Our new car

Yesterday — yes, on July 4th — we drove away with our third car in our 23 years in Brazil. See pics below.


Pictures taken July 5 on the plaza near my office.

Our VW Pointer entered into the deal and most of the rest was provided by the Somers Ave. congregation in North Little Rock, along with some of our own from here and there.

It’s a 2005 Fiat Palio Weekend (= station wagon), Adventure version. The Palio is one of Fiat’s basic models, though the Adventure is the nicer version of the wagon.


It comes with air (first time for us), power steering (no more huffing and puffing with the Pointer), and a 1.8 engine, which was what we had in the Pointer, though this one has more power than the older one.

It’s also flex, which means the motor runs with alcohol or gasoline.

It has nice trunk space, which is often important for us as we travel or transport friends or family.


We’re especially grateful to the kind folk at Somers Ave., who generously took the initiative to provide this for us. Without their kindness, this purchase would not have been possible.

We took two cars to our mechanic to check out for us. On the Internet, he’d found a Fiat Siena at the Toyo-Drive Toyota dealership here in  town. It was even a red color, as Vicki was hoping for. But he said it hadn’t been well cared for and urged us not to buy it. And she wasn’t keen on the rough condition of the paint job.

The second car had just entered the dealership. We took it to him the same afternoon, and he was enthusiastic about it, said it was a better car than the type we were looking for and that it would serve us very well. Helped too that Vicki and Leila both liked it a lot. So began the negotiations.

Yes, we bought the second car we looked at! We’d expected the search process to take weeks. Our prayers had been answered. In a week and a day after we began searching, we had a new car parked in our carport.

The free-fall dollar kept us from getting a newer car, but this one is still semi-new with mileage under 50 thousand km (31000 m).

We kept the 95/96 Pointer for about 11 years, and put 250 thousand miles on it, much of that in trips to Taubaté, Guaratinguetá and other points in Brazil, such as Belo Horizonte, Campo Grande and the interior of São Paulo, as we went around teaching.We never had to redo the motor, it chugged along well. But as age causes wear and tear, be it metal or the human body, it was time for a swap. (I had to replace the water pump the day before I delivered up the car to the dealership that sold us the Adventure. Ouch!)

Before that we had the little alcohol-powered 1985 Chevrolet Chevette sedan for about 12 years. Our long-legged kids outgrew the little two-door. It was similar to these pictures of the silver car, which was the color of ours as well.

May this car serve us as well as the other two and provide us, as one friend observed today, with many an “adventure” in the work of the Lord.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

7 thoughts on “Our new car

  1. Looks good. Randal! That was a wonderful blessing to your work there and your family. God is great!

  2. Randal,

    Echoing Richard’s sentiment, the car looks great! The silver color will be much better than the red – won’t absorb as much heat from the sun.

    Let the adventures begin!

    However, just to let you know, I’m just a little bit jealous! HA!


  3. Thanks, guys. We took the car immediately to the mechanic, as he asked us to do, so he could do a quick check-over.

    As we visited, at one point I told him he must be getting the “big eye,” a term for jealousy or envy. But I made a boo-boo. Here in Brazil, these sins are so prevalent, that one hardly jokes around about it. He made a big point of saying he wasn’t envious. So I learned another cultural point yesterday.

    He’s been a good friend. We take the car to him next Thursday for a complete going-over. I hope to get his picture with the car then.

    Anyway, Mike, you didn’t make a boo-boo with me. I took it in the good spirit in which it was meant.

  4. Hi Randal,
    Nice looking car. I’ve never heard of that particular model, but then, you stay a little further south than I do..ha.
    I’m really glad you were able to find a good car, at a good price.
    It’s wonderful how the Lord looks out for us, even in matters of transportation, if we just admit, we can’t do it by ourselves..ha.


  5. Randal- So glad we could help with this- it looks great and we do hope you enjoy the a/c- Hope it gives you great service for as long as you need it! God bless- Jim

  6. Randal – Thanks for the pictures and update, we’re really glad you were able to find something like you were looking for and pray it will serve you well. Maybe you’ll have more time to do things other than replacing water pumps! Look forward to seeing you again when we get a chance.

What do you think?