After Mommy B's post the other day about paying off my car, I had to follow-up with one myself. Let me start off by saying that I've never been one of those unfortunate souls who had to drive around a beater when they were younger. If there was one thing my parents took pride in, it was the cars they drove. However, I think they had a momentary lapse of judgment the day they came home with the Buick Roadmaster wagon. Let's start from the beginning and see if you'll like me less when I'm finished.
Technically my first "car" in high school was a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 extended cab pickup truck with a cap on the bed. It was my dad's truck at the time and it was a lease - so I really only drove it for a year or so. It was fun to play around in, but a pickup truck with a V8 in it wasn't really practical for a teenager just going to and from high school and football/track practice.
After the pickup left the scene, my dad decided 2001 was high time for his midlife crisis. (I won't mention how old he was at the time.) He recalled having a convertible sports car when he was younger and remembered how much fun it was. So after shopping around a bit, he came home with this beauty:
Nothing will get your adrenaline pumping quicker than a 2001 Mustang GT convertible. "Zinc Yellow" with all black leather interior. Not to mention a 4.6 litre V8 and dual exhaust pipes coming out the back... it had enough rumble to wake the neighbors. Well, combine 260 horsepower with a 17-year-old's addiction to speed and I'm lucky to be alive today. I'm not going to divulge how fast I got that car, but I managed to get 3 speeding tickets within 6 months. I sure do miss that car...
A couple years older (and much, much wiser) I was in college and my parents "punished" me by selling the Mustang and giving me this instead:
A 1994 BMW 540i sedan. Big punishment, right?? Not hardly... This baby had had a previous owner that apparently drove it to the Moon and back a couple times. By the time my dad gave it to me in 2003, she was sitting at just over 200,000 miles on the original engine, transmission and drive train. She had a V8 under the hood that took 8 quarts of oil and had an engine displacement the size of a Smart Car.
I used to call her The Black Bullet - because we'd fly 100 miles across I-70 to visit Mommy B at school like it was nothing. That car was so heavy (and smooth) that it just ate highway - and made me understand why they call it "The Ultimate Driving Machine". I had that car for about 3 years before we sold her to a guy from Cleveland who restores old luxury cars with over 260,000 miles on it.
Before too long, my dad was car-shuffling again. Noticing a pattern here? He had enjoyed The Black Bullet so much that he decided to get a newer one and bought this nice little gem:
After driving a 2003 BMW 530i sedan for a while, it was time to do some car switching. The Black Bullet was history, and we both needed a car. What to do?? Duh, go buy another one... So Pops gave me the 530i for my 21st birthday and bought himself something else. I drove that car for the remaining year or so of college, and I have to say it was pretty cherry. Of course, that car fit right in at my school and other students would barely even bat an eye.
Along came graduation and Mommy B and I's subsequent migration south. Dear ol' dad gave me the option: I could either keep the BMW (and assume the $300+ monthly payments until it is paid off), at which time I could keep it... OR he would take the BMW back and give me the car he had been driving for free. Being a broke college grad, I opted for the free route. And this is what I got stuck with:
Picking up my sarcasm yet? Basically I got to move south with a 1998 Audi A4 Quattro - that was completely paid off. The only downside to this car was that it was a manual stick shift. Luckily I had learned how to drive one back in high school, so I was willing to suck it up for the time being.
Fast forward 3 years, and the Audi was creeping up in age and miles. Mommy B and I decided it was time to get a newer car, and I knew exactly which direction I was headed...