For the brief time my 240SX was reliable enough to daily drive, the gas gauge was jammed at 1/3 tank. I ended up having to go off the odometer, as everyone does when their gas gauge doesn’t work. This was 2009 and gas was insanely expensive. Where I was, 93 octane was $4/gallon and that’s what my turbo swapped car was tuned for. I was also both in college and employed part-time only, so gas fill-ups weren’t as frequent as they should have been. One day I was driving my car from PA to DE and the difference in gas was about 20 cents, so of course I waited until I got to DE to fill up. I waited just a bit too long though. I coasted into a driveway and parked the car. I knew there were a few gas stations and shops about a mile up the road, so I hoofed it. Made it to a local tire/oil change place, which coincidentally was where I had taken the car to get an alignment a few months earlier, and asked them if they had any gas. They did not, but they had a gas can and the one mechanic remembered my car and offered to give me a lift to the gas station and back to my car. We got the car topped up enough to get to the gas station (he even followed me there to make sure I made it), I handed him a 20 for his trouble and we parted ways.

A couple months later the car needed new tires, so I went to that tire shop to get them replaced, partly because they offered a good price, and partly because they had helped me when I was stranded. They offered me a summer job changing tires because I had done a lot of work on my 240. That part-time summer job ended up lasting much longer than the summer as I dropped out of college for a semester, partly due to money, and partly due to failing a bunch of classes and losing all confidence in my studying abilities. One day in November, I was standing in the cold rain, changing tires on some awful customer beater car and went “If I’m gonna bust my ass I should at least have a roof over my head.” I went back to college in the Spring, graduated a few years later (my grades went up two full letters because I knew what a shitty job was and didn’t want to go back), and I am typing this on a computer at my fancy engineering job.

TLDR: Running out of gas set off the chain of events that helped me graduate college and get a job I love. Don’t ever let someone tell you that life doesn’t take luck, who knows where I would be if I hadn’t run out of gas on that late May day 8 years ago!