My Fiona

Fiona the Car
My Fiona sports a new hightop fade after having been cleaned off and dug out from under the 10 inches or so of snow that fell Saturday and Sunday in Muscatine.

Results from a survey a couple of years ago show that my fondness for Fiona is unusual, but not completely unlikely.

Who is Fiona?

fionaThat is the name given by Janet’s daughter to the 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix I bought in October and usually refer to as my new old car. Fiona, I think, was named after the princess in the Shrek movies. I could be wrong about this since I’ve only seen parts of Shrek — a point of some teasing in our household and maybe a topic for another day.

Anyway, Macy thought the car needed a name, so it somehow became Fiona. My Fiona is the eighth car I’ve owned in 32 years of driving — and the first to have a name. But naming cars is relatively common, according to a 2013 survey conducted by Nationwide Insurance. The survey found:

  • Nearly 25% of U.S. car owners have a special name for their car.
  • More than 31% were inspired by the vehicle’s color and appearance.
  • At 36%, car owners between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to nickname their cars.
  • Women are more likely to have a nickname for their cars than men — 27% vs. 17%
  • About (one) of out of four surveyed think of their car as a girl, with women more likely to have a “baby” girl. Witness “Eleanor” from the 2000 film Gone in 60 Seconds or the homicidal 1958 Plymouth Fury Chevrolet named Christine from Christine.
  • Men are more likely than women to name their car after a famous or historical person or a character in a movie.

So, it may be unusual for a 48-year-old guy to be driving around in a car named after a princess in a movie. I don’t care because I like how the car came to be known as Fiona and I really like the car even thought it may be more accurate to say I just like it more than its predecessor.

BroncoMy old car is a 1988 Ford Bronco. I’ve owned it for eight years and still have it only because no one has stepped forward to buy it. This shouldn’t be surprising since I never wanted it either.

Someone else bought the Bronco in 2007 after I objected and advised against it, saying it would be broken down most of the time, because, after all, it is a really old Ford. This is what happened, which is how it became mine and how it sat in the driveway for a couple of years because I couldn’t afford to fix it.

But I finally spent $1,000 and fixed several things on the Bronco (new tires, new exhaust, new radiator) so I could drive it. That’s when I discovered the downside to driving the only turquoise 27-year-old Ford Bronco in a small town. As if everyone knowing where I went and when wasn’t bad enough, the Bronco was not a comfortable ride. The radio didn’t work correctly. The air conditioning didn’t work. The electric door locks quit working. Did I mention it gets about 10 mpg, which was a lot of fun when gas was more expensive.

The Bronco would be a good truck for someone who wants to go mudding (did I mention that the four-wheel drive works.) It’d be a good hunting truck. It actually runs pretty well and the body is in decent shape. It just needs an owner who has the skills and desire to restore it — or at least fix it when it breaks down.

The Bronco needs an owner who will love it.

I am not that guy — or gal.

Fiona has my heart now. She has logged a lot of miles. Her carpet is a bit worn. But her radio works. So do her turn signals, the air conditioning and heater, the rear-window defogger and the cruise control. I like her sun roof and pretty dark blue color.

She is the car for me.

Know anyone who wants to buy a Bronco? I’ll make ’em a great deal.