Home » Member Rides: ’98z28′ Has To Be The Only Person In America With These Three Cars

Member Rides: ’98z28′ Has To Be The Only Person In America With These Three Cars

Member Rides Camaro

Autopian member 98z28 is a man who lives up to his name. Specifically, he does indeed own a red 1998 Chevy Camaro Z28. Usernames have their limits and I’m excited to report that he’s so much more than that. He bought another GM product to fulfill his midlife crisis and got a Subaru with a very special feature as a winter beater. He’s living the dream!

(Welcome to Member Rides. This is the weekly feature where we look at people who became members of the site by signing up here and parting with a little of their hard-earned dough to keep The Autopian going. Our plan is to do these every week! Credit to 98z28, who volunteered to be our guinea pig for the first ever installment).

Autopian: Hey, thanks for doing this! Tell us a little about yourself: where do you live and what you do?

I live in New England and I work in Customer Support (Senior Level).

Autopian: How’d you get into cars?
I have always had a love of all things automotive. Even if I didn’t like the car, I loved seeing someone else’s passion for one. My grandfather gave me a 1969 F-100 when I turned 16. My father showed me how to do basic and some not-so-basic repairs. That experience taught me that heavy wrenching was not for me, but I understood the truck’s issues and why it cost so much to fix it.
My mother introduced me to luxury sports cars. Go fast and be comfortable. She also said “Buy the best you can afford and maintain it.” Once I could buy a car (F-100 motor threw a rod and self-destructed), I started off with the sports/odd balls: 1988 Cutlass with 3.8V6, 1991 Escort GT, 1990 Taurus SHO. Then I hit the meh years–Lumina, 2005 Impala, and the like. Now I am back wanting to buy something that interests me and not a “it just runs” car.

Autopian: And what do you have?

A 1998 Camaro Z28 – My mom’s car, it’s been in the family since new. My father and I keep it going. I plan to keep it forever as my daughter likes it.

2010 Cadillac DTS –  The road tripper that was my mid-life crisis car. I went a different direction there. The first time I saw one, I knew I wanted it. It took nearly three years to find this one.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek – The daily, winter, and dump runner car. A little bit of everything in on package. I couldn’t afford a truck and got a good deal on this one. It also has the anti-American carjacking deterrent known as a 6pd.

Autopian: I feel like you’ve gotta be the only person who has that specific mix of three cars. What’s your favorite memory in the Camaro?

That would be the first day my daughter rode in it and took over the back seat. Now she loves “Red Car” with the huge rear window.

Autopian: How do you feel about the six-speed in the Crosstrek? I’ve heard mixed things.

Crosstrek

I like it. It is a four-cylinder small car so it can get a bit noisy, which I expected. It is an easy manual to drive; on the highway I usually throw it in the 6th and leave it there. The car has less that 50k on it so I have not had to do a full clutch, just the fluids.

Autopian: DTS is not what I’d call a traditional ‘midlife crisis’ car. What attracted you to the big Caddy? How’s it holding up?

It has the Northstar 2nd-gen 4.6L  V8 without the oil pan problems. It is holding up fine due to my replacing parts as needed. At 104k, I am in the area where more expensive parts (read: sway bar, front suspension, valve covers, fuel pump) need to be done. It has been in two accidents (rear ended for $12k worth of damage and sideswiped once I finally got it out of the shop by an excavator in transit for another $3k).
I plan to keep the car for a while as I paid it off a few years ago. This makes sense as I cannot touch something in anywhere near as good of condition for under $30k.
Caddillac Dts
As to why I chose it… I have always liked land yachts. The design just made me go: “I want that.” Plus, as a family road tripper it is hard to beat. We can fit all our stuff, us, and have room left over. Also, the ride is very comfortable with heated/cooled seats, heated steering wheel, the “limo” front seat which removes the center console, plenty of leg room for all passengers. The V8 will not win any speed runs, but it gets up to speed quickly and handles highway speeds/passing with ease. It had just enough rumble to say I am a V8 but it doesn’t wake up the neighborhood. Considering the fun car was already there, I went with the luxury cruiser.
Autopian: What’s in your dream garage?
My dream garage would have another 1969 F-100, an RV, and some sort of production sleeper, along with what I have now.
Thanks! If you’re a member and want to be highlighted please check your email for a link to a survey you can fill out. If you don’t want to be featured, that’s also fine. If you want to become a member go here.
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32 Responses

  1. “That experience taught me that heavy wrenching was not for me,”
    This was good to hear. I’m not a heavy wrencher, either. Sometimes it feels a bit weird for me to frequent a site where people are building utes out of wreckage, so it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    My dad is an owner/operator who does most of his own repairs, as well as a bit of working on others’ trucks. Seeing/helping that was enough for me to stay out of trucking and major wrenching.

  2. Nice assortment there. We have a 2008 STS with the 4.6L Northstar in the mix and I have a lot of the same feelings as you describe for your DTS. My parents generously gave it to us about 4 years ago for our kids to drive when they got a new car. It’s really spoiled them, and I’ve kind of fallen in love it with it. It’s a great road trip car, and even though it’s 14 years old, I’ve only had to do regular maintenance on it (battery, tires, rear brakes, sparkplugs, and fluid changes). It’s sitting at about 125,000 miles and everything still works except the outside trunk release button (it’s more than just the button, because replacing that didn’t work) and the Navigation DVD player (but who wants to use a 14 year old DVD based navigation system anyway). The one weird age related thing is that there is no way to set the time or date. It was set up to get this info from the GPS satellite and something has changed in that system, so you can’t actually adjust the time or date anymore. Someone came up with a patch for it, but it requires burning a CD-ROM and then using the NAV DVD player to update the system… but that’s broken.

    1. For the DTS, I replaced the radio with a more modern on to get Apple Carplay and use the navigation apps in it. This also solved the time issue as it syncs from the phone.

      The radio looks like it belongs and plugged into all of the current features. The only missing one is with the original setup if I took the call, the blower would go down to the lowest level. Easy fix to take the blower off auto.

      1. Nice! On the STS there are a lot of features integrated into the touchscreen, like memory seat settings. I make due using the RCA inputs for screen, which allows the audio to pass through like an aux input. I have that running through an Amazon Echo Auto, so that gives me voice control for music, lets me make calls, etc. Then I just use the phone screen for nav. when need. It works well enough. On my previous Chevy Volt I ran a separate touchscreen with a Raspberry Pi running Android Auto, and that actually worked pretty well while keeping the stock touchscreen.

  3. First and foremost…that Camaro is definitely bitchin’, and as a fellow luxobarge enthusiast I tip my hat to the DTS. I’ll bet that thing is comfy as hell on the highway. In regards to the Crosstrek, you’re more accepting of that manual than I am. The one I drove was clunky as all hell and I thought the clutch was super vague…but I’m not exactly an amazing manual driver so some of that is definitely on me as well. Either way it’s a great car and maybe one day Subaru will hear our pleas and give us a Crosstrek WRX.

  4. Very nice! I’m a Mustang guy (own a new edge SN95), but I have to say the lines of that generation F-body are aging very nicely, even more so than the jellybean SN-95 from the same time period which look increasingly better to me compared to a decade ago.

    The last of the evolutionary Camaro design, before the retro set in.

  5. Few of us can afford to have a Singer, an Eagle E-type, and an Icon in our garage. I’m looking forward to seeing more member’s garages with realistic/affordable/practical rides -with a bit of fun in the mix. Good start for the feature (thumb emoji)

  6. Fantastic segment- I love hearing from other enthusiasts about what cars they enjoy and why. I have an appreciation for all cars, and hearing from other enthusiasts about why they love their vehicles is always a great way to get perspective.

  7. I think this is a great feature and look forward to more.

    General note – I can’t access my personal email on my work computer. I mainly read the site on company time (TAKE THAT, MAN). I can’t do the two-factor authentication during the workday to participate in the comments. Just bringing it up as there may be others in my situation.

  8. Awesome to see this suggested feature get started! Not to knock this particular one (I’m a sucker for both t-tops and f-bodies), but I’m looking forward to reading about and seeing some of the more obscure and modified stuff people around here have in their fleets.

  9. I have a 1966 Mustang, a 1978 Fiat X1/9, and a 1973 International Harvester pickup (3/4 ton 4×4).

    I built the Fiat X1/9 from a barely running wreck, fixed it again when I hit a deer, and painted it myself. No other person did a single thing on the Fiat. All me. Evening sewing upholstery. I’m doing the same on the IH, which is in process. I did everything on the Mustang except for paint it.

    But I’m not a member at this time. Thinking about it…

    1. What transmission on your Z28 – manual or auto?

      I ask as in manual form didn’t they have this oddball 2 to 5 shift “guide” for fuel economy’s sake?

        1. Hey, you got the LS1, and I dare say that ranks as high as a manual around here….hard to find an example of a car people haven’t suggested swapping that into.

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