When you’re young, you want to drive very badly, at any opportunity. You look for excuses to get behind the wheel and go someplace, even if that place is nowhere at all. Driving is enjoyable and fun.
Eventually driving becomes a chore. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point it didn’t matter if I drove anymore. Being a passenger was a relief. I was happy to let someone else do the driving. And with guys, you never have to twist their arm to take the keys.
The funny/ironic thing is that lately, I find myself actually caring less and less about cars. I’ve come to see the car as merely an appliance – something to get me from here to there. I drive an old Jeep Grand Cherokee with more than 200,000 miles on it. It’s in reasonable shape. It gets 20-22 mpg on my commute to and from work. The transmission is rebuilt, and if the engine blows-up I can have it replaced cheaply. I mean, these things are everywhere. I could afford a new car, but really, why bother? Anything new eventually gets old. And sometimes the "new" wears off very quickly.
I keep looking at the new cars, hoping that one of them will spark my interest. Oh, there are some nice ones out there, for sure. But there is just nothing that makes me go, “Maaaaaaan, I’d love to own that!” The new Mustang and/or Camaro? Shirley, you jest! Overweight caricatures of their former selves is what they are. Yeah yeah, they're better cars in every respect than the originals (and faster, too), but if I want to project that image I'll just buy one of the old ones. If I had all the money in the world, which car would I buy? I have no idea.
Well, that's not exactly true. I do kind of like the BMW 6-series coupe. I have to say, as good as it looks in pictures, it looks better in person. It's gorgeous. And BMW has begun painting their cars in a non-metallic, basic blue that I find very attractive.
2010 BMW 630
Brand-new, it'd run me close to $80,000, which is a little steep even on my pay. I'd probably have to get the Boss to lease me one. On the other hand, http://www.cars.com/ has some nice-looking 2008 models for about $60,000, which gets it down into the more-affordable range.
If money was truly not an issue, there is one other car I’d consider owning. The Aston-Martin Rapide. I don’t know why, but that car just speaks to me. And I know exactly what it’s saying, which is, "Bob, hop in and let's take off for New York to visit the family. We can get there without stopping." (You know how much I hate flying.)
At $200,000 I'll have to wait until I hit the lottery before I own a Rapide. But hey, a boy can dream, can't he?
I also have a soft spot for Corvettes of a certain vintage, particularly the ones from the early-1980’s (like the one below) when they were still muscular and swoopy, before they got all angular and wedge-y.
When we were bored kids in high school, my buddies and I would often doodle cars and motorcycles. Invariably, the cars we’d draw would end up looking like this.
Speed Racer much? Yeah, I used to watch it religiously.
But I’ll probably never buy a Corvette. For one thing, they’re not practical and you can’t really use them as “daily-drivers.” Plus, everyone would think I’m going through some sort of mid-life crisis.
The reality is that I’ll just keep driving my old Jeep until it dies. At the same time, I have an old Volkswagen Westphalia (camper bus) that I am (slowly) rebuilding. When it is done, that’ll probably be my daily driver. And in that thing, I'll be able to jump in and head for New York, and it won't matter if I need to stop or not. If I do, I'll just pull into a rest area and unfold the bed...and dream about making the trip non-stop in an Aston Martin Rapide.