Now that I’m all grown up I’m no less enthusiastic about interesting cars, but I seem to have misplaced my rose colored glasses somewhere between then and now. The range of vehicles that interest me these days is also much broader than the stable of supercars I daydreamed about as I pedaled my chrome BMX bike home from school. Truth be told though, even if I was a billionaire I probably would not blow it all on million dollar hypercars. Probably.
That’s not to say that in my ideal world I wouldn’t have a half dozen or more sets of keys at my disposal. I just need a practical car collection, preferably with something at any given time ready to go;
- Road Racing
- Drag Racing
- Four Wheeling
- Rock Crawling
- Beach Cruising
- Car Show Cruising
Since, as I mentioned, I am a grown up it should go without saying that I also need a daily driver capable of comfortably getting me to the office every day, dropping the kids at school, and taking road trips with the family. Sure, there are vehicles that could pull double duty in fulfilling some of these needs, but with such varied motorsports interests you’re probably beginning to picture why I’d like a cabinet full of keys to choose from. All of that said, I am a practical man. My wife would probably go so far as to call me cheap. When it comes to paying taxes and insurance on a bunch of cars when I can only use one at a time, I’m far more down-to-earth than my 12-year-old self.
So to that end, here are some vehicles I’d like to see in my driveway IRL.
A daily driver, more than anything needs to be safe, reliable, and reasonably comfortable. That doesn’t mean it needs to be boring, but if you have a long commute you probably want to consider fuel mileage. If you have kids, especially little ones in car seats you need to be able to get them in and out of the back seat easily. If you live in the South you’ll need air conditioning, and up North you’ll appreciate seat warmers. You get the picture.
I think low mileage luxury marques approaching the sweet spot of their depreciation curve represent a good value for a daily. If you’re patient and wait for the right car you can find nice, low mileage luxury cars for pennies on the dollar. I’m currently enjoying a Jaguar XJ8, but would also be quite happy in a BMW 3 or 5 series or Mercedes-Benz C or E class. Parts, repairs, and maintenance on high line vehicles are more expensive than on more pedestrian high volume vehicles, but with a little research on the specific year, make, and model you can figure out the common failures and associated costs of repair, and make an educated decision. One of the benefits of buying a used car is that other people have already learned those hard lessons, and then posted about it in an online forum.
I’m also a sucker for a station wagon and lately I’ve been stuck on the idea of used Volvo XC70 Cross Country or Subaru Forester wagon with a little lift, a set of all terrains, and some rally lights. There is some aftermarket support, and these cars can be found pretty cheap, so this is a project I might need to pursue in the near future.