15th Jun 2011, 16:58

I had a 1996 Camry LE that I was the second owner of. It had 18000 miles on it. A friend of mine steered me to the Toyota dealer, and I didn't leave without a Camry, even though I had no real prior knowledge of this Camry. I actually purchased an extended warranty, what a waste. This is the first car that I have owned that clearly had no knowledge of what a car payment was. When my 6 year note was over, the Camry felt as new as the day I had bought it.

My initial maintenance record was poor, although I switched to synthetic oil within the first year. To shorten this story, my baby stayed with me until its life was recently ended in a freeway crash that should have also ended mine, as I was forced into the median and was stopped by a concrete culvert under the car. The tow guy said that I shouldn't be alive, yet the Camry left me with few marks with the exception of air bag burns.

Now I just lost my best friend and turned into a wreck myself. Never thought you could get emotional over losing a car. My emotion had me looking for the same car color and year all over America, trying to reestablish the love. Well I took the ultimate chance buying an identical car over the Web from a used car dealer. I had it shipped from Kansas to Georgia and paid 550.00, never driving it, only seeing pictures. Well aside from typical paintchips from a 15 going on 16 year old car, I was able to transform this car into an almost perfect Camry with 1500.00 in general maintenance. It responded to every dime I spent in a positive way.

Now with a purchase price of $2900.00 and the other money, I would challenge any Camry owner to find fault with this car. It is one of the most amazing experiences in car buying I've had, and has reinforced my belief in these wonderful cars. They stopped making the real deal this 1996 model year. It truly is the best car in the world if you maintain it, and the most resilient if you don't.