“It’s the best car I’ve ever had.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: J.J.
- Car in Question: White 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier
- Spotted at: Grandview Avenue, Mt. Washington, Pittsburgh, PA 15211
- Odometer: 226,630
- Car’s Nickname: Old Reliable
Q: Hi J.J. Great Chevy. What can you tell us about it?
A: My good friend, who passed away in 2009, was trading this in. It was his fiancé’s car. She was ready for a new car and was gonna trade it in. The funny thing was, my previous car had just exploded. The timing was right. She was worried that the car was gonna die at any minute and insisted on a new one. They were gonna give her $300 for the trade in at the dealership. It was a perfectly fine, running car. So my friend said they’d sell it to me for the trade-in value of $300. It’s been the most reliable car I’ve ever had and the cheapest I’ve ever bought.
Q: You have well over 200,000 miles on your odometer. How much did it have on it when you got it?
A: I’m not sure. Probably 100,000 or so. It may have been less. I’ve driven it a lot. I put at least 100,000 miles on it myself. I live in Beaver County—technically, Hopewell–and work in Moon. I use it for everything. I drive it anywhere I have to go. I do lots of things in Pittsburgh. I travel into the city to see my girlfriend, who lives here in Mt. Washington and to do things like go to karaoke. I drove it on some long road trips as well.
Q: What kind of road trips?
A: I drove with my girlfriend to New York City, which was an interesting thing. The GPS took us right through Times Square. Everyone says, “If you go to New York, take buses or take cabs. Don’t ever go through Times Square.” But the GPS took us right through it. We weren’t expecting it and all of a sudden we were in Times Square. It was a baptism by fire. We made it through without an accident, but probably made quite a few cab drivers angry.
Q: Do you have any rules in your car?
A: I have some friends who smoke. I let them smoke, but I tell them to ash out of the car, just to keep some of the smell away. I’m sure the car smells anyway since it’s so old. That’s pretty much the only rule. I just don’t want ashes in there, to keep the dust out.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us today?
A: I’m in a musical duo, JJ & Bri. We cover all types of music and try to get some modern stuff in there. We actually do Lady Gaga and stuff like that. We go back as far as the ’60s. We try to mix it up for the audience, so that anyone who shows up will have a good time.
Q: Sounds cool. What do you realistically think your next car will be?
A: I’m sold on Cavaliers. This car has been so reliable. I’ve had other Cavaliers over the years, and they’ve lasted pretty long. I’d like to find another used Cavalier. It’s a no-frills car. I just need something reliable to get me places. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell us about your Chevrolet Cavalier?
A: It’s the best car I’ve ever had. I’m 33 and I’ve had about seven or eight different cars since I started driving at 16. None of them have even come close to this one.
Photos and interview by Sarah Beth Martin
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