I am planning for May of 2022.
Bradley will get his permit then, when he turns 15. I have been plotting what kind of road trip we might take to celebrate this occasion. And what we might drive.
Fortunately for his and my sanity, I have long-ago abandoned the notion that we would drive across the country in an MGA, retracing the route I took when I was 16.
Of the four stepsons I have raised, three totaled the first cars I got them. The Fiat 124 was hit by a drunk driver who ran a light. The VW Beetle “just rolled over onto its roof” when a dog ran across the road in front of the car. The Porsche Boxster S left the highway at a high rate of speed and sheared off a telephone poll before coming to rest as a crumpled heap of metal.
In all three cases, the drivers and passengers in the cars were miraculously unhurt.
I replaced both the Fiat and the VW with W123 Mercedes, looking for safety in size.
But that was 30 years ago and the world has changed.
I have set a theoretical budget of $10,000. I don’t mind a car with high miles so long as it has been properly looked after.
I’d like to have something sporty and perhaps a convertible. I’m not even so picky about the transmission. I figure that Bradley will have plenty of chances to drive my manual shift cars. The most important thing is that he have properly curated seat time, and taught the habits that go with responsible driving.
Convertibles within my budget are the Alfa S4 Spider, BMW Z3, Porsche Boxster and Mazda Miata.
All have airbags (the Alfa only on the driver’s side), side-impact beams and crumple zones. They have braking and handling that my vintage Alfas could only dream about.
What would your choice be? Or given the behemoth pickup trucks and distracted drivers that rule our roads, should I just give up on a sports car altogether and find a BMW 3-series or Mercedes C-Class to fill the bill?
Two-seat sports car or four-door sedan? There’s obviosuly no hurry, but your responses help me shape my thoughts and my search.