This was what my van looked like the day I bought it 11 years ago. Doesn't look that good now.

Is it just me, or is it a common thing to feel sad when you let go of your ride and buy a new or used vehicle?

I'm one of those people who tend to hold on to a vehicle for as long as I can. I rarely have traded in a vehicle before it's paid off. All that does is make the cost of the next vehicle that much more expensive with monthly payments.

After almost 12 years of owning my current van, I decided it's time to say goodbye and find another vehicle. I purchased my 2001 van in 2008. I got a good deal on it for about 11,000 (before taxes and finance charges of course.)

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It's not your typical van. It's a conversion van with a high top, equipped with cool items including leather bucket seats, a bench that folds down into a bed, lots of lights throughout, a dual sound system with wireless headphones, plus a TV and video cassette player in the passenger area.

In addition to using the van to get to work and back, it was a transport for my DJ equipment. That meant taking out most of the seats, so rather than it being a passenger van, it was more like a cargo van. I gave it quite a workout over the past 11 years, and it turned out to be a good investment.

But lately, I have poured more money into keeping it running that I really should. Dealers don't even want it as a trade in, which is depressing, thinking about how much money I've spent in the last year (thousands) for necessary repairs. That included new tires, shocks, leaf springs, water pump, brakes, exhaust system and on and on the list goes. And of course, there's the ever growing amount of rust. That is a real deal killer.

So, this week, barring any bumps in my credit worthiness, I will be bidding goodbye to my 19 year old van. Maybe it's just silly, but I will really miss it. There's almost 12 years of history...good times and bad.

Either someone will buy it for next to nothing and get a few good years out of it, or to the parts yard it will go. Goodbye old friend.


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