I've been a "car guy" most of my life, ever since 1970 when my dad found my first car for me: a well-worn red 1960 Jaguar Mark 2 with the 3.8L DOHC 6 and four-speed manual transmission which earned me the high school nickname of Jimmy Jag
. When bought a second one, a black '64 Mark 2 with the same drivetrain, someone started calling me Jimmy Double-Jag
When I was last in the market for a new car, it was 2003 and I was 49 years old. Of the vehicles that I test drove, there were only two -- complete opposites -- that stood out: a Ford F150 SVT Lightning and a MINI Cooper S. I eventually chose the Lightning because the nearest MINI dealer was almost 1-1/2 hours away vs. 20 minutes for the Ford dealer. And while I've never regretted my choice, I still stop and stare wistfully every time I see a MINI.
Ten years later I still love the Lightning, but now I'm a year away from retirement, should I so choose, and thinking that I don't want to go into it with an 11-year-old truck that gets 14 MPG on mandatory 91-octane gas and wears out $700 worth of tires (that's for just two!) every 12,000 miles or so. And the nearest MINI dealer is now "only" about an hour away.
So I'm thinking that this may be my last, best chance to buy a MCS
(manual, of course!), reluctant though I will be to part with the Lightning. As I tried to ease into the discussion with my wife the other day, she surprised the heck out of me by totally agreeing! After doing all the research of colors, packages, etc., it's just a matter of finding the time for another test drive, just to be sure, and then placing the order.
I feel like I'm 49 again.