Before getting to work on my sailboat, Serenity, this spring, I had several other projects to complete. Yesterday I got one out of the way, literally. My dead and decaying 1997 Mazda B4000 got hauled off to the scrap yard.
Before owning a truck, I had a 1995 Elantra station wagon which I treated like a truck. The back seat was folded down and covered with a tarp, so that I could toss parts, machinery, building materials, dog, camping gear, or whatever back there. It had a hitch, which was called in to do some towing quite often, and a rack on the roof for my sea kayak. Then we got the sailboat and I had to borrow a truck to haul that around. Once we bought a travel trailer, a truck of our own was a necessity. The Elantra was given to my daughter, who used it for a couple of years while in school.
I saw the B4000 on a dealer's lot and it was just what I needed. It was getting on in years, but it was what I could afford, and the with 4L V6, it could handle the towing requirements. It hauled my sailboat to and from the marina, and pulled the travel trailer between campgrounds for holidays. With a cap on the pan, it kept things there clean and dry, and the rack on top was great for the canoe.
Then, a few years ago my wife came home from work with the truck running rough, and white smoke billowing from the exhaust pipe. The diagnosis was a blown cylinder head gasket. Estimate to repair it was $1500, about the value of the truck. If I had a garage to put it in, I would have attempted the rebuild myself, but it was not a job to do in the driveway. The truck sat parked for months while we tried to figure out what to do with it.
Then an opportunity came to purchase a 2000 Toyota 4Runner in early 2012, so I put the B4000 up for sale. It had lots of new parts, but offers did not cover what I could get for the cap, or new tires alone, and I still thought I might get a chance to fix it myself, so it sat a bit longer.
Things did not go well with the 4Runner. We only had it for a couple of months before it was written off in an accident. I was back to borrowing a truck for launching the sailboat, and the travel trailer was put up for sale.
Then in the spring of 2013, on the same dealer's lot, there sat a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 Z71. After some negotiation, I bought it at a very good price. So, as I got time over the next year, I took parts off the B4000 to sell. This spring there was nothing of value left but the tires, so the new truck brought the old truck to the local scrap yard, where I was allows to remove the wheels, and they gave me what I had been offered years earlier for the full truck, $100.
It was a sad day. Someone with time and interest could have rebuilt the little Mazda and gotten a few more years out of it. Unfortunately, it was not me. At least I have a big part of my driveway back, and one less project on the to-do list.