One of the most difficult problems we had to solve before my surgery was finding a way I could travel. Mrs. Lion has a big (high off the ground) one-ton pickup truck. When we rehearsed my one-arm entry, it became painfully clear that getting in was going to be a problem. Mrs. Lion suggested I needed a step that would make climbing in easier. We tested her theory with a step stool we use to reach our trailer hitch (we have a fifth wheel). Voila! It worked. Problem solved; well, maybe.
I’ve always loved sports cars. I’ve had a range of them over the years. Shortly after it came out, I bought a Nissan 370Z. Years ago, I had a 240Z, so going back to my sports car roots was wonderful for me. After a few years, the effort of getting in and out of the car, not to mention the road noise, was wearing on me. Yes, it was great to take the “Z” to the track, but commuting on bumpy roads was taking its toll.
In 2012 I read an article in “Road and Track” that put the 370Z head to head with a Mustang. They were dead even in handling. I mentioned it to Mrs. Lion. She has always loved Mustangs. Truthfully, I had never given them any thought at all. After all, it’s a Ford. Well, we drove my Z to a Ford dealer to look at a Mustang and ended up driving out with a red 2013 GT, complete with racing stripe. It was a joy to drive and the car absorbed a lot of the road noise. Its design had higher, easier-to-get-into seats.
I’ve been considering the practicality of my beloved Mustang. It gets about 20MPG and my daily commute is 25 miles each way. It isn’t so much the cost of gas, but the Mustang has a small tank that just won’t last for a full work week. I had been contemplating the idea that I could get a more “grown up” car. But, I didn’t see any particular reason to let go of my toy just yet.
Then, the upcoming surgery brought home the fact that even when I get some use of my shoulder back, getting in and out of the Mustang will be difficult. I researched cars I could deal with owning that have more upright seating and easy entry and exit.
On my business trips I’ve rented a variety of cars. Some are small-to-medium-sized SUV’s. So, I wandered over to the Consumers Reports web site and checked out SUV’s. I landed on the Toyota RAV4 hybrid. I know, it’s the opposite of my beloved Mustang. The review was positive and, while not a Mustang in terms of 0-60 (4 secs for my GT), its 9 sec time isn’t bad for a commuter.
Ok, the idea of going from the Mustang to a Toyota SUV was not a bit appealing, but it wasn’t so crazy to consider. So I asked Mrs. Lion if we could go to our local Toyota dealer to see what a RAV4 looked like in the flesh. We took Mrs. Lion’s truck. I didn’t want to take a chance my Mustang could be kidnapped and replaced with a Toyota.
It turned out that the SUV was very easy to enter and exit. It was comfortable. And, the high end models had all the toys I like. Mind you, I still wasn’t excited at all about trading my Mustang. But, I had to admit that getting better mileage and easier access were good arguments for at least seeing what it would cost to switch.
I’m a pretty good negotiator. I do it often at work. Couple that with my absolute indifference about owning the RAV4, led to a long conversation with a dealer that had no weapons against a customer who he couldn’t excite about owning the car he was selling. In the end, I bought the RAV4 Hybrid. It’s basically a Prius on steroids. The hybrid RAV4 is actually faster than the all-gas model. Unlike the dreary Prius, the RAV4 is programmed to use the electric motor to add power off the line.
By mid afternoon, we went home and returned to the dealer with my Mustang. A short time later, we were home with a RAV4 in the garage where my Mustang used to live. We spent some time learning where the controls are for various things. I made an effort to review the user manuals. Toyota provides over 1,500 pages of instructions. Sure, I’m going to read all that. Oh yeah. Maybe one day. Fat chance.
Yesterday, I stowed the stuff that was in the Mustang in the new car. We took it on a shopping trip. Transportation, post-surgery, isn’t going to be a problem.
I am left with the memory of that wonderful V8 growl. It’s been replaced with the whine of a hybrid.
Denial of service
Over the last week or so, our server has been under attack by hackers. At times, they have bombarded us with more requests than our server can handle. If you have trouble getting to our site, please try again a few minutes later. Hopefully, the attacker will get tired of this and leave us alone.