Over the past few months, I’ve been on a kick to own and go through as many cars as I can. This has meant that I’ve gone from selling my Mustang to owning a modified 350+ hp BMW 335i, briefly contemplating holding onto a 469 hp CLS55 AMG and now daily driving a 450+ hp Lexus IS-F. The problem with owning cars that are powerful is that you are viewed as an insecure human being trying to establish world dominance by cowering behind a loud V8 or a turbo-charged 6-cylinder. Unless you’re driving my current car–the IS-F. In that case, no one suspects a thing.
My colleagues are so confused. They have no idea what the hell I’m doing. Neither do I. I’m blowing my cash on cars, albeit, in the least wasteful way possible by buying and selling heavily depreciated vehicles. I am, however, wasting lots of money on gas by driving cars that average around 10-15 mpg depending on my mood which is dependent on whether or not I am able to properly binge-watch enough shows on Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Showtime.
I visit gas stations so frequently that the folks running them know me by my overall shape and are bewildered by my constantly changing rides.
“Who is this guy constantly driving in these different cars?” “Is he a valet?” “Is he stealing them?”
They must think that I’m a murderer with the unsuspecting victim stashed in the trunk of my newly stolen car.
So, why is owning a powerful car like owning a mansion?
Driving these kinds of high performance vehicles is like living in an expensive home. Let’s say you land a high paying corporate job or sell your business, and you decide to burn a million dollars on a nice home. You’re paying more in property taxes alone than you would spend on apartment rent and your monthly water bill can feed a family of four for a year. Your reaction to this might be, “You’re an idiot! Where I live, a million gets me a dump!” If that’s the case, then you should immediately leave whatever city you’re in!
This kind of lunacy is not worth it. You spend tons on college degrees or throw away so many years of your life building a successful business only to live in a dump for a million dollars? Leave San Francisco and move to Tulsa today where you can comfortably reside in a palace for only $200K.
Now, imagine, that you fall on hard times and need to downgrade from your $200K estate to a 1 bedroom efficiency studio. The thought of moving into what feels like a prison cell is unbearable. You’d rather jump off a cliff than downgrade your lifestyle.
This is what I’m now facing in the car world. I love fast cars. And unfortunately, I’ve been owning and driving a lot of fast cars which means that it will be impossible for me to own a car that’s significantly slower. I’ve fallen squarely into that trap of continually paying more and more money for gas, spending more and more money on fast cars and cementing my reputation in society as being a weak and pathetic human.
But I can’t help myself. I love powerful cars. Now, keep in mind that I have a budget of roughly $30-$40K which limits me to certain kinds of high powered used cars of varying degrees of age that I can find within this price range. I could potentially get my hands on the following (all used): ZL1, E63 AMG, 996 turbo, CTS-V, E60 M5, Shelby GT500, Viper among others.
Most of these cars draw an incredible amount attention which is mostly a bad thing. This just means that people will stare at me all the time–they will look at me wondering where I got those really cool driving gloves.
So, why is owning a powerful car is like being addicted to crack cocaine?
For a long time I was hoping to own an Audi S5, but now I have no interest in one because 333 hp is hardly enough anymore. You might think that having a 500 hp car is completely pointless as a daily driver but it’s not. This is where owning a powerful car is like being addicted to drugs. I can’t say that I’ve personally been addicted to drugs but I imagine it’s probably similar to what I experience with fast cars.
Whenever I need a hit of acceleration, I just floor it. Assuming there’s just enough empty road to experience a quarter of a ‘G’, I do it. I love propelling forward, even if it’s just for a millisecond before I have to back off. But that’s enough. Little hits of speed, wherever and whenever I can get it.
Accelerating from a stoplight or right after taking a turn is so much fun. Especially if you’ve had an insane day filled with a horrible office chair, powerpoints and retirement cake celebrations, experiencing raw power on open roads is so enjoyable. For daily commutes, who cares about handling excellence or track dominance when all you’re doing is going from one stoplight to the next. Corner-carving ability goes straight out the window.
I’ve found 400-500 hp to be kind of the sweet spot when it comes to vehicle power. It’s not an extreme amount of power, but high enough to where you grin like an idiot every time you floor the gas pedal. 300-400 hp isn’t bad, but I need more!
So, you see, owning these kinds of cars is kind of like owning an expensive home and being hooked on heroine at the same time. It brings out the worst in you. So my recommendation is to avoid falling into this trap. Do the practical thing and buy a practical daily driver, like a 10-year old Honda Civic. Then go bug people like me to drive their car to get yourself some automotive enjoyment. In the meantime, spend your money on other things–like $99,999.99 on a 4K curved UHD 105 inch LG 3D Smart TV.
Torque Affair is about exploring my fascination with cars. I’m always on the lookout for things that interest me in the car world.
Like Torque Affair