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I did not need a new car when I found this 2008 EX two months ago, but it is replacing Stinky, my faithful red Escort wagon. Stinky replaced the “@#&% Truck” that I managed to survive driving … I think I need to tell this whole story….sorry if it’s long

The Circle of Life … My ELEMENT Story

My first new vehicle was an ‘87 Nissan “Hardbody” truck, a present from my husband “The Doctor” (of Geography, he can tell you where to go, literally, LOL). At about 1,000 miles (w/300# of sand in the back) two deer tried to take me out on a snow covered gravel road . I was driving about 35 mph but wrecked the front end careening into a hedge tree. It snagged my bumper spun me around & almost flipped the vehicle before the tree broke. Two of the sand tubes landed over a fence. This wasn’t the first nor last time that truck tried to kill me. Insurance fixed it but it shook at 55 & a quart of oil evaporated between changes. A year later the repainted areas crazed & turned chalky, but the body shop was out of business. The dash developed a huge crack. Every day it looked worse. By the time a hail storm put 100+ BIG dents in it the love affair was over. I told the insurance company to just give me the cash. (Sigh).

It sure wasn’t pretty but it ran okay (except for the shaking, oil issue , broken AC and a tendency to slide into the oncoming traffic lane). The suspension was a little funky after The Dr. hauled a couple full loads of gravel…he said it “swayed” a bit driving home. While I was traveling he spray painted it with burgundy Rustoleum..yes that’s what I meant, canned spray paint--blotchy, uneven, drips, etc. Inside a closed garage no less. I looked at the floor, then the truck and sputtered, …“you could have masked the glass“…to which he answered, “But I did.” (hmmmm).

In 1998 I decided I needed a less embarrassing, reliable vehicle and bought a year end deal Escort wagon to replace it. I was doing a lot of carpentry & landscape hauling at the time so kept the truck temporarily and parked it on the street. A local man, Mr. X, while teaching his daughter to drive, grabbed her steering wheel & overcorrected as she hit the gas circling our cul-de-sac . They missed the $10 mailbox across the street but crashed down the side of my truck. I used Goop to meld 40 pieces of my tail-light back together…but now not only did I need a “My HUSBAND painted this” bumper sticker but I had to slide across from the passenger door as the driver’s side was smashed closed. The Dr. said, “I’d be too embarrassed to get in & out that way.“ I gave him THE LOOK and responded, “I’m driving a spray painted truck, I have no pride.”

I finally sold the truck and still see it zipping around town occasionally (many owners later, held together by the spray paint no doubt). We told Mr. X we didn’t want anything from him--we were satisfied with the sale. There was no need to jack-up his daughter’s insurance & we knew he really didn’t have the resources to pay out of pocket. It was a deer damaged, hail dented, crazed & spray painted POS vehicle that had tried to kill me on multiple occasions. How in good conscience could I ask him for money?

Five years into driving my Escort wagon I discovered the ELEMENT. OMG. It was love at the Car Show! I crawled all over that box! I kept wandering back to it. The seats do WHAT?! I wanted it so badly, but my Escort was like new and JUST paid for. I test drove the E but I couldn’t see spending the money right then, and the MPG was low compared to the Escort’s average of 30+mpg, yada yada yada.

So why tell you ALL of this?

I love Estate Sales…one of the reasons I wanted an E in the first place. A couple weeks ago The Dr. showed me a newspaper ad for a sale here in town with a 2008 ELEMENT. Yeah, yeah, my Escort looks new, only has 75,000 miles, and is still running great. I did go to the sale, saw the E but didn’t look too closely. Nice blue, hmmmm. I went back for more music CD’s that afternoon and the E was out for a drive & all but sold. The next day The Dr. & I drove by the sale so he could see the house & there was the E, the deal had fallen through. I took it for a drive…ooooh, nice. Several people (friends & family) working the sale mentioned how much the original owner loved this car, took time picking it out, added extras, etc. We looked it up, down, under, inside, and out. Not a scratch on it…seriously…a couple interior rubs but they cleaned away. And 14,850 miles. We went home and looked at blue book, etc. They were asking almost $5,000 LESS than private sale for that year/model/condition not to mention any upgrades and it had 16 months of factory warranty left. I said, “I don’t need it”. The Dr. asked, “But do you WANT it?“ (See, he really is a great guy, just mechanically challenged.) We paid the asking price and didn’t quibble.

Well there IS a point to telling all this…the executor of the estate was very nice and we started chatting. She was relieved the car was sold and she could wrap up her brother’s estate soon. I started thinking about his name and asked if they were related to Mr. X?…well yes he’s our cousin. I told her the story about him hitting my truck years ago and we had a much needed laugh.

Soooo, I know I live in a small city, but no, not everyone shares the same DNA. Getting my “new” E at a knock-out price is one of those strange circular Karma-ish things that sometimes happen. It’s so obvious the original owner loved this car, and I’m sorry he only got to enjoy it for such a short time. I‘m going to do my best to love the heck out of it.

I’m keeping the Escort for a little while but I’m not parking it on the street…I think that would be tempting fate at this point.

Bonster
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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Came with: OEM fog-lights, cargo mat, & lock-lugs; K&N air filter, front side window tint, windshield tint strip, wide angle mirror, and possibly more I haven’t discovered yet.

Added: Splash guards, Obus Ultra Forme back support-now it’s almost as comfortable as my Escort.

Removed: Dealers decal!

Wants: Side Steps, (have, need to install). Front grills or HD gutter fix, side marker/blinker & true intermittent wiper mods, and a MADE IN USA emblem!

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My supposedly American Ford Escort was made in MEXICO with a good percentage of foreign parts. My supposedly Japanese Honda Element was made with 70% USA/Canadian parts right here in the USA. So which car is more “Ah-MURkin” ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Previous owner ??? EOC member ???

I don't know if the 1st owner was a member of the EOC. There was no EOC sticker on the Element when I bought it.

I've lurked on this forum for years but only joined 2 months ago. I do need to get a sticker or other club ID on my E soon!

By the way, my E's name is TEd (not very original, since it's short for Toaster Edition, but the name really suits as it was the name of a late Uncle who was a whole lot of fun!)

Bonster
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
 

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GREAT story. Karma can be AWESOME, or it can bite you in the a$$. It sounds like you got the AWESOME kind!! That is a beautiful E, and looks like it just came off the lot.

Welcome to the family.

You can get one of these, they look cool and everybody will know you are part of something GREAT!!!

 

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Nice to have you in the EoC, congratulations on the great buy. That sounds like an awesome price.

Where about in Kansas are you? I am in North Central myself. I live East of Concordia.

Did you get your side steps on yet?

 

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Woo Hoo ! another Kansas member................
Welcome to the group
 

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Kansas, a well kept secret.

I'm near but not inside Leavenworth, LOL. You were at the Legends meet in June? I wanted to be there but had a prior commitment. My stock TEd would have felt inadequate parked beside an E with nitrous, that incredible sound system and all the other etc!

I don't think I've actually driven through Concordia, but I've been out that way a bit. You haven't really been anywhere unless you’ve seen the Center of the Contiguous United States near Lebanon, right? LOL. I also drove over 3000 gravel road miles back in '93 doing field research in Mitchell/Osborne counties (also Thomas, Scott/Wichita, & Kingman/Reno.) I camped a night at Lake Waconda. Kansas is a well kept secret & I like it that way.

I haven't installed the side steps yet. They are the OEM silver ones & I'm still debating whether to paint them black first.

Bonster
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
 

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I'm near but not inside Leavenworth, LOL. You were at the Legends meet in June? I wanted to be there but had a prior commitment. My stock TEd would have felt inadequate parked beside an E with nitrous, that incredible sound system and all the other etc!

I don't think I've actually driven through Concordia, but I've been out that way a bit. You haven't really been anywhere unless you’ve seen the Center of the Contiguous United States near Lebanon, right? LOL. I also drove over 3000 gravel road miles back in '93 doing field research in Mitchell/Osborne counties (also Thomas, Scott/Wichita, & Kingman/Reno.) I camped a night at Lake Waconda. Kansas is a well kept secret & I like it that way.

I haven't installed the side steps yet. They are the OEM silver ones & I'm still debating whether to paint them black first.

Bonster
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

It's not a secret any longer !!!!!
You should have come to Legends, we had a great meal and BigTZElement is awesome - it was also cool to see FrozenE's with Hawaii plates
 

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