Today whilst browsing my Facebook feed in an effort to fill the smallest moment of downtime I had with a morsel of cognitive stimulation that only a funny cat video or dramatic new-job/new-spouse/new-baby announcement could offer, I came upon an adorable photo of a family and a minivan. It was an image that reminded me of why we’re all here at The Autopian: Because to us, cars have so much meaning beyond just their function as runabouts.
That’s the Ganeshan family you see in these photos, and the little four-year-old is Sagar. I know him because, a while back, he cold-emailed me to ask how he could become an automotive engineer. I gave him my phone number, and we chatted about things he (someone who was a little self-conscious about his grades, though I told him they were fine) could do to get that dream job in the auto industry. I knew he’d pull it off, because I could hear the passion in his voice, and he was clearly a smart dude; I’m pleased to hear that he has scored a job at a major OEM, and he did it all on his own by just being resourceful and by communicating his love for cars! Anyway, that’s not the point of the story. The point of this story is: Look at these photos!
The first one is from 2004, and shows Sagar and his parents, who traded in a 1993 Geo Prizm for that minivan, as they were expecting a second son. As you can see, that second son came, and sprouted up big and tall, just like Sagar, whom his father probably would not enjoy holding up like he did back in 2004. As for the Honda Odyssey: The thing looks fantastic after all these years!
“Bought brand new in sept 2004. I was crying when parents bought it because I wanted the EX trim with the power doors,” Sagar told me over Facebook Messenger. “Been reliable all these years. One time it stranded us was when starter broke,” he continued, saying his family has put over 150,000 miles on it with only that single significant issue.
I asked how it felt to finally let it go. “Bittersweet,” he said. “But the car wasn’t being driven at all these days and we had too many cars in the driveway. So a bit of relief.” He went on: “Def some fun memories in that thing. But it did its duty for 18 years. Only person it ever stranded was me .” Here’s a picture of that incident: