Tree vs. Mustang GT

Early Wednesday morning last week at around 3:30-4:00am, I awoke to the sound of a small “crash” off in the distance followed by the sound of a car alarm going off. To be perfectly honest, it didn’t even strike me as that much of an oddity – after all, we live very close to a busy road and middle-of-the-night fender-benders are something that we hear every now and then. I yawned it off as some drunk who probably hit another car while trying to park (because I didn’t hear any tire screeching), and quickly fell back to sleep.

I woke up a few hours later and went out for my normal Wednesday morning run around the neighborhood. I was out for about an hour, then returned home the opposite way that I came though the back parking lot of our community. It was then that I noticed a large eucalyptus tree that had fallen over and was covering a large portion of our parking area…very near to where my Mustang was parked. My brain was still a bit fried from the run, so it took a moment for me to realize that my car was directly under that mess of fallen tree. Holy crap!

I ran over to asses the damage, and I was sort of relieved to see that the bulk of the tree had fallen beside the car and not directly on top of it. There was no major damage to be seen – just a lot of surface scratches on the front passenger-side fender.

Assessing the damage

Assessing the damage

Still, it was difficult to see the damage clearly with the tree still in the way so I just took as many pictures as I could for insurance purposes before heading to work and letting the tree service do their thing.

At this point, I was assuming that the homeowners association would be falling over backwards trying to help me and offer assistance, but none of my calls to them were returned. That wasn’t reassuring at all, and it didn’t take long for me to realize their stance on the issue. I was completely on my own.

Upon returning home from work later in the day, the tree and been removed and I was able to get a much better look at the damage. It couldn’t have been worse. The front fender was scratched up pretty good, but everything was surface-level and not down to bare metal. There were no dents or dings anywhere else to be found, so all in all, damage was minimal.

Surface-level scratches

Surface-level scratches on the front fender

The damage isn't so bad

The damage isn’t so bad – certainly not bad enough to require bodywork

So why exactly do I think this situation couldn’t have been worse? Several reasons:

1). The paint has been fading pretty bad over the past year or so from sitting out in the California sun. The car desperately needs new paint from top to bottom, and the relatively minor scratches from this tree incident meant that insurance wouldn’t be paying for a new paint job. This just car went from ugly to uglier.

2). I was secretly hoping for major damage so that I could finally have an easy excuse to unload the car and get something else. That’s not to say that I don’t like this car. Hardly the case at all. The problem is that there are so many little things about it that I don’t like about it which add up to make me want to just get rid of it and get exactly what I want.

But it looks as if that’s not to be. The damage is very minimal, and now I’ve got a Mustang with faded red paint and ugly scars along the side. Ugh. I hate to say it, but I wish that tree would have fell smack dab on top of it and flattened it like a pancake.

What am I going to do? I’m not feeling much like driving a car that looks like crap (I’m past that point in my life), so I don’t know. Stay tuned…