DALLAS - Man, it's a hot one. Jason is sweating profusely from the mid-day sun. The 2003 Panther he inherited from his Uncle Wade back in '07 when he first got his license has grumbled to a halt. The timing couldn't be worse. He had thought about the need of a replacement for a few years now, but ultimately ignored the telltale signs of the aging car. His dad still financed him, and had instructed him to ride it for as long as he could.
The Panther has an intimidating engine under the hood, albeit the paints a bit chipped, the frame is bent from countless crashes, and the issues are getting more and more frequent.
He calls his insurance rep, who had previously told him his policy allotted him a replacement. That was all right with him, anything is better than walking, even if it's a 2012 Bronco. He had his eyes on the newest Bison model, but his family had invested that type of money on fortifying their house foundation.
The rep tells him the Bronco is unavailable. There was a recall in regards due to a faulty rear axle.
Jason is livid. He has to prove himself this year after his grades slipped the year before, and his degree program makes reliable transportation a must have.
The rep tells him he is in luck. A 2016 Bulldog just hit the lot. It is nowhere near as expensive as the gold Bear his buddy from L.A bought a few months back. Even that blue Tiger is out of his reach, the serviceable model his dad almost caved into buying him before the semester started. But Jason is desperate, and has no better options. The damage is worse than he thought, and the Panther is going to be in the shop for a couple of months.
From the instant he drove the Bulldog off the lot, he knew he had something special. Drive after drive, all it did was impress. The acceleration is even better than the manual specified, and the steering is so smooth, it seems to drive itself. It even handles better than the ridiculously overhyped Bear model his friend has, who has since left it in the garage for fear of damaging it.
After a few months pass, the beat-up Panther seems to be an afterthought.
He gets a call from the shop as he is packing for San Francisco, and the Panther is going to be ready in about a month. Jason knows the affinity his dad has for that car. They had worked on it every summer for the last nine years, in hopes of it getting him to his final graduation.
He will go back to driving it once it is ready because he does what his father asks, but his smile is ear to ear. His dad went ahead and kept the Bulldog too, and Jason knows what he has waiting in the garage once the old Panther takes its last ride.
For more premises based on Santana songs and car puns, check out Irvin on Twitter @twittirv.
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