The Loss I Don’t Care if You Feel or Not

If you are a car person, you feel this. You find the perfect car. You’ve lusted after it for an extended period. You’ve searched high and low for the exact car meeting the exact criteria and then paid to have it shipped from hundreds of miles away (or driven/flown hundreds of miles) to make it yours. You know the feeling of sitting in it, after sitting in its competitors, and feeling the seats fit around you perfectly, the steering wheel reach out to meet you, the stick shift fitting perfectly in your hand and responding exactly as if you and the car were on the same spiritual wavelength. This was the 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate, and I lost it after two years.

The car that gave me the idea for my May photo for the Frugal Film Project, and was the inspiration of many other photos was lost to my own idiotic stupidity. I left it in neutral in my garage like a fucking moron and it rolled down my driveway and crashed into my neighbor’s house. Yeah, I have to own this. It sucks. Just knowing I’ll never drive my favorite car again is hard to think about, so I’m at the bottom of a bottle of Barton’s washing away the memories.

Sadly, Hyundai offers it on their website, but it’s not available for ordering. To get this car, I have to scour the salvage yards or beg local dealers to scope one out while I wait for a possible no-show. I’ve been that route before. The best the local dealer could find was a car not even fucking close to what I wanted. This was the perfect car for me. 6 speed, 4 cylinder, turbo, panoramic sunroof, Vitamin C Orange, optional badass 18″ alloys, 450watt Dimension sound system, full window tint treatment. It was beautiful.

To me, this car was perfect. It was not a competitor to the latest flashy hot hatches, although 201 Turbo-induced HP in a 2300lb car is pretty hot. It didn’t compete with the VW GTI , or the Focus RS, but it was all I wanted in a mid-life crisismobile. Unfortunately, the State of Tennessee got to it before I could, and their Total Loss Threshold killed any dream of me getting my baby back repaired.

In case it’s not apparent, 3/4ths of the car is intact and undamanged. Only 1/4 of it has damage. To this end, the body shop and insurance company concluded (colluded?) that 1/4th of the car is more than $10,000 to repair. so I got a check instead. One person pointed out the obvious: there’s somebody out there getting a good deal on a salvaged car right now. Another mentioned they couldn’t be attached to a Hyundai. I personally don’t care where it’s made if it’s beautiful and fits. The car was (and is still) amazing and I’m at a loss right now. It was so much fun to drive and gave me so much joy that it’s going to take some time to get over.

His expression was mine until the day the car died

My son’s expression in the photo above perfectly embodies how I still feel about the 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate in Vitamin-C. I’ve spent the last few days scouring the car lots online looking for something to replace it, but there’s nothing I want. To that end, I’ve decided to just get another family car to replace our aging one in the garage. I’ll fix it up, drop a better sound system in it, and drive it until the wheels fall off. Back to Square One, really. The V was the first car I ever lusted after, waited and searched for, and made sure it was perfect before I bought it. That is going to take a while to come across again. My dad is right, “Don’t get attached to cars” and “get some good photos because that’s all you really have to keep.”

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