OBITUARY — The People’s Car


It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of The People’s Car.   The People’s Car, née Volkswagen Jetta GLX, took life’s last exit Monday, December 18, 2017. She was 18 years old.

Designed in Germany then born in a Mexican factory during the summer of 1999, she arrived legally in the United States as a brand new 2000 model thanks to NAFTA. Her shiny black skin caught the eye of her only owner one day while on display at Atlanta’s Phipp’s Plaza shopping mall. Within a week, she was brought home to begin their life together in Midtown.

Torque-ey and full of pep, The People’s Car greatly enjoyed her life on the road. She excelled at acceleration, thanks in part to her tight-angle, transverse-mount, 6-cylinger, fuel injected, 2.8 litre engine. Her rack-and-pinion steering and sexy McPherson struts set her apart on the twisting roads of the Southern Appalachians and further endeared her to her owner. Her inner self was equally as thrilling and matched her outer beauty of deep, polished onyx.   Heated, power leather seats, leather-esque trim panels, the thinnest of burled walnut veneer trim, accent lighting, custom cup holders, a fully automatic remote locking system, custom floor mats, automatic moon roof and an 8-speaker Monsoon stereo welcomed all passengers to her inner sanctum.   She lit up many a road with her dual, multi lens, halogen running, fog, low and high-beam headlights.  TPC’s owner was especially enamored with her azure dash display lights, an innovation back in the early 2000s.  Her front wheel drive and heated, remotely controlled, side view mirrors provided additional security during icy, winter months.  She especially enjoyed playing CDs for her owner on their many road trips together.

The People’s Car loved her life in Atlanta, spending the bulk of her 114,000 odd miles in Georgia’s capital.   She was particularly fond of the owner’s Labrador Retriever, Gus, transporting him to the vet, his grandparents’ and various doggie social events.   She served her owner well with comfortable, uneventful  trips to destinations such as Birmingham, New Orleans, Charleston, Sewanee and Knoxville, Tennessee.   Twice she summered on Cape Cod, at Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Her life was not without challenge, though.   In her early years, she failed to outrun the Alabama State Patrol.   Once, an over-zealous guest driver encouraged her to jump a speed bump. On her descent, The People’s Car punctured her oil pan.   When she screamed out “STOP THE CAR, NOW!” the driver, her owner and the 3rd passenger quickly regained their grasp on reality and pulled her over to safety.   Her owner absent-mindedly drove her into the back of a pick-up truck and over a parking lot curb stop, an instance requiring plastic surgery to her front bumper, from which she never fully recovered.  She bore the scars of the neighbor’s kids, driveway retaining walls and Shopping Center Parking Lot Strangers with humility and grace.  She gallantly overcame the hardships of a rotten heater coil, several cooling system leaks, a busted headlight, depleted Freon, a cracked windshield, catalytic converter cancer, rotten CV joints and worn tires.   Her right windshield fluid nipple never worked properly.  Our beloved People’s Car finally succumbed to the insurmountable challenges of chronic, multiple-point, oil hemorrhaging, causing her to lose timing and the use of at least one cylinder.  An autopsy has been declined.

The family would like to thank Catherine’s Auto Repair for the loving care they showed TPC over the years.   The chassis will be on view at their home for the next several days.  In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor can be made to the owner’s New Car Fund. Please private message for fund transfer information.