Island Living November 20, 2022


Island Cars-The ultimate in Re-purposing and Recycling

Abandoned vintage automobile

When visiting the islands, it’s easy to differentiate between the locals and the vacationers by their cars. Locals have an “island car” and part-timers have those pretty SUVs that are clean and don’t have a scratch on them.

An island car is a vehicle that someone probably bought cheap on the island or brought over from the mainland. Mine is a 2000 GMC Suburban that I bought from a neighbor for $500. They’d gotten it from a friend in Bellingham after it had been “totaled” by their insurance company. It still ran, despite the smashed door panel, so why not bring it to the island?

My old island car was an F150 that started having transmission problems and I thought was a “goner”. A friend from the adjacent island offered me $500 for it because he was willing to operate it with one gear only. He’s been driving it for years!

Repairing an island car

Eventually, island cars do die but given the expense of taking them off the island, sometimes they stay and are re-incarnated as moss-covered dwellings in the forest eco-system or local artistic landmarks. Occasionally, the county will schedule a barge to haul the dead island cars to the mainland for recycling but that doesn’t happen too often.Abandoned island truck with bright paint job

The other thing about island cars is they learn to operate at the bottom of the tank. I’ve often thought that I only need a simple gas gauge with and E on it. If the needle sits slightly above E, I’m good! If it drops below E, I’ve got a couple of days and then I better start looking for some fuel.Gas gauge showing almost empty

An island car usually has its keys in it and may smell like dogs. The trunk might have jumper cables, motor oil, a rope or chain and maybe a chain saw if winds are predicted. It probably has some rust and maybe a ding or three but it’s ready for anything!

Have you got an “island car” and just need a property to go with it?

If so, give us a call. We’d love to give you a tour in our “island car”.