Today I waved goodbye to the first car that was really mine. The first car that I researched, picked out, bought new, financed, and paid off.
It was a 1995 Ford Explorer with over 150,000 miles - most from the first 5 years. I had a couple of cars before it that were registered in my name but they were family hand me downs and I do not think we ever even changed the title with those. The Explorer was picked out when I was doing a lot more road trips and camping with friends. It also helped me move 4 times, made many trips to the hardware store for my dad, transported a lawnmower between homes for a summer, and it survived - with only a little body damage - Hurricane Fran trying to hide it under 4 trees.
It served me well but we finally reached a point where it would cost more to have it fixed than it was worth as a trade in. It no longer wanted to let me move the gear shaft into place (it was a stick) and it seemed that the clutch was not disengaging the transmission so it might not cost much in parts but the labor costs alone would exceed the trade value.
I donated it to Habitat for Humanity. I hope they can make some money. It should have some good parts or maybe it can be fixed up easily enough to sell.