Richard Craver

Thoughts, Musings And The Occasional Rant

Gandalf Turns 300K

Written By: richardwcraver - Jul• 24•21

Gandalf The Grey turned 300,000 today. Not the highest mileage I’ve seen on a Honda. Methuselah went to 519,000 before being rear ended by a Celica. I once saw a CRX at 780,000 miles, it wasn’t exactly pristine, but it was still going.

Photos or it didn’t happen. I really wanted to see how far that Accord would go, but the Toe Eater took it out.

Not visible was the unibody that did the accordion crumple like it was designed to do. When I saw the crumple I knew it was totaled. Structural damage always trumps cosmetic damage.

Gandalf The Gray Element has been a good boy and never let me down; though there was that alternator thing that put him on the tow truck on a rainy morning, but at over 250,000 miles that stuff happens.

So Gandalf has passed another Honda milestone and is running well.

I miss the days of the mechanical odometer were you could watch all the digits lock together and roll over to the next 100,000 miles. I remember the spot on US52 where my 1993 Mazda B2600i truck rolled over 100,000 at the top of the Patterson Ave ramp in 1997 while moving our belongings from north Winston-Salem to Clemmons and the spot on I40 where it rolled over 200,000 between the  I40 East Tanglewood exit and the Clemmons exit. This milestone happened on Frye Bridge Rd in Clemmons just down the road.

I’ve been looking at trucks. It all started last year when I saw a Jeep  Gladiator ad on Instagram. It was a picture of a Gladiator coming down a rocky mountain trail, from the angle of the photo it actually looked pretty impressive. I started looking at the Jeep website; but equipped the way I like was over $45,000 for a Heap,  I mean Jeep. Nah, I’ll pass. A Honda Ridgeline is in the same price range. Honda has been good to me professionally speaking for many years and Hondas have a reputation for longevity, which Jeep cannot match.

I’ve become accustomed to AWD/4WD winter driving with the Element, which adds $3,000 to $4,000 to the average truck. Now the Ford Maverick is slated for this fall with a 2.0 liter turbo AWD below $30,000; I’m cautiously optimistic, but have to put my butt in the seat and drive one before I’m convinced. Will I pony up for a Honda or settle for a Ford? I don’t know yet. I’m getting to that age which I know my next vehicle will likely be my last vehicle purchase.

That seems like a little fatalistic, but I know the “days of man” are 70 years. I’m currently 55 years old and looking at a 15 year vehicle life…well that should take me to the end of mine, more or less. As I look to my future years and ultimate demise, what  is the best choice?!? Intrinsically I want a  Honda product, but financially a Ford looks like a better financial option. Then I remember the 1988 Escort I bought when I couldn’t quite afford the 1988 Civic I really wanted, well the Escort was a big disappointment leaving my wife on the side of the road three times at less than 100,000 miles, it’s hard to beat quality.

Decisions to come…

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  1. Sandra Dorr says:

    Happy Birthday Gandalf

  2. Sailorcurt says:

    It constantly amazes me that people still buy cars new. Not saying it’s the wrong thing or being judgmental, it’ just the cost that puts me off.

    Holy cow. I paid less than $47,000 for my first HOUSE. $30k for a Ford Maverick?

    The newest vehicle we own is my wife’s 2011 that we bought a couple of years ago. Almost three years now I guess. Then there’s my 2000 F250 I bought in 2008 for less than $9k. It’s mainly a work truck, I only drive it when I need to haul something, or the weather’s too crappy to ride my motorcycle so it’s only got 240k on the clock and it’s still going strong. I fully expect it to last the rest of my life and if it doesn’t, I’ll find another 10 year old truck that I can buy used and pay cash for to last until I can’t drive any more.

    I’m not poor, but I’m not rich either. I guess if you can afford to pay cash for new cars or don’t mind having a 5 to 7 year mortgage on your car, more power to you.

    Not for me. I’m allergic to car payments.

    It’s obvious you drive a lot more than I do in a year if you put that many miles on “Gandalf” in 5 years, so maybe the algorithm is different for you. It just always shocks me when I see how much money they want for new cars these days. Even the plane jane base model “get from a to b” cars these days are ridiculous in price. And when did pickup trucks become luxury vehicles? I grew up on a farm, trucks are for work, not making a fashion statement.

    Sorry, gotta stop, I’m starting to rant.

    • richardwcraver says:

      I understand that point as well, new cars are a money pit. I personally have had one new vehicle in my life, that was the Mazda that I drive out to @ 280,000.
      This is kind of a bucket list thing.

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