I recently got married to the woman of my dreams (she will read this post). She likes fancy shoes and superchargers so I am certain that I have made the right call in picking a mate. How has married life changed my automotive purchases though? We both smartly worked into our vows that I would not ask questions about shoes or bags and my better half would not ask questions about anything in the garage. How has this changed me? Well, I no longer lust for things like drag cars, race cars or otherwise completely unpractical cars. Let’s get real, I have a house to buy and eventually some rugrats to raise. Saving money at this point would be a wise thing. This does not, however, mean that I cannot still have fun when purchasing and driving automotive masterpieces?
We have decided that we will undoubtedly stay in the 416 area code and that we will purchase a house, not a condo. This means that given our meager budget we cannot have A) a garage and B) nothing fancy. I will have to settle for street parking and will definitely want to blend in with the neighbours when considering my automotive options. I don’t want to be “that guy” who parks his sports car on the street. The neighbors will talk and it will eventually become someone else’s pride and joy when it gets stolen. We will have two cars, if my math serves correct that means one for my wife and one for me… just to reiterate, I will have only one car. I am not sure if buying a house is worth going down to one car.
The family truckster. The queen-of-the-eventual-castle will not drive a minivan as she finds them too “bouncy”. I will need something that is baby proof. This means it is indestructible on the inside, can be easily cleaned and take the laundry list of things that need to be transported with said baby. It will also need to house an entire shift of hockey players, plus gear. Something a little lower to the ground would be best. For around $6k you can get a mint condition 1994 Buick Roadmaster wagon. They seat 9 in living room comfort, can swallow 4×8 sheets of plywood (I am going to have to erect a walk in closet for the Mrs. eventually). The best part: these cars came with the same LT1 5.7 Liter V8 as the corvette. This means horsepower is cheap to make and torque is abundant. The fact that it gets terrible fuel economy is cancelled out by the fact that the majority of them have wood paneling. Besides, the hockey rink and pre-school will be close to the house, so fuel economy is not important, right?
The commuter: The Buick is going to be the size of our house in terms of square footage; I do not want to upset my neighbours by hogging the prime street parking with 2 large cars, so the second one will be small. It will probably also have to be good on gas. Thank you cards from OPEC will definitely raise suspicion. I also can no longer afford the threat of getting pulled over by the fuzz for enjoying speed to much? I will campaign a Mini Cooper S as my daily driver. I can still get a car seat in it and put 2 small children in it if absolutely necessary. This compact size will be easy to park, fun to drive and cheap on gas. A good (high mileage) one will cost me around $15k. Sport suspension, a supercharger and a slick shifting manual will definitely keep a smile on my face. This will also ensure I have some “street cred” when I show up for a track day.
So the question remains: will the farer sex hate the wood paneling on the car more than the wood paneling in the living room of our dated house?…. and you thought a lifelong car nut would not take this type of thing seriously.