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Avoidable Contact #62: The ballad of the first owner
The first owner is a ghostly but still powerful presence in the nooks and crannies of the old car we have just bought. Microscopic remains of his incomparable skin and sweat dwell deep in the foam of the seats. A pair of shiny spots on the wheel indicates where he liked to rest his princely hands during long trips, utterly and completely free of all our mincing worries about wear and tear and NLA parts and suchlike. The frame of the drivers seat has a slight twist from his tendency to lounge in traffic. He was restless, a wealthy and predatory creature trapped in a cage for which you would eventually pay dearly, but not as dearly as he did. He was Adam, Genghis Khan, Columbus, Armstrong, the first man. We will never be completely free of him.
I once went searching for the "First Owner" of my Miata only to find out that it had a dirty and checkered past where the original owner never actually registered the car and the "First Owner" was actually at least the second or maybe third owner, these shenanigans were pulled by a dealership not private parties. The person I bought the car from never actually registered it either and there may have been people between the "First owner" and him according to the owner I tracked down. All I know is that the "First Owner" could tell me where just about every scratch nick and imperfection that did not happen on my watch happened. I have a "Story Car" but lucky for me I have most of the story. So on paper I am the Second owner but the truth is much more clouded, I figure 150,000 of 190,000 miles makes it more mine anyway. With 40,000 on the clock when I bought it about the only thing that might have been missed are seven oil changes, it appears they done around when they should have been done.
On the up side I do own a 2005 Scion xA that has been treated like the people mover it is for all 220,000 of its original miles and I know that every bit of maintenance was done on time. I also know when every repair was made and what work needs to be done. That car will probably go to the junk yard as a "One Owner" car unless my Daughter wants it, she has so far declined interest in owning the car she came home from the hospital in even if it is a one owner car.