“My car makes me speechless.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Matt
- Car in Question: Red 1996 Mazda Protege
- Spotted at: Candy Land at Old Sacramento, 122 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
- Odometer: 77,000
- Car’s Nickname: Betsy
Q: Why Betsy?
A: I call all cars Betsy, so that’s my Betsy.
Q: What makes you call all cars Betsy? Is there a reason behind that?
A: No, I just…whenever I’m driving and I want the car to go faster, I say, “C’mon Betsy!” So when I see my car, it’s, “Hey, Betsy.” I think my older car was also called Betsy. It’s just one of those things.
Q: How long have you had your car?
A: Two years? No…yeah, about two years.
Q: How did you get it?
A: I bought it off of my friend Sam’s uncle. His uncle was selling his mother-in-law’s car and I just happened to be looking for a car at the same time. Sam referred me to it and I bought it from him.
Q: Nice. How much did you pay for it?
Q: How many miles have you personally put on it?
A: Probably like 25,000.
Q: What neighborhood do you live in? What’s the zip?
Q: What’s your car’s main use?
A: Getting me places. I use it for work. I use it for recreation.
Q: So everything?
Q: What’s the worst part about your commute to and from work?
A: The worst, it’s just too far. I wish I really didn’t have to commute at all. I like my car, but if I just had to walk to work, it’d be better. I’d rather use my car for recreational uses only than for work because work is daily and recreation is whenever. So the fact that I have to commute from work is the worst part about it.
Q: Is there anything good about your commute to work?
A: I don’t know. I get to listen to music? That’s an interesting question, those last two questions. I’ve never thought about that.
Q: What’s your favorite day trip from home?
A: I guess San Francisco.
Q: What do you like to do there?
A: Go to record stores, ball games, Giants games. I guess that’s about it.
Q: How often do you go?
A: Once every few months.
Q: What’s the furthest you’ve driven in your car?
A: In that car? Probably San Francisco…wait, no, I went to Reno. I drove my car to Reno. Reno and then we got detoured. We had to go around Lake Tahoe, so it was a long trip.
Q: Wow. How long did that take?
A: Hours! I’d say like four to five hours.
Q: What’s the longest road trip you’ve been on?
A: This last three weeks. Going through the Midwest to Boston and then down south through the desert and up the California coast.
Q: What were you doing on that trip?
A: I was on tour with my band. Twenty shows in 23 days.
Q: Awesome. What’s your band’s name?
A: Garrincha and the Stolen Elk. Good plug.
Q: Have to get the plug in there. Why did you decide to come to Old Sacramento?
A: I think Old Sacramento obviously has a lot of history. I have good childhood memories there. Lot of interesting stores, bars. It’s right next to the river. It’s just a good place, a lot of history, very touristy. It’s old. Supposedly ghosts live there.
Q: Have you ever seen a ghost?
A: I’ve never seen a ghost. I do enjoy ghost-like conversations. But I don’t know if ghosts exist or not.
Q: What was your first car?
A: A 1979 Mazda GLC.
Q: How long did you have it?
A: Four years.
Q: What happened to it?
A: It died. I ran through a big puddle. Water got in the engine and it didn’t want to drive anymore, so I abandoned it. It got towed away and I never saw it again.
Q: Do you miss it?
A: I do. I wish I still had it to this day.
Q: Do you have any rules in your car?
A: I don’t think so.
Q: No? People can just do whatever they want in your car?
A: I can’t think of anything that I wouldn’t let anyone do.
Q: You’re a lot more relaxed than most of us.
A: I mean, I’ve let people smoke in my car. I don’t smoke myself. You know, whatever. I’m cool with anything. Just obviously don’t blow it up or anything. Don’t blow up my car, that’s the only rule. And at least ask for my permission if you want to drive it. That’s about it.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to in your car?
A: 1970’s Krautrock.
Q: Do you ever rock out?
A: All the time.
Q: If your car had a theme song, what would it be?
A: “Cinnamon Road” by Tangerine Dream.
Q: Why that song?
A: Because it’s really good, even though it’s instrumental. I mean, how can you have a theme song that’s instrumental. But it’s like…speechless. My car makes me speechless.
Q: What are you most proud of about your car?
A: It’s my first car with power windows and power locks. I know, it’s like 2011 and that’s what I’m excited about. I just bought a new CD player stereo for it that has a USB input, so I can plug my flash drive in and listen to the songs I put on there, all my 1970’s Krautrock songs. It’s in good condition because Sam’s uncle’s mom had it. She took good care of it. It was clean, until I got it.
Q: What is your absolute dream car?
A: For some reason, I like Saabs. I like those cars for some reason. I don’t know why.
Q: Any certain kind?
A: I don’t know much about cars, so I couldn’t give you any more information. I like older cars, too. I like the way they look, the shape.
Q: Is there anything else we should know about your car?
A: It’s a pretty simple car, not too fancy. There’s some body damage on it, but it doesn’t bother me.
Q: A lot of people are bothered by body damage.
A: Yeah? It’s kind of too much money to invest in for just the looks of your car when the car itself is only for transportation, really. Actually, I just put a new scratch on it today, backing out of my parents’ driveway, right against the fence. I might need to get that repaired a little bit because the light is kind of loose now.
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Photos and interview by Lisa Palmer