When do you shoot the car instead of fixing it?

We have a ’99 Ford Windstar LX. Last May while on a family trip the transmission blew. We have family in OK and they had local connections so we had it rebuilt there–$ 1400. The day before Thanksgiving I lost all forward gears in the van–meaning it goes in reverse only. We were told we had lost the forward clutch, near as I can recall, and that would mean a new tranny. Our work done in May/June is under warranty, IN SHOP ONLY. Mind you the work was done in North TX and we live in UT. So our options are to pay out the money to repair it locally (in this economy–right!), somehow get it back to the shop in TX or somehow replace our one vehicle with said nonexistent money.
We still owe about $ 1200 on the van, and when it runs everything is fine. There are other minor issues that bug me about the van but I can live with those. My issue is I have to have a car. Aside from everything else we’ve shelled out $ 1600 on a surprise Christmas trip for the kids and now can’t make it because we don’t have a freakin’ car.
As you have guessed most of this is venting, but really–in this situation what would you do? We have horrible credit and no money to buy a new car. I just started a new business this summer so cash flow is pretty light. Kinda slims down the options. 🙂

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