Car of the Month: Mary Dao’s 1998 Nissan Maxima

Noel Mikkelsen, Layout Artist

This month’s car is a 1998 Nissan Maxima owned by Mary Dao (12). She has had the car for about four years and has been driving it ever since she got her license back in January of this year. It has 127,000 miles on it and can fit four other people. Mary has also named her car as well, and it suits it perfectly. The car’s name is Max because she says, “The car is a Maxima and I was being really lazy so I decided to call it Max for short.”
Mary’s favorite thing about Max is the bass in his speakers. She explained that “the bass is super cool. I can turn the bass up really loud so whenever I put music on it feels like I’m having a party in the car.” The incredible bass came with the car when it was given to her by a neighbor. It has ten speakers which make a loop around the whole inside of the car, just to make sure you can actually hear the bass.
Mary’s favorite memory of Max was having to fix him up after he was first given to her. From the start Max had all kinds of problems. She had to replace a dead battery, dump the old engine oil because it was leaking, replace the headlights, and spend hours cleaning Max to make sure he was spotless. The whole process took about a week, but despite all of that, she absolutely loved working on the car. Mary said, “I like hands-on stuff so it was really satisfying to be able to fix him up myself, even though there were a lot of things wrong with him.”
When asked if she prefers to drive alone or with other people she said, “I prefer driving alone because I can relax and chill a lot more. Driving alone also forces me to be more focused because I don’t have any distractions.” Mary continued: “Even though I prefer driving by myself, I still like to have friends in my car to chill with and talk to. It’s super fun to judge how each other can sing.”
Mary has been through countless adventures with Max from driving all the way down to Front Royal to spilling a coffee inside the car and having to spend most of her day cleaning it and getting the smell out. “Although Max may be a trashy car, he’s still my baby and I love him,” she says. Her future plans with Max are to take him to college and keep him until she has children of her own, so Max can be their first car too.

Mary Dao poses with Max at her home.
(Photo by Grace Dao)