I Drive A Scion FR-S

Or at least I own one.

As a car enthusiast there are a few key things that make a car desirable to me. It needs to be fairly low, at least somewhat wide, rear wheel drive, lgihtweight, and have no less than one tailpipe per door. In my mind, there are two (technically three, but not really) cars that embody this philosophy most fully. The Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ. The Miata and plenty of other cars tick most of the boxes just as well, but the idea of the boxer engine had me sold.

Now, I tell you this because on September 29, 2016 I traded in my gas guzzling 2005 automatic Mitsubishi Eclipse and get a car I’d actually enjoy. I drove from Orlando to Tampa to buy a 2014 World Rally Blue Subaru BRZ with proximity unlock, push to start, and I didn’t even care really about all the features, it was manual and it was beautiful and I had to have it. Except, when I saw it in person, there was a little bit of damage to the interior, the headlights were foggy and one of the taillights was busted. Not to mention the water that was pooled up in the trunk and the rust that was starting to show up in the spare tire well.

But, I wasn’t letting my day be wasted. I had driven to Tampa to buy a BRZ and I wasn’t going home in that freaking Eclipse. Emotion and determination took over and I had my wonderful girlfriend who decided to come along with me help me find BRZ’s in the area for sale. There weren’t anymore manuals that met my criteria. So, I decided to embrace the FR-S.

We stopped for lunch and continued our search. Finally, we found one. It was 5 minutes down the road so we hopped in the car and took off. It was Firestorm Red with black badging and painted black wheels. I was in love. I knew for sure this would be the car. I wasn’t going home without it. One test drive and several hours later. I was driving home in my new to me 2013 Scion FR-S. Cruising on I4 at 90+ without watching my gas gauge plummet was thrilling. The car was better in every way than my Eclipse.

Fast forward to early November. Over the course of the month and a half that I’d had the car I’d put around 2100 miles on Angelica’s clock and I was sure we would be inseperable. But, I’d noticed that she was being a bit more unforgiving on gears changes. Grinding, resisting, just generally being unpleasant. Something was obviously not right. We’d had our share of spirited driving and few moments of slipping the tail around on some of the back roads of Polk County, but nothing extreme, I figured that with 60k miles on the engine and transmission it was probably time for the transmission fluid to be changed. I wasn’t confident in my ability to do this so I took the car to Toyota of Orlando. This is where the dream came to a screeching halt and became a nightmare.

The transmission was in need of repairs as soon as possible. A number of syncros were bad among other things. According to Toyota, the transmission was on its way out the door when I bought the car. It was bad enough to be a time bomb but not so bad as to be immediately noticeable. Luckily, I caught it early enough to think that it was merely in need of a fluid change.

As of the day this is being written I’ve spent 71 days arguing with the dealership that sold me the car and trying to get it fixed and still nothing.

So, I own a car I love to drive and have spent most of the time I’ve owned it without the ability to drive it. Moral of the story: never trust a used car salesman. It should be common sense, but I learned it the hard way.

Note: As of publication Angelica has made it home with her first major modification, a new transmission.

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