Well I finally convinced my dad to move on from his amorphous Chevy blob of a crossover.
I have to give him credit though, he was early on the trend and bought his Equinox in 2013, but I have to take away credit for being one of the early few to support these abominations. Regardless, he’s been a certified Jalopponaut since birth and the reason I have a passion for cars. Now that this car is approaching 210K miles after years of traveling for work, it’s starting to show its wear. He’s always taken great care of his whips, the classic “leave the food in the bag until we get home” level of attention. It really shows too because he somehow has taken this Chevy crossover that many miles, with his last major service at 100K! It blew my mind as well.
He’s now semi-retired at 66 and working as a golf course starter (his personal dream job, free golf) in our native Southern California, and anticipating the Chevy to go down in the near future. I’d like to believe my recent trips home with my e39 touring have reignited his interest in driving something with some more character, as he’s been trolling craigslist, autotrader, cargurus, as of late looking for what we all are looking for; that unicorn for $5k or less.
In my most recent visit, I sat down with him and comprised a comprehensive list of the cars he has owned in his lifetime to gauge what he could be interested in, and if I may, it’s the stuff of greatness. Although I give him a hard time for some of the decisions he made when my brother and I were growing up, I do realize it is strictly as a result of having a family. But there were certainly other options that still would have been practical for a family of four, so that’s why I razz him.
Either way, this list ranges from his first car purchase in 1972 through present day, which are a mixture of new and used cars:
- ‘71 Chevy Monte Carlo; this is where I assume his affinity for Chevy began
- ‘74 Chevy g10; see what I mean?
- ‘75 Triumph Spitfire; his exact words, “fun when working”
- ‘78 BMW 320i; this seems to be the one he’s most interested in finding given the budget
- ‘71 BMW2002; this would be his first choice with a bigger budget
- ‘82 Chevy Camaro; man, he really liked Chevys, huh?
- ‘71 Porsche 911t; according to him, his greatest automotive regret, selling this car when my brother came along in ‘89
- ‘91 JEEP Cherokee; he doesn’t understand the cult fandom around this, seeing as it left my mom stranded multiple times with my infant brother less than a year out of the showroom
- ‘92 Volvo 740; his last, great choice (according to me)
- ’90 something Chrysler Sebring; trust me, I’d forget the year too
- ‘03 Chrysler PT Cruiser; his worst decision (also according to me)
- ’07 Mazda3 sedan; I took my driver’s license test with this, it was pretty decent
- ’13 Chevy Equinox; solidifies his belief Chevys are solid cars
As you can see it’s quite a varied list, which literally leaves the possibilities endless for his next car. To give perspective on how broad his search is, he has only two preferences when it comes to this next purchase:
1. Manual; all of his previous cars were stick except for the Sebring, Mazda, and Chevy (yes, he bought a manual PT cruiser).
2. Enough room in the trunk/hatch to fit his golf clubs
My folks currently reside in Orange County, and he’s extending the search as far south as San Diego, to as far north as Bakersfield. His daily commute is exactly 30 miles, so it has to be capable of being a daily driver and fairly efficient. Otherwise, he’s open to all years, makes, body styles (sans truck), and colors.
Here are a few he’s sent to me over the last couple days:
‘06 TSX; update- it’s been sold
‘06 Sportcombi; $4395
‘01 525i; $3300
‘80 242 DL; $2500
‘09 c30 R-design; $4888, although I remain suspicious if its the Polestar tune for that price
‘85 944; $4000
As you can see, he’s definitely leaning towards an import this time around, but with all the awesome cars for sale in that particular region for less than five grand, it’s going to be an extensive search for the right one. I’d be more than stoked if anyone happen to come across anything that should be considered.
I’ll periodically update this article as we begin to make progress on this search.
Tunes for your time: