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Mercury Sable, Goodbye My Friend

August 16, 2010

1999 Mercury Sable LS

Have you ever had a vehicle that felt like a part of you? I have.

I started driving my 1999 Mercury Sable when I moved to Tulsa OK for college. My old truck just wouldn’t cut it for traveling and the gas mileage was atrocious. So my dad handed me the keys to his car and for the next seven years I drove the Sable everywhere, from Cincinnati, OH, to Missoula, MT.

It has been the only car for my wife and I for about the last 6 months, serving as her main mode of transportation around town while I commuted by bike. We weren’t really shopping for a second car, just keeping our eyes open in case we spotted a deal. But then my mom found us a great deal on a Rav4 and we added it to our stable.

We had both vehicles for about a month before we decided to move to Seattle. Part of the decision process for moving included downsizing to one car. Parking is horrible in the city, and the vast amount of public transportation and bike lanes makes having two vehicles a little overkill for a small family starting city life.

Due to the logistics of having two cars in the city, we decided to sell the Sable. This decision did not come easy for me. The Sable and I have been through so much together. While some might label it a “grandpa car,” I thought it was appropriately stylish and performed its job well, namely transporting me from A to B as safely and smoothly as possible.

1999 Mercury Sable LS

The smooth ride resembled the feeling of skiing down a mountain on fresh powder. The car soaked up every bump in the road, and once you hit cruising speed on the interstate you felt like you were floating above the asphalt. The nondescript styling might not have turned any heads, but I wasn’t trying to win any awards for looks. And the paint job single handedly decreased my workload by 50%. The champagne color hid dirt perfectly, allowing me to go months without washing the car. Honestly, even after I washed it, I couldn’t tell a huge difference in its appearance.

We spent the entire month before we left for Seattle trying to sell it. We had a few inquiries, but nothing concrete until a week before we left. We were in Estes Park at the time so I negotiated over the phone and settled on a fair price. Well, fair in the sense that we could sell the car before moving, and the new owner would be getting a smoking deal. The day before leaving Grand Junction we met, signed the papers, and I handed over the keys for the last time.

I didn’t shed a tear or experience regret, but it still stirred up some emotion. As I sit and think about all the good times I had in that car, all the miles we traveled together, all the places we saw, I can’t help but smile. Travel on, Sable.

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