Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: In Memoriam: the Subaru "Taxi" (9/29/04-5/13/11)


In Memoriam: the Subaru "Taxi" (9/29/04-5/13/11)

After six years and 109,881 miles, the 2003 Subaru Outback wagon that I've owned since college was totaled by insurance under unforseen circumstances. Not the way I wanted to see that machine go.

I'm going to miss this car. I acquired it during at the beginning of my second year at USC as a replacement to my "first" car, a 2000 Ford Taurus SE, a vehicle that my brother put more miles on than I did due to the fact that my parents didn't allow me to drive to school because I was female and by default, inferior and unable to operate a vehicle safely. (That's a story/social commentary on Asian parents for another day.) That Taurus got me around from Point A to Point B, but it didn't capture my heart like this Subaru station wagon did.

I chose the Subaru for a few reasons. I wanted a car that was a wagon to carry all my hockey goalie gear, all-wheel drive, reliable with an excellent track record, and NOT a Honda or Toyota because damn near everyone in CA owned one. But most importantly, it was a functional car that did everything I needed it to do. And as soon as I got it, I was free to roam wherever I desired to go.

I rolled out of the dealer lot of Timmons Subaru in Long Beach, CA with exactly 18k miles on the odometer. By the next week, torrential rains had hit Southern CA and stuck around for more than two weeks straight. As streets flooded due to clogged-up drains and non-desert level rain, my car sliced through the daily commute as other vehicles stalled and were trapped in the watery mess. Within the next couple years, that car would see many a hockey trip, long drives of the CA coast to San Francisco, the occasional trip to Las Vegas, moving days for friends, professional videography sessions, and more drop-offs and pick-ups from LAX airport for more people than I could count. Thanks to all those passengers that I moved from here to there with the Subaru, it earned the name "Taxi."

The Subaru was my motorcycle before I became a fully competent and confident rider. It was my freedom and escape from the "nos" and "you can'ts" that I'd hear in my household on a regular basis. Heck, at one time, a trip to Vancouver, BC, Canada was even in the works! When the motorcycles became my primary vehicles, the car was always there whenever I was ready to travel to another hockey game or had to take more passengers than the bike would allow. Here's some of the interesting moments I was able to get with the camera:

Las Vegas (January 2008): I make the super-wise decision to drive the Taxi STRAIGHT into a packed pile of Zamboni-dumped snow at the hockey rink. Matt triumphantly stands in front of my mess. Ironically, it never got stuck in snow in Ohio, and there was whole lot more of it here!
Las Vegas (August 2009): The Taxi proves that it can haul more than just passengers. It manages to pull a trailer containing two full-size motorcycles, a scooter, and every possible inside orifice stuffed with things to take to Ohio. With the car now gone, we no longer own any of the vehicles in this picture, trailer included. :(
Somewhere in Iowa (August 2009): Fuzzy takes full advantage of the Subaru's A/C system. He was in the front seat for the entire trip!
Columbus, OH (11/27/09): The Subaru sees REAL snow for the first time. It survived two Ohio winters, not bad for a car that was never expected to leave California!
December 2009: Oh Taxi, where did you end up taking us to? On a bright note, we were able to drive to much larger frozen ponds to do some real pond hockey!
On a bright note, the car won't see its demise in a junk yard crushed into a cube. The owner of Mullins Body Shop in Galloway, OH, the place that I had the car towed to, liked it so much that he bought the car off of me with the intention of repairing and using it again. I wish him the best of luck, especially because the car's front suspension was twisted like a twig.

That car was a tough act to follow, but I'm sure that its replacement will serve us well as it did. The Subaru's successor is a Forest Green 1999 BMW E39 528i wagon with 108k miles on the odometer that we picked up from Carmean Auto Group in Carroll, OH. Matt pointed out that, according to BMW nomenclature, the wagon is technically a 528tai (t = touring, a = automatic, i = fuel injection). If it were an all-wheel drive version (designated by BMW as "x"), it would've been a 528taxi! That would've been quite fitting, actually.

Here's to [hopefully] many years of potential adventures with the Bimmer. Now it just needs to earn a name!