Monday, January 22, 2007


Woo hoo! I am no longer shackled by the restraints of public transportation! I am now the proud owner of a 1993 Mazda MS-8.

I have been wanting to buy a car for awhile because (1) Auckland public transportation is pretty limited and poorly designed and (2) intercity travel in New Zealand is not exactly convenient, so when I am off travelling around, it will be much more convenient to have a car. Fortunately, cars here are ridiculously inexpensive, and there is quite the surplus. Part of it is that Japan exports heaps of used cars, and New Zealand offers a geographically close repository for cars with right-side steering wheels. Also, New Zealanders don't salt their roads, so cars last a lot longer. So while I would never consider buying a '93 in Michigan, here it's a relatively good car.

Unfortunately, sifting through all that surplus was not something I was looking forward to. Even though I grew up surrounded by the car industry, I know approximately nothing about cars. I'm not too bad at sounding like I know what I'm talking about when it comes to discussing industry trends and things, but when it comes to actually putting any automotive knowledge into practice, I'm useless. Peter agreed to accompany me on my trip to the Ellerslie car fair and even though he says he knows little about cars either, I was SO thankful that he was there. Together, we were able to stare at engines and poke tires enough to look like we might actually know what the sounds and tire pressures meant. Don't worry, I also got a pre-purchase inspection and the mechanic gave it a thumbs up.

I haven't taken any pictures of the car yet, and unfortunately I don't know if there is an American equivalent to the MS-8 to give you some sort of frame of reference for what I'm driving. The best I can do is give you these links:

  • This is the Wikipedia entry about my car model. I'm not sure if this is actually about my car, since I don't know if I'd consider it a luxury car. Then again, I just admitted that I know absolutely nothing about cars, so my classification might not be too accurate.
  • Here are some pictures of the car (sorry, it's all in Russian). Mine is actually the same colour blue as the one in the pictures. But mine has suffered from living under the hole in the ozone layer and has ended up with almost as much sun damage as George Hamilton. I will probably be purchasing some magic turtle wax soon.
I'm sure that some good stories about driving on the other side of the road will soon ensue. But hopefully not.

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