For almost the entirety of my time in Japan, I’ve been driving a silver 50 horsepower box on wheels. I bought the car for about 700 dollars and it has done well to sustain all of my abuse. From packing 9 people into it, to the assortment of inanimate objects that I’ve attacked with it, the fact that it is still going leaves me very please with the investment.
Unfortunately, it has reached the end of the line. Japan requires all cars to undergo a biennial inspection to make sure that they are still roadworthy. This check requires plopping down about 600 dollars for a car like mine, and easily 1000 for a normal sized one. This does help to keep the cost of buying a used car down. The price of the test increases as the car gets older, which encourages newer cars on the roads. I can confidently say that my car was one of the older and worst maintained cars on the road – my oil levels had gotten so low that they gave me a discount on the oil change, since they didn’t even need to drain it…
The test is rather strict, and on account of the crack in my windshield it would not pass. Hard to imagine a car being totaled by a crack, but such is my baby’s fate. What this meant was that I needed to have my car crushed and get a new one to finish out my time until August. What it also meant was that I had a death date for my car and a chance for some fun.
Within the realm of car ownership, rarely do you know when the car is going to be destroyed. The goal is often to either sell the car or drive it forever, but breakdowns and crashes get in the way of those plans. But, with my car’s death already on the calendar I had a window with which to do something a bit different. Spray paint combined with the help of some friends yielded this beast.
There were a lot of people who helped me with this and I was so very pleased with the outcome. Most Japanese people have probably never seen something like this and cruising along really garnered some attention. I imagine that this is what it must feel like to drive a Ferrari, on account of its head turning power. Many of my students and other community friends have found it hilarious, my school staff less so. I could not be less concerned with the formality that teachers adhere to, so their sighs and expressions really only make me want to do it more. The disposal feels a bit like an unjust end to a noble friend, but such is life…