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Old Car: A Piece of History

A well-ridden bike or a well-driven car has its own history. Each of them leaves its own mark behind. For example, my old SUV (Nissan—Pathfinder) just turned 19. It has over one hundred thousand miles on its odometer and still runs better than the newer one we own. I have spent very little money on repairs. I only drive to class—barely three miles each way—and make some local shopping trips. My wife doesn’t drive it for fear of unreliability; she thinks it’s too old and that it may break down in the middle of the road.

I haven’t given it away, even though I have thought about it many times. My 8-year-old grandson once overheard me on the phone trying to donate it to NPR. He was saddened by the potential for losing the car he grew up with as a toddler. After discovering his sadness, I decided to keep the car for him—to let him do whatever he decides to do with it. By the time he is 16, perhaps the car will have melted. Or maybe he will want to own a self-driving Tesla.

He asked me if I could protect it by either parking it in the garage or covering it with a car sheath. I found out that some good car covers cost hundreds of dollars—more than the value of the car if I were to sell it.

But emotion and sentiment are priceless. This car has an indentation of my butt in the driver’s seat. If that isn’t history, what is?

About The Author

Deepak Shimkhada retired from Claremont McKenna College after teaching Asian religions for ten years. Presently he teaches courses in Hinduism as an adjunct professor at Claremont School of Theology as well as History of Asian Art at Chaffey College in Southern California. His most recent edited books are Nepal: Nostalgia and Modernity, and The Constant and Changing Faces of the Goddess: Goddess Traditions of Asia published by Cambridge Scholars Press which has just been reissued in paperback. Dr. Shimkhada is president of the Indic Foundation which he also founded in 2001 for lending hand to the growth and expansion of the School of Religion at CGU. He served on the School’s Board of Visitors representing Indic Foundation. For his detailed biography please visit (

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