The Ellerslie Car Fair


Yesterday was our second attempt to go the car fair.  Our first attempt failed partly because we miss understood the bus schedule, and partly because we were both in a shit mood.  Since the car fair is only on Sundays we had to wait a week to try it again.

Attempt two of the car fair started early, at least for us.  Our normal wake up time is around 1pm, bedtime anywhere between 1-5am.   Our nocturnal schedule made getting up at 7:30 am a feat in itself.  After I’d had my instant cappuccino we headed out to catch the bus.  We didn’t have enough change to get us back so there were many reasons why we had to leave the fair with a car.

The fair was pretty big.  We went to the under $5000 section, there was about 150 cars.  There was a good selection of cars priced between 4-5K, but we were looking closer to 1K.  There were about 10 cars that we could afford, about half of them made only a few years after I was born.  I was never a huge fan of the 80’s, and I certainly don’t want to drive something that was made in 1984!

NZ car safety laws are pretty strict.  Any car over a few years old has to get checked every six months to make sure it’s in good working condition.  There is also a government agency of mechanics that you can take a car you are thinking about buying and get it checked over.  It costs a $100, for non-car people like Travis and I this is great.  The car fair has these people at the fair to check up a car that you are keen on. This is nice in theory, but as it turns out people selling their cars at the fair won’t let you get the AA check up.  One guy told us strait up that he wouldn’t let us get the inspection in case something there is something really wrong with the car.  At this point we knew we were traveling blind, and should just pick a car we could afford.  We had $1400 in pocket.

Then we found our little car.  Little is an understatement.  In the drivers seat I can touch the front and rear window at the same time.  The radio doesn’t work, but maybe the tape player does.  Travis drove the car around the block to make sure it could make it up hills.  We were both terrified.  Most of us have only found ourselves driving into on coming traffic a few times in our lives if ever, today we got to experience this multiple times in 10 minutes.  The owner sitting in the back did a great job of not yelling, though sometimes I did.

1991 Subaru Ace

Our New Car

Our car is the ultimate backpackers car.  She is small, I’m guessing has great gas milleage and will never be stolen.  My goal is for the car to get me to work and back for at least six months.  After that I will consider every time she starts up to be a gift from the gods.  Reality tells me not to be surprised if she doesn’t start up tomorrow.

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