What better way to describe our own car lust than to share the cars we have? Though I don't exactly have the stable of exotic Italian stallions or Teutonic treasures we all dream about, here are my rides, at least for now:
2003 Ford F-150 XLT Super Crew: Just once in your life, do it. Bend the rules, break the piggy bank, let a dream happen. In my case, I wanted a new truck. Back in 2002, I had a 1994 Ranger, but it didn't have a back seat. In fact, I hadn't had a vehicle with a back seat for 16 years! So, when we started cashing in on some real estate investments, part of the deal was that I got to order a new truck or, as we call them, a Tennessee Cadillac.
It took me over a year to pick this one out. I wound up with more than I expected. The salesman, a family friend, found an unlisted trim package, the "Color and Chrome" as it was called, that was available in only a few states. In fact, when the ordered truck arrived, the package was missing. The computer did not allow that trim package to be sent to Tennessee.
So I waited another six weeks for the correct truck to be built. It arrived exactly a week before Christmas 2002, in the 100th year of Ford Motor Company production. That day was very cold, making the heated seat option even more welcome. The sunroof stayed shut, and I learned how the remote start key fobs worked. The only addition I've made to the interior is a real fake wood kit, which the relatively stark monochromatic interior desperately needed. The truck has 14,000 miles at this date.
I read somewhere that this truck was "A car on the outside, and a truck on the inside." I can't agree more. And the 2004 and up F-150s are "A truck on the outside and a car on the inside." Again, I agree completely.
2003 Madza Tribute LX-V6: Mom deserved a reward. She had lived a meager life, and deserved a comfortable and practical vehicle to carry groceries, potting soil, and her friends, occasionally on long trips. Right after I got the Super Crew, it was her turn. The Tempo had seen better days, time for a treat.
We looked at an Accord, but the seats were too low for her to comfortably get into and out. The trunk floor was too low for her to place things. It didn't take long for us to realize that she didn't need another car. A small SUV/crossover caught our eyes. They had one CR-V on the lot, but the folks at the dealer here in Franklin became a bit rude, even suggesting that I "Go look at their used car lot." The folks at Maserati/Bugatti/Lamborghini/Bentley St. Louis have been much nicer, and they even have a boutique.
I showed her a PT Cruiser, and she ran away. But she liked the practicality side of a crossover. So we drove over to the local Mazda dealer, and one test drive of the V-6 Tribute was all it took. Zoom Zoom!
She even let me pick the color, which is odd for a lady. The hue is called "Merlot", and that is her favorite bubbly. We've been very happy with the vehicle for over six years now.
But her health is slowing, and she hasn't driven for a couple of years. At 84, the doctor said no more. She's almost 86 now, and I'm sure she could drive it quite well into town. But there's that one chance that something might happen. When my time comes to give up the keys, I want a vehicle we all can go for a ride in, and I'll sit in the back. I've taken over the Tribute as a daily driver, and shuttle her around as needed.
2001 Mazda Miata SE: Well, this was my first post here at Car Lust, so there's not a lot of news. But since that was published, I've had the hood ding popped out, a new windshield installed, and driven it to St. Louis twice.
As another reviewer wrote, Mazda missed their chance with this 6-speed by not installing a proper top gear. Running at 70 miles per hour in top gear turns the engine at around 3500 rpm, which is a bit "buzzy" to be kind. A five-hour trip is more than enough in this roadster.
But the car shows no signs of trouble, even going on nine years old with under 45,000 miles on the odometer. A couple of small light bulbs went out, but so what? They work now. I hope to have this car for a very long time.
1990 Kawasaki EX500: This bike was named "Best Handling Bike of the Year" in 1990. The series later became named the Kawasaki "Ninja," with very few physical changes. New instruments, a rear disc brake, and some body panel changes and graphics were about it. The mechanical similarities makes parts availability a breeze.
I got it a little over a year ago, but haven't had near the saddle time I expected. But it's been fun to fiddle with. Swapping the amber side reflectors for flashing turn signal units was easy enough; they came off of a utility trailer and still have built-in reflectors.
The original color scheme was blue, white, and pink, so I ordered three rolls of reflective tape... red, white, and blue, and got the X-Acto knife out. Carefully trimming the new tape to size, I covered the factory tape stripes as close as I could, to maintain a near-factory look. Now the bike is easy to see at night, and hopefully a lot safer. This is virtually the same bike the bad guy rode in True Lies.
Well, that's about it for now, anyway. Oh, I'm still looking for a 1969 Lehmann-Peterson Executive Limousine. If anybody knows where I can find one, please let me know.
--That Car Guy (Chuck)