VAN FOR SALE: I once said if gas ever hit $3 a gallon in Columbus I’d sell it, so if anyone’s interested: 1998 Ford Econoline Conversion Van. It’s $9500 or best offer.
Three buck a gallon as the trigger? That seems quaint now, but I had good reason. My office moved from fifteen minutes away with little traffic to a half-hour away in heavy traffic, which made the morning and afternoon commutes pretty intolerable in such a vehicle.
It wasn’t until the Spring of 2006 that I was finally able to sell the van for significantly less that the $9500. Around that time, I took a trip to the Columbus Auto show with my friends Keith and J to look at perspective vehicles.
Of all the vehicles we checked out, the Scion was the most interesting. After the show, J and took a trip to Morse Road and test drove a Chevy HHR (not good) and then the Scion. I liked it immediately, and spent some time messing around on the Scion website building the model I wanted, which was a new concept in car shopping in the mid-2000s.
After selling the van for cash, I headed over to the Morse Road Scion dealer and plopped down cash for a down payment. Later I ended up buying custom black rims and had the suspension slightly lowered to make the hole thing pretty sweet. Or, at least, I thought so.
See, turns out the xB developed a bit of a reputation among the uninitiated as being nothing more than a refrigerator box on wheels thanks to its, yes, boxy shape. But that boxiness provided a ton of headroom and made the little champ a nice hauler of music gear and later trips to IKEA.
A year after purchasing the xB is when I met my future wife, and upon our first trip to meet her parents in the Spring of 2006 I believe is when the term “lego car” became synonymous with the xB. Despite the excellent space inside, the great gas milage and (mostly) comfortable ride, the car was mocked to no end.
Still, it was a great little vehicle, and renewed my interest in cars as being something other than mere transportation. Which would directly lead to my next vehicle.