Whenever we leave Niger and come back to the USA, one of the first things we have to do is get a car. There are several criteria for getting a car. First of all, it has to be affordable! Secondly, it needs to be in good working order and preferably low mileage because of the amount of driving we do.
This time we sold our Toyota HiLux pick-up truck in Niger. Since we will be gone for two years, we decided to go ahead and sell it rather than try to store it or let somebody drive it. When we go back we probably will just get a smaller car. So, we were able to use the money from the HiLux to buy this 2005 Chevy Impala. It is a really nice car! After the rough ride of the HiLux, this seems like real luxury!
Many police departments use Impalas for their cruisers so we've been told that at night when people look in their rear-view mirrors and see the shape of the headlights and the vehicle, they'll slow right down! Ahhhhh! Such power. We're just really glad that God provided us such a nice car for a good price.
Two weeks from now John and I will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary! We've owned a lot of cars during that time! Right after we were married in 1986, we got a 1978 Chevy Nova that had belonged to my parents. It was a pretty good car, but had a habit of stalling in intersections. It scared the living daylights out of me more than once. Here I am in Daytona Beach with our Nova.....back in my skinny days! LOL!
When we went to Niger as newlyweds, we got a Peugeot 504. I have no idea what year it was, but we bought it used. We also weren't real into taking pictures of our cars. This is the only I could find that shows the entire car! There is a missionary lady in Maradi who still drives that car! It's got to be over 25 years old now.
We sold it when we came back to the USA when Daniel was 18 months and bought a Ford Taurus. I have no idea what year it was, either. Here's my dad and Daniel giving it a wash after we bought it. It did have some problem with the brakes.....again, kind of a scary thing to have your brakes seize up on you!
When we returned to Niger, we bought our first Toyota HiLux. The day after we got it, a guy ran a red light and slammed into us. Daniel put a band-aid on the truck's boo-boo. We used this truck for two terms, so we had it for over eight years. We sold it because it was starting to have a lot of trouble and since John doesn't have extensive mechanical skills, we were worried about being stuck out in the bush broken down with the nearest mechanical help a hundred and fifty miles away.
From 1995-1997 we drove a Chevy Lumina. We drove it literally from coast to coast! When we returned to Niger, we sold it to John's brother and they got a lot of good use out of it, too. Kind of hard to tell what it looks like under all that snow!
The next home assignment we had a Ford Escort station wagon. I got this picture off the internet, but our car looked just like this. It was a good car, but was almost too small for our family for long trips.
After that home assignment, when we returned to Niger, we got a new Toyota HiLux. The HiLux drives like a truck, but I like being high up where you can really see the road. I also prefer driving a stick-shift to an automatic!
The last time we were on home assignment, we had a Dodge Caravan. That was probably my favorite vehicle of them all. I just loved the way it drove. We loved having enough room for each of the kids to have their own seat. On the long trips, they could lay down, spread out, and have their own space. This picture is also off the internet, but ours looked just like this, same color and everything. We have pictures of our Caravan somewhere......but not sure where to start looking.
That home assignment was the first time we had two cars (one other home assignment somebody gave us a clunker so we did have two cars for a short period of time). We bought a used Chevy Cavalier which we then gave to Daniel when he went to Cedarville. It has served him well. Thankfully it has only needed minimal repairs and we hope it works well for at least another two years! Again, this is an internet picture, but Daniel's car looks just like this.
So what cars have you owned and which were your favorites?