“Aka feel free to call me spoiled” Meant to post this last night after reading Dr. Zoidberg’s (+ CoFL’s, RPM’s and Tripper’s), but the wifi here crapped out on me. Not actual pictures of my cars since I don’t have access to my laptop at the moment, but as close as possible (color, year, trim, etc).
2008: 1988 Mazda RX-7 GXL
First car when I turned 16, handed down to me from my Dad. It started life as a fully loaded manual GXL but had already been TurboII converted by the time it ended up in my hands. Was a beautiful color called Claret Mica with a deep maroon interior that is shockingly hard to find a picture of. I drove it to and from school, to friends houses and running errands - wrenched on it on occasion but it never gave me major issues (besides the driver’s window). Eventually the clutch gave out, and being jobless, it sat while I saved my pennies. Tired of it sitting out on the street in front of the house, my parents sold it out from under me. I miss it so, so much.
2008-2012: 2004 Honda Civic LX Sedan
After losing the RX-7, I was handed down the family commuter car - a silver, automatic Civic LX Sedan. It was reliable, it was fun, and it was a great simple car. No complaints at all. A cheap eBay turbo kit killed the original engine, which was then replaced with a turbo K20 + manual swap. Even more fun was had, then I slightly lowered it on real rims. The car was my commuter to/from school, work and college. One night coming home from work I was sitting at a red light, and a lady texting not paying attention rear-ended me at approx. 55mph not realizing traffic was stopped - the Civic gave its life for me but I walked away with only some neck/back pain.
2009: 1999 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4
Ah yes, my ‘99 Mitsu - I had no idea that ‘99 VR-4s were rare or sought after, to me it was just my next project car. What a project it was too! The super compact engine bay was an absolute nightmare to do anything in, the brittle heat cooked wiring was a pain in the rear and the AWD was unnecessarily complex. It was the perfect shade of 90s green though and had a giant wing. High school senior me loved it. It rarely ran right, but when it did, oh my was it a blast. Eventually gave up on it and traded it.
2010-2017: 1991 Toyota Supra Turbo Targa
My MK3 Supra - the most underrated of the Supras. Also, mine came with the dread 7M-GTE. I traded my 3000GT for this car, thinking I was trading an unreliable car for a reliable one - I was wrong. The previous owner had rewired the car himself, bypassing many sensors. The headgasket and radiator leaks were plugged by so much JB Weld that the head had to be replaced and block water jackets welded and recut.
I poured so much money into this car over the years and did so much to it - including 3 engine rebuilds. It was a weird baby blue/silver color with a dark blue interior and it was a floaty but sporty car with adjustable suspension buttons. It was a perfect love/hate relationship car and I wish I could have had one without issues - but I learned almost all my wrenching skills from this car. Sold it to an 18 year old with stars in his eyes who wanted to 2JZ swap it.
2011-2014: 1993 Toyota Supra Turbo Targa
High school graduation gift. I was going places - I had worked my ass off in classes (including AP classes), killed it with my GPA, volunteered like crazy and been accepted to some wonderful colleges - and this was the reward. “2JZ, no shit!” Manual, twin turbo, targa top, grocery cart wing. I poured a lot of money into modifying it to make more power, and I hated driving it anywhere. This thing sucked.
I was constantly paranoid that it was going to be stolen, looking out the window, watching people walk up and touch it with no regard. I couldn’t comfortably leave it out of my sight, people would walk up at lights/parking lots/gas stations to ask to buy it on the spot. I had cars follow me for miles home, leading me to take excessive routes to avoid being followed. It attracted attention from literally everyone and was the biggest pain in the ass.
Sold it to pay off my college loans for a steal (should have held out and sold it for more) and never looked back.
2012: 2012 Toyota Camry SE
Huh, that’s a funny looking Subaru BRZ. This was the replacement commuter for the totaled Civic. I was supposed to get a 2013 Subaru BRZ, had a deposit and VIN and all - the BRZ showed up at the dealer, I showed up three hours later and someone else was signing for my car. I was told if I wanted to pay more than the $7k over MSRP they were paying, I could have my car, otherwise to leave - so I did. Ended up suing the Subaru dealer to get my deposit back. Went across the street, and they had just sold their last FR-S, settled / bought an automatic 4 cylinder Camry “Sport Edition”. Good car, big car, nothing special - first brand new car though. Was quickly passed on to my brother who took over the payments.
2012-2014: 2013 Ford Focus SE Hatch
Wanted a Focus ST, but there were delays in them arriving at dealers at the time. Settled for a Focus SE with the “Sport Package” and DCT. When it ran right, it was great. However, the DCT was a pile of junk that had no purpose being in that car. I had three replaced under warranty and it needed a fourth when we traded it in. I did modify the car despite the bad transmission - swaybars, lowering springs, rims, Rousch Supercharger, exhaust. Still wasn’t a Focus ST and the DCT still left me stranded too many times. Worst brand new car purchase ever solely due to that transmission.
2013-2016: 2008 Saturn Sky Redline Turbo
Dream car. Yes, you read that right - my dream car is a Saturn. It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful. My favorite car I’ve ever owned and one I dearly want to own again. Manual transmission, 2.0L Turbo 4, RWD, those looks - yes yes yes. I could write another entire 2000+ words on this car, so I’ll just leave it at this: my favorite car, my dream car and I want another one. Sold to trim the fleet, but both I and the better half regretted it the next morning and want it back as much as possible - the new owner wouldn’t sell it back either.
2014-2016: 2014 Ford Mustang Fastback Base
The only car in this entire list to never have a single issue ever - just basic oil changes, tires and maintenance. A good, reliable workhorse that had gobs of torque and was a smooth as could be. It was the base version with the hard plastic, manual and cloth interior - but it was honest about what it was and did so without a single compliant. I loved this car, even if I bought it for my SO to be her primary commuter (she wanted a ‘67 Fastback, she “settled” unhappily for a brand new 2014). Sold it when the fleet got too big.
2015-2017: 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium
So, I landed a massive promotion at work and had obsessively been following the rumors of a four cylinder Mustang return since 2013 - I had to have one. The day order banks opened, I was at my dealer placing a custom order. 2015 Mustang Fastback - EcoBoost, Manual Transmission, Premium Trim, Premier Interior Package, Performance Package, Recaro Sport Bucket Seats, and the custom Redline Leather/Stitching package. I’ve never seen another Mustang in person with Redline Recaros, ever - even finding pictures online is tough.
I really enjoyed this car despite the fact that it must have been built on a Friday afternoon. I modified it a bit, lowered it and pushed the engine to just under 400whp. Numerous warranty work and fixes later burned out my love for the car - plus having the Sky in the garage at the same time, I found I prefer the smaller cars as the Mustang just felt large (but not too heavy). Traded it in for a Fiat.
2016-Current: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport
Finally the black/dark grey trend was broken! Technically purchased to replace the Mustang my girlfriend disliked, even though we held onto the Mustang for a few months after until we realized we had too many cars and insurance was murdering my wallet. She wanted a 4C or an Elise, but I didn’t have the budget for those, and of course “Miata is always the answer”. Probably her favorite car out of all of them so far, and the one that she willingly daily drives (even over the Sky!). Got the Sport trim without the giant touch screen because a pure roadster experience is best (manual transmission)! Still have it to this day, mostly because we’re struggling not to be underwater on the loan since a rogue F-150 hit it and tanked the value on it.
2017-2018: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica
Time to upset some people: The Fiat 124 Spider is the better Miata in every way and you should buy one if you are considering an ND. Also bought a Classica, like the MX-5 Sport, to avoid the giant dash screen. Manual transmission and no other options. Swap out the muffler and enjoy those wonderful Abarth sounds. No need to buy the Abarth, save yourself $10k and buy a Classica. This car was the perfect Sky replacement that I traded the Mustang for, and it was a wonderfully fun car. Sold due to terminal cancer and not using it, I still miss it sometimes.
What does the future hold? Depending on how my health continues, I’m not sure I’ll buy another car. 2018 is the first year where I haven’t bought a new car at all, and that’s a strange thought. My next car must have four seats, I’m tired of not having enough seats when needed or having to take multiple cars. I want it to be RWD/AWD if possible, I’m just sort of over FWD. A manual transmission would be nice (last automatic was the Focus 4 years ago), but I am not opposed to an automatic if that’s the only option.
New cars: Alfa Giulia - BMW 240i - Genesis G70 - Maserati Alfieri - Mazda3 AWD - Subaru BRZ - TVR WhateverTheNewOneIsCalled - VW Golf GTI
Project cars: ’67 Chevy Impala Fastback Coupe - Datsun 260Z - Factory Five Racing ’35 Hot Rod Pickup - Honda Civic Coupe (6th gen)
Not sure what, if anything, I’ll end up with, although I am excited to see where things go.