Mechanostrider Garage – RL Edition

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After getting my driver’s license late last year, I’ve been wondering about what would be the perfect gnome mobile for this gnome. I found the one that has captured my gnomish heart in all it’s glory: The Fiat 500 Abarth.

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It’s a car that’s just my size. But this decision didn’t come easily to me as I was overwhelmed with reviews of “better cars with more practicality”, “reliability issues”, or “get an SUV” instead.

Let me explain something about myself. I have lived in a city my entire life. An american sedan to me is a seriously big car. I nickname SUVs and Minivans tanks. They are huge. And frankly, at some point, they all look the same to me.

For me, driving is a particularly fun endeavour. As a kid, my grandpa let me change the gears as he drove us to school. He popped the hood one day and showed me how engines work and how efficiency of gears change. I don’t know if I understood it all then to be honest (I must’ve been 10), but I thought it was fun as heck. (Incidentally, this was on an old Fiat!) And his love for driving kinda stuck with me.

I’ve to come to embrace what I like about cars and what I need my very first own car to have:

  • It needs to be fun to drive. And mind you, fun is in handling – not necessarily going over the speed limit. If you can have a blast driving your car without 450 HP, that’s the right car for you.
  • It needs personality: Any kind of call back to the vintage cars of the 1960s will bring a smile to my face. I like a car with history. And that’s something I found sorely lacking when I checked out Civics, Camrys, Accords etc. Also partly when my hubby and I bought our first family car, I convinced him to get a Mustang. 😀
  • I need to be comfortable driving it: The Fiat 500 is till date the only car where I’ve sat in it at the lot and felt like I could just drive off in it no problem. It’s small, the seat sits a little higher than the usual cars which is great for me. I swear I felt like I was drowning in the Mustang sometimes.

Haters gonna hate. It’s no different from the gnome jokes I’ve heard all these years when I play my favourite race. So it is with my car. I am going to embrace that despite living in a good ol’ ‘Murrica for a while, there’s a lot of preferences that are very much European inside of me.

PS: About the reliability issue, I called my mechanic Jim to ask him about what he’d seen at his garage. And he said, dont you worry – if you take care of your car, it’ll take care of you. The only issue he saw was when someone never bothered to do oil changes and killed their engine.

Thus begins my journey to get my very own Abarth – either new or used with very low miles (1k ish I’m thinking). I am SO excited!! Now the only decision left is whether to go manual or automatic!! VROOOOOOM!

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