Friday, 28 July 2017

Goodbye, Bug.

Today marks the end of an era, the closure of a 12 year relationship that has been wholly positive, not to mention incredibly happy from beginning to end.  Today is the day that I say goodbye to the Bug. So to mark this occasion, I felt that I would pay tribute to the first car that got in to my heart with a few words.

I have never been emotionally attached to any of the previous cars that I have owned, but a 2002 VW Beetle has done just that, so much so, that I feel incredibly sad to be saying farewell. To be honest I don't know how this happened, this was a car that I took over from my wife partly because my previous car went horribly wrong, but if I am honest I think the main reason was to spare my wife from having to part with her when she herself got a new car. The arrangement was always going to be a temporary one, a year at the most, a stop gap car until I chose something else, this was over four years ago. I became smitten, and while I probably should have sold her before now, I couldn't bring myself to do it. I suspect it is because these cars have so much personality (yes, even the modern ones), added to which this car has been fantastic to own on so many levels.  To begin with, I can't believe just how reliable she has been, starting first time, every time, and since we have owned her, we have covered some serious mileage, the majority of the 152K the clock were done with either myself or my wife at the wheel. Bug has taken us on countless journeys, exciting adventures, journeys that we really wish we didn't have to make, happy times, sad times and the everyday routine trips to work and every other type of journey too.  Every single one of these miles was covered in absolute comfort and without a single hiccup, this incredible little car has never let us down, not once. Also, these cars just have so much personality, I have realised this for a long time, I love driving a car that is so different looking, I love the fact that other Beetle drivers wave. In short, I love being a Beetle owner.

So why I am selling her? This is a question that I have asked myself so many times this past week. I have thought about cancelling the whole thing, finding some way of storing her and even changing the arrangements that I have made with the car dealership so I can sell her locally, in the hope that I will continue to see her.  But sad as it feels right now, the reality is that she isn't as young as she once was, and I really do not want to be the last owner that she has.  While rock solid on the whole, the years and miles covered are beginning to show, she still looks as pretty as she always did, the paintwork shines, she sits well on the road, everything works, she starts, drives and stops beautifully. But there are noises that weren't there before, foibles have emerged, and the signs that she is of an age are becoming apparent. For quite some time I have feared a major failure, something mechanical going wrong to such an extent where a decision would have to be made. I have always said that I would pay for any such repair, but in reality I am not in the least bit mechanically minded, so this would prove to be a futile and expensive project. So as much as it hurts my heart, I am thinking that it is better to see her being driven away, and not loaded on to a truck for her final journey, the very thought of this makes me wince.

I knew that this day would come eventually, and I have been looking at other cars for quite some time now, well over a year in fact.  I have come so close to trading her in more than once, but then felt such pangs of emotion that I couldn't go through with it.  The last such occasion was late last year, when I had gone back to the local VW dealership where she was originally bought from, I had chosen another car (a non Beetle, there lies the issue!) the deal had been arranged, the paperwork prepared, all I had to do was sign on the line. I couldn't dot it, so I walked away. At the final moment I looked out of the window and saw her, where the sales man had parked her in line with some much newer Beetles, and that happy looking little car got me again. The deal was off. I have subsequently looked at many other cars, knowing what needed to be done, but time after time I got cold feet. I feared that time was running out before the afore mentioned repair bill, so made a decision to commit to buying a new car. This was last week, and I found the perfect replacement pretty much straight away, albeit in a distant part of the country.

The sad truth is that much as I would love for her to last forever, the absolute reality is that she is a car of an age, and the time has definitely come to pass her on.  Last night I cleared my stuff out, cleaned her and said my initial goodbye. It all became very real. Then, later today, my new car will be delivered, Bug will be driven away and will be heading some 350 miles, probably never to be seen again by me. I so, so hope that she goes on to a good home, giving someone, somewhere plenty of the joy and happy times that she has given to us throughout each of the years that we have had the pleasure of owning her.

The memories of this special little car will last forever, I know that, but I still feel so sad about it, much as I try to convince myself that it's just a car, somehow I can't let go. Maybe it is because as epic as this car has been (is) 12 years is also a long time in a persons life. I know that lots of things have happened in the time we have owned Bug, our life journey has seen lots of good things, changes and some horribly sad things too. Bug has been the constant throughout. So selling her also marks a significant passing of time and change, I know that I don't like facing either of these realities very much at all!

And the car that is going to replace the wonderful this wonderful blue Beetle...another blue Beetle!  Yes, that's happening, the new one is a little bit younger, with a lot less miles, it is the colour (Waimea Blue) and spec that I have been looking for (it even has a little boot spoiler!) and making the design to but the new one just felt right.  Bug II is currently en route to its new home. It most definitely has a lot to live up to, but I am wholly confident that starting from this weekend, the adventures will be a plenty and the joy of owning one of these incredible cars will continue for many years to come.



Here's Bug, a special little car, 2005 - 2017.


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