metal and other stuff and getting myself a new huge hunk of metal, it was getting to the point where it would cost more to keep going than the price of the car.

Fixing the head gasket would be almost $2,000, then keeping a 20 year old engine with that many km going may require replacing it or a rebuild, both expensive and problem prone operations, especially as other things in the car were wearing out over time. So I got the car sent to the scrap people and started looking for a new car. I had owned the Corolla since 1999 or so, and it had been in the family for longer. Now I wonder if I have been marketed at too successfully by Subaru, I did not seriously consider anything apart from Subaru models.

Toyota lost my vote (so to speak) when they killed off the corolla 4wd wagon in the 90s in favour of the thing (that should be used for rocket launcher target practice IMO) called the Rav4. To me a car is a gear (kayak, bicycle, ski, other outdoor gear) transport mechanism. I try to do all my shopping and commuting by bike and generally try to avoid using a car unless I need to go on a trip or move gear around.

Initially I was thinking about the Outback, however talking with many friends about it I decided a Forester was a preferable purchase for what I look for in a vehicle (more room inside for gear and bit lighter so more fuel efficient and the same or a little bit more clearance depending on the year model). I was not looking too seriously, just asking around and looking into options when I saw this one for sale, here in Canberra (less than 1km from my house as it turns out), for a fantastic price. Thinking it was almost too good to be true, I headed over to have a look, got it checked out by a mechanic, agreed to purchase it and here I am with a new car less than a week from seeing it.

Of course I now have the same car (brand) as every other mountain biker and adventure racer (well at least 50% of them if car parks at events are an indication), still I hear there is a good reason they are so common. Reliable, holds gear, keeps going. I am happy it is not silver or white too. This one is a MY04, has 107,000km on the clock and has a good full service history, lets hope it lasts, at least until we have some replacement for fossil fuel powered cars in common use or something.

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