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JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

I have a few pet peeves concerning misconceptions about island life (St. Croix in particular) and I will occasionally air them.
Today's pet peeve:
"If you are moving to St. Croix, leave your nice car in the States and buy an "island car" when you get here" 😮

Reality: there are thousands of cars on St. Croix that are waaayyy better than your Dodge Neon, Ford Focus, or whatever. You will be surprised at the number of upscale SUV's, BMW's, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Jaguar, etc tooling around on St. Croix. "Island car" is NOT a local concept...the average local would much rather drive a nice car than a struggle-buggy.

Dude, bring your car and enjoy driving it. Sure we have potholes...so does Manhattan. Have you ever seen the way manufacturers test automobiles? They can take a pothole or two.

Bottom line: do not drive a car that makes you look like you really cannot afford to live here.

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2011 12:15 pm
VentoGT
(@VentoGT)
Advanced Member

Bottom line: do not drive a car that makes you look like you really cannot afford to live here.

Really? One of the biggest benefits to BEING in the VI is that the millionaire next to you at the bar can drive a beater Samurai around the island. Please. If people want to bring nice cars, fine, but my Stateside 1991 BMW M5 which was my favorite car I ever owned would be chewed up and spit out by now.

You must be the first person I've encountered in almost a year who gives a crap what someone drives.

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Posted : February 2, 2011 12:58 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

I'd bet a lot of money this is poorthangs new handle.

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Posted : February 2, 2011 1:06 pm
mminstx
(@mminstx)
Advanced Member

No, this is the guy I saw driving a sparkling clean blue convertable sportster with the top down that had to pull into the gas station suddenly because of the rapid huge downpour, after swerving around all the potholes. It's crazy how many cars you see with dents in the side. Did not see as many on St Kitts where the majority of cars had the steering wheel on the right . Is that the key to better visibility when driving 'left'? ....And you don't have that much road to get up and go on here! It is personal preference, but I think the point is that a more practical approach is the norm. I love my Jeep. Would a Hummer or Mercedes suv look better?Probably. But not worth it to me for here. Certainly don't sacrifice safety when getting a beater, though. But life is short, if you want to tool around this small place in style go for it.

And,also, one of the seemingly nicest, most unpretentious, unassuming person I ever met on St Croix was a woman who I found out later had a certain piece of the island named after her and was a millionaire. No, I didn't see what she was driving.

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Posted : February 2, 2011 1:26 pm
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

I love my island car. I left my car stateside and am so glad that I did.
I think living here requires a great sense of humor and most folks with island beaters just roll with it.
So what if the roll cage is PVC pipe, so what if the seat back lock is broke and you have to do a perpetual sit-up, so what if there's so many Heineken bottles rattling around the back seat that you have to turn the radio up.

I agree w VentoGT, nobody that I interact with passes judgement based on your car.

Bottom line: Do not overextend yourself to look richer than you are

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Posted : February 2, 2011 1:28 pm
beachy
(@beachy)
Trusted Member

I remember when there were about 3 mercedes cars on stx...and one spent its time inside the showroom that was next to the mcdonalds in golden rock. the bmws basically all belonged to the drug dealers...Seems like the biggest influx of expensive cars might have started when the EDC folks came on island in big numbers.
You used to be able to watch the progress of each year's new rental cars, from "new" in Nov-Dec to looking like the same guy who jumps on the bananas before they are put out for sale in the grocery had jumped on the hood and sometimes the roof! I guess we noticed back then because there were lots fewer new cars on the island..
At the same time, we have shipped down all the cars we own on stx, after we used them for a while in the states. We view it as retirement for the cars...and much better than buying a "pig in a poke"...We know what we've got, and continue to take care of them. If however you might not be on island for a long time, or want to keep the cars for a long time, it might not be worth the investment in costs to ship...but one good repair bill on island could match the shipping costs...

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Posted : February 2, 2011 1:54 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Cars are the anti-status symbol. I can't imagine caring enough about a car to pay for its storage while it depreciates somewhere across an ocean.

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Posted : February 2, 2011 2:05 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

Bottom line: do not drive a car that makes you look like you really cannot afford to live here.

Really? One of the biggest benefits to BEING in the VI is that the millionaire next to you at the bar can drive a beater Samurai around the island. Please. If people want to bring nice cars, fine, but my Stateside 1991 BMW M5 which was my favorite car I ever owned would be chewed up and spit out by now.

You must be the first person I've encountered in almost a year who gives a crap what someone drives.

I don't give a crap what you or anybody drives...my peeve was that you tell people to leave their cars on the mainland like this is some third world country. Name one State that doesn't have bad roads.

Don't read more into my light-hearted post than I intended.

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2011 2:14 pm
mminstx
(@mminstx)
Advanced Member

Some men's cars are their little babies! My father says having another man drive his car is like having one sleep with his wife!! I didn't know there was a 'procedure ' to wash one... Let's see.. Think it was.. Roof, windows, hood, side, back. And rinse chamois after every three squeezes . And wax til it's as soft as a baby's butt..!

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Posted : February 2, 2011 2:14 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

You mean my 95 Ford Escort isn't cool? I'm bumming.

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Posted : February 2, 2011 2:17 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

I love my island car. I left my car stateside and am so glad that I did.
I think living here requires a great sense of humor and most folks with island beaters just roll with it.
So what if the roll cage is PVC pipe, so what if the seat back lock is broke and you have to do a perpetual sit-up, so what if there's so many Heineken bottles rattling around the back seat that you have to turn the radio up.

I agree w VentoGT, nobody that I interact with passes judgement based on your car.

Bottom line: Do not overextend yourself to look richer than you are

Right...enjoy pretending that you are living in some third-world hell-hole where you can let it all hang out and drink Heinekens while driving a car that would not be considered road-worthy in your real home.

If your car looks like a piece of crap it says a lot about your general outlook on life, and about YOU as a person, Mr. heineken-bottles.

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2011 2:20 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

You mean my 95 Ford Escort isn't cool? I'm bumming.

The concept of "island car" is NOT cool.

"island car" implies that this is some backward place where it is inadvisable to drive a decent car. I disagree. There are many fine automobiles here, and people who take pride in them. The "island car" mentality implies that this place is not good enough for a decent car. The people who promote "island cars" would not be caught dead in such a car wherever they came from, because they believe that wherever they come from is better than here. That is the root of my peeve for today.

DEAL.

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2011 2:25 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

No, this is the guy I saw driving a sparkling clean blue convertable sportster with the top down that had to pull into the gas station suddenly because of the rapid huge downpour, after swerving around all the potholes. It's crazy how many cars you see with dents in the side. Did not see as many on St Kitts where the majority of cars had the steering wheel on the right . Is that the key to better visibility when driving 'left'? ....And you don't have that much road to get up and go on here! It is personal preference, but I think the point is that a more practical approach is the norm. I love my Jeep. Would a Hummer or Mercedes suv look better?Probably. But not worth it to me for here. Certainly don't sacrifice safety when getting a beater, though. But life is short, if you want to tool around this small place in style go for it.

And,also, one of the seemingly nicest, most unpretentious, unassuming person I ever met on St Croix was a woman who I found out later had a certain piece of the island named after her and was a millionaire. No, I didn't see what she was driving.

You miss the point.

The pet peeve is not about car as status symbol. The pet peeve is about promoting the idea that St. Croix is not a good enough place to have a decent car, while there are plainly numerous decent cars on the island. The pet peeve is about the people who drive "island cars" up Morning star hill, for example, at 8:00 am rush hour, belching smoke and fumes while struggling up the hill.
Getting caught in a downpour while driving a convertible is a common occurrence...that particular scene is in many movies, so what's your point?

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2011 2:33 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

I keep my car maintained, no smoke and 25 MPH. A few months ago the roads were wicked. Were you here for that? Plenty of damaged front ends and bent rims but I guess that's cool, you can just buy new ones, right?

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Posted : February 2, 2011 2:37 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

I'd bet a lot of money this is poorthangs new handle.

You would lose a lot of money, then...my philosophy and poorthang's are radically different, to say the least.

How does not wanting to see people insult St. Croix by saying that the island is not good enough to drive a decent car equate me to "poorthang"?
This is, in essence, what the "island car" people are saying.

You are just as bad as he is, pot calling kettle black.

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2011 2:38 pm
beachy
(@beachy)
Trusted Member

well, having to worry about what is going to happen to my car when I park it somewhere is not something that often goes through my mind when I'm in the states....but it sure does on stx. How many times have we seen the broken glass in the street of C'sted or sunny isle likely indicating that another car got broken into? The newer, more expensive cars/trucks are bigger targets for this sort of thing...one of my kids commented when they saw the "island car" we bought for them..."at least no one will think we are tourists driving this..."

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Posted : February 2, 2011 2:42 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

If people form an opinion about STX by the the cars they see then they have issues, probably culturally challenged.

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Posted : February 2, 2011 2:44 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

I keep my car maintained, no smoke and 25 MPH. A few months ago the roads were wicked. Were you here for that? Plenty of damaged front ends and bent rims but I guess that's cool, you can just buy new ones, right?

I have been here through a lot worse than that. My car is 13 years old. Remember tropical storm Hortense?? My car got flooded on the road running alongside Hess. I had to replace all of the sensors at a cost of over $2,500.00 Remember the Calquohun road before repairs? I had to pay $3000.00 to get my suspension fixed due to that road. Did I give up and go buy a piece of crap beater with no seatbelts, a roll cage made out of PVC, and two dozen Heineken bottles in the back? Hell NO!!

You miss the point, so I will repeat it:

The "island car" mentality implies that this island is not good enough a place to own a decent car. That is my peeve for the day.

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2011 2:45 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

When and If the roads are better, I would consider a better vehicle. 2 weeks ago someone hit my car in a parking lot and just left, no note, nothing.

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Posted : February 2, 2011 2:49 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

If people form an opinion about STX by the the cars they see then they have issues, probably culturally challenged.

They don't have to see the cars, Bombi...all they have to see is some person, probably not a local, posting crap about how you shouldn't bring your car here, and you should drive some sort of piece of crap with PVC roll cage, no seat belts, and a bunch of empty beer bottles in the back seat, belching smoke and fumes.

It has nothing to do with cars as status symbol. It has to do with presenting an image of the island.

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2011 2:52 pm
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

For me, the acceptance many people have for "Island Cars" isn't about insulting the islands. It's about embracing the fact that they've let go of allowing other people's expectations to rule their lives and strap them financially. Island life isn't about keeping up with the Joneses. That's one of its biggest attractions for many of us.

Many people on the mainland (and a few here) do drive vehicles they can barely afford. If you add the higher expense of maintenance that island life brings with it, that blows the budget quickly. I don't know anyone who came here hoping to live in poverty and go deeply into debt just trying to keep up appearances by owning a fancy car. Especially when people here don't judge you and denigrate you if your vehicle isn't the latest model yuppie-mobile.

Some people do believe that their self worth is determined by driving the latest model car or living in a mansion. Do any of us truly NEED that kind of possession to be happy? I don't base my happiness in life on possessions I own. I realize that lots of people do. A few of them even move here to the islands. Others who move here value other things, such as time spent enjoying life with people we care about, making memories, learning new things, and other such intangible bonuses in life. The kind of car I drive now isn't going to give me comfort in my 80's, but the memories I can dredge up of experiences and celebrations and friends through these years surely will.

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Posted : February 2, 2011 2:57 pm
mminstx
(@mminstx)
Advanced Member

My point is that you may have meant the post as lighthearted, but it comes off as you saying that what you drive or what's inside your car makes you. Which is shallow. I brought a jeep here from stateside. People ask for advice on what to do about shipping or leaving. If I had owned the jeep free and clear, I would have left it because shipping here is an expensive hassle. And I wasn't sure how long I was staying. That's why I would advise someone to not ship, but get a car here and not go 'all out.' I guess I don't see the term 'island car' as an insult- it's a car you have while you're on the island, however long that is.

And the convertable looked fussy and impractical, esp. for the off roads and poor roads and lack of a lot of roads and rain here. But hey, if he wants to drive only on the paved good flat roads, more power to him. I would say the same to someone on Maui.

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Posted : February 2, 2011 2:58 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

well, having to worry about what is going to happen to my car when I park it somewhere is not something that often goes through my mind when I'm in the states....but it sure does on stx. How many times have we seen the broken glass in the street of C'sted or sunny isle likely indicating that another car got broken into? The newer, more expensive cars/trucks are bigger targets for this sort of thing...one of my kids commented when they saw the "island car" we bought for them..."at least no one will think we are tourists driving this..."

You forget that many of us have also lived in the States.

My brand new Camaro Z28 was stolen from a parking lot at the Bannister Mall in Kansas City. About the same time, carjackers were doing what they called "bump and rob" where they would give your car a minor bump with theirs and rob you when you stopped to investigate...sometimes they would even kill the driver and take his car. Don't tell me that you never heard of carjackings and car theft in the States, and that you don't worry about your car in America...that is a stretch. We look at the news here too, you know.

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2011 2:58 pm
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

If your car is 13 years old, most of us would call that an Island Car! An Island Car isn't all about being a broken down pile of crap. It's about being an affordable vehicle, usually older, hopefully still mechanically sound and able to get you reliably from place to place.

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Posted : February 2, 2011 3:00 pm
JahRustyFerrari
(@jahrustyferrari)
Advanced Member

Everybody seems to be jumping on this "material possessions" bit...it is NOT about that.

I personally drive a car that is more than ten years old. Would I refer to it as an "island car"? Hell no. I resent the "island car" connotation. It implies the substandard.

If we want to present the VI as a lighthearted, laidback destination then the idea that you can drive a substandard vehicle with beer bottles in the back is not the way to do it.

We all know that none of us can take anything of this world with us when we leave it. We can, however, always try to do our best to leave others with an overall positive impression of our islands, and my pet peeve for today says that promoting the idea of substandard "island cars" as acceptable is not the way to do that.

Sorry if I offended anybody....until next time 😀

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Topic starter Posted : February 2, 2011 3:11 pm
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