Sarah and the Mileage Log

Sarah Steinhoff w mileage log book 06-27-2014I’ve written before about how Dad was the consummate record keeper who would produce handmade pocket journals where he would jot down notes of the day’s happenings and document every penny he spent.

I got an email from Son Matt asking if I had a blank mileage log book because Wife Sarah had filled her’s up. I usually keep a couple in the bottom of my sock drawer for such an emergency. When she came by to pick it up, I expressed some degree of surprise because right after they got married, Matt tried to get her to keep car records, but she resisted.

Finally, she admitted, they bought her a new car and she gave up. “Steinhoff me,” she told Matt. She wasn’t sure if this her third or fourth book in 14 years.

Click on the photos to make them larger.

Dad rubbed off on me

Gastonia Gazette story on KLS auto expenses 01-09-1972I’m not sure at what age I started keeping a mileage and expense log in my car, but I know I was doing it by the time I moved to Athens, Ohio. I definitely was doing it by the time we moved to Gastonia, N.C.

Gastonia Gazette reporter Joel Groves must have been sucking air for a story in the doldrums right after the holidays because he interviewed me for a piece on driving expenses. I notice in the photo that I not only kept records like Dad, but I was beginning to emulate his hairstyle. That’s a serious comb-over starting to happen. I didn’t realize until just now that my part had slipped to just above my ear.

Sure would like those prices today

Gastonia Gazette story on KLS auto expenses 01-09-1972The story pointed out that I used my car for business, so I had to keep careful records for tax time. When the story was published on Jan. 9, 1972, I was driving about 30,000 miles a year, most of it chasing photos. Here are some of my expenses:

  • New wiper blades and a headlight – $9.10.
  • Quart of oil – 85 cents per quart (40 cents if bought by the case)
  • Generator – $39.61
  • Typical maintenance – oil filter, $2.95; four spark plugs, $5.40; points, $2.90; air filter, $2.85; new belt, $3.10; labor, $18.
  • Four radial tires – $150
  • Two snow tires and two tire rims for them (for ease in swapping tires) – $95.83 plus $32.40.
  • Fuel – $998.90 (24 mpg with AC, 28 without AC)
  • All told, including car payment, insurance, tag and expenses, I spent about $249.24 a month on my car.


3 Replies to “Sarah and the Mileage Log”

  1. REALLY? I thought my husband was the only person in the world who insists we keep a mileage log in both cars. Mine’ s not the delux spiral bound, like your daughter-in-law’s, just soft cover stapled spine. We list: date, location and gas station brand, current mileage, miles driven, # of gallons, price per gallon, total price, and mpg. We’ve been married 46 years this year, and I love him to death. But trust me, the day he goes, so does that bothersome book.

  2. Mary here – I know this is 2 months old but we are still catching up and this does it.

    Anyway, when my mother moved 3 years ago from the house she had lived in for 60 years, I received some family items some of which were my Paternal Grandfather’s mileage books. He died when my dad was just 13 years old so I had never seen his handwriting before getting these books. My dad’s printing looked just like his dad’s.
    By the way, Dennis kept a mileage book when we met and we have always done so through 48 1/2 years of marriage. 🙂

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