My car history, part iv

Having sold the GTO a back in 2003, I was getting nostalgic for a big '60's American convertible. I wanted a Plymouth Road Runner, but for the life of me I couldn't find a good one. By chance one day in 2007 I was talking to a fellow from San Antonio Texas and he said he saw one at a local classic car dealer. It turned out that what he had seen was a this 1969 Dodge Coronet. It had a 440 and ram air hood, was in good shape and the price was right so I bought it. I should have had it inspected because it turned out to have been badly hit at one time and the brakes were completely shot - once while I had the boys in the car the brakes gave out entirely, scaring the hell out of everyone. I sold it just six months after I bought it....

Without the '69 Dodge I was once again convertible-less. But I had - by pure chance - sold at just the right time. A few months after letting it go the stock market collapsed. It was an eerie time in Fairfield County, Connecticut as so many residents worked in the financial industry in NYC. Traffic was cut in half, the stores were empty and there was a sense of pervasive doom. Commerce ground to a halt. In December I found myself wandering past the local Ford dealer, where they had a beautiful Shelby GT 500 Convertible prominently displayed. On a whim I went in and inquired. The car had arrived in August, and they had sold the car at $20k over sticker - but the deal fell through when the market collapsed. They hadn't had a single offer - or even any interest - since. The salesman on the floor immediately called the store owner over, and he offered me the car at $7k UNDER sticker. So I had my convertible.

She was a great car, 500HP, live rear axle (which I like, the new ones have independent rear suspension), 6 speed manual... Everything I like in a car. I kept her for 7 years, but unfortunately she was broadsided by an illegal taxi in NYC one day. The insurance company fixed her, but I knew she would never be the same - and her value was shot. On top of all that, the 2004 Subaru STi began to show HER age as well, and I was going to need a car that could be used during the New England winters. At the 2014 New York International Auto show I found my next car....

With some help from the good people at Subaru, I purchased a 2015 STi launch edition. My new workhorse that does everything I want. She's fast, capable and devoid of the nonsense I didn't want such as nav (I have a phone for God's sakes, and I can read a map!). The only thing she didn't do was look beautiful. Sure, she's pretty enough, but just not extraordinary. And I suddenly found myself with the means to buy exactly that....

I was lucky enough to be able to sell a piece of property, and decided to honor a promise I had made to myself way back in 1975 - She's a 2015 Aston Martin Vantage GT. 6 speed manual, black on black. I had ordered one in Blue, but die to some stupid regulatory paperwork failure on the part of Aston, they had to stop selling Vantages for three months in 2014. That would have pushed my car arrival out to December, which was a depressing prospect. This car, however, was already in country and the dealer (Miller Motorcars) gave me right of first refusal. So I bought her.

So what is next? Good question. I am obviously without a convertible again, and my nature abhors a convertible vacuum. I have also been driving a great number of fantastic cars as an auto journalist - many of which I covet dearly. This is a great time to be a car enthusiast, there are so many wonderful machines available. The Mustang GT 350 R, The Dodge Challenger Hellcat (or, perhaps almost as good but much, much cheaper Scat Pack), the new Chevy Camaro, the Bentley GT3R, the Jaguar F-type, Audi RS7, Mercedes GT, Ferrari FF (now called the GTC4 Lusso), etc. etc. And there are so many classics I still want to buy. I guess we will just have to wait and see.....

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