Every first of January marks a new beginning.
Go out to your garage, and take a look at your sleeping beauties.
Think about how much effort has gone into finding, selecting, buying and refurbishing each one.
Note that I didn’t say restoring, as now that we are grownups, we’ve all decided to buy cars that other people have restored rather than flagellating ourselves that way. Haven’t we?
Which cars we buy, and how we use them, is an intensely personal decision. Just like you can’t make someone like a crisp Oregon Pinot Noir if they’ve had their palates ruined by that syrupy, fruit-bomb California stuff, nor can you expect a Ferrari 308 lover to fall head over heels for a 911 Porsche.
My resolutions for the coming year start with a continued focus on clarity. Why do I want a certain car. Which model do I want? What is my budget? How do I intend to use it?
I’m not of the age where I can squander months or years with a car that has no clear role in my life.
That’s not to say that I might not buy a car and change my opinion and sell it. That’s exactly what happened with our Porsche 928 S4. It was a great example, but I simply didn’t bond with it. The car always felt heavy and dark to me. After a few months and a few thousands of miles, I sold it for about what I had into it. No harm, no foul.
At the moment, my vision for the Mercedes 250C’s place in the SCM fleet is clear. I want to use it on the SCM 1000, then drive it to Monterey Car Week and back to Portland. Even though the car is not yet fettled, I’m already looking for a high-speed rear end from a Mercedes 300D to let the car cruise more comfortably.
Of course, as Editor-in-Chief Jeff Sabatini commented, “You haven’t even driven this car with the Webers on it. Why not wait and see what you think before making more changes?”
When it comes to logic, my hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was, so I couldn’t really understand what he was saying.
I envision the M-B as a comfy long-distance cruiser. We’ll see how things play out when it’s actually in service.
My manual-shift Alfas present a more complicated conundrum. My stroke-affected left leg may never be clutch-capable for the 1965 Giulia Spider Veloce or the 1967 Duetto. I still get great pleasure out of being a passenger in those cars. For the coming year, I’ll rely on the kindness of others to let me enjoy their incomparable visceral connection with the road.
In one fantasy, my son Bradley takes a liking to them, and we go on a few events together, son as driver and father as navigator. As much as I like thinking about that, I also realize that he is 15 years old. Chauffeuring his dad around might not have as much appeal as another round of video games with his friends. It’s his decision as to what activities we will do together, and I respect it, whatever it is.
The “angel” part of me says I should pare down the fleet a little. (I now have somewhere between 10 and 12 cars, but who’s counting?) The “devil” side counters, “They are all paid for and have good storage, so why do anything?”
As 2023 begins, take a look at your own cars, and ask yourself why you have them and what you intend to do with them. If you’re not driving them, then you’re a furniture collector and what fun is that?
Allow yourself to dream a little. Think about going on a tour or a road trip. I’m hoping to get five or six cars to join me on my drive to Monterey. Find new ways to enjoy your cars. And if you have decided to purchase a used car for yourself and your family, it is vital to do some research and look for the best used car dealership in Spring Lake before you spend your money.
In the end, dream about using them, then use them to make those dreams come true.
I’ve made the 250C into my fantasy road-trip car. What car in your garage is the one you think you’ll drive the most next year?