The Last of LaFonda

So I got attached to my car.

Who wouldn’t, after all the weird adventures I’ve had with it?

LaFonda was a 1992 Chrystler LeBaron- or as I liked to call it, “The Pimpmobile past it’s prime”. With it’s roomy red velvet interior, it looked like it tried to capture the same style of those giant boats of yesteryear. Either that, or I was driving a Russian tank with the turret removed. (I can’t take credit for that joke- I got it with some inspiration to a Simpsons episode where Homer’s pink sedan was described as being built out of old Russian tanks. With the way my car handled, it may have been true in my case.).

And I had so many memories with said car. I recall driving down the 101 freeway with five other friends, bobbing our heads up and down in unison to Haddaway’s “What is love”– so much so that the suspension jumped up and down roughly, making me swerve slightly to compensate for the abuse I put on the live axel suspension. It was a ridiculous thing to do, but as it was the first time i had people in the car, and as such, it became my first big memory with the car.

And of course, who could forget my incident with the Joystiq crew. It was my choice story to tell others what had happened with the car. Every E3 since then, I’ve told the events time and time again to members of the industry- most of which still don’t believe me (this past year, I’ve told the story about five separate times, each person still looking incredulous as I describe the events. Best thing is- only a select few still know who it was who had thrown up in the car).

LaFonda was always a choice car to be pulled over- with the peeling paint and well- overall shadiness- I have been pulled over more than once in the car in some more, quiet, suburban neighborhoods. In one occasion, I made it a point to ask the police officer if, well- my car looked shady. All he could do was to smirk nervously before wishing me a good rest of my evening.

But the good times had come to an end. The car had blown its gasket (literally). With a failing transmission, I was quoted at roughly $2.5k to fix everything. And even then, it was an old car. Parts were hard to come by. I couldn’t even look my mechanic directly when I asked him if it was worth it. And when I could, all he could do was to shrug his shoulders. It was a clear enough message.

I donated the car to charity- it was my only choice at that time, donating it to to the Convalescent Aid Society, a nonprofit that had supported my grandma by lending her a wheelchair when she first broke her hip (it’s a fantastic organization and honestly, it’s the least I can do for helping her). By the way, if you think of getting rid of an old car, donate it to charity- I found a nonprofit by the name of Cars4Causes that made the process as simple as it can really be.

When the tow truck slowly pulled away from the mechanic’s shop, all I could do was to record video of the last time I would see her.

Call me nostalgic. Call me a fool. But being attached to a car that treated me right- gave me so many memories- who wouldn’t be that… despondent?

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