This website uses affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission from your purchase - at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more details.

Good-Bye Charlie, Hello Camaro

2017 Chevy Camaro 1LE

I have been keeping secrets.  SO many juicy secrets.  I’m in the mood to spill some beans so today I’m sharing a fun secret – plus it comes with the bonus of some embarrassing photos of me…

Here’s the story:

Some of you are on a first name basis with Charlie, the 1992 lime green Dodge Colt I’ve been dragging
around the province for the last 10 years.  He was my (beloved) first car.

1992 Dodge Colt

When Hubby and I moved from our home town in 2007, we thought we’d both need a car to commute to work and school, so we bought a new Nissan Versa and also drove Charlie with us.  We realized very quickly that we only needed one car and the Versa was the obvious choice because it was more reliable for driving 16 hours back home to see family.  But I couldn’t bring myself to let Charlie go!

Instead, I convinced Hubby that we should fix him up and rally race!

We lined up racing insurance (a little prematurely, lol) and brought him to my grandparents’ rural property a few hours away, having sized up their spacious garage as the perfect place to turn Charlie into a rally racer.  But we rarely did any work on him when we were visiting because we were plied with too much good food and sat comatose until our visits ended.  When we moved cities to our townhouse we moved him with us and paid to store him in a heated garage close to our house.  But we still never worked on him.

Racing plans always took a back seat to more reasonable plans, family obligations, financial constraints – boring adulting.  Eventually our rally racing dream faded and we opted for less expensive outdoor storage but I still couldn’t say goodbye because there were too many happy memories associated with him!  In fact, Handy Hubby and I were dating when I decided to paint him lime green (in my future father-in-law’s rural field).

Painting a Car Yourself

Hubby (then Buildy Boyfriend) and I hit a rough patch and probably would have broken up – if my half painted car hadn’t still been parked at his dad’s!  As we logged long hours sanding, painting, re-sanding, re-painting, and commuting to work together in Hubby’s ancient van, Hubby and I settled back into a happy relationship.  Fast forward many years and I’ve been with Hubby for half of my life (and 9 years of marriage).  I have Charlie to thank for at least some of that bliss.

Plus – rally racing!  It would surely happen someday, right?

For some bizarre reason, I couldn’t let go.  Charlie was a little piece of my past and a little promise of an exciting, adventurous future.

When we moved to the lakehouse we rented a dolly for a couple hundred bucks and hauled him behind our moving truck to our new home, where he lived outside for a year until we made room in the garage.  We finally admitted to ourselves that we’d never turn him into a race car, so I decided to make a porch swing out of him instead.  Hubby said no.  He is on board with so many of my crazy ideas, but he drew the line there.  Fair enough – I am building a giant Komondor in the backyard. There’s only so much weirdness one man can take.

I decided that I was finally ready to let him go (Charlie, not Hubby!), so we pushed him back outside but no one would come take him away for scrap, so he lived outside another year.

This past summer, I actually, finally, really did say goodbye – because we bought a brand new car!

2017 Chevy Camaro Krypton Green

The bold, bright green was just a weird coincidence…

We had driven to Winnipeg, Manitoba for the weekend and decided to test drive some cars.  Our only running vehicle – a truck – had been giving us some troubles and had spent a lot of time in the shop, which was really inconvenient for us because we live an hour from the city.  Tired of having to beg, borrow and steal vehicles, we casually started thinking about getting a second vehicle, but I wanted something fun.  Something to race 😉  (I really don’t learn).  We were really just planning to kick some tires, but after we sat in the 2017 Chevy Camaro 1LE, with a performance track package, you could barely pry us out if it.  We ended up getting a ridiculously good deal and 0% financing.  The Universe wanted us to have this car.

A little stunned at what we had bought on impulse, we towed our new car home and decided to make use of the car hauler and finally say goodbye to Charlie.

2017 Chevy Camaro Krypton Green

This is where the photos get a bit gnarly because I hadn’t washed my hair, body, face or teeth when these photos were snapped.  The only comment I’ll make on my clothing is to remind you that I live in the sticks and this is considered dressy out here.

I just wanted to get Charlie winched before I changed my mind, so that’s why personal hygiene took a back seat!

Winching a Car

Donating an Old Car to Charity

Donating to Teen Challenge

Instead of selling him for scrap, I donated him to Teen Challenge Canada.  It made it easier to let go, knowing he might be able to do some good.

I don’t know how or why I became so irrational about letting Charlie go, but I feel good that I finally did it!  We’re making new memories in our new car, and I’m feeling much more confident about my chances of rally racing.  Just read this review from Car and Driver and watch this Lightning Lap to get a sense of what this car can do!  (Plus I’ve been saving up money for a supercharger…)

Thanks to our new ride, Hubby and I spent so much time together this summer.  When we weren’t on the water, we were going for scenic drives.  Driving around Lake Superior in the fall – for no reason and no errands, simply for the pure joy of driving – was so relaxing.  We stopped at beaches along the way and enjoyed the scenery more fully than any other fall since we moved back here.

Somehow this fast car really made us slow down.

2017 Chevy Camaro Performance Package 1 LE
I had wanted to share the news, partly to joke about my kitchen reno being parked in the garage, but I hesitated sharing photos of our new car online because it’s so bold and easy to spot.  Then we met a few Camaro drivers who informed us that there’s tons of bright green Camaros in our city (what?!?).  In fact, family members always text us saying they spotted us somewhere (parked outside a grocery store or house) – but it’s NEVER us, so that made me feel more comfortable, knowing I still have a lot of anonymity even in such a loud car.

So if you see this car parked somewhere, it’s probably not me… once the snow melts, I’ll be bombing down back roads, looking for the perfect spot to picnic and thinking about Charlie.



  1. Ivory Jean
    March 7, 2018 / 3:06 am

    Oh my, what a beautiful love story. I know how hard it is to part from something that been a part of your life for so long, and means so much to you. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 7, 2018 / 11:34 am

      I’m so happy you enjoyed reading this! I feel SO silly about my love for Charlie. It’s funny how some things are easy to part with and others… not so much. I’m glad you can relate!

  2. Jazmyn Strydom
    March 7, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    Winnipeg?? And you didn't stop in Morden? 😉

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 7, 2018 / 9:20 pm

      I KNOW!! I didn’t have time because we bought the car and had to track down the trailer and then the rock guard at the back, lol. We left the city to drive home at 9pm! Crashed somewhere random in the middle of the night haha. But we’re going to make it an annual thing, so I promise to stop by this summer!

  3. Char
    March 9, 2018 / 9:49 am

    Very nice Camaro, my favorite car. Not to be a negative Nancy but all cars going on an auto transport are to be loaded in the forward position, just for your future reference in case another Charlie comes into your life :o)

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 11, 2018 / 5:37 pm

      Thanks so much 🙂

      Yes, I understand that a vehicle should normally be loaded with the engine in the front for better weight distribution and sway prevention. However, Charlie is so light and so short that most of the weight is still over the axles and not overhanging in the rear, which can cause the sway. We also did not travel a great speed, or even distance. Thank you for pointing that out though, as many people are not aware of this.

  4. Ann B.
    March 9, 2018 / 1:49 pm

    What a great story. My first car was in a hit and run (I wasn’t in it) so I have no romantic car stories to compare. Mind you, the accident sent me on a completely diffferent personal romantic path! What is it with cars?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 11, 2018 / 4:58 pm

      I’m so happy to hear your weren’t hurt in that hit and run! What a terrible early experience. But I’m intrigued about this path you were sent on…

      • Ann
        March 24, 2018 / 2:33 pm

        Oh it’s a long story. The long and short of it, my first hubby had my car. Turns out he was cheating on me… would never have known except I was contacted by the police as the car was in my name. I’ve now been married for 30 years to the love of my life.

        • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
          March 25, 2018 / 11:43 pm

          Wow! That is quite the story. I guess in a way your car kind of set you on this path to a happy place? So happy you found the love of your life!!

  5. Heather
    March 20, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    You could have knocked me over with a feather! I would have pegged you for a 1970s convertible Mercedes, old Rover or Jeep Grand Wagoneer type of gal! Don’t ask me why, maybe I am projecting my design aesthetic yearning onto you and what type of fun car I would want 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 20, 2018 / 8:52 pm

      I always had my eye on 1960s mustangs. Turquoise. Until Hubby showed me videos of vintage sports cars crashing with newer cars and getting demolished – along with the hapless crash test dummies inside! That coupled with the fact that neither of us had a clue what to do with Charlie (we are not mechanics) was the final deal breaker for a cool vintage car. Maybe someday! But I like the safety rating of the new car and that it won’t need fixing or tinkering. But you definitely know me well 😀 A little too well, haha.

      • Heather
        March 22, 2018 / 10:22 am

        My hubby yearns for an old Rover, a pipe dream for someone with zero mechanical ability or desire to learn. A friend of a friend has one from the 70s and he says it’s a never ending money pit and time suck.

        I agree on the safety issues of old sports cars, no way I would feel comfortable cruising around in one.

  6. Heather
    March 20, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    Neither of us are mechanical, at all. A neighbor down the road from our cabin has the most fantastic old timely Land Rover that he says consumes all his time and money :).

    Those old cars are certainly death traps. I don’t know how I survived my childhood spent laying across the back seat ledge as my grandmother white kupnuckeled it down icey mountain roads.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 21, 2018 / 9:15 pm

      Consuming all my time and money was my fear, lol. I have enough money pits! Oh my goodness, yes that pre-seat belt era. I was lucky enough to mostly ride in cars with them as a kid, but even then I didn’t always get my own haha.

Dans le Lakehouse is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. If you click on a link that leads to Amazon, I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases - at no cost to you. Thank you for your support!