Hello Oppo! I’ve been stalking Oppo and the front page for years, so I figured it was time to introduce myself. Hopefully Kinja doesn’t eat all my pictures, but apologies in advance if this gets posted 15 times.
My automotive adventure began in the summer of 1999 with me behind the wheel of a third generation Ford Econoline conversion van. Fascinating, I know. I would characterize the steering as “vague”, to say the least. The acceleration was, well I have no idea because I couldn’t reach the pedals. Every Sunday my Dad and I would drive out to the “clubhouse”, a shack on stilts in the river bottoms where my uncles would watch football, drink beer, and start bonfires. I loved it because I had free reign of the woods, and best of all Dad would let me drive (sit on his lap and steer) as soon as there were no more lines on the road.
This was also the summer of a few of my favorite “dad lies” that I embarrassingly believed for way too long. Like Dad pulling a U-turn on the interstate through one of the small “authorized vehicles only” lanes, and when I asked what that meant he said, “that means cars can’t turn around here, but it’s okay for vans.”
Needless to say I loved driving from an early age, and the bug only bit harder once I could reach the pedals. As a teenager my favorite cars fueled by video games and movies were the R34 GT-R, Ford GT, and Honda S2000, but I would’ve taken a go cart at that point. First car was a blue ‘93 Grand Am coupe, 5sp, 4cyl, spoiler. It was perfect... except for all the things wrong with it. I think I heard somewhere on here, “GM runs bad longer than most cars do at all.”
As I got older, I started to appreciate cheap beaters and thought less about video game and movie cars. In college I would fix my cars myself out of necessity due to budget, but I quickly realized how much I enjoyed it. It was the hands-on side of things while I learned about mechanical engineering in the classroom. Even after graduation and 5 years into a steady good-paying job, I found myself with the above $600 Miata and $1000 Focus. It was an incredible fun-to-dollar ratio set-up.
I’ve since started to dabble in newer and nicer cars, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop working on them myself, and I know I won’t ever make it too long without a sub-5k CL search. Just window shopping of course.
That’s pretty much it. There’s a few other cars and stories that I’ll throw out there every now and then. Above you’ll find my E90 in its natural environment (all joking aside, it has been very reliable). It may look like just another black BMW 3 series, but this one is a unicorn to me. In a future story (that I promised to E90M3 who owns an E90M3 with the license plate E90M3) I’ll have to write up how hard it is to find a post-facelift manual N52-engined E90 without a sunroof.
Thanks for reading!
[Focus photo credit goes to Rob Benowitz who takes great photos at the local rallycross]