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History Campus / Memory Suitcase

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

The Pink Toyota Corolla (Photo: Private)

As kids we perceive things differently. Music sounds special and there is no better taste than the one of candy. There are some things we see through rose-coloured glasses, one could say. But while growing up, the glasses lose their colour, many things become clearer and more important than the taste of candies. However, for our author Trixi there is one item that hasn’t lost any pinkness over time – in fact, quite the opposite.

More than a vehicle

I would never have thought that at some point in my life a car could be an object having such a sentimental and emotional value to me because in general I am not that into cars. But there is one exception: my family´s pink Toyota Corolla.

This car joined my family when my grandfather bought it in 1997, before I was even born. He wanted an affordable automatic transmission car because due to his disease he wasn´t able to handle manual transmission. Therefore, the question of colour and comfort was only of secondary importance to him and, as I was told, there was only a small variation of automatic models on the market. This is why my grandparents bought a pink Toyota.

Ever since, as we used to live in the same house as my grandparents, they gave my sister and me a lift to the kindergarten or to our friends on occasions my parents didn’t have time for that. A few years later, they still drove us to elementary school, to summer camps and to our free time activities. And I loved it: While driving around with my grandparents, we were allowed to eat special “car sweets” and could listen to our favourite songs to brighten up the way to school.

A drive through life

Sadly, my grandparents both passed away in 2014. But their car remained, it was still pink and completely functional albeit being 17 years old already. So we inherited the car and took care of it ever since: My parents used it until my sister and I passed our driving license tests and could finally drive the car of our childhood by ourselves.

The Toyota is 22 years old now and still brings us safely wherever we want to go. Luckily, we recently got a MOT certificate for another two years of driving, so unless no one causes an accident we will enjoy this little car for as long as possible. Driving it always reminds me of my grandparents, of their generosity and kindness when my sister and I were growing up. Taking care of their old car means a lot to me, because the pink car had meant a lot of freedom to them. In the meantime, we also started to discover the advantages of such a bright and unusual colour: Even in crowded car parks it doesn’t take long to find it.

Nowadays, keeping a car for such a long period of time is rather uncommon in Germany, and of course, we could exchange it for a more comfortable and more eco-friendly one. But this car carries a part of our family history, it is a heirloom whose value remains the same even if the car’s pink colour seems to get more pale with every rainfall. It is still a reliable vehicle, which I really enjoy driving – in remembrance of my grandparents.

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Trixi was born in 1999 and studies archaeology in Münster, Germany.

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