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New Car

I don't need a new car, I need another car. Here in Florida, we have the truck as our only vehicle. This works out just fine most of the time, but there are occasions when it would be nice to have another car in case we both have things to do at the same time. Since it won't be our full time vehicle, it can be something fun! Here's the question: what car would be the most fun for the least money?

In high school, I had a 1945 Willys army jeep that was more fun than any car I've ever owned. If you want to know more about this, see my blog entitled “Fred.” It's not very practical though, and there aren't many sand dunes you can drive up and down here in Cape Coral, so I think an old Jeep probably isn't going to happen.

Another old car I had years ago was a 1965 Ford Thunderbird. What a beauty. And fast? Yeah, it was fast. Shortly after I bought that car, I discovered it had a swing-away steering wheel. This was designed to make it easier to get in and out of the car. At the time I didn't know what a swing-away steering wheel was, and in trying to get out of the car, I inadvertently caused the steering wheel to suddenly swing to the right. I was certain I had broken the steering column, and I stomped into the house to complain to my wife about the shoddiness of Ford products. I finally get my mechanic to come by the house to fix the steering wheel. He took a quick look and doubled over with laughter. This only made me angrier. The angrier I got, the more he laughed. Eventually, he got control of himself, grabbed the wheel and pulled it to the left, where it made an audible click and locked into place. That was not the only time I've felt like a complete idiot, but it was one of them.

The 1960 Rambler station wagon I had was fun. It had a pushbutton transmission on the dash, which made it kind of cool. That was the only thing that made it cool, though. It was completely rusted out, and the back floor was made of two-by-fours that I had nailed in to make it “safe.” No, I don't think a Rambler will work.

Old Mercedes are pretty cool. I've had a couple of them, and they're cheap and easy to fix. They also go forever with just routine maintenance. South Florida is the place to get an older Mercedes. Lots of old people have fancy cars but don't drive them anywhere, and a car that runs only 5,000 miles a year is not unusual. How about a little sporty two-seater convertible? Yeah, I could do that.

Louise wants an old Citroën Dyan. If you've never seen one, look it up. It's an unstylish metal box with a hamster wheel for a motor. She has fond memories of her misspent youth, loading a bunch of friends into one of these death traps and trying to get it to go uphill. I'm pretty sure the seats are actually lawn chairs, so a Citroën isn't going to happen.

Jaguars are cool and cheap, but I would need to buy two of them so that when one's in the shop being fixed, I can drive the other one. Then when the first one is fixed, I can rotate the second one back to the shop.

Porsches are fun, but I'll kill myself if I try to drive one. I owned a Porsche once. A 1973 911E with a silver body and a red leather interior. What a great car! I spun it out twice and sold it eight days after I bought it. I never could get used to the front-wheel drive and extra power.

And so here I sit, staring at all the different cars on EBay and Craigslist, trying to decide what to do. That Lamborghini looks pretty nice . . .


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