Today I wanted to reflect on some previous cars I’ve owned. I have owned a total of 6 cars including my Accord. I don’t regret owning a single one of them. My very first car was bought for me by my grandparents. It was a shiny Graphite Pearl 2001 Nissan Sentra XE with a 1.8L 4cyl and 4-speed automatic. Being the base model, it was plain, basic, but fun to drive. (Or maybe I’m remembering it like that because it was my first car.) I got the keys to it in the summer of 2003 when I graduated from high school. I was ecstatic! With just 27,000 miles on the odometer, it was practically new and ran perfectly. I commuted to a community college in Gallup, NM for about three years in it. During the week, I’d put on about 50 miles a day traveling to and from work/classes. I soon found out that after a few thousand miles, a car becomes a dear friend. A friend who’s always there with you.



That Sentra was my best friend. I took pride in maintenance, detailing and I started to lightly modify it despite my minimum wage salary. I didn’t like the stock 14″ steel wheels with hub caps, so I sprung for some 17″ 2004 Sentra SE-R Spec-V rims from eBay. They completely transformed the handling and appearance of the car. Being hung up on the Fast and Furious movie (the first one) that came out at that time, I wanted to make mine look the part too. Fake, fat exhaust tip? Check. Worthless “NISMO” and “NOS” stickers? Check. Hey, they add horsepower! I also installed a front strut bar and had plans on getting some sort of body kit.



Sadly in 2005 those plans changed. I was confronted with an underaged, unlicensed female driver pulling out in front of me on a main drag of a road in town. My lack of skill coupled with non-anti-lock brakes meant I was unable to avoid her. Thus, I slammed into the side of her Chevy Blazer at 40mph. I was always under the impression that air bags were cushy and absorbent in a collisions. Sort of like a big fluffy pillow to rest your head on. My theory was quickly proven wrong after I found out air bags actually punch you in the face and smelly, hot gases accompany it. Regardless, I’m a believer in air bags and I think they prevented me from having any injury at all. I walked away without a scratch. So did the driver of the Blazer.



When I hit the Blazer, it swung around and smacked my rear passenger door.




After surveying the damage, it was clear she was totaled. The odometer read, 43,455. I took my valuables out, and then my grandparents helped me look for a replacement. A few months later, I found the perfect gem in Albuquerque, NM. A 2002 Acura RSX Type-S (I wanted a coupe with a manual) with just 29,000 miles. It was a one owner RSX and immaculate. With the money we got from the insurance, a big chunk of my savings and some help from my grandma, we bought it in May, 2005. This was the car that would stay with me until I sold it for the Accord. These pictures are when we brought it home. It was bone stock, and I slowly started modifying it to make it my own. However, I didn’t want to do anything garish. All parts were OEM.



The interior was absolutely mint.


Here it was when I told myself that modifications were complete: 3M 35% tint Acura OEM A-spec suspension upgrade, A-spec body kit, ’06 OEM lip spoiler and ’06 Type-S rims (now on the Accord) and authentic JDM headlights.



The person who bought it from me is taking great care of her in Orange County, CA. I’m so grateful she’s in a good home now. Here’s the most recent picture I got from him.


Last week, I was leaving work for lunch and what do I find? An RSX exactly like mine parked next to me. It was like a mini-reunion!


I’ve also had two 1995 Pathfinders for beating around in the desert. These are still in the family, but I no longer am in possession of them.

A white XE V6 auto: (now 158,000 miles)


and a dark green SE V6 auto—now with 140,359 miles: (no manual versions could be found in my area)



And, also I’ve owned the 2000 BMW 323i that’s mentioned here. That’s my history of cars and I’m excited to see what else happens. Who knows? Maybe I’ll settle down with only the Accord for a while.

Photo Matching: 

Here’s a little project I’ve been working on in my free time. I’ve been matching up photos of my previous cars to the Accord. Locations are the same, and I’ve tried to get the angle as close as possible.

Here’s the BMW compared to the Accord in Hatch, NM. Same building, but it has been given a splash of color and a new sign:



White Sands National Monument: (lower pic is from when Tyson came to NM to see White Sands)



And at my house…



Here are comparisons with the Acura:



At a scenic view off I-25:



Here’s a garage shot. Looks like I’ve got a lot more clutter now with the Accord! The Accord was stock here:



And finally, I’ll leave you with a these three:



IMG_3424 copy

Hope your weekend is going well!

2 thoughts on “Reflections…

  1. tysonhugie says:

    I had to laugh about the NISMO sticker! That was a nice touch. Haha. Looks like you’ve had some nice rides. Now get working on the clutter clean-up in the garage so it’ll look like it did during the days when you had that RSX! Just kidding. You’re one of the most organized people I know!

    • Jason Pawela says:

      Yeah, I’m sure you can relate…we’ve all had interesting ideas as to what looked good when we were younger. Who knows? Maybe I’ll look back 10-20 years from now and laugh at what I did to the Accord. I’m only organized on the surface…I feel like I need to get rid of some stuff this summer BIG TIME!

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