I like cars. I didn't grow up in a family that liked cars, in fact, all of my relatives drive very practical
vehicles (if they drive at all). One of my uncles owned a '68 Corvette Stringray, but he sold it. After my parents
retired they got themselves a truly exciting car--a Volkswagen Cabrio. To each his own. My interest is not genetic, but it's there. Take this into
consideration as you evaluate my progress through the years.
2007 Acura RDX (carbon gray pearl, ebony interior), 2006- One of the most difficult decisions I've made around cars was replacing the RAV4 with a more upscale, better performing, safer SUV.
The RAV4 was rock-solid reliable. The RDX, on the other hand, is an entirely different breed. "Super handling" all wheel drive, a torquey 240-horsepower 4-cylinder turbo engine, and outstanding fit, finish,
and amenities look to make this a worthy successor to the old workhorse.
2001 Porsche Boxster (silver, blue interior), 2001- Now THIS is a CAR!! Say what you want about it not being the fastest
(yes, I test-drove a Corvette once, and couldn't stand it), it has handling to die for, refinement that leaves
the competition in the dust, and an engine that whines and roars like nothing else out there. It's even better with the top down.
I guess this makes me a "Porsche guy" and that means I will never be a "vette guy" or a "BMW guy" or among the "Ferraristi." Well... about that last one... we'll see.
1999 Toyota RAV4 L (forest green), 1999-2006 In 1999 I realized that I got lucky in the Miata with the mild winters, and
that there was no way a serious sports car would be able to handle most mid-Atlantic winters. So I got the RAV4 to haul things and people,
drive through snow and mud, and in general be the "beater" car. Of all the SUVs I tried, this one had the best transmission, handling,
and steering response. It was like a Miata, but big. And slow. And a bit more prone to rollovers. The last time I ever saw it was when they drove it around back at the Acura dealership.
1996 Mazda Miata (brilliant black), 1996-2000 My first car purchase. Made me a sports-car driver forever.
It was an amazing little car and I had a lot of fun over the course of almost 5 years and more than 50,000 miles. A totally reliable convertible
with train-track handling and a short-shift gearbox. The power left something to be desired (133 hp 4-cylinder) and the refinement
wasn't up there, but it was a great little car. It did provide some entertainment one time
when a couple of relatives who were visiting from Italy started ogling it. The younger one got to go for a ride. The last time I ever saw it was at a car dealership in Delaware when I traded it in.
1988 Volkswagen Golf (gold), 1991-1996 One of my parent's old cars, which I drove now and then in school and then drove
to work when I graduated. I had a 40-mile commute (one way) so I contributed in no small way to the car's eventual death by charitable donation. It was faster than the Vanagon, but that's about all that can be said for it.
1985 Volkswagen Vanagon (blue), 1990-1991 The car I drove to school when I first got my license. It was a real performance
machine (or not--it once placed dead last in Car & Driver's year-end performance review for 0-60 time). Everyone called it the party van, but it was potential more than reality. I did manage to fool a very gullible friend (who later wound up at MIT)
into thinking I had installed a big-block Chevy V-8 once when the muffler broke. In retrospect, a car with a built-in mattress
should be a pretty exciting thing for a young guy, but what do you want, I was a nerd. I'm not sure what became of this one.
1977 Volkswagen Van (white), 1989-1990 I learned to drive a manual transmission in the "Porsche of Vans." I also spent
a lot of my childhood freezing during long trips thanks to the air-cooled engine. It was more aptly called "the bus," not because
it was powerful like Jerome Bettis but because it drove like a bus. I think my parents sold it to some relatives.