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Perspective: New car? No thanks.

Erik McLean

In the spirit of Homer Simpson’s father yelling at a cloud, “Have you seen the prices of cars these days???”

Car dealers have little inventory and are resorting to creative parking patterns to make it look like they do. Order a new car today and it might be six months before it arrives. And, used car values are going UP -- not sure that’s ever happened in my lifetime.

A friend recently purchased a new midsize SUV and was excited she was able to negotiate the price down to only 5 percent ABOVE MSRP.

I was excited for her and I fought off new car envy for a few weeks before coming back to reality. You see, there’s something oddly satisfying, with the average price of a new car now past $40,000, about driving a 12-year old manual transmission sedan, nary a bell or whistle to be found.

For now, I’ll stick with what I drive and its lack of back-up cameras, Blueteeth and instrument landing systems. I’ll even see parallels to “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” when Steve Martin and John Candy are pulled over by a state trooper after their car caught fire.

Assessing what’s left, the trooper questions Candy:

“Now, you’ve got no outside mirror.”

“No, we lost that.”

“You have no functioning gauges.”

“No, not a one.”

“However, the radio still works,” says Candy. “Funny as that may seem. With all this mess, the radio is the only thing that’s really working good. And, it’s just clear as a bell.”

Thankfully, my radio does still work and my sedan can still move.

Indeed, if you happen to find yourself on that relatively new stretch of southbound Lyford Road in Rockford that bends around to the roundabout by Mercy Riverside Hospital, you might find me taking that initial turn at 75 mph in fourth gear at about 5000 rpm where the torque really pulls and you can continue to accelerate into the turn without moving the steering wheel. Just don’t tell my parents.

I’m Wester Wuori and that’s my five-speed Perspective.