Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Little Celica That Could

One of my favorite parts of being a newlywed is the “resourceful life”.  I am so blessed to have the opportunity to stay home when our little munchkin comes along, but that doesn’t mean Nick and I live without a budget.  We actually are very strict about saving for large purchases throughout the year.  This, however, creates a very resourceful lifestyle! For example, we have a lot of hand-me-down furniture (Futon, baby!), very little home décor, and our cars are, by no mean, “top of the line”.  On that note, I’d like to introduce you to Nick’s pride and joy: the Celica. 

If you’ve ever met an engineer, you might be able to empathize with me on this one.  This 1995 Toyota Celica has no internal issues, and runs “better than most cars during its time (quote from the spouse)”.  In fact, my 2001 Chevy Malibu has the most issues, and has earned the title: “piece of crap (also…Nick’s words)”.  We are currently looking for a newer car for me, but Nick has requested we wait to purchase one for him when his is on its last breath.  I personally, think the car needs a respirator to make that last breath, but I will let you be the judge.

On the day we got engaged (December ice storm!), we got into a car accident.  We were not hurt, but the ditch we were in managed to devour the left rearview mirror.  This photo was taken on our wedding day (note the missing mirror!).  Nick finally went to a junk yard and found a perfectly good WHITE mirror to replace the missing black one.  Cla-ssy!  (oh! Please pardon all my photos... I didn't think this was worthy of the Cannon, so my phone will have to do)


I questioned Nick about the hubcaps, and he informed me that when he purchased the car, they were all present, but had since “blown away”.  Nice.  The speakers had been blown out by the incessant hardcore music phase (phase?? Is that appropriate since it’s still his music of choice?) during his high school years.  My sweet engineer found a remedy for this! Styrofoam-encased speakers, secured with electrical tape, sit on the floor boards on either side to promote the best sound quality. 

When Nick was living in Clifton and attending UC, his car (along with his home…twice), got broken into, and the passenger window was shattered.  He replaced the window himself (why would you pay someone to do something you clearly could do alone), and it will not roll down.  The sun roof stopped working a few months back---oh, don’t worry---it’s nothing a little rubber caulk won’t permanently fix! (Who needs a sun roof anyway? It’s clearly too luxurious for us!).  OH! Did I mention that the air conditioning hasn’t worked for years? So now, this coupe has one functioning window and no AC. 

The lack of air conditioning has nearly melted Nick in this 100 plus degree weather.  After doing internet research, he found a cure (going to get the AC fixed professionally would cost more than the car is worth).  The latest Celica quirk is the make shift cooling system installed by Mr. Resourceful, himself.  This quality air unit is comprised of a cooler, a fan, a large PVC pipe, and a lot of ice packs! Hahaha! I watched him create this masterpiece and couldn’t wrap my mind around the level of “white trash” we were stooping to.  It was a wonderful moment.  

So, are we in agreement? The Celica is on its last breath? Nick refuses to give up a car that still runs just fine.  I have already informed him that our child will exclusively be a passenger in my car.  I know this will be one of those things we look back on with laughter and fond memories.  I love my precious husband, and I vowed to love all of him…Celica included.

PLEASE feel free to share your “junk car” stories, or any resourceful newlywed moments.  I love knowing we’re not the only ones. 


  1. Your hubby is AWESOME!! What great memories the two of you are making together!! May I remind you that those "junky" cars are one of the reasons the two of you are debt free at the moment... jealousy!! Keep up the good work!! You married a very wise man! Love you!

  2. Haha I love this! It makes me feel just a bit better about my crappy car.

  3. Nick and Adrienne, I remember when Nick bought the Celica, and he has loved it ever since. And if it works well mechanically, why not add a picnic cooler and ice packs for an innovative air conditioning system? From one engineer to another, I love it! I hope the weather breaks soon in E'ville so you can save on ice packs! Mom and I love you both.

  4. Adrienne, I grew up in junk cars once I started driving. The best one was a VW Volkswagen convertible "Beetle" that was cute. However, one night coming home from a friend's house down that big hill near Pinky's house (in the winter at 11:30 at night) the cotter pin came out of the wheel mechanism and my wheel came completely off! This was pre-cell phone era, so I had to walk home and I was so mad at my dad for giving me un-safe cars to drive!

  5. Adrienne,
    This is too funny! I love this story, it does make my "junk" cars look a little better and it makes my persitance or loyalty look lame next to Nick's. But it really made me laugh at 5am when I can't sleep. (Thanks!) But lucky for you you married into a family that has people that buy/sell used cars (my dad & brother) so whenever you're in need they may be able to hook you up. Is the duck tape still on the bumper??