RIP Stitch, you served me well

So my beast of a car, a 2000 Neon I affectionately called Stitch (in honor of my favorite Disney character) expired in a sideswipe car accident last October. I was on a business trip and had actually purchased a new-to-me engine with low miles on it while down in Virginia on the same trip. Less than 130 miles from home, another driver drifted into my lane and smacked into me at almost 70 mph.

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Stitch proudly parked

Fortunately there were no injuries and the damage seemed minimal. I figured on a small cheque from the insurance company, especially since I just dropped $400 in a private sale on the motor, destined to give Stitch a new lease on life and another 25 horsepower and almost 50 more ft lb of torque. It was not to be.

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DOHC head from the replacement engine

The insurance company promptly totalled the car and unfortunately in my state running a car with an “S Title” (salvage) is an extremely expensive proposition. So I bit the bullet. I emptied my personal belongings, saved a few parts that they allowed me to take, and let Stitch go to the junkyard. Granted, I ended up getting more than double what I had put in Stitch over the past two years and 30,000 miles, but I was sad to see him go. The money became the down payment on a 2012 wagon for the family, and I’ve taken over Bessie, our stout Suzuki SUV.

So I’m back to having a car payment and higher insurance, but the Elantra Touring wagon is such a nice car and still has a bumper to bumper warranty, I couldn’t pass it up. One less car I have to turn wrenches on (especially in the winter). Bessie will get some love, though. She will be my workhorse and I will outfit her as such. You will see some progress on her as soon as it warms up. Stay caffeinated.

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