So many choices!
Like almost everybody, our consumer actions face the harsh realities of our financial resources. We can only buy the car that we can afford, or at least get financing for!
We can have champagne tastes with a beer budget.
|These things sell for over 200,000 dollars!|
I saw a new Bentley Bentayga SUV parked, and driving on the street as I went to the library today. So there are people out there with champagne tastes and a champagne budget! It obviously isn't me.
Why would I prefer an older car instead of a new or late model car? Can't I find something that I can afford that would satisfy me?
Objectively speaking there should be something out there that would fill my needs.
Of course there is. I once bought a new truck and a new Mustang. Both of these cars have been very useful, and in fact, both vehicles are still in my family's usage.
If logic is not the dominant consideration, than what is?
Why, then it would have to be determinations based upon emotional reasons.
I got to thinking about this Today, while at work, looking out into the employee parking lot. Is it really possible that there aren't any cars out there that I could be happy with?
I've often written about the difference between "normal" automotive consumers and the "real car guy."
Normal people only want cars that provide drama free transportation. If they can find something that they like, that is fun, or can even convey a little status, so much the better.
All of this makes sense of course. Who needs headaches?
For some reason, it seems that I do.
At least I'm not the only one!
What am I looking for?
Not just for regular transportation with a little "t."
I have not been immune to the charms of a "normal" vehicle. They come in very handy for little "t" transportation needs. I recently drove a late model Hyundai Elantra and I have to say that I was quite impressed. This small car was plenty roomy for four adults, had excellent a/c, drove well, seemed well built and even had a pretty big trunk. Not to mention fuel economy in the high thirties. This was the second Hyundai that I've had experience with, I rented a new Sonata when I drove down to L.A. to pick up my XJ6 a few years ago. I was equally impressed by that model. I think that a nice Hyundai Santa Fe SUV could be a very rewarding vehicle to own.
But they don't satisfy the soul.
While a normal car would be very useful, I still want a car that provides me with recreation, not just transportation.
Your choice of car depends on your automotive self image. If you're going to be an enthusiast, you are going to have a special relationship with your car. After all, you are more educated about cars, you are more involved with them, and more in tune with them.
So if you are this "special" car guy, how can you get excited about driving something like a new Camry?
What can you drive that will mark your "specialness?"
I, like most of us, will never be able to just go out and buy some kind of super cool, fantastic, incredible new car.
I don't have that kind of money and I never will. I will never be able to buy a new Porsche, Ferrari, or Aston Martin. These are seriously cool cars, and they sell plenty of brand new ones to the fortunate guys that have the coin. Even buying a fairly common, high performance car like a Shelby Mustang, Camaro or even a Corvette is not in the picture. Not everyone that buys one of these desirable cars are true enthusiasts, probably most aren't. But almost any of us would buy a cool car if we had the money. But what do you do when you don't have the money?
|Stay Golden, Pony Boy.|
Do you remember the book "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton? This teenage melodrama centers around a classic class struggle. The affluent Socials and the much poorer Greasers. Of course the Socials enjoy all the benefits of their parent's affluence and influence while the Greasers have to struggle with their precarious financial and social positions. Sometimes all the Greasers have to fight back with is their fists.
Hopefully, most of us didn't grow up in such a tumultuous environment, but maybe some of us can remember high school. We can remember that the "rich kids" got to drive the new cars their parents bought them. The blue collar kids got to drive their parent's beat up, old hand me downs or some clapped out beater they managed to buy with the meager earnings from their Summer and Weekend jobs. If you can't compete with a new car, you've got to make your car "cool."
Hot Rods, Kustoms, Lowriders, Street Machines, V Dubs, and JDM Ricers, Rat Rods. Every generation of blue collar kids has given rise to a new genre of customized automobile. Our response has always been, "Your folks can buy you a new car, but they can't buy you a cool car. You've got to build that for yourself."
Well, at least we try to. Our car is a reflection of who we want to be. It is a showcase of our enthusiasms, our expertise, and our dreams.
If we don't try to build some kind of customized machine, we choose some esoteric old car. Something that the mass consumer would never think of driving. In the last thirty years the grown up "rich kids" have been co-opting our automotive territory, first with classic hot rods and then with classic muscle cars. They've been buying up all the cars we used to play with. It leaves fewer choices for the true gear head. But we can still find something that is "different." We just keep looking for things in that obscure niche.
|I remember when these old GTOs were cheap.|
This line of thinking doesn't make much sense to most people, but as a low buck enthusiast we don't have much of a choice.