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I know it may be hard to believe, but I have a vehicle that is 90 years old. It is beginning to look that way too, so let me tell you a bit about it.

I don’t remember when I got this vehicle, but I’m told that it was once brand new, shiny and beautiful; perhaps with a cellophane wrap and bow tied around it. My parents gave it to me, and they were quite excited about it.

It has run well for a long time, and all over the world. I remember often taking my wife with me and we have driven it for thousands of miles together. I tried to maintain it carefully, kept the oil and water levels up, the battery checked, and made sure the tires had good tread on them. I washed and polished it and kept the litter out of the inside too.

Things are different now: it has wrinkles, and its skin is beginning to chip. The battery seems to need recharging more often and I now add lovastatin to it. There seems to be a problem with the alternator too because the lights are dimmer, and it is harder to start. The tires are showing a lot of wear and losing their grip. I need replacements, but I have been putting that off as long as I can. I have been getting synthetic oil and I add vitamin C and some glucosamine to it. It makes the oil and ingredients more expensive, but “they” tell me that it is worth it.

The headlights have glazed over a bit, and I have been to the shop on several attempts to get them adjusted. Even the brake lights don’t come on quickly at times. The windshield wipers don’t seem to clean as well as they should and there are a lot of other little things that have me puzzled. Not only does the car not start as easily as it used to, but it needs to warm up more before it gets going. There is a bit of wobble in the wheels, and I have noticed some rust spots. Rust can be deceiving. I took it to the shop and the chief mechanic scraped the rust a bit and a whole piece of the car fell off and exposed some bad spots underneath. Now they want to do some additional scraping and cutting. I mean, “How much is an old car worth?” I can’t afford to fix the whole chassis!

I keep watching the water level in the radiator. If the temperature goes up, I will probably need fuel additives to keep it going. And fuel is more expensive now--at one time I could get it for 29c a gallon but now it is over $3. One trick may be to inject more oxygen into the fuel.

Maintenance is expensive. A trip to the body shop can easily cost hundreds of dollars and there is no deductible for old cars like mine. It takes a lot of time as well. But, of course, if the car isn’t running well, you have a lot of time to wait while it is being fixed.

Some friends tell me that I need the tie rods and perhaps even the axels replaced. That will put my car out of commission for a while, so I am still thinking about it. I notice too that my shock absorbers make more noise that they should, and my rear suspension, as well as my steering gear, are groaning and not as happy as they once were.

The muffler has a small hole in it and even the catalytic converter doesn’t seem to be working properly. But a bit of duct tape here and there has helped.

Sometimes I go to slow and cars behind me honk their horns. I try to speed up a bit but I need to be careful with this old car.

All of these problems on my 90-year-old car have made me think about getting a new one. I have a friend who lives overseas who has said he can get me a brand new electric one. There is a hitch, however: I must go there to get it and he said I need to get rid of my old car first. What will I do in the meantime? If I get rid of this old car that I have loved so long and don’t know how to get to his place for the new one, it will be a major problem.

However, my friend said that he has two nephews who have wanted to come to America, and they will be glad to escort me to the country where the new car that is waiting for me.

I would really like to have that new car. It runs on solar energy, which charges the battery and the light from the sun means that I don’t have to worry about headlights and windshield wipers. Sounds like a pretty good deal.

Like me, you probably wondered about the cost: How can I every pay for a car like that? Then my friend told me something that made my hair stand up line an old antenna. The car, he claims, is free, no monthly payments and a clear title. I will have a new name on the title as well, so the old car title will transfer to the new car.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but it turns out my friend has written books about what happens in this kind of an exchange. His name is John, and his books are in the Bible.

I’ll keep this 90-year-old car going as long as I can but, I am very happy that my new one is waiting, even if I haven’t seen it yet.

Karl Franklin


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