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.
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.
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.
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