After fourteen years of grueling driving, rush hour traffic, snow, 120 degree heat, second jobs, my autistic buddy, Tommy, girlfriends, and a marriage, my 2000 Plymouth Breeze has been retired from full and active duty.
To those who say American cars suck, I reply: “Blow me. This Plymouth has been the best car I have ever owned.”
In the fourteen years which I have owned it, I have had very few problems with her. She started right up, did her job every day, every night, and every weekend.
Whether I went to a sign flipping job in the San Fernando Valley on the weekends, worked night shift in Colorado, going to Hermosa Beach, California to watch my buddies play at the legendary Lighthouse, participating in anti-war marches, political rallies, four presidential campaigns, several heavy metal concerts (Kiss in 2003, 2012, and 2014, Def Leppard, Ozzfest-2005, Gigantour, 2007, Volbeat, Guns N’ Roses, 2017, moving to Colorado from L.A.-twice-and doing stupid things that guys do with cars, my 2000 Plymouth Breeze has seen it all and done it all-and I thank her for it all.
I bought her at Galpin Ford in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles after having overcorrected and totally totalled my 1999 Saturn SL-2.
I was so pissed off that I hadn’t been killed in that wreck on California 118-East in Simi Valley because, “But officer, if I were dead and in Hell, this would be someone else’s problem. But now, I gotta pay for all of this!”
I went to Galpin Ford on Roscoe Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley to buy a new vehicle, and I had thought about getting another Saturn because I had had very good luck with the one I had-up to that point in time anyway. The only problem was that the only Saturn in my price range had 95,000 miles on it.
I remember standing there, trying to figure out what to do when I saw this greenish, golden car shine at me; almost as if it were smiling at me, flirting with me. I remember then walking toward it. I was thrilled when I saw the name on the door: PLYMOUTH, as Chrysler Corporation had just ended the brand and I wanted to own a piece of automotive history. The only problem was that she was a little out of my price range:$7600. That blue Saturn was just over $5000.
I didn’t care because I figured I might never have another shot at a Plymouth of which my uncle owned several in his garage in Granada Hills, California.
I bought the car and being with it was like a living in a marriage. My Plymouth outlasted my human marriage more than four times over.
I woke up, drove it to work every morning, spent all day with it, drove it home, went to my second job with it on the weekends, and went to gigs in Hermosa Beach. Like you read prior, she went with me to political campaigns every two years.
It was the same situation with buying this Chrysler 200, as I was going to buy a Dodge Dart. This is the last year Chrysler Corporation is going to make the vehicle because, according to salesmen at Broadway Dodge in Denver, Colorado the Chevrolet Sonic outsells it by far.
I’m sorry, but I see way more Dodge Darts than I do Chevy Sonics. However, I was informed by the salesman that the Chrysler 200 is basically the same car as the Dodge Dart-both are being discontinued.
Some girl used to own this Plymouth Breeze before I did, and I knew that because there was an impression of some kind of big kitty sticker on it. I just covered it with a John Kerry sticker.
This Plymouth Breeze is fast, too.
I’ll never forget the time I had to rush home to vomit.
I had passed the Reseda Blvd. offramp on California 118-East when the sweat machine turned on-and then my stomach began to go.
I had absolutely no choice. I had to punch it.
I floored it, and the speedometer was at 115 mph the last time that I looked at it. I had 10 miles to cover and not much time in which to pull it off-and I barely made it to the toilet.
I was 35-years-old when that happened, 12 years ago.
Concerts, rallies, demonstrations, political campaigns, a marriage, brutal work environments which ranged from -25 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver, Colorado to 135 degrees Fahrenheit in Santa Clarita, California, my 2000 Plymouth Breeze has seen it all, and she has now earned her retirement.
She will be transformed into a classic show car.
Don’t tell me that American cars are inferior, because I just proved to you that they aren’t.
As for my new Chrysler 200, I expect the same dependability for her-maybe even the same length of service.
It’s my favorite color, but I still have to figure out how all these gadgets work. I mean, I’ve never had a car that didn’t have a key with which to start it. I don’t feel entirely comfortable with using a video camera to back up, and I want to make sure that the damn thing is going to turn off so that I don’t drain the battery!
I might as well be Rip Van Winkle because I didn’t realize just how much cars have changed!
Thanks for all the hard work, Breezy, you were a trooper and I promise to get you fixed up to your former glory. You deserve the rest after all you did for me through the years. You never let me down once. Thank you.
200, let’s go kick some ass.