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foxtrapper UltimaDork
8/4/15 2:57 p.m.

Buy what tickles your fancy, not what other people tell you tickles theirs.

Some people love land yachts, even when they are young. Some love trucks, or wee little sportscars or even minivans (really, I've heard some people do!). So get what brings you joy. Don't fret what other people think of your choice.

By all means, go drive some different things. You may find yourself surprised by some of the things you like, as well dislike.

And by no means is car buying and enjoyment over when you're older.

curtis73 PowerDork
8/4/15 8:22 p.m.
ultraclyde wrote: Eat dessert first. You could die any time.

This times infinity. Its what I did, although I did it with GRM beaters and fixed them up: e30 cabrio, 62 Caddy SDV, 66 Bonneville, big diesel pickup toy, R6 crotch rocket, W210 diesel... not fancy cars by any means, but fun stuff that I wanted regardless of practicality or logic. Now that I'm 41, that actually hasn't changed much. I have a menagerie of things that I want and I'm passionate about. I find ways to make them practical.

Like carting home a greasy Ford 9" rear sticking out the trunk of my Impala SS, or putting 2x4s out the open top of the LeMans. (it looked like a box of french fries).

Strange thing is; I will have a practical, reliable car some day when I can afford it. Right now there is too much $500 eye candy to fix up and that keeps me happy.

But the no kids part is big. I don't have any of my own, but I'm told from other parents that its not so much that you couldn't own a fun car and still be a parent, but that car potentially becomes a sidenote. If I had kids, I wouldn't put them in my 67 LeMans with lap belts, no crumple zones, no headrests, no rollover protection, etc. I would run out and buy the best 5-star crash rated minivan and put them right in the center of it.

So yeah... buy the crazy stuff now. Go practical later when your parental instinct kicks in and you don't have the choice.

To paraphrase a common saying: No great story ever starts with "so there I was driving along in my Hyundai..."

flatlander937 Reader
8/4/15 8:36 p.m.

I daily drove this for a year and a half. Spent way more on it than I should have to take a perfectly reliable bone stock Jeep to this point. Had zero practicality.

Loved it, don't regret it, sold it and don't regret that either. My wife and I had a lot of good times. I'd recommend you do the same.

gofastbobby Reader
8/4/15 9:18 p.m.

i wouldn't worry too much about fuel economy.

Worst case, you can find a cheap $1500 appliance car that gets good mileage.

Vracer111 Reader
8/4/15 10:10 p.m.

My philosophy is to get the car you are interested in as soon as you practically can. I really wasn't looking to buy a new car, EVER (definitely don't like the high monthly car note and can't wait until it's fully paid off); never saw myself as getting anything but used car's - financially new doesn't make as much sense as a few years old used car if you are mechanically inclined and can do maintenance.

Something changed when the FR-S was getting ready to be released - it was the only new car that really was an accumulation of most everything I wanted in a low cost sportscar for decades: the outstanding styling (both interior and exterior), it was a 2 door coupe (I don't like convertibles), drivetrain layout (FR configuration with nice close ratio 6-speed manual and Torsen differential), its exact focus on chassis/handling balance without electronic 'drivers aids', and its eschewing the the "more, Moar, MOAR!" idea of current performance cars/hot hatches based on 'hopping up' a shared mass produced chassis instead of engineering proper sports car in the first place.

I didn't want to wait to get a used one, actually the more I thought about it I could not ever get it used - I know how the car is going to be driven... and I wanted to be the one driving it. I wish the car had come out a decade earlier...because then I would have been able to drive it sooner!

Sure the car isn't perfect and it has issues, but there is nothing else, and I mean NOTHING else I'd rather be driving - I'd be 100% content to only be able to have this car for the rest of my life. The more I drive it the more I love it...it's a car that gets better and more satisfying the more you drive it - couldn't imaging waiting until a 'better' version to come out like I hear people say all the time on forums, that is like cruel and inhumane punishment to me! So while not financially something I love, the high monthly payment is more than worth the smile it puts on my face every single day, rain or shine, because of the special character the car has. I've never enjoyed a car as much as this one, and have no cares for any other car besides it (...other than maybe an Integra Type R...)

I say get the car you really want as soon as you can...

If you need to move big or bulky things around very seldom, that is what family, friends, or rental vehicles are for... Or just buy a beater truck or van for dirt cheap.

Mitchell UltraDork
8/4/15 10:11 p.m.

I'm in about the same boat as the OP; I have a reliable Focus SVT that has depreciated out to about nothing. I have been considering replacing it with something completely impractical (see my Cayman, Miata, etc. threads). Instead of selling it, I'm thinking about just keeping it around. It only adds about 25/mo to the insurance quotes I have tested, and it's maintenance costs are near zero. When I move again, I'll just get rid of the Focus.

Knurled UltimaDork
8/4/15 10:19 p.m.

You might have a blood clot break loose and clog an important brain artery tomorrow. Be dead before you hit the floor, be conscious just long enough to think "Oh, so this is happening now."

(This is how one of my relatives died. When he was 37 and I was a wee kid. I'm 37 now. I think about this just a little bit. I REGRET NOTHING)

There needs to be a balance, of course, but you shouldn't hard-sacrifice a present that exists now.

turtl631 Reader
8/5/15 7:18 p.m.

Get the fun car, just don't break the bank to do it. What does your SO drive? I'm a married, no kids dual income 30 yo guy, I drive an S2000 that makes me happy when it's 50° and I'm driving top down, heat blasting to work; she has a practical car (mazda3 hatch) and between the two, we make it work.

Coldsnap Reader
8/5/15 8:23 p.m.

Bro, we need to have a drink together because I'm in the exact same damn position. It's a good place to be in, we are free. Let's just embrace it and get miatas. I've got a crown vic which makes me smile, but damn do i want something smaller!

Getting my girlfriend her Mazda 3 hatcback was the first step in enabling me to have a smaller car.

I'm just trying to find a good middleground between what's reliable, affordable with my $15k limit, and fun.

Maybe even a $10k fiat is fun enough for me.

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
8/6/15 8:18 a.m.

This matches what we did, but with different cars (e30's, e36 m3's, e34 m5, c4 corvette, sti, 964). Fun cars don't have to be expensive: well purchased, they can be cheaper than a 'normal' daily. Our 2002 Protege was more expensive per km and per month than any of the above cars: because the others didn't depreciate, or actually appreciated.

Klayfish wrote: I was in pretty much the exact same scenario as you 15+ years ago. Married, no kids, low expenses, both had good jobs. I kind of "climbed the ladder" of sports cars as time went on...in other words I never broke the bank, but I continually traded up. Took a fair amount of wheeling and dealing...I would always search for that huge bargain, so that when I went to sell it I could get most or all of my investment back out of it. My first weekend toy was a '91 MR2 (I think that was the first one), and I worked my way through all kinds of cars over the course of several years. Wound up with a FFR Cobra, then a Viper. Those were before and shortly after my first kid was born. Then I started descending the ladder, to where I now have 3 kids and no weekend toy. To be fair, I don't have a toy right now for a bunch of reasons, most of which were logistical not financial. But even if I get one, it's likely to be a low budget one, as in old NA Miata or E36. Do I regret it? No, not really. My wife and I had some wonderful memories and had a lot of fun with them. We never put ourselves in the poor house and now that we have kids, we'd never have the time to enjoy the things we did back then.
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