Cars 5


It’s Whatever Wednesday.

I said it before, but I’m not really a car guy.

However, I do like cars. So this post will be about cars because it’s Whatever Wednesdays and I feel like writing about them.


When I used to help with interviews for residency I used to ask the candidates this question:

You are only allowed one car for the rest of your life, what is it?

The responses were all over the map: (Warning: Sweeping Generalizations will start now)

The usual suspects were Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti Veyron, etc. Essentially these are that cars that get a lot of publicity and are somewhat well known to the general public. However, I would classify these particular answers as “knee jerk” answers. However, they kind of missed the point of the question. One car for the rest of your life. I think it would be difficult to own a Lamborghini or something like that for the rest of your life. The maintenance costs are extravagant. It isn’t an easy car to drive and you would constantly be worried about it being stolen or getting damaged. Remember, you only get this one car.

Some people took their time to think about the answer. Some would opt for a more “all-around nice “car like a “Beamer” or maybe “Benzo”. I understand this answer. A lot of people would associate “luxury” with those brands. Like I said, it’s an understandable answer, comfortable even. Enough room for golf clubs in the back, and to get groceries and drop the kids off at school, etc. However, what this says to me is that this particular person prioritizes luxury and comfort over sport. The caveat to this answer would be if someone said a specific sporty model of BMW or Mercedes Benz such as “M3” or “C63” then that person probably somewhere in between this section and the next section.

People who thought about it for a long time would usually opt for the Nissan GTR. The “everyman’s” supercar. I consider this answer for a person who has thought about the question from multiple angles. This person is most likely a pragmatist who wants to get the most bang for their buck. The GTR is arguably the “easiest car to drive very, very fast”. However, its maintenance is also ridiculously expensive. That said, it has AWD and has a decent amount of room. Additionally, it is not particularly cramped compared to the other supercars.

Moving along, Porsche was another common answer. However, the people that chose Porsche usually diverged into two separate categories. There were the ones who just said “Porsche” as an all-encompassing term and these people probably had a particular “type” in mind. However, they weren’t really able to verbalize it confidently because they weren’t sure what it was. The other category would be the ones who know exactly which specific model or Porsche they wanted, and some even knew the model year. These answers were usually somewhat vague such as “Porsche 911” to very, very specific, like a “2016 GT3 RS in White”. All in all, people who chose a specific Porsche are a special breed. These people usually know what they want and won’t settle for less.

*Ok, well what is YOUR answer?

Like all my answers, it depends. 

First of all, let’s go through my history of cars. When I turned 16 and got my license I was lucky enough to be able to drive around in my mom’s biege Corolla once in awhile. It was so awesome just go down the street and get McDonald’s or Taco Bell. Sometimes I would “manumatic” shift with L–>2–>D. It was just very liberating to be able to drive.

I went to college and was without a car for the entire first year. Bumming rides from friends the first year of college was rough. I felt trapped most of the time. In return for bumming rides, sometimes my friends would call me to go run some errands with them so they could use the car pool lane. I was relegated to “shotgun dummy”.

My parents bought me a car when I returned for my second year of college. It was a 5th generation Honda Prelude in White Pearl. I loved that car. You have to remember I was coming from driving a Corolla and this car had significantly better handling. Now, it was a pretty heavy car and it wasn’t that fast overall, but it did have VTEC which was pretty cool back in the day.

After college, I went to medical school where I was without my car for 2 years. I got it back for clinical rotations which was the last two years I had that car. I left home to go to the east coast for residency and decided to leave my car there where it became my brother’s. In New York, I bought a Rav4 when I moved to the east coast in order to be pragmatic. It had AWD, good ground clearance and was a reliable Toyota. It was at this point I realized that I am not a car guy. I think that a true “car guy” in this situation would have bought whatever car they wanted anyways and not cared about pragmatism. There were a few people like that at my residency and fellowship who had new M3s, etc.

So what car do I have now then…? I still a Rav4. It’s the same generation as my original one. It serves its purpose. It has enough room for my family and groceries, and is great for the beach. In case you were wondering, my wife has a Rav4 also. It’s just pragmatic, like I said.

*Don’t you wish you had another car?

Sure, I’d love to have another car. But it’s hard to justify it when I have two perfectly working cars which do what I need. I mean, I would love to have a Porsche Cayman GT4 (in Agate Grey Metallic, with Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB)). Porsche, if you’re reading, feel free to gift me one. Another car I would love to have is the S2000 (2008 AP2 in Grand Prix White, hardtop if at all possible, or maybe a Club Racer (CR)). Also, I still love my first car, that 2000 Honda Prelude in Pearl White.

However, all of these cars are not pragmatic. I can’t drive my family around in a Porsche Cayman GT4, S2000, or even the Honda Prelude. Any car I buy would be an “extra car” and that is simply a luxury I can not afford. I also don’t have anywhere to park it, since my garage can only hold two cars, and my driveway is too shallow. My HOA would probably fine me if I parked any car other than a Smart Car in my driveway.

Honorable mention goes to Tesla, since electric cars are the future, I may eventually end up getting one of those someday… but not yet.

TL;DR

I like cars… but I’m not a car guy.

You can tell a lot about a person from how they answer this question: “You are only allowed one car for the rest of your life, what is it?”

Porsche Cayman GT4, S2000, and the Honda Prelude are the only other cars I would realistically buy as a “fun car” these days.

Buying a Tesla is also a consideration… but not yet.

What do you guys think…? What is YOUR car?

 

-Sensei

Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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