2000-2002: 1987 or ‘88 BMW 325es
My first car. The car pictured isn’t mine, but is pretty close. Before this, I drove my mom’s Chrysler van or my dad’s Volvo. Spent all my (extremely minimal) high school job money on stereo upgrades and other minor modifications. Cruelly murdered in an accident during my senior year of high school. I still miss it. I’ll own another someday.
2002-2004: 1992 Acura Vigor
I didn’t take this picture, but for all I know it could be the same car—all the details are right and there aren’t a ton of them around. I didn’t love it nearly as much as my BMW—the difference between a FWD automatic luxury car and a manual RWD sportier-handling coupe—but it was a really good car. Still probably the most comfortable interior I’ve ever sat in. I shared it with my younger sister for the last semester of high school, took it to college with me freshman year, and then gave it back to my sister so I could stop paying for insurance. She named it and kept it until about 2012.
2006-2010: 1995 BMW 525i
Back in a black manual BMW. This picture actually is my car. Bought this my junior year of college. Kept it through law school, mostly parked at my parents’ house during the school year, and put tons of happy road trip miles on it every summer.
2010-2012: 2003 BMW 330Ci
Soon after starting my first big boy job, I traded in my E34 for an E46 and a loan. I really wanted an M3 but couldn’t afford a good one with student loans and whatnot. Again, this picture actually is my car. Sold it to a college student with a considerably higher budget than I ever had in college.
2012-2016: 2004 BMW M3
After a couple years, I could afford that M3 after all. Generally pretty nicely modified by the previous owner, although I undid a few of the less nice aesthetic things. Really loved this car. Took a bath on maintaining it, especially toward the end, which caused my love to fade somewhat. The guy I sold it to got a very solid, low-mileage car after all I put into it, though.
2013-2017: 1992 Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser
The M3 was never going to be sufficient on its own for winter/dog/hiking duty. Enter the FJ80. I liked the fact that I could work on a lot of aspects of this simple, tough old hoss. Good truck, even if it drove and smelled like a tractor. Taught my son to drive in it. The next owner seems to have done the same.
2016-2017: 2014 Audi SQ5
I decided I wanted to try having one car to do it all instead of a 2-car garage, mostly because I got tired of cramming three soccer-playing teenagers at a time into my M3. Again, this one’s mine. This experiment lasted almost exactly a year. I have nothing but nice things to say about the Q5/SQ5, they’re just not the type of car I actually want to drive.
2017-present: 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG 507 Ed.
This one’s a keeper. Right up until I run out of CarMax warranty (although I haven’t actually had to use that warranty for anything yet).
2017-present, part 2: 2005 Toyota 4Runner SR5
A winter/dog truck that’s a little more modern and pleasant to drive more of the time than the FJ80. I might sell this one at some point in order to switch to a V6 since I never tow anything and my other V8 car eats PLENTY of gas as it is, but I think I’m a 4Runner owner for the foreseeable future.
And there you have it.