Scenario time. You roll up to your local cars and coffee. You see people everywhere hard parking their cars and exiting them with a smile on their face. They talk to other owners about the great features of their cars and the not-so great. They gloat with pride over their babies. As you smile, you look back to see your car, parked alone on the other side of the parking lot. No one’s come to you to talk about it. You don’t have a fun car.
That scenario’s a bit of an overstatement, but for someone who’s active in the car community, it’s a harsh realization. You see, I love my Outback. It’s a great daily driver, but it’s just that. It’s a daily driver. A curse that’s set upon the mundane and the everyday, and while the Outback is no Camry, it’s not something you wake up in the morning yearning to drive. It’s a car that will get you back and forth to your destination in some comfort, with a little off-roading on the side if you want it.
The daily-driver conundrum is where my problem begins. I find myself looking on at others who deeply enjoy their fun sports cars, ripping up mountain roads, or gloating in a parking lot. Experiences that I can’t enjoy in my current position without some serious modifications and money. So, what do I do? What everyone does...I stare at Craigslist ads for cars that I can’t afford.
But that has to stop eventually. In fact, that has to stop soon. I have to stop torturing myself by looking at things from a distance and actually make the initiative. Why suffer and yearn when you can make the initiative and prosper? These are questions I’ve never asked myself before now, because before now, my answer for everything project car has always been, “you don’t have the money for that.” It’s time to stop talking myself out of it.
But what the hell do I buy?
Well, everyone who’s anyone that knows me, knows I have one major dream car: the Z30 generation Toyota Soarer/Lexus SC.
I suppose the lucky thing about these is the fact that they’re not that expensive, unless you get some low-mileage one with a manual, such as one I found in GA recently for nearly 10 grand with a stick. But I don’t necessarily need a stick, especially because the car I want features the 1UZ V8, which never came from the factory with a stick. There’s also the whole part about me not really caring what transmissions come with the car but that’s a whole other story.
However, I have found a few clean SC300s in the area for decent prices, such as the red one a few lines above, with new paint and upholstery, which takes care of two key common cosmetic issues of those early cars (seriously, I dare you to find a high mileage 90s Lexus without torn leather). So, I’m pretty much playing the market right now just waiting for the right car.
Also, for some reason, I’ve had an attraction to Miatas recently, but I can’t buy a Miata.
Basically, I’d love to have a Miata. I know they’re wonderful to drive and fling around a mountain road, and I have many friends with Miatas. But I’m a big guy (for you) and when you add that to an insanely small car such as the Miata, it doesn’t really add up. Not that I haven’t tried the Miata, I found one for sale in my town, but it was gone by the time I actually went to look at it. In the wake of the Miata, however, many people have suggested such alternatives as the early MR2s and others.
Honestly, at this point, who knows what I’ll buy. It could end up being something completely out of left field that no one expected at all, which would have to be pretty ballsy if you know my car tastes. But the hunt is on, and I’ll take any recommendations that I can get. So, I guess...happy hunting?