I have a Ford Taurus Wagon, and I’m looking to get a newer (although still used) harp car. I currently have a smaller pedal harp, but I would like one that can fit a concert grand, as hopefully I will be moving up soon! Also, I’m thinking of a car over a minivan, but give me your suggestions. I’ve heard the Toyota Matrix is good? What else? What do you have and why do you like it?
I drool when I see a Ford Flex, but in my neighborhood they’d be a nightmare to park on the street due to the size, and even if I rented a space in the garage would be similarly difficult to move around the tight spaces and pillars. As I’m playing the pedal harp in public more and ZipCar has removed potential harpmobiles from my neighborhood, I’m thinking about purchasing a car again in a couple of years. My current preference is either a used Outback, or if I buy new, a Prius V for the mileage (and they’re really fun to drive).
I had an Outback when I first got my concert grand harp. It fit in there okay, but it wasn’t the best…..you couldn’t just slide it in. You had to manipulate it while leaning in the back door. I know the OP said not vans, but I can’t rave enough about the Dodge Grand Caravan. It also uses flex fuel, and I’m sure would be easier to drive than a huge Ford Flex. It’s pretty maneuverable for a van and feels like you’re driving an SUV rather than a big old bus. I love mine, and the harp slides right in with lots and lots of room to spare…..no moving around to have to do and no seats to remove….they stow in the floor cubbies.
I have a semi-grand pedal harp and drive a Subaru Outback. I was able to fold the back seats flat and lay a futon mattress in the back for the harp to sit on. While I am able to load/unload it pretty comfortably and quickly, depending on your height, you may not be able to fit the harp in the car as easily. (The driver’s seat has to be moved forward quite a bit to slide the harp in.) As a car, Subarus are great–reliable, fun to drive, and relatively fuel efficient as well.
Unfortunately minivans seem like “mom cars” to me, and since I’m in my twenties and don’t have kids I’m not ready to represent myself that way. Maybe it is purely my own problem, but I can’t help feeling that way. 😉
Thanks for everyone’s replies so far, keep them coming!
I just found the old thread where you a discussed harp cars! (For some reason it didn’t come up in my initial search…)
I have a question for those who have owned a Matrix…did the rim on the back where the door closes bother you? Both the Taurus and the Subaru I’ve used were flat back there, so I could just slide the harp in. It seems like that ridge would make things more difficult, unless I got a mattress or something to slide it on.
Janna, “Unless I got a mattress and something to slide it on”–YES! After measuring the size of a harp car flat interior area where the harp will be transported, get a foam rectangle of those dimensions, 4 or 5 inches thick. Wrap this in heavy vinyl from a fabric or sporting suppl;y store, secured closely around the foam with duct tape. This slippery vinyl surface will be what a harp, in its transport cover, will easily slide onto., and it should last for years. Now between the “mattress” and the flat floor of your car loading area, you may want two things: one could be a plywood sheet about the same size, perhaps painted green, on which a harp and bench would fit for an outdoor wedding. The other may be a thin, shiny board, same dimensions as the “mattress” but cut into three manageable sections, on which the vinyl would easily slide. When loading a harp, pull the “mattress” out of the rear of the car perhaps 8 to 12 inches only. Stand the harp behind the car, tailgate open, and judge whether by leaning in the crown part of the harp, it will safely land on the soft vinyl. When that is accomplished, the only lifting you need to do is the pedal part, or base, of the harp and gradually push harp along with the mattress, toward the back of the driver seat area until harp and mattress are both safely in.
haha!! i feel you on the minivan thing. i’m not quite to the ‘really trying to actually fit my harp into a car’ phase yet – but i am definitely lusting after several cars i *THINK* would make good harpmobiles. i actually want the smallest, lowest to the ground thing i can get that will easily fit the harp inside. matrix is on my list, only because of rave reviews i’ve seen here. i’m also into boxy, old volvo station wagons… and considering older subaru foresters (but they’re bigger than i want, considering it will be my everyday car too). my semi-realistic dream harpmobile is a vw passat station wagon…but i have no idea if there’s enough room back there for a harp. the more i lurk on them in public parking lots, the less i think i can make it fit… i rented a ford explorer to drive my harp somewhere once and hated it. the harp fit like a dream, but that car is so giant!! i hated driving it. it didn’t seem made for normal sized humans…like, i couldn’t rest my arm on the door while driving because of all the insane amounts of room they expect people want. i don’t know. i’m probably completely daft and unamerican for saying that. but i feel like i can’t be alone in all this. give me an ’80s, boxy, glittery, lavender mercedes wagon and let’s call it a day! best advice i’ve seen is to drive the car(s) you’re considering buying to your house and try to fit your harp inside and see how that goes.
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