Tuesday, July 15, 2008

1997 Pontiac Sunfire Convertible

I guess I'm on a car kick here lately. So be it.

I'm not too happy with the sketch at left... it is a bit too rushed. (By the way, in the car is me and my then-fiance, soon-to-be wife.)

In any event, I bought my first "brand new" car in 1997. As I mentioned in my last post , I got a fever for convertibles after having the Suzuki Samurai. So the only brand new convertible that I could fit in my meager budget was a Pontiac Sunfire (price around $19,000?)

The convertible aspect of this car was fantastic. The top retracted in a very efficient, fun-to-watch, motorized way with the twist of a handle. The other really cool thing that I remember about it was that the stereo and CD player controls were on the steering wheel (awesome!). Other than that, the car was kind of a dog. Gas mileage was so-so (around 23 mpg?), and I had to take it into the shop a number of times for various engine warnings, etc. But the biggest pain was that the roof leaked in the driver's side corner. It would drip on my left knee, even in the lightest fog or haze. If it rained heavily, it was like a garden hose. I took it in countless times to get that fixed, but they could never take care of it. I even had the roof completely replaced. I finally gave up and just kept a towel in the car for the specific purpose of covering my knee.

I sold this car about three years later to a guy who was buying it for his college-aged daughter. I sold it for $10,500 (cash). I made the mistake of not doing the transaction right at the motor vehicle department, and as a result, she didn't register it properly.

I got her speeding and parking tickets delivered to my house for the next year or so (she got a lot of them!) and so once every few months I'd have to go into the DMV and prove the tickets weren't mine.

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