Dad, bro and I were chatting about cars during a recent visit. Dad has been a car fiend most of his life. He's owned five Corvettes, a couple Cadillacs, pick 'em up trucks, four Thunderbirds, Monte Carlos, and assorted SUVs, vans, Volkswagens and rice burners. Note that he prefers to buy American.
As we were talking, I remembered one of his cars that he'd not mentioned. It was car that I'd never ridden in: a dark blue '65 Mustang convertible, four speed with a 289 engine and lovely mags. He'd owned it while stationed in Germany. The three pictures of it that I'd seen were taken of the car and him in Paris. So I asked him, of all the cars you've owned, what's your favorite.
He immediately mentioned the Mustang.
That prompted recall of my own cars. Which was my favorite?
My choice of favorites come down to a match between two: a 1973 Porsche 914 and a 1972 BMW 2002.
The Porsche, with a 1.8 liter fuel injected four banger, was signal orange. My wife and I bought it after I returned from an eighteen month tour of Air Force duty in the Philippines at Clark AB in Dec, '77. We bought the car in Pittsburgh, PA, while on leave, and then drove it to our new duty assignment, Brooks AFB, San Antonio Texas. With a removable targa top, the car, with its little mid-mounted engine, was a blast to drive. Both of us remember it quite fondly.
Our other favorite, the 2002, was bought in Germany in 1988 when I was assigned to Rhein Main AB. We had a Mercedes 280 SE at the time but decided we needed a second car. I saw the 2002 for sale at a gas station on the way home from work, and bought it for $1100.
That thing was also a delight to drive, wonderful road handling and yet, with a comfortable ride, with a large trunk, room for two, with a backseat that could fit adults, as long as the trip wasn't too long. Althought the Mercedes was a fantastically comfortable Autobahn cruiser, that little BMW was excellent for racing through the mountains between wine fests and volksmarches. It soon became our preferred go to car.
So those are my favorites. I've had faster, more luxurious, more expensive cars, but nothing touches them. I think they're my favorite for as much who I was as what they did. But isn't that the way with so many things we look back upon with fondness?
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com