My third Oppo post ever to reply to this list
10 - ‘15 Golf TDI. 50mpg is hard to beat. The amazingly good chassis balance, 6MT, and gobs of low end torque are just icing on the cake. Nice interior and ICE for a base model too.
9 -’67 MGB. 5MT. Makes the list because it was my first car and I spent a decade dreaming about what it could be, but never was. No power, no features, and handling that only a person who grew up with ‘50's Detroit iron could love. It looked neat, but was a pain to live with and a disappointment on the road.
8 - ‘85 CRX Si. 5MT. It handled well. It usually worked except when the alternator died. It didn’t kill me when I got rear-ended by a modern Camry that put the back bumper about six inches from my head. On the list because of its reputation. But it was really not that special at the time I had it (mid 90's.)
7 - ‘92 Probe GT. 5MT. 145hp my ass. That felt way, way more powerful. I think Ford/Mazda was playing games with the turbo tuning. Torque steer that would scare you, and a red-on-red interior that burned the eyes. But the gauge cluster that moved with the wheel was fun (same as 928). And from the outside the white paint and egg crate grill were not bad looking if a little anonymous.
6 - ‘79 Ramcharger. The top was removable in theory, but it weighed 400lbs and I didn’t have many friends so it stayed on. 318 was loud and could backfire on command, which I abused when driving past golf courses. It looked cool, it was kinda fun. It needed more care than I could give it at the time. It blew a head gasket going up a steep grade on a freeway. I replaced the head gasket with a friend and we got it to fire up again, but the timing was jacked up and we didn’t know enough about how to fix it. Good truck that deserved better.
5 - ‘03 Ram 2500 CTD w/ 6MT. Laramie package w/ long bed and 4wd. Long truck is loooong. It’s the truckiest truck a used truck shopper could buy. Previous owner was a very fastidious gentleman who only drove it to church on Sundays I think. In any case I bought it in ‘11 with 80k very gentle miles on it and have enjoyed the last 5 years and 100k miles of truck adventures. Looking forward to putting the 200k mile Cummins Registry badge on it soon. And the 300k and 400k and beyond someday.
4 - ‘85 300ZX-Turbo, anniversary edition. 5MT. Had a rare combination of analog gauges along with the full louvered anniversary edition option pack. I was never quite sure what the headlight louvers were supposed to do. Good handling dry, but scary when wet. When the rear unloads the heavy front end provides a pivot point for the whole car to snap around.
3 - ‘15 Mustang GT Convertible, 6MT. It’s new, it’s nice, it has a lot of horsepower. It’s my mid-life crisis cruiser. Could stand to have more grunt down low, and the stock exhaust is a touch muted. But it’s a good car and probably nicer than anything else I’ve owned.
2 -’89 928 S4. Dogleg 5-speed never gave me any issues with the shift pattern (an H is an H no matter what leg you start on) but the throws were a little long and slightly imprecise. The Porsche 32v DOHC V8 sounds better at startup and idle than any other engine I know. The 928 feels slow, and is, kind of, up until you’re past any posted speed limit. Once you hit 75 the whole car comes alive. And once you hit 90 you can feel the suspension compress and tell you “Ah, so, you want to do some serious distance driving. Das gud.” From there the 928 provides the most stable, recklessly confidence inspiring platform you’d ever want to pilot to your death and/or jail term. All the grip that made 50mph boring makes 100, 110, 120mph all too comfortable.
1 - ‘85 RX-7 GSL-SE. 5MT. Perfect balance. Weight vs. handling vs. power were absolutely spot on... everything about that car was right. It was far from the fastest, most powerful, and perhaps not even the best handling at 10/10ths. But changing anything on it would have upset what was pinpoint right from the factory.
I wrote these as they came to me. Order ended up being 10, 1, 2, 9, 8, 3, 4, 5, 7, 6. Might have ended up with a different order if I had thought more about ranking.