Happy New Year. On the twenty ninth of this month it will two years since I bought my Mustang. The first year it absorbed all my time , money and attention. The second year I mostly just drove it, pretty much all the time. This car has escaped the fate of so many project cars of being a hobby but not really a car. This can happen on all value levels of cars. The rare, valuable top end cars become garage queens, to maintain their immaculate condition and keep the dreaded high mileage down. While it’s understandable, it does reduce these cars to prisoners. They are only released to the outside world on limited occasions and under the closest supervision. While I can understand this, it isn’t what I want. There is something to said for an immaculate car. And you can always drive your daily.
I had a discussion with the guy’s at work about having our dream cars. Some of the guys are dreaming of new cars. When you by a new car, no matter how fancy or expensive, you plan on driving it. The first two years of depreciation are killer and the value is going to drop whether you drive it or not. Sure you will be extra careful with it, and that first ding or scratch will hurt.
Another guy had bought a couple of ten year old BMW sedans. The first was a seven series. Although he didn’t drive it much he found the maintenance costs to be too high. After a couple of years he traded it in on a 5 series sedan. This was supposed to be his wife’s car. For some reason she didn’t drive it much. It mostly lived in the garage. He had been working on restoring a Seventies era Fiat coupe which has now become his garage queen. He just traded his three year old truck and the 5 series on a new F150.
When it came to my turn I said I wanted an Aston Martin DB7 around 2000-2002. I’ve been looking on Craig’s list and I know that either a coupe or a convertible can be had for around 30,000 bucks. Brand new base Mustang money. This is slightly less than most of the 1970 Mustang Mach Ones I’d been looking at. I’m sure the maintenance and insurance costs would be sky high, still we’re talking about a dream. I would have to clean out my garage because there is no way that thing will be parked outside. Would I drive it work? No, probably not. Would the car be safe where I parked it? Would I drive it on errands to the grocery store or mall? No, probably not. Would the car be safe where I parked it? Would I drive it up to Tahoe or down to the Central Coast or L.A.? We do go to L.A. quite a bit. Well, I don’t know how reliable the car would be and there isn’t a lot of luggage space. This has never stopped me from driving my ‘96 Mustang anywhere but I’m sure it would be a consideration with the Aston. Would the car be safe where I parked it? I could use the car for pleasure driving. What does that mean? Going on a drive on a nice day with no serious destination for no real reason. I really don’t have that much time to waste. I could take it to car shows, but I don’t really like car shows that much. And then I would be placed into that hated stereotype- the fat old rich guy. Nobody would care how many years I have wrenched on my old beaters or how much I love or have sacrificed to have this car. Or even that I would do most of the repairs and maintenance myself. They would just see an old guy who has the bucks to buy what he wants. A poseur. And the car isn’t even that expensive! It’s just the image it creates is so exclusive that it overpowers the reality of it’s actual value. The car is really “too much”. I just don’t live the “Aston Martin lifestyle”, I can’t afford it, I’m just a working guy. I think that buying a car like that could be a heartbreaking experience. It’s kind of like painting yourself in a corner and now you find yourself trapped with a car you love, but feel you can never really use.
Luckily, I don’t have this dilemma, I don’t have the money at the moment. So I did the next best thing. I bought this beautiful, fabulous, fantastic Jaguar XJS V12 convertible, for less than I paid for my little Mustang beater! Stay tuned as the adventure begins!