Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Return of the Attack of the Son of the Soul of the Florence Clones!

Like a bad Japanese horror movie, my brother's since sold Honda Fit has returned to the family in spirit!

After nearly a decade of service to the big-wigs high in the gleaming towers of One Utahdog Center, World Congress of the Americas, the Land Rover now sleeps elsewhere.  That's right, I've turned in the big lumbering beast, choosing to embrace the fact that I no longer have neither the time nor inclination to slog around off-road, or fumble with an OBD-II reader to turn off warning lights, or track down the source of new drips and leaks as they appear with frightening regularity in my driveway.  I really enjoyed the Rover while I owned it, I must say.  It was exactly as advertised.  Big, slow, thirsty, comfortable, quirky, questionably reliable, and capable of going absolutely anywhere. It was also almost 180 degrees from what I need in a car today.

So I dumped it.

For an Easter Egg.

With a bike rack on the top.

I've been thinking about this for quite some time.  Two years ago my brother bought a Fit Sport Automatic (with flappy paddle shifters as well as the usual slush-box console selector) after I recommended it to him over a Prius, and he sported around the great petrochemical state of New Jersey in that sucker for a year or so before moving overseas and leaving me with the Fit (which he nicknamed 'Florence') to sell for him.  I liked the car almost immediately and I blame that experience for planting the seed to replace the Rover.

Now you may ask yourself, "why didn't you just buy Florence?  Why wait until a year later to make the decision when you could have saved a few grand just by taking over the Fit from your brother?"  First, that whole automatic thing.  I've owned 2 small Honda's in the past, a 1989 Civic DX hatch (that I also got from the big brother, irony of irony) a 1998 Civic CX hatch, and I've also had in my possession for one reason or another, my brother's 1995 Civic EX Coupe, and my mother's 1999 Integra GS hatch.  ALL 4 of those cars were manual transmissions, and I have to say, small cheap manual transmission Honda's are about as close as you can get to discount sports cars, this side of a vintage GTI.  There's a reason why the ricers hop these things up.  They are a hoot.

I even used to Autocross the 89 Civic, (when my mother wasn't looking.)  Ran some pretty good times even bone stock.

So the Fit needed to be a manual.  It needed to be a Sport model, and it needed to not be Blue, Green or Red, and should be preferably white or silver.

So when it came right down to it, I got a purple one.

Meet "The Grape."

It is fast, quiet and comfy.  I can fit the family and soft bags in it with room to spare and a Yakima rack sits on the roof with a comfortable cross bar spread to allow me to carry almost anything.  Best part, my insurance goes down, the Fit takes regular gas instead of the premium required by the Rover, and other than condensation from the AC, it doesn't dump planet killing fluids all over my driveway. In the spirit of Florence, there also will be no payments, which makes the savings in operational costs immediate. Plus I got to push off the 3 grand in due scheduled maintenance  needed by the Rover to the next owner of that beast.

The Grape  has a little computer gauge set inside the speedo that not only registers trip odometer and odometer figures, but also tells me how my mileage is working out per tank real time. I think I'm in love with that little gauge...

It speaks to me.


Steve Reed said...

I heard about this little change, and I agree you made a great decision. I loved my Fit for the brief time that I had it. (And I don't blame you for wanting a manual -- I wanted a manual too, but the dealership said it would have to be ordered specially, and I didn't have time to wait because I was about to start work and needed that car FAST. That's how I wound up with an automatic.)

I remember seeing this purple color and thinking it was pretty awesome.

You already know this, but you will be SO RELIEVED to have a smaller, simpler car!

Dan O said...

The Fit seem to be cool, fun, little car - though I've yet to drive one. I'm with you - a manual trans turns any cheap car into a semi sports car.

And I also know what you mean about a vintage GTI. I bought one new in '84 and drove it until '92, replaced with a new Nissan SE-R. Another budget, econo, sports car.

Right now I'm driving the cheap used car deal '94 Camry wagon - auto trans - yuck. But cheap and reliable with plenty of room for bike junk...