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A Piece of (My) History (Part 1) – 92 Explorer

I have a few posts that I want to write about the history of things… Just because I’m not sure they are totally well documented anywhere, and I think to some degree might be worth knowing. Some of these will be more pointless than others, but hey, it’s my blog…

On August 9, 2007, The vehicle formally known as “Justin’s 1992 Ford Explorer” was turned over to a new owner, one that will most likely scrap it for parts or make repairs and sell it. In either case, it will never be ours again.

This “truck” was a huge part of my life. It arrived brand new to our house in 1992. My dad has purchased it for himself to replace his Ford *Ranger I believe*, and to help him transport both me and my sister to Middleton everyday. At the time, I was in second grade. I can remember countless mornings where I loaded up my stereo into the trunk to bring to RKK. The truck would serve to haul many of my “toys” over the years.

I also remember it being the first place I ever saw my dad cry. It had been an icy morning in Minnesota. Amy and I had somehow managed to make him late for work, and he went speeding down our rather steep driveway. Needless to say, we didn’t stop at the bottom, but instead turned 270 degrees… causing us to face in the exact opposite direction we wanted to go. 1 more foot, and the truck would have rolled into the ditch… I don’t think I ever really remember my dad getting that upset with us after that happened.

When I got older, this truck became “mine”. My dad replaced it in 2001 with a mountaineer, and I took over using it as my primary vehicle. At the time, it only had 100,000 miles on it. I can distinctly remember the first time I drove it alone, the first time I almost crashed (dumb people on the highway), the first time I spun on ice, and the first time I ran a red light (No I’m not a bad driver…). I remember loading a cooler in the back for pop after MSA softball games, or for when we took the truck to the playground or the pond. The vehicle served as my primary means for socializing throughout most of High School. I remember countless activities with Richard riding shotgun. One afternoon of Styx blaring on the stereo and through the PA comes sharply to mind. It was truly our island in the sun. *HIP HIP*

Then college came, and 5+ days a week I was driving to and from the University of Minnesota. It never failed to get me there. It never failed to start. I only locked my keys inside once. In fact, we had grown to have sort of a kind friendship with one another. At one point, it would even let me start the car with my key, and then remove my keys… A handy feature I might add. John would ride with me from time to time, as would Patrick. I remember some fun trips to Culvers for butter burgers, no one ever seemed to complain about the car.

It also played a large role with the women in my life. I remember countless trips to see Julie, particularly one where I almost got us killed between two semis taking her home. I remember countless nights waiting for Nikki to get off work, just to talk about life. I remember the flirting that lead to Amber and me involving the truck and a piece of candy. I won’t even mention the number of couples (and non-couples) who made out in my vehicle (really, I won’t)

Towards the end of it’s 15 year run with us, it started to have it’s problems. Her age of 191,000 miles was starting to show. I had to start climbing in and out of the passenger side door. The window in back broke on the way to get my Wii. The Maria proof door worked wonderfully on countless occasions… But even through all the problems… You could still put the power windows down and cost around in the hot sun (because the air conditioning had stopped working years ago). It was what I enjoyed.

The day she died was a rough one. She had served me well to get me to Implex early that morning, as my servers had gone down. She had even gotten me to the airport to pick up Amber… Almost as if she wanted to say goodbye to her as well. She even almost got us home. But the hill coming into Woodbury along Baily was just to much for her, and the transmission went.

That was that…

Now, it’s time for me to find a new vehicle. One that I hope can share in what will likely be another large segment of my life. Everything from getting married, to having kids, to possibly my kids first days of school. Who knows… if I find the right vehicle, perhaps they too will be given the chance to drive it when they turn 16. It’s just a matter of finding one with some magic.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Amber August 10, 2007, 11:08 am

    Oh my gosh that was horrible. I almost cried. Especially during the paragraph where she wanted to say goodbye to me.

  • Nikki August 10, 2007, 11:23 am

    Maybe I'm a mean person… I laughed.. not at the death of the truck or that it wanted to say goodbye to Amber… but at other things. Oh Exploder… you will be missed.

  • Alex August 11, 2007, 5:36 am

    I really enjoyed this post! Good luck with your new vehicle. If you want it to last a really long time, buy a Toyota.