A "junker" here is a car that has less than one year left on the JCI (Japanese Insurance we must carry) and will require a lot of $ to fix before you can reapply for the JCI.
We were given a junker van. I had DREAMED of a small mini-van. I've been driving a 15 passanger van for 15 years. Over the years the Goeckermobile has been big and noticeable and I dreamed of fitting in with a sporty mini-van. This is our Toyota Hiace (either Hi ACE or Hi A Chee - not sure).
Note from this photo that it is quite a bit bigger than the other vans on the road. It has two sun roofs, which the kids love.
It seats 8....comfortably. It has lots of room in the back for groceries. The middle seats will slide up and back...so lots of options for those with long legs.
It has lots of rust...through in some places....and it's long. It's a diesel and seems to get good mileage - though it sounds and drives like a tank.
I wanted to show this GREAT feature on the cars here. See the little plastic shield that says Hiace? This is a rain guard...you can roll down your window and not get rain in the car. Cool.
This is a great feature on bigger cars...so you can see behind you as the parking and roads are small and narrow.
This photo shows the climb UP into the front passenger seat. Mike and Jared simply swing their right leg up and hop in....but that step is awkward for me and I've not found a graceful way to enter or leave this van. I haven't a clue what it will be like jumping down on to ice in the winter.
Oh - it's 4 wheel drive.
What a blessing it was for us to be given this van. I hadn't a clue they came this big over here. We have been debating what to do about a 2nd vehicle. We thought about taking some of our set aside funds to buy a nice van. We have found them cheaper than stateside and readily available. We are Dave Ramsey Debt free livers. A car is one thing that WILL go down in value. Our home hasn't sold in TX and so we are not sure we want to spend that $ right now on a smaller, newer van. I would like something smaller for the roads here...and this one does have a smell we haven't been able to get rid of. BUT it's free....and we will sell whatever we have in 3 years, so its a silly time to be putting a lot of money into a car.
This one will require quite a few repairs before it passes JCI next year.....but we could junk it then. Someone buys them from you......and so we are are leaning, now, towards buying a second junker for Mike to commute in...and keeping this one for the kids and I for at least a year...... if we do decide to buy another van....we found one we like a lot for $3,500........we'll save this and bless other incoming large families until the JCI runs out. It's still all up in the air as we have the $ set aside to buy two cars....and it will take less than we set aside....but we aren't sure we WANT to spend the $ until we are settled in a home and the TX home sells.Choosing Joy!
~ Coram Deo ~
Living all of life before the face of God...