A 1995 forest green Toyota Camry owned for 15 years by Andrew Lambert and affectionately dubbed “The Green Hornet,” died of natural causes on June 14, 2014 after nearly 20 years of service and 293,000 miles. The Green Hornet will be laid to rest at the local Pick and Pull, where it will continue being of service to the automotive world by donating its parts to surviving 1995 Camrys before being crushed into a scrap metal cube.
Owner Andrew Lambert remarked, “The Camry was like an old friend of mine. Selling it to the junkyard today was kind of like taking an old dog to the vet to be put down. You know it’s the best thing for everyone involved, but it’s still hard.”
Lambert says he recognizes that it’s silly to have an emotional attachment to a “thing” but he notes that he and the Green Hornet have been through a lot together. “You know, the equatorial circumference of the earth is about 24,900 miles, so my Camry and I traveled nearly nine times around the earth together. I bought it with 72,000 miles and now it has 293,000 miles. That’s quite an accomplishment!”
Lambert was often told that he should upgrade to a nicer vehicle, especially when the Green Hornet’s paint job began to fade and it began to leak oil. “For years, I just couldn’t bring myself get rid of it,” Lambert said. “The car was so reliable and didn’t need very many repairs.”
Lambert fondly recalls his first days of ownership back in August 1999. He and his wife Robin drove the car up to Tony Grove in Logan Canyon with their three month old baby Parley (now 15). “The ride was so smooth and nice,” said Robin. “We were thrilled to upgrade from our two-door Ford Escort named Blue Betty. We felt like we were in the lap of luxury,” she added.
Although quite reliable, the Green Hornet went through its share of internal and external struggles. Once, after a trip to the Home Depot, a can of paint (whose lid wasn’t properly secured) spilled all over the floor in the back seat. Lambert recalls trying to clean up the mess for hours, eventually having to tear out the carpet in that part of the car.
On another occasion, the Green Hornet was rear-ended at at stoplight, shattering its tail light. Lambert pulled over but the other driver drove off, so Lambert and the Green Hornet followed in swift pursuit, eventually jotting down a license plate only to find out later that the perpetrator of the “hit and run” had no insurance. Lambert returned to the scene of the collision and lovingly gathered up the shattered pieces of the tail light. Since a replacement part would cost $150, Lambert opted to superglue the pieces back together again until he had enough cash (months later) to buy a new part.
After four sets of new tires, two radiators, three alternators, three batteries and dozens of oil changes, Lambert says he believes the Green Hornet has saved him thousands of dollars in car payments and repairs over the years. “When I total the $$ I put into the car over the years, including the initial purchase price, my average monthly cost to drive it was $88 per month. Pretty awesome!”
Those who wish to offer condolences to Lambert for his loss or share a memory of “The Green Hornet” may make a comment on this post. Those who are rolling their eyes right now… are justified! 🙂