Sunday, June 05, 2011

RIP Pulsar

This morning at about 5am my little blue boy was doing what he usually does at 5am on Sunday mornings - snoozing. He was doing this in the same place he's been doing it for the past month or thereabouts: by the side of a road in Portland, with other cars in front and behind him. This morning, though, was going to be different.

It was at about this time that a drunk driver hit him, and wrote him off.

Let me tell you a little more, both about me and about my boy. I do tend to have a habit of ascribing personalities to inanimate objects - I know this (and anyone who knows me would know this... just think of Fred). And this I did thoroughly with The Pulsar. So when I say "he" and "him" you know why. Couple this with the fact that I am a "car person" - someone who drives for the love of it - and hopefully you'll have a glimmer of understanding about my reaction to today.

This car has been in my family for 12 years - since he was new. And for the past decade he's been an almost daily presence in my life, manfully shuttling me where I need to go. We've been on long road trips together, just the two of us. We've explored the ACT, NSW, and Victoria. He's never faltered, never given me any problem - he's just soldiered on. I've faithfully serviced his little metal heart every 5,000km, usually personally. I installed a Whiteline works kit to firm up his chassis, gave him some schmick mags and low-profile tyres, and had someone install a 3.25" cat-back exhaust, so he could be everything his little 1.6L soul could be. In return he's been the best and most reliable car anyone could ask for.

In recent months I reluctantly decided it was time for him to move on, to give someone else the fun times and faithful service that I've enjoyed. I'll admit, I haven't tried all that hard: my efforts extended to putting a sign up in his window. I had decided I'd do it seriously after my sister-in-law was finished borrowing him. Obviously those plans are out the window.

It will probably seem silly to almost everyone, but the loss of my boy is gut-wrenching. The thought that I will never again turn the key and hear that beautiful purr of the engine, never "do" the Great Ocean Road again (which I'd planned on doing once more before he went), never curse about how rough roads feel with his oh-so-firm ride... I feel actual grief.

If there is an upside to this, and I always look for the upside, it's that no-one was hurt. Well, none of my family, at least. I don't know, nor care, about the driver and his friends. The other upside is that, although apparently the driver didn't stop, his friends did go back and call the number on the "For Sale" sign in the window. And they door-knocked the area to try and find the owner. Thankfully my brother had arrived just yesterday and he's handling it all for me. The resolution should be OK, so long as they keep to their word.

But it's just such a waste - of the hours of care and work I've put into him, and of a bloody good car as well. Sure, he was soon to leave my life anyway, but I'd had hopes of him going to someone, probably as their first car... seeing him on the road, maybe walking past him at the shops. One day he'd fly past me and I'd hear that gorgeous 4-cylinder 3.25" exhaust roar...

So, in closing, let me share with you some of his more photogenic moments. If I can face it, I might post a picture some other time on how he looks now... I haven't seen, and right now I simply can't.

One of our camping trips, this time in Torquay

Eyeballing the camera... so tough!

Freshly washed and clean

Not so clean after being bogged at Laverton train station

Staking his claim on new territory - when I bought my block


Overseeing progress on the construction of my house

Chillin' out in the sunshine in Sunshine

Waiting for me to get the hell down from the old water tower in Daylesford

That's how far up I was

One of the bushwalking tracks near Daylesford... yet another road trip

Lavers Hill... great devonshire teas there

Triplet Falls...

The Apostles