Home » Have You Driven Any Of Your Dream Cars, And Was It All You Dreamed?

Have You Driven Any Of Your Dream Cars, And Was It All You Dreamed?

Drive Your Heroes Aa
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It’s not uncommon for the car bug to bite at an exceptionally young age. After all, there’s a reason why the Scholastic book fair sold Lamborghini posters. As a result, many enthusiasts have held certain cars sacred as subjects of childhood adoration, much like professional athletes. Some of us have even been able to experience these dream cars from behind the wheel, although there’s always that cliché about meeting your heroes lurking in the background. I’ve been colossally, ridiculously, unfathomably lucky, in that my life around cars has let me drive a ton of personal childhood favorites, and even own one or two. Some have been everything I’ve ever wanted, and some definitely haven’t.

Every E39 BMW M5 I’ve driven has been absolutely spectacular. Sure, the steering isn’t phenomenally sharp and the stock shifter has truck-like throws, but the engine is one of the finest V8s on the planet. It howls up top, bellows down low, and serves up just the right mix of intake and exhaust song. The chassis actually breathes with the road, and the whole car shrinks around you as you press on, reveling in the balance and sheer excellence of the world’s most legendary sports sedan. It’s one of the dreamiest of dream cars, the real deal everyday four-door supercar.

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On a note closer to home, my little Boxster is an absolute treat. I love the talkative steering, I love the surprising refinement, and I really love the little crescendo once the tachometer needle swings past four. It’s not just great value, it’s a great car, serving up just the right mix of classic feel and modern livability. Sure, it might be modest as far as dream cars go, but it’s easy to forget how much of a stir this little thing caused back in the day.

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Conversely, the Honda S2000 just didn’t cut the mustard. Sure, a sky-high redline is cool, but power under the curve is meek, the AP1 suffered from noticeable bumpsteer, and the electric power steering calibration is, uh, not good. You don’t get anything through the wheel, requiring you to rely on your inner ear and sensations through the seat to feel what the car is doing. The Mazda RX-8 is a better driver’s car, and the S2000 feels like a car largely running on myth.

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Honda S2000

So, have you driven any of your childhood hero cars? How did they stack up? Whether a car you loved since childhood drove beautifully beyond your wildest dreams or fell flat, I’d love to hear about your experiences.

(Photo credits: BMW, Thomas Hundal, Honda)

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Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
5 months ago

Yes. I now own two, and almost bought an Aston V12 a few years back. Merging onto the freeway during a test drive was exhilarating.

Kasey
Kasey
5 months ago

I’ve never driven any of my dream cars, mostly cause they’re oddballs that have all but disappeared and rusted away in my area. My bucket list consists of Mazda 929, Eagle Summit wagon or any of it’s rebadges, Maserati Biturbo and a Eagle Medallion. And a Saab 9000 would be nice too.

EXL500
EXL500
5 months ago
Reply to  Kasey

Fellow Medallion fan here. Love the looks of both the sedan and the wagon. Yes, oddball for sure.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
5 months ago

When I was a kid in the 70’s, as the gas crisis hit, my Dad worked for the city of Tyler, TX. He had a city vehicle that he drove to and from work, Mom stayed at home with my preschool sister and I, so she needed a car basically to take us to church and the grocery store.

So even with gas lines at stations, fuel economy wasn’t a huge issue for us.

So Dad bought a ’68 Lincoln Continental from a local limo company. Black with a green leather interior. I LOVED that car, and always wanted one for myself.

20 years of so later, I got the opportunity to own one. White with oxblood red leather interior.

Everything about that car was pure luxury. It rode like a cloud, was nearly silent, and it had a presence that caused Accords and Camrys to scatter like hyenas running to escape the path of an elephant. The AC would get super cold. It was amazing in every way except fuel economy. 8-9 mpg, no matter how I drove, and it only drank super unleaded.

Eventually, the engine started smoking, so I traded it for a ’76 Honda GL1000.

It was glorious, but I wouldn’t own another, unless it was the convertible version.

Dalton
Dalton
5 months ago

I currently own on of mine, coincidentally an S2000. I cant say i disagree about the steering feel, thats just how Honda EPAS was of the era. I would say the bumpsteer is negligible, and that the rest of the sensations more than make up for steering feel depending on where your priorities lie. The sound, engine feel, the roadster-ness of it, the styling, its so damn good. Its got that X factor.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
5 months ago

I wanted a classic Volkswagen Beetle since I was around 5 years old, so the Beetle is a hero car for me even if most people wouldn’t view it as such. I finally bought one in my late 30s; until then I had driven a Beetle on two occasions for maybe five miles. It has been both good and bad.

On one hand, I like classic VWs as much as ever and it is considerably more fun to drive than I expected it to be. The shifter and unassisted steering are precise, it is very maneuverable due to its small size, and it gets 25 mpg. On the other hand, after driving cars with modern amenities and performance, I realize a classic Beetle kind of sucks as a daily driver. It has no AC (which really sucks in Florida), an AM only radio, no right-side armrest for the driver (this might be the feature I miss the most), it isn’t particularly roomy, it is very loud, it struggles to keep up with traffic, and it needs far more maintenance than a modern vehicle.

After driving a Beetle for a few years and living with its flaws, the Beetle is my favorite car of all time and I think it is worthy of “hero” status for me. I am happy I don’t have to rely on one as my only vehicle, though. I am not sure I would like the Beetle as much if I had to drive it in traffic jams, 95+ degree weather, or on lengthy trips where I really needed to get somewhere. It has been great as a second vehicle and something nice to look at in the garage, though.

Codfangler
Codfangler
5 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

As a ROF (Retired Old Fart), I see many of your childhood dream cars as the cars that I drove or lusted after when they were new or, at least, fairly new.

I daily drove a 1960 Beetle back when it was a late model used car, 1964. It was a base model car with no options, not even a radio. It did have 36 raging horsepower, whether I needed them or not. It is a little strange to know that some folks now consider it a “hero car.” To me, it was just a inexpensive car that was much better than walking.

While I owned that car, a friend let me drive his 1964 tri-power GTO for a few blocks. That was when I learned that I probably should not own the high-powered cars I craved as bad things would probably happen since restraint and reason were not my strong points. This experience was as close as I came to driving one of my dream cars. At his late date, it is unlikely that I will ever get to drive an early XKE roadster, original Cobra, Hemi anything, Ferrari 250 GTO, etc., but I can always dream.

Masa
Masa
5 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

For similar reasons, my “hero” car is my FIAT 500D. Always wanted one since I was a kid and have the driven the 1959 Normale, 1958 Transforabile, R, L, and F trims. The D is my all time favorite and still drive it to this day. It’s also been a fantastic “learning” car since its so easy to maintain and fix.

I have never driven a Beetle, but suspect that its similar, with the 500D being lighter and severely under-powered. Even with a 695cc, highway driving is out of the question. It also has a non-synchro 4 speed so it makes me feel like I can drive anything.

Pneumatic Tool
Pneumatic Tool
5 months ago

At the garage I worked at in the 80’s we’d occasionally get some fun things rolling in to break up the monotiny of the usual Ciera/K-car/Fairmont stuff. One of the more interesting ones was a ’68 427 Corvette. A brief road test is part of the PA inspection (or at least it was, not sure of current regs). This also helped warm the car up for the emissions test, which we had to do in our area (rudimentary – only a tailpipe sniffer at the time). The regular mechanics had seen/driven it all, so they would occasionally hand me the keys to do the road test. This wasn’t exactly by-the-book-acceptable because I did not have inspection certification, but they also knew that I had a very good handle on PA regs, I didn’t drive like a jerk, and I appreciated/respected cars.

I had driven C3s before, but they were all 350s of varying years. The allure of a pre-emission control 427 smack in the malaise era was undeniable. What was strange was just how hard the clutch pedal felt. It felt like it belonged on a tractor or something. Possible that the guy installed some kind of competition clutch, but for the life of me, I could not imagine what it would be like driving this thing in stop/go traffic.

Yeah, it was fun to have all that power/sound/fury/badassery at your command, but I couldn’t help but think that I kind of liked driving an ’84 4+3 C4 owned by another customer a bit better.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
5 months ago
Reply to  Pneumatic Tool

The guy who painted my first car, who would have been in his forties when I was 16 in 1988, told a similar story. As a kid, he was a teenage grease monkey at a service station, and one day a customer dropped off the most gorgeous car for an oil change – a 1966 Corvette convertible, with a Tri-Power 427 and a four-speed. He only lived a couple of blocks from the station, so he walked home, giving this guy the opportunity to drive it, even if it was only a few yards from the parking lot up onto the rack. He said that try as he might, he could not get the clutch down far enough to even take the car out of gear to start it. Neither could the only other guy at the station. They ended up having to wait for the owner to get home, then call him and ask him to walk right back to the station to pull it into the bay for them.

I reckon those 60s Corvette clutches were no joke. They probably had to be pretty dang stout to handle the grunt of an L71 big block.

Last edited 5 months ago by Joe The Drummer
Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
5 months ago

Yes. Drove a Corvette. Fun to drive but don’t want to own one.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
5 months ago

The S2000 take is a curious one, because pretty much every other journalist who’s driven one has basically said it’s one of the greatest cars ever made….that being said it’s so universally venerated across the board that I have a gut feeling I will wind up disappointed if I ever get to drive one myself. I also think that the universal, unwavering praise of Honda gets a little absurd after a while, and I say this as someone who owns one and will likely be replacing it with another.

I’ve only met a small, attainable handful of my childhood car heroes. As I’ve said a few times I wanted a GTI for many years and wound up sprinting to buy one as soon as it was time to get my first nice car. Unfortunately the reliability issues and assorted quirks and bugs soured me on it quickly, and as I’ve said here many times I really only think the GTI/Golf R experience is special if you’re coming from regular cars. Basically…if you’ve only ever driven econoboxes then of course it’ll feel incredible, but once you’ve driven more serious stuff they don’t hold up as well…thus how I wound up in an N instead.

I’ve driven a 6th gen Camaro in both V6 and V8 forms and extoll the virtues of the alpha platform here constantly, so I won’t rant about it again, but suffice to say it exceeded expectations in every way other than visibility and usability, where the Camaro fails spectacularly. But the driving experience is indeed sublime.

I got to learn how to drive stick on the same NA Miata I grew up around and that was very neat. I went from my aunt letting me row gears for her in it as a kid to learning how to row my own in it as an adult. That was super cool! And the car is brilliant. Miatas are brilliant, but everyone knows that.

Other than that I’m hoping to get behind the wheel of a 911 and an LC500 next. My wife and I are doing an Asheville trip in the spring and I may see if I can Turo one. Driving either through the Smokies sounds like as good of a way to experience it as any.

Dalton
Dalton
5 months ago

He’s absolutely right about the steering feel. If you value that, you’ll be woefully disappointed.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
5 months ago
Reply to  Dalton

I basically solely bought an N because of how great the steering is so….

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
5 months ago

As someone who might not have been super thorough with the comments before, what’s the cliff notes version of your Alpha platform love? Is it that much better than the Zeta/Holden designs of the 5th gen? How does it compare to the rival options from Ford and Dodge?

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
5 months ago
Reply to  Spartanjohn113

I haven’t driven anything on the LX platform so I can’t necessarily comment on the Challenger/Charger/300 personally, but the general consensus seems to be that those are excellent cruisers in more of a traditional muscle car mold.

I have driven an S550 Mustang, although it was an Ecoboost. I thought it was pretty agreeable for daily use and was communicative enough to have some fun on a backroad, but it still wasn’t necessarily a super connected feeling car, if that makes sense. What I’ve read suggests that the Mustangs kind of split the difference between stuff on the LX platform and stuff on the Alpha platform,

The alpha platform is brilliant to me for one specific reason-how connected it feels. The Camaro communicates what’s going on with the road brilliantly through the chassis and steering. Even when I was hustling a 450 horsepower SS around on a mountain road it never once felt like it was getting away from me…and the only time the car felt its size/weight was when I had to do stuff like park it.

The steering feedback is plentiful and the Camaros I’ve driven have felt incredibly planted, if that makes sense. Don’t get me wrong-you can still be an idiot with them and kick the tail out, but you really have to be intentional about it.

Basically they’re feedback rich cars that handle extremely well. Obviously this is cliched and a bit hyperbolic-but there’s almost a little bit of Miata in them, if that makes sense. Would I rather have a Miata on a twisty road? Probably, but the Alpha platform cars I’ve driven aren’t that far off and have ridiculous power on tap.

They’re also absolute weapons on the track. An instructor I’ve worked with has an SS 1LE and most stuff can’t keep up with it when he’s driving at like 7/10, and ZL1 ILEs can outlap several supercars. If you pull up Car and Driver’s Lightning Lap times and look at what the assorted Camaro variants are faster than it’s downright shocking. I believe the ZL1 they tested was faster around VIR than the second gen Ford GT.

Basically, GM can give you exotic performance and engagement at prices regular people can dream of affording. It’s a damn shame that the Camaro is going away because I think it’s a very underrated and misunderstood car. I hope to get into a Blackwing eventually but with our first kid on the way my next car is probably financial priority number 372 or something haha.

Madewithgenuineparts
Madewithgenuineparts
5 months ago

Alphas are amazing, I almost bought one two different times (ATS manual, new CT4) before I ended up in the Genesis G70 I used to have

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago

Yes, a Ferrari 308 QV and a 550 Maranello They were OK but impossible to really explore my limited skills in them for fear of $$$$ damage. Plus the crude emissions in the 308 made it kinda smelly.

I have a lot more fun in cars I don’t have to worry about. My Fiat X-19 gave a lot of the 308 driving experience without the apprehension.

Last edited 5 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
5 months ago

“So, have you driven any of your childhood hero cars?”

Not exactly a hero car, but somewhat… it was a Rolls Royce Silver Spirit from the late 1980s.

It wasn’t especially fast, but fast enough to get up to speed. The handling was better and flatter than I expected. It was also very smooth and quiet.

While it was a nice car, I didn’t think it was good enough to be worth what they cost new.

But that makes me think that in the coming years, I should see if I can find some of my childhood hero cars on Turo and rent them… as well as trying some other cars that were hero cars for many others.

Last edited 5 months ago by Manwich Sandwich
DaChicken
DaChicken
5 months ago

I lusted after a Ferrari 430 for a looong time. I finally made it to one of those dream car drive events and got to take one for a few laps around a short autocross course. While it was pretty awesome and I wasn’t exactly disappointed, it just wasn’t as great as I had imagined or read about.

It was just… a car. A nice looking, moderately fast, good sounding, fine handling car. Just not “all that.”

World24
World24
5 months ago
Reply to  DaChicken

It’s still great eye candy, I think!
Saw one at a random car show in 2022, and I was almost drooling over it. Came in a few minutes before me and my sister were going to leave. Drew a crowd, even had customers from the nearby stores coming to check it out.

VanGuy
VanGuy
5 months ago

I can’t say I have a “dream car”. Sure, I’d like to rent a supercar at a track someday for thrills, but ownership? Not really.

I’m not yet 30 and I’ve only driven a handful of different vehicles, and I’ve only owned two cars that I’ve put significant miles on (a ’97 Econoline-150 and a 2012 Prius v). The Prius v accelerates the same as the van, but feels like a Miata in the corners, comparatively. It’s all perspective.

Mainly, I just aspire to own a similar, newer conversion van with an extended body and high roof. Perhaps an LS-equipped Express or Savana, or even just whatever the latest year the 2-valve 5.4l Triton was available for Fords.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
5 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

2006 was the change to 3v, so 2005. That being said, I’m not sure the 2v is actually a better engine than the 3v. The 3v completely eliminates the notorious spark plug blowout issue…..

VanGuy
VanGuy
5 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Interesting! I thought I’d heard the inverse, that the 3v was the worse one.
The 4.6l in my ’97 was rock-solid, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t an option in the extended body models.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
5 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Well that’s probably because the 3v 5.4s have VVT that’s known for losing phasers, and they often have issues with spark plugs breaking off in the head. I’m not sure one is better or worse than the other.

Every 4.6 is extremely solid, they gave different heads that don’t have any of the 5.4s issues.

World24
World24
5 months ago

It’s not much of a dream car anymore (opinions changed over the years), but I was once in love with Grand Cherokee SRT’s with the 8 speed for a hot minute. Got to NCP a 2017 one time. And BOY was it something.
2.5-ton SUV’s going that fast is wild. And to think there are faster SUV’s?!
Holey-moley my dude’s!

Jonathan Jones
Jonathan Jones
5 months ago
Reply to  World24

NCP ??

DONALD FOLEY
DONALD FOLEY
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jones

NCP??

World24
World24
5 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jones

New Car Prep.
I originally wrote NCI for New Car Inspection, but figured more people would know New Car Preps.
Guess not!

Last edited 5 months ago by World24
Madewithgenuineparts
Madewithgenuineparts
5 months ago
Reply to  World24

Oh the term I’ve always heard is PDI

World24
World24
5 months ago

For Pre-Delivery Inspection, right? I’m close to Chrysler-dom, and I know they just recently in the past year or 2 started doing those, but I know they’ve had an inspection requirement for new cars the moment they get off the truck and before they go onto the lot.

Madewithgenuineparts
Madewithgenuineparts
5 months ago
Reply to  World24

Yes, but at my dealership (Toyota, originally Oldsmobile and Chrysler Plymouth) it’s done before the car hits the lot to remove all the wrap and finish installing wheel center caps and check fluids, etc

World24
World24
5 months ago

Huh, that’s weird. I don’t talk to many people that haven’t recently worked at a Chrysler dealership, so every time I say NCP’s people immediately know what I’m talking about.
Weird.

Cpt. Slow
Cpt. Slow
5 months ago

Almost all the ‘hero’ cars I’ve driven, from Rolls Phantom Coupé, to the Ferraris (308, 360 sypder and another whose monicker I can’t recall to the Ford GT) – none of the above mine – to the 68 GT Fastback Mustang, the 71 Nova SS, and the Honda S2000 (all have been mine), and countless lesser stars, I can say my real heroes are the cars I’ve owned, and worked on, and made worse or better through my experiences. The exotics are either too high-strung or just boring and/or overstyled. Special mention to the Ford GT – if I owned that, we’d be having a party on the road.
Oh, and any Porsche I’ve ever driven could find a home in my garage, but I’ve never owned one…

Last edited 5 months ago by Cpt. Slow
Tom T
Tom T
5 months ago

Of the cars I’ve owned:
1986 Porsche 911 Carrera: Lives up to the dream on ALLcounts.
2001 Porsche 911 Tiptronic: Although it’s supposed to be better in every measurable way, it most often left me unenthused.
1987 C4 Corvette Auto: Best seat of your pant acceleration feel, driving made sour by an orchestra of creaking, clicking, and squeaking plastics.
1999 C5 Corvette Auto: Beats the C4 on interior and handling yet the acceleration and shifting on the 87 was better..
1968 Galaxie 390: Style and power and a sweet V8. Would be epic 100% of the time if it wasn’t ruined by the wet blanket of always smelling of fuel and unpredictable hot weather idle, especially after coming off the highway and other typical 60′ fueling, cooling, and ignition irregularities.

FleetwoodBro
FleetwoodBro
5 months ago
Reply to  Tom T

Agree on the 911 Carrera. It’s the only “dream” car that exceeded expectations in every way…except one. A smattering of rain in LA on a flat, straight city street driving an ’88 911 at about 35-40mph, somebody pulled out of a parking lot into the street right in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and the rear end just immediately tried to overtake the front. I got off the brake and cranked hard to the left into the slide, missed the car that jumped out in front of me and somehow through luck there wasn’t a car to my left, the rear end tried to go the other way but caught and found some dry pavement I guess. To this day I really don’t know how it straightened out. Scared the living daylights out of me. I drove like an old man in the rain after that. I learned there’s a reason when you watch the Nurburgring crashes on youtube that the 911s often enter the frame backwards.

Last edited 5 months ago by FleetwoodBro
Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
5 months ago

Yes, a Lotus Esprit. Two different ones on two different occasions. Neither a V8, but still.

Some say don’t meet your heroes. Those people haven’t driven Lotus Esprits.

It’s not a perfect car by any means but it’s everything you think it is.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
5 months ago

I guess I’ll be that guy. I’ve driven all kinds of cars that are probably “the hero” to someone here, in various states of disrepair or drivability. Maybe that’s not the best or right way to meet your hero, but I think it delivers enough of the plot. My previously owned resume includes Saab 900s, 9000s, the whole range of Volvo’s 80s era classic fleet, Toyota Supras, Land Cruisers, Roadmasters, a minty Prelude (with brown interior!) even a Jaguar (and much, much more). I made an effort to pursue the cars I thought were cool when I was younger, along with others that fell outside that range.

Maybe I’m just too pragmatic, but outside of the initial delight of experiencing these cars, that sensation eventually subsides and I’m left with the disappointment of reality. In the end, they’re just cars. They look cool, they can sound and even feel cool, but they need to serve a purpose. If they’re tools and reliable, they need to do that effectively. If they’re meant to instill a feeling of awe, joy, or excitement, then they should bring those feelings consistently.

Not one car, or the heroes in between I’ve met or owned, have been able to achieve that Herculean task. The closest I’ve gotten is my current JKU. That’s not to sing the praises of it, because despite the character it inherently possesses as a Jeep, its platform refinement has distilled some of the Jeep character out of it. Something you can find in more abundance in a YJ, TJ, or even an XJ. I think the tradeoff in this case is some of that character for additional refinement and reliability. This vehicle meets the requirements I’ve set out for being transportation I can count on every day. And although it maybe doesn’t make me smile like my YJ used to, it still a great all-condition road vehicle that has enough versatility to keep my Automotive ADD at bay.

This post might be maligned by some, but having owned such a wide range of vehicles, I think you learn cars are just cars. But I’m not picking on cars. I’ve experienced the same let down from highly-acclaimed beers. From sought after bourbons. It’s easy for the hype train to get off the tracks and create lofty expectations that are simply out of reach. Often, it’s the regular cars, the daily drivers with pluck that really earn your love and admiration due as much in part to what they are as what they are not. The dark horse is sometimes the best horse.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
5 months ago

Like the cars that don’t really meet expectations, are many of the women I have known.
As you mentioned, the dark horses are always most satisfying.
A nice surprise is always the best.

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago

I too have owned and driven many cars and most of them are ultimately just cars. Compounding the disillusion is that older cars are let down by years of use, imperfect restorations, and the incredible march of progress.

If you can cast your mind back to the vehicle’s time period and embrace living without Carplay, traction control, independent suspension, or fuel injection, then it can be made to work. Sometimes you have to drive the car for a while to tune into its frequency. When everything is right, you can find a car where all the parts sing together, even though it might not be your favorite tune.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
5 months ago

I don’t agree with you 100%, but what I will say is that every car has a story, and every car represents the best efforts of the men who designed, built it, and sold it, for the use case they had in mind. When I’m first getting to know a car I find that journey of discovery to be fascinating. Not to mention the snapshot of that time’s state of technology that any vehicle can provide.

Long-winded way of saying the “non-special” cars have as much to say as the “special” ones.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
5 months ago

Good points to Col Lingus, Alt Schule, and Matt Sexton. I’m really not anti-Autopian, but I think part of it is attributable to having “been there, done that” a number of times, having owned a lot of different cars, having owned a lot of problematic vehicles (my fault, not theirs), and stuff like that. I also recently came off of an exhausting 2 month fast-paced “save the damn car” restoration of an old 245 that has me just absolutely whupped.

It was a joy and a weight off my shoulders to see it go home with the buyer on the back of their trailer. I hope they enjoy it, but man did that take a toll. As I’ve gotten older, cars have become to me more of a situation of nice place to visit, but wouldn’t want to live there. I love seeing minty, basic regular cars at shows or on the road. I love seeing weird old European cars. I’m glad there’s people out there to enjoy them. Maybe someday I can get back into it, but the excitement of a new car, a new ride, even the pursuit of one has just been dulled by repetition.

And I’m okay with that.

My family didn’t get as much of my time as they should’ve due to some of my automotive hijinx over the years, and I hope to make up for that now. That doesn’t mean I don’t like cars. It just means I’ve had my fill of the work, responsibility, and cost in energy and sanity. As much as I dream about the possibility of other cars, the amount of effort and work it’d take to expend to search for, negotiate, finance, insure, and do all the paperwork for one, it takes the joy out of it. That gives me a greater appreciation for my reliable Jeep and what it can do for me. On the flipside, I wouldn’t dare denigrate others for their automotive kinks, whatever they may be.

I’d understand if you don’t want to end up like me, I’m in a specific set of circumstances that probably don’t apply to a broad swath of you. Anyway, thanks for hearing me out and carry on, good folks.

Bobblehead
Bobblehead
5 months ago

When my pal brought his then-new S2000 over to my house… dad was convinced it was a new European roadster. Such a beautiful exterior shape.

My only complaint was the floor. I was always catching my shoe on the raised ridges in the floorboard.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
5 months ago

Have driven both a Ferrari 512bb and the 308 on several occasions. Acura NSX.
Also the PORSCHE 912, 911, 914 and 914/6, 924 (boring), and 928, 944.

The 69 Super Bee and 69 and 70 Road Runner.

And a lot of the others on my list.
Sometimes it’s just best to drive rather than “meet” your hero’s. YMMV.

Last edited 5 months ago by Col Lingus
Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
5 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

And which of those you listed were great, which were about what you expected and which were letdowns?

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
5 months ago

924 was not that fun.
Ferrari 512 and 308 and MOPARS are top of the list.
Forgot to list Porsche 930 Turbo though, a ton of fun.

Last edited 5 months ago by Col Lingus
Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
5 months ago

1996 Daihatsu Move SR-Turbo, and it was everything I had hoped for. Actually, it wasn’t quite, because the example I drove had been seriously abused and it was an automatic. The 1996 Suzuki Wagon R RV Turbo was much better, felt tight and was a genuine joy to drive.
My high-end dreams will likely remain that, although I was allowed to sit in a 365 GTB/4 Daytona and that was very special.

EXL500
EXL500
5 months ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

Like you, the closest I got to high end dreams was getting to sit in a DeTomaso Mangusta. The sales staff locked it as soon as my Dad and I got out.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
5 months ago

After wanting a Landrover since I got a Matchbox 109 Station Wagon when I was four I finally rented a Defender 90 on trip to the UK in 98. I loved it, the 300 TDI sounded like a double decker bus and everyone liked it. The only complaint was a lack of elbow room that had me driving with my arm out the window all the time. I didn’t get to off road but just driving around The Isle of Wight was awesome and it was great on narrow back roads. I know they rust, cost too much in the US etc. but I have an irrational love for the classic Series and Defender and a distaste for the modern “Defender”

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
5 months ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

I owned a Disco 1 for a number of years, and wrenched on a project Range Rover Classic; both are built on the same platform as the Defender. Fabulous, over-built beasts that are amazing off-road and better on-road than they have a right to be. And while I’m just as inclined to make Lucas electrics and oil-leak jokes as any lover of British cars, they’re far more reliable and simpler to troubleshoot than a lot of people think. (Stick with Lucas GEMS and earlier engine management systems, folks!)

The Disco 1 had been one of my “hero” cars for some time before I got my hands on one. The utilitarian design with the “safari windows” in the raised rear roofline, the double sunroofs, the third-row jumpseats — it had a laundry list of unique features on top of the (for the time) advanced coil spring/live axle suspension and full-time four-wheel drive with a center differential. It lived up to expectations quite well; in fact its on-road handling was better than I’d have dared to expect, but given that it was sharing the Range Rover platform, I shouldn’t have been so surprised.

Now, the Jeep TJ that the Disco replaced? Jeeps had always been on my list. It was OK, nice even, but spotty 90’s Chrysler quality issues soured me on it. (Although I loved the old AMC straight six that powered it.) To this day, I still appreciate Jeeps, but I’d rather put some sweat equity into getting an older Disco, Range Rover, or Defender back onto the road instead.

And then there’s the “Second-Gen” Dodge Ram with the Cummins diesel sitting in my driveway. Another interesting truck I managed to acquire (after having to let a rusty Chevy Squarebody that I enjoyed go…). Trucks and truck-like SUVs probably make good candidates for relatively good experiences for meeting one’s automotive heroes. They’re all purpose-built to be useful, and it seems like the interesting ones do turn out more often than not be enjoyable and reliable beasts of burden as designed.

Last edited 5 months ago by UnseenCat
Jake Wetherill
Jake Wetherill
5 months ago

My dream car in High School was an E30 M3, because all the Real Car Enthusiasts(tm) told me it was the best car ever made. I drove one in college and it was… fine… Around that time I also got to drive an original NSX which I’d always liked but never really dreamed of, and it was about 5 zillion times more fun.

10001010
10001010
5 months ago

I’ve driven an AZ-1 and fell in love and absolutely would have bought it if we could have come together on price. Sure, let everyone tell you about how impractical it is and how the Cappuccino and Beat are infinitely more usable and just as much fun to drive and then slam that gullwing door, slap the shifter into 1st with your left hand, and peel out of there to the sound of a turbo whistling right over your left shoulder. Tons of fun if you’re in the 5’9″ range.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
5 months ago
Reply to  10001010

I am 5′ 9-1/2″, but a lot of that is leg and I cannot comfortably drive an AZ-1. Even the Cappuccino is a smidgeon too tight, although it is possible that there would be some room to modify the seat brackets. Luckily my dream is a Suzuki Alto Hustle, which has plenty of space!

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
5 months ago
Reply to  10001010

I’m 6’2″ and now sad. It’s kind of the opposite of the day I learned I actually fit comfortably in an Elise. Which has now basically spoiled me for life in terms of steering response.

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago

In the mid 80s, I was walking to college in downtown Atlanta and I saw a funny little sedan that seemed all out of proportion. The compact body was hunkered down low and it had a flat face like a pug dog. The greenhouse was expansive and tall out of proportion. Intrigued, I saw that it had a BMW badge, a car becoming known as the yuppie-mobile of choice. But this was no fancy-pants 3 or 5 series. It had only two headlights and it was cute and non-threatening. It was a 2002.

It must have made an lasting impression because 20 years later, my brother called me from Florida. “Hey, didn’t you say you like 2002s? A guy at work is selling a nice one.” I didn’t remember ever having that discussion with my brother but he knows cars so I bought it sight unseen. As a well-maintained car but also well-used car, it was not everything I imagined but I still liked the way it looked. After 20 more years of sporadic refurbishment and refinement, it now does drive like my dream. And it is still my daily driver.

Last edited 5 months ago by Chronometric
Hiram McDaniel
Hiram McDaniel
5 months ago

Many years ago, I worked with someone whose husband owned a 1982 Porsche 911 Targa. His job transferred him to New York (from Atlanta) and she was left in Atlanta for a few months to sell house, cars, etc. They had made arrangements for the 911 to be sold by a dealer in Atlanta on a consignment basis. Problem was, she did not know how to drive a manual shift car. So, she asked me if I could help her get the car to the dealer, and to make it worth my while, she offered to give me the car on Friday, knowing it didn’t need to be delivered to the dealer until Monday. It was a fun weekend. I hindsight, I should have bought the car then and there. They offered to sell it to me for $21k, this was in 1998, it could have been mine. Sigh, I passed, now I regret.

Bobblehead
Bobblehead
5 months ago
Reply to  Hiram McDaniel

> Many years ago, I worked with someone whose husband owned a 1982 Porsche 911 Targa.

The oft-referenced, but rarely self-identifying, “wife’s boyfriend.”

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