Car of the Month: Sarah Mack’s Honda Pilot

By Natalie Ingalls, Layout & Design Editor

Sarah Mack’s (11) family heirloom is not your typical necklace or photograph. Instead, it’s big enough to seat eight people comfortably. That’s because it is a grey Honda Pilot, one that has passed through the hands of three Mack family members and is now in Sarah’s possession.

The car, which she fondly refers to as Betsy, fell into the hands of her family the night before a big 2009 snowstorm. Sarah said, “We needed a car with four-wheel drive, and then there was a huge blizzard the next day, so it worked out. I’m pretty sure we got it for a good price because no one wanted it.”

While the car first belonged to her father, it was given to her older sister Meghan Mack when she was old enough to drive, and then to her older brother Joseph Mack. After Joseph graduated last year, the car became Sarah’s. She prefers Betsy to the other family cars, saying, “I’ll also occasionally drive my dad’s smaller Honda, but I always feel like I’ll hit people more than in the Pilot.”

On occasion, Sarah has had harrowing experiences driving the 10-year-old car. “One time, I was pulling out of a parking spot, and the car just stopped,” said Sarah. “There were cars trying to get through, and I panicked because I didn’t know what to do. [I] turned her off, turned her back on, and she just started working again.”

While Betsy may have her quirks, such as no air conditioning, Sarah is still able to have a good time driving her. “It’s been a year of lots of fun — driving around friends, blasting music with the windows down. Just good vibes.”

Betsy wasn’t always Betsy though; Sarah only recently dubbed the car after testing out names to see what would stick. “It’s hard to figure out a gender. It’s 2019, I don’t want to assume anything, but we’re going with Betsy,” said Sarah. “Trial and error by me, just trying to figure out he/she/it.”

Though Sarah has immensely enjoyed the freedom Betsy has provided her over the past year of having her license, her future with the car remains up in the air. ”Right now, actually, my dad is getting the tires checked. There are always various lights going off, [and] there are engine problems,” she said. “But really, it’s a good car, and it’s lasted a long time, and I’d like my little sister to have the luxury of driving it.”

However, her family’s ambitions may prevent that from happening. “There’s [a] rumor that Joseph will be taking the car to college next year,” she said. “But where does that leave me?”