This addition to Reader’s Stories is written by one of my closest friends, Miranda. Like me, she is a car fanatic, and our daily text messages are composed of car related subjects. I like to think that she is one of the people I have converted to manual transmission. She currently drives a Mazda3 five speed. If you want to read about the insight of what it is like to be deaf, check out her blog https://musingsofadeafkid.wordpress.com/ !
Here is my old Jeep, a 2004 Liberty Limited. I named this car Savannah, but called her Sav for short. Two days after I got my license, I got Sav, and it was the happiest day of my life! One of the worst days of my life so far was when Sav got totaled. My first car was gone; my future with Sav disappeared in a split second. I only had Sav for six months, but in those six months I explored so much of my home state, I got my family through one of the harshest winters on record, and I felt my first dose of freedom.
The story of Sav getting totaled is a very scary one. I was driving home in the middle of the afternoon from a party with my dad in the passenger seat. I was on a road that had a very sharp curve, and I was on the outer lane of the curve when the accident happened. I had slowed down to about 20 miles per hour. The next thing I see is an old Ford wagon barreling down at probably close to 50 miles per hour on the inside lane. I thought he was going to turn the wheel, but then I noticed him coming over the center-line. I moved over as much as possible to the right, and before I knew it, he smashed into Sav. Since I was driving, I got the brunt of the impact. The worst thing is: the guy fled the scene! He just kept on going after he hit me. But then he hit a telephone pole just up the road. All I can say is he had some bad karma! My dad was so mad, he got out of the car and started running in his fancy dress shoes and suit to chase the guy down. The impact was so loud that the people in the houses on the street heard the crash, and they came running outside. They called 911 for us since we were both so shaken up. It was the scariest day ever. When the insurance adjuster looked at Sav, he said they would pay to fix the car, so I was so excited! But, when she got to the shop, they found so much more damage, so Sav was officially listed as a total loss. The adjuster thought it was all external damage, but at the shop, they saw that the rear axle was bent, all five tires had to be replaced (the fifth one being the spare), and part of the engine had broken off. It was bad. They were all shocked I didn’t have any injuries.
Sav was such a fun car to drive, and I’m so glad she was my first car. The high road clearance made for a great view of the road and fun in the snow. She was a perfect size too: relatively small which is really important for a new driver. It was easy to park and maneuver around with Sav. This particular Jeep has a high center of gravity, so turning and going around curves at high speeds is extremely dangerous. I would always have to make sure I slowed down much more than in other cars I had driven.
My friends would often ask me what my gas mileage was, and I would just laugh in their faces. Good gas mileage is not something a Jeep owner can ever hope for. Sav was a beast when it came to snow. Whenever I activated the 4-wheel drive, she would go right over it with no problems. The 4-speed automatic did pretty well, the only problems I noticed in the short time I had this car were going up hills. It would take a while for the car to downshift and it would feel like the engine was lagging. A manual would have completed this driving experience. The only other issue I had was the loud wind and road noise on the highway. I have difficulty hearing normally, and it was very hard for me to carry a conversation if I was driving on the highway.
Sav was a Limited version, which was the most luxurious version. The leather interior was very strange to me at first because she was a Jeep. Jeeps aren’t supposed to be about luxury. I eventually got used to it and loved having a top of the line Jeep. The sunroof made for great spring day drives, and the seat warmers were great in the winter.
This generation of the Liberty was amazing, I was so sad when I realized that the new Liberty was a lot bigger and more so of a family SUV. There isn’t even a tire on the back of the generation after this one! All in all, I loved Sav. I will never forget her. I will own another Jeep one day, and I hope that day comes very soon!
Thanks Miranda for your contribution! If you want to submit a Readers’ Stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the directions here.