Actually "Fee Collection" is more accurate.
The Beater Van passed the annual Texas safety inspection and emissions testing again.
That makes 22 in a row.
It's not that it is an incredibly well put together vehicle by any means. It has certainly had some help along the way. Last year it was pushing the limits on hydrocarbon emissions but squeeked by on the test. This year, the hydrocarbon emissions were way way down and the NOx emissions just squeeked by.
If it manages to last another two years, the emissions testing won't be required on it anymore. It's sitting at 158,000 miles and change. I got 186,000 miles out of my beloved old Jeep Cherokee (God rest her soul). And, said Jeep would probably still be running if I hadn't let my teenage daughters drive it.
I'm starting to think about a new vehicle. The last one I purchased for me, was back in February of 1997. It was the Jeep (who's dead carcass resides in the driveway as I type).
As for the beater van, I suspect I'll never sell it. It certainly wouldn't be worth anything as a trade-in.
The irony of late has been that Belle's Malibu, Boo's Cobalt, and the prodigal Son's Jeep all had mechanical problems within the last month. With the Son's Jeep we managed to shade tree mechanic our way to a solution. The ladies' sedans required professional help. Whilst all this was going on, the beater van ran like a Timex watch.
The Beater Van is not a vehicle I would have chosen for myself. In a way, it chose me.
As my Mother aged, she lost sight in her right eye and quit driving. My Dad called one day and asked If I wanted her Astro Van. I have no idea why I said yes, but I did.
Long story short, not too long after that my Mother passed away. The day of the funeral, neither my Jeep nor Belle's car would start. All six of us loaded up into Mom's Astro van, which just barely ran at the time, and made our way to the funeral home. Although I've not admitted it out loud to date, I think I have an emotional attachment to the Beater Van.