An auto collision last Saturday destroyed my little Jetta. It did what it was supposed to do: saved me from serious injury in a very serious collision. I thank God for that little Volkswagen.

Last Saturday I was on my way home from doing some volunteer work at church. I was headed north on US 61 about half a mile south of the I494 interchange, doing the speed limit. I was already in the exit lane. I glanced at my rear view mirror and saw another car coming up really fast. Even as I watched, the car behind me slammed into me and pushed me into the next lane. I lost control and smashed into the concrete barrier in the median. I came to a stop after what could not have been more than a few seconds. My airbags had popped and I could see that my thumbs were bruised and bleeding. Otherwise I felt unharmed. A woman came over, her face full of concern and asked if I was all right.

“I think so,” I said.

I got somewhat shakily out of car and stood looking at the wreckage. The woman, who told me she was a nurse, urged me to sit down, but I stood leaning against a concrete barrier. When the police came, I told them what had happened. Shortly after that, the paramedics came and asked me to sit down in the back of the ambulance while they bandaged my thumbs and checked for other injuries. I told them I had a bump on my leg that was bleeding a little. When I rolled up my pants leg, there was a huge knot on my leg from hitting the underside of the dash. It didn’t seem painful, and I felt pretty good, so I called Belinda to arrange a ride for me. She sent Sarah, my son’s girlfriend, to pick me up.

When Sarah came, the paramedics didn’t know quite who she was, though I had called her my son’s girlfriend. One referred to her as my son’s fiancee, another as my daughter-in-law. One asked her if she was my wife. We both laughed about it later. She took me home. My leg began to get painful then.

Fast forward to this Saturday.

We needed a new car, and after talking it over, we decided a minivan was more practical than another small car like the Jetta. I did some research to see what we could find in our price range. After comparing several vehicles in areas such as crash safety, overall safety features, gas mileage, and general comfort, I settled on a short list of five cars. At the top of my list was a 2002 Ford Windstar, listed at $5444 at All Cars down in Burnsville.

Second on my list was a Kia Sedona at a nearby dealership. Belinda and I went there first. The place was a veritable zoo, and Belinda felt very uncomfortable because I was still in pain and hobbling around on crutches. It’s true I wasn’t feeling very good, and I could tell that our business would not mean a lot on such a busy day. Nevertheless, I was taken aback when Belinda refused to stay. We had already found out that the Kia I was interested in had already been sold, but I was prepared to look at other offerings. Belinda wasn’t.

We left. I didn’t want the day to be a total waste, though, so I called All Cars down in Burnsville to see if they still had the Windstar I was interested in. They did. We headed down to Burnsville. Belinda was still reluctant, partly out of concern for me and partly because she suspected that All Cars was the same dealership where we had had a bad experience a few years ago.

We found All Cars. They are a small, family-operated dealership, located in what was once a liquor store. Beau Drury, the salesman, was very personable and low-key. We liked him immediately. He showed us the car and let us take it for a spin. The car was in excellent shape but still a little above average in price. I told Beau I thought it was priced about $100 above market value. He did some figuring and told me he could come down $250 on the price. I was sold.

All Cars deals only in used cars, but they are very selective. They typically choose single-owner trade-ins from other dealers in the area. Unlike the large dealers, which often have an inventory of well-maintained but high mileage cars from the rental market, All Cars tries to find low mileage, well-maintained vehicles with a clear history to offer at reasonable prices. I have to say, we were impressed with the quality of the car we bought and with the kindness and affability of Beau Drury. I highly recommend All Cars to anyone in search of a good quality used car in the southern Twin Cities area.