Now, it’s no secret that I love cute, vintage modes of transportation.  And sometimes ugly duckling ones (because if I don’t love the seriously buck-toothed Messerschmitt, who will?)

But lately, things have been getting just slightly surreal chez nous.

You may recall that last November, we had a fire that destroyed our workshop building and claimed the life of my beloved 1973 Volkswagen Beetle.  And, that we purchased a 1970 Fiat 500 this winter to fill the Beetle’s very big summer driving shoes.   For more on that saga, read my post (and perhaps get some kleenex).

Our new, old Fiat (Bellina) needs a little TLC before she can pass her safety.  That is to say that she has a couple of minor holes in her floor and oil is leaking out of her bits where there shouldn’t be oil leaking out of her bits.  She suffers, as some tend to at the age of 43, with a little incontinence, poor girl.

Practical Man (my husband) is our household mechanic and has now turned contractor to re-build the workshop that we lost.  For the moment and most of the oncoming summer, Bellina will be lounging in the day spa that is our garage, waiting for the automobile equivalent of her mani/pedi/juice detox.

‘Cos y’know, first we have to build the salon.

In the meantime, I have been driving our very reliable but boring Nissan Sentra (my winter car), which we had planned to drive–with its high mileage and assorted creaks and groans–until it gasped its last, faithful breath.

But, said Practical Man, we should keep our eyes open because we would need to replace that car in the not-too-distant future.  Exciting, magical words…which I ignored, because our boring car showed every signs of being able to survive a zombie apocalypse.

Suddenly, it was Friday and I was at work thinking about important things like resume fonts and changes to the MCAT (I work a university career counsellor) when my phone rang.

Practical Man (sounding uncharacteristically euphoric):  “I have found THE PERFECT car for you!”

Me (startled and looking around me for a candid camera):   “Really?  Are we looking for a car?”

Practical Man (rushing ahead to blurt out the magic words):  “And, it’s seriously ON SALE!”

Me (realizing that I should jump on this gravy train):  “Wow, that’s great!  What is it?”

Practical Man (using his slightly whispery, I’ve-found-a-great-deal voice):  “It’s a 2013 Fiat 500.  AND it’s a REALLY cool blue colour that I think you’ll like.  AND, it has a very fun retro dashboard that I think you will love.”

Me (slightly breathless, black spots in front of my eyes):  “You had me at ‘I found the perfect car for you’.”

In very uncharacteristically spontaneous purchasing fashion, the next morning, Practical Man and I were the slightly shell-shocked owners of a 2013 Fiat 500…Luce Blu colour.  VERY fun, retro-inspired dashboard.  Totally me…and I don’t usually say that about new stuff.

Practical Man can be so alluringly un-practical at times!

So, bye bye boring Nissan Sentra.  Yes, you were reliable but I’m afraid you were like that guy I dated for a while:  kind and sensible, but there was no spark.  You were a nice car.  I hope you can find true love with the farmer we sold you to in Odessa.

Question:   how do you make a 2013 Fiat 500 look like a big car?  

Answer:  park it beside a 1970 Fiat 500.

Our garage has gone from sublime to ridiculous…with not one but TWO incredibly cute Fiats parked in it.

2013 Fiat 500 (left) 1970 Fiat 500 (right)

2013 Fiat 500 (left)
1970 Fiat 500 (right)