The picture says it all. When I went to my local Subaru dealership yesterday, I was planning to look at cars, continuing the auto-buying research I’d begun the week before. Trying to decide between buying a regular Impreza sport wagon and an Impreza Outback sport wagon, I was leaning toward the latter…but I wanted to see the former in-person before making any final decisions. And as luck (or convincing salesmanship) would have it, I not only decided on the regular Impreza sport wagon, I drove one home by afternoon, trading in my dearly beloved Little Tank for a yet-unchristened Nouveau Tank. And as you can see from the picture above, even Reggie is happy with my choice.

With any new car purchase, there is of course the important detail of the Inaugural Drive. Since I wasn’t planning to buy or trade any vehicles yesterday, I went to the dealership without checkbook or title…so my first trip in Nouveau Tank was a quick trip home to collect the necessary paperwork and one antsy dog. If you’re breaking in a sport wagon, it makes sense to engage in your usual sports, so after delivering Little Tank’s title to the dealer, Reggie and I were off to walk up Beech Hill: a quick loop that doesn’t involve tracking too much springtime mud in a brand new backseat.

Still, neither a quick trip to deliver paperwork nor a trip to walk the dog seems like a proper way to break in a brand new car, so last night apropos of nothing I drove up to Walpole, NH in order to drive home on Prospect Hill Road, a rollercoaster ribbon of road that crests forest-fringed hills and offers an ever-changing vista of sky and setting sun. Driving on Prospect Hill Road from Walpole to Keene, you pass a farm called Paradise, and you believe the sign; you also rattle a filling or two on springtime frost-heaves, Prospect Hill nicely testing your car’s suspension and your soul’s patience with its seasonal bumps and buckles.

Having properly welcomed my new car with a scenic sunset drive, now there’s simply the matter of christening to attend to. Gary was the one who started calling my new car Nouveau Tank, and it’s a name that works for now. But eventually this new car will deserve her own name, not one that’s derivative. Little Tank earned her moniker when I lived in Hillsborough, NH and drove daily to Keene State, crossing hill and dale in all weather. On snowy nights when I saw other vehicles fishtailing off the road to left and right, Little Tank faithfully got me there and back again, an indestructible fighter.

These days, I live within walking distance of campus, so Nouveau Tank won’t be journeying daily over mountains. And Nouveau Tank doesn’t look very tank-like: whereas LT was boxy and utilitarian in appearance, this new car is both silver and sleek. So what should I call my brand new chariot? Last night when I zipped down Route 12 toward Walpole, I felt like calling her the Silver Streak; when I admire the sleek, smooth lines of her parked profile, I wonder if Silver Siren would be more appropriate. Maybe I should call her Sylver with a y, a nod toward both her color and the sylvan scenes where I envision driving her, or maybe Silver Slider would point to the smooth way in which she handles.

Until Nouveau Tank speaks up to suggest her own name, she’ll go by many. Considering how fancy I feel driving a brand new car, though, maybe I should give her a name that respects her sassy sportiness: Miss Bling.