John, his Dad and their Mitsubishi Lancer

The following content may contain information about depression, anxiety, self-harm and/or other related material which may be triggering. Reader discretion is advised.


We recently received a message from John, who tells us his story of he, his father and their Mitsubishi Lancer. We love hearing stories of perseverance and triumph and this one is a great reminder of the strength we get by doing what we love and through who we hold close to our hearts. It struck a chord with us, so we thought it should be shared with you:

I drive a 1993 Mitsubishi Lancer. I’ve had it for 10 years and it has been in the family for 15 years. This is a car my Dad and I worked on whenever he was around; a father and son project as we can call it. It still needs a lot of work though!

When my Dad passed away two years ago, I battled for months with mood swings and sadness, which was later diagnosed as depression. I was prescribed with medication and the car was in a pretty bad state as a result. It was left not running for almost a year because every time I uncovered it I started to remember memories of my Dad and how much we bonded because of this car. I thought about leaving it for dead and at the salvage yard or selling it just to keep it out of my sight.

But one day, I came home from work and could not sleep until morning came. I went to the garage, removed the car cover and tears dropped from my eyes. It’s like I saw an image of my Dad and I giving it wrench time. It hurt for a moment but it was a good kind of hurt: of longing, of memories. I cleaned it until I was too tired and gave it the TLC it deserved after a year of collecting dust. After two weeks, it was running again.

The first time I heard the engine, all the memories of my Dad were rapidly flashing in my mind. I kept my emotions in check and as I drove it for the first time after a year, I went to all the places that we used to visit. And it felt like he was there in the passenger seat with me; like a co-pilot, a brother, a friend who was telling me to be easy on the pedals and on my driving.

Two more weeks later, I was off the medication I was prescribed. It’s like I found the missing pieces and fixed the broken parts. I thank my Dad for learning process, for the memories, and for the time we have spent together.

I’ll keep it running as long as I can. See you soon, Dad.


If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, self-harm or addiction, please reach out. Call 13 11 14 for Lifeline’s 24hr Telephone Crisis Support or contact a mental health professional. If you are looking for other mental health resources, browse our Find Help page.

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You can submit your story and read the stories of others on our Stories page.

Author: Team Cars For Hope

One Response to "John, his Dad and their Mitsubishi Lancer"

  1. Natalie Posted on 15/01/2017 at 9:44 pm

    Literally started tearing up when I was in the middle of reading that. I lost my uncle to suicide August 2015 and when I am driving through the country side or when I am deep in thought, I’d like to think he is in the passenger seat telling me everything will be ok.
    So glad you didn’t get rid of the car, it definitely sounds like the missing piece you were needing x

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