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There’s something comforting about driving a clunker. Maybe it’s because I come from a long line of clunker owners (present and former). I peer at the narrow nose of my Nissan and remember riding in Grandpa’s Nissan-from-a-different-decade, and smile. Yeah, these are the clatter traps that have taken a few kids through fast-food drive-thrus. They’re permeated with years-old perfume: pine needles from camping trips, French fries, and shampoo wafting from headrests. What’s a new car smell when you can be accessorized by memories?

And there’s a reason why they live longer than dirt—they’ve driven over all of it. Sure, when a car has lost its luster, just spruce it up with some Arizona pin striping. Plow through those cat claw bushes, tear through those dusty trails and be proud of your baby’s new threads.DSCF1325

Anyway, by the time you can afford a new car, you’ve had to replace so many parts in the old one that it becomes like new again.

But with experience.

Would you want an SUV that purrs up a hill, or one that Roars? Uh huh, my Nissan is a Lion. She’s a scarred-up, battle-strengthened, vintage-awesome Lion.

And she’s not afraid to get her wheels dirty.

So if you happen upon a rust bucket Lion today, give her a wave and think about the service she’s done. And remember, one day, your car will be someone’s  treasure. Stuff her with joy.

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