The rest of the four-car trade story

Published 9:25 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

By Steve Sticker



Last week’s column was miraculously about getting my bought new, perfect, cherished, loved, missed, many spanner hours and memories, 1971 MGB-GT 1st new car, back a year after Vietnam, trading it and three other cars for a new 2012 KIA Soul+ on the day before Thanksgiving 2011. 

But – there was so much more to this epic escapade that is so typical actually of my wonderfully distorted life….

No one locally or on the internet would trade even for whatever car of theirs, no cash, for my four cars. But seeing a commercial on the Golf Channel with Michelle Wie driving a red Kia Soul, liked the quirky looks of the Soul and the day before Thanksgiving drove my 2004 Honda Element bought from then Scottish fiancé to Tupelo dealer and they had exactly what I wanted – a new 2012 bright silver Kia Soul+, black interior, heavily optioned, 300 miles on the odometer, drove, liked, and presented my 4-1 deal; my four cars for the KIA even, no money, or I’d walk, was serious and sales dude knew it!  

After much deliberation (divine intervention), they astonishingly made the deal!  I cleaned out the Honda and with a dealership vehicle loaded with drivers, drove to Oxford, cleaned out the other three cars, MG, Gert’s 1985 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1987 Saab SPG 5-sped, waved goodbye, and off they went. 

Had some serious doubts about Gert’s car, but it needed an engine, transmission overhaul and much more. Loved the Honda, but way too many ghosts and was glad to be purged from it; loved my SPG but having driven it for many years, needed to go, had mega issues, and the MG….

Then there was only one car in my empty garage and driveway with dust accumulating on my tools.  Quickly discerned the KIA was awesome but had little cargo space, couldn’t get my Cannondale Mountain bike in it, and began looking for “something” else that would work.

One day talking with mentor Bub Brannan said he had what I needed…a 1996 Volvo 850 black estate wagon, grey interior, with rare, rare, 5-speed manual transmission, owned by an Ole Miss professor, needed lots of work, I couldn’t even drive it!  Handy with a spanner, to Campus, chat with prof., stole it…with hours and hours of spanner work – I love it, my favorite car!

Then the whole story about miraculously getting my beloved MG back had a life of its own.  I had to borrow more than the price asked because of bank policy…which left dollars burning a hole in my pocket and mind – AGHH!!  

Always wanting a classic Land Rover Series 88, IIA as seen in jungle movies, found one for sale by a “snake oil” dealer in Birmingham, AL, far from perfect, loved it’s rustic “patina” and being from Phoenix, AZ was rust free – and  yeah, “walk on the wild side, Steve,” bought it in August 2014, sight unseen, not running, and after hours and hours and years of fixing all the crap, it runs and just needs me to get my butt in gear before driving on Oxford, USA, not England roads this summer, by replacing the dreaded, major complicated, front swivel ball assemblies – got all the parts, just so unlike me, petrified to tackle this, fear of failure that this classic Brit will just sit as it has for years…but know I can do it – and will do it!! I CAN AND WILL DO IT!!!

Steve is an Oxford resident, worked on the Ole Miss Campus, and received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Counseling) from The  University of Mississippi.