Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Replacement car suggestions

We expect to be looking for a repalcement of my wife;s car sometime this year. Current vehicle is a 1995 Honda Accord with a four cylinder. What we would like is a replacement with approximately the same foot-print, but able to accept her harp (a Lyon & Healy Ogden model) on days she wants to take it to the local harp society. Preferably a used vehicle (say 2005 or newer) so we don’t take the big first year depreiation hit, and one taht can reasonably be expected to be safe, reliable and reasonably comfortable (as comfortable as the current Accord, eh?).

Suggestions? Maybe a Subaru station wagon or a Forester or Outback?

Forester comes to mind, we have one, it’s great for carrying stuff, safe, good visibility. Not as good mpgs as your Accord, but not bad.

Well, Forester is on the list of things to consider. Have you had any particular maintenance problems with yours, and what year is it?

Look at a Toyota Matrix or Pontiac Vibe. They are hatchbacks/wagons and might work for you. You could also look at a Chrysler PT Cruiser or Chevrolet HHR. Both are small wagons and have reliability on par with the Matrix and Vibe. They are also about the size of a mid-90s Accord. A Honda Civic would be about the size of your old Accord.

Before you replace your Honda, be certain that the harp will fit into the vehicle you intend to purchase. Harpists are confined to station wagons or minivans. I know one harp player who drives a Volvo wagon and another who drives a Ford Taurus wagon.

Yeah, we know about making sure it fits. Her previous harp (a L&H Troubador) would fit, barely, and if it was slid in JUST right in the back seat of the’89 Buick Park Avenue. I think (we haven’t tried it) that the Ogden MAY go in the trunk of the LS430 we got to replace the old Buick, and it will almost certainly fit in the back seat. Barely and if somebody holds his mouth just right. The Ogden is 53" high, 28" extreme width and about 16-18" across the base, so it will need that much space. Just about any hatchback should do it - this is a small harp, as harps go, a lever harp instead of a big high-buck pedal harp as used in orchastras. Sounds very pretty, though.

O.K. I was thinking of the pedal harps used in orchestras. I manage and play in a small chamber orchestra that gives free concerts for underserved areas. I am always taking musicians and their instruments to rehearsals and performances. Moving typanini and string basses has necessitated a minivan. Your Ogden harp doesn’t require this kind of space.

Yeah, all of those are - awkward. i played in a school band a long time ago, and recall when we went to UIL stage band contests the kettle drums were - awkward. And of course the tubas/Sousaphones (we didn’t have any strings, but all the brass instruments) were - awkward.

No way could we have afforded a pedal harp when Carlie’s Troubador suffered a ctastrophic separation alomg one side of the sound box at roughly age 40. Good thing she didn’t want one, i guess. The Ogden is a beauty, though and has a very nice tone. It is very pleasant to hear her plunking away with it.

I agree that a Taurus wagon would be ideal, since the harp isn’t that large. I think 05 or 06 was the last year they made them, so you should be able to find one rather cheap

Carrying a Sousaphone in the trunk is not awkward. Carrying it on your shoulder for several miles in a parade is not awkward either, but it is painful. Of course, back then I just borrowed my Mom’s Cadillac Model 62. I carried the Sousaphone and a couple of other brass instruments in the trunk.

I played the clarinet in my band days. Much handier to carry. We noramlly travelled by school bus (I was in junior high)and so we ahd to fit students and instruments in. That sometimes got - crowded.

Sousaphones are not a bad carry if they are glass. Hight winds are probably a bigger problem with a Sousaphone than weight. We did not have enough tuba players one of my HS summers and I volunteered to march with the baritone sax to take up the slack. That was as heavy as the glass Sousaphones, but we did not have a special marching harness so all the weight was on the neck. I know you all are crying for me.

Compared to the Honda, Subaru carry a big penalty in weight, reduced reliability and fuel cost because of the AWD.

Ours is an '07, no problems yet, had it for 1 1/2 years. Subarus do require more scheduled maintenance, so make sure you get the owner’s manual with it. The AWD is good if you have slick conditions. I like the headroom (I’m 6’5") and the great visibility, much better than many new cars. It also has side airbags, which was a requirement.