Why I Love My Old 1991 GMC Safari Autoform Van

I’ve probably owned enough automobiles in my time to open a small car dealership. There was the 1968 Ford Mustang, the ’63 Rambler Classic, a Plymouth Barracuda, a number of old Chevy’s, a couple of Beetles, even a BMW and an Audi. They were all favorites and they all served me in their own way. A few of them even had names, all female for some reason, maybe guys name their cars for the same reason sailors name their boats. Currently, one of the cars that I own is a 1991 GMC Safari. I use it to haul stuff and go camping and fishing. She’s getting a little long in the tooth, and has about 300,000 miles on her but she’s still going strong. Starts up every time, no matter what the weather is outside. Yeah, she’s developed a few flaws over the years, mostly with her body, but that’s no reason to stop loving her and start searching for somebody younger. She has a backdoor that won’t open and a front window that doesn’t work, her air conditioning only works when she is in a good mood, and some of her joints are a little stiff. Her left eye goes out every once in awhile and her speed odometer hasn’t worked in awhile, but she hasn’t lost any of her get up and go, she’s still willing to leave a skid mark or two if you really coax her.

When you’ve had a relationship as long as we have and as many experiences together; all those fishing and camping trips, you have to focus on the positive instead of the negative. She’s got the captain’s chairs that are as comfortable as any recliner that you might have at home and they are covered with a nice faux velvet that even though the foam filler peeks out in a place or two, has withstood the ravages of time. She doesn’t have a lot of storage containers like so many of today’s mini-vans, but she came with stretchy cloth pockets all over the place that are really good for storing maps and papers; anything that doesn’t weigh that much. With the optional front console, there’s no less than six cup holders. Then there are the comfort features in the back like a metal ashtray, a really bright dome light, and curtains covering the windows, (don’t bother knocking if the van’s rocking). A couple of the windows even have screens that keep out the bugs when you are sleeping on the fold-down seat. The decorating theme throughout is one of wood, like an old den.

So when ever I get the knack to throw my sleeping bag in the back and head out to the woods for a couple of days, she’s always there in the driveway, waiting for me, and she still has the courtesy not to leave an oil spot.

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