Hooniverse Asks- Could You Have a Decades-Long Relationship With One Car?


See that nice lady up there? Her name is Anne Hesler, and according to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, she’s owned that car since 1961. That kind of devotion to one set of wheels is rare, and seemingly even frowned upon in our present-day conspicuous consumption-driven economy. But still, Ms. Hesler has managed to be true to her beetle (dig the headlight lids!) for nearly 50 years, and half a million miles. Do you think you could be so automotively monogamous?

You spin me right round, baby, right round like a record. . .

Lots of people have cars for a long time, but rarely does a relationship with a daily driver last past the teen years. The infatuation wears as thin as the upholstery, and longing for something with this-year’s gimmicks and gee-gaws can set in.
But what if the relationship was deep-seated to begin with? What if it truly is a match made in heaven- a melding of car and owner that is to the benefit of both? What car do you think might make you set in for the long haul? Is there “one for you” that the Jewish mothers always claim to be when relationships of the flesh are concerned?
So, if determined to drive it until the wheels fall off, which car would you take to be your one and only? Is there such a beast? Or are you a drive ’em and leave ’em kind of person- who gets itchy for greener pastures when the fuel gauge gets past the half way point?
But if you are like Anne, and could be true to your ride, which would it be? What would be your long-term automotive life partner?
Image sources: [Seattle Pi, Darylandjoy.com]

0 Comments

  1. I would like to think if I could go back to my first car (hindsight 20/20 and all) and choose something different I would. I don't know what as my budget was only 1000 bucks at the time. That said, I would still want to have it. Same with each successive car after that. Obviously I would have to have become a doctor or lawyer to own a garage/shop large enough to store/maintain them all but I love cars and hate to see them go. Women OTOH, trade em every two years for a newer model and never own more than 3 at one time.

    1. My grandpa always said the same thing. Wished he kept every car he ever owned. the first one being a Nash roadster that he straight up traded for his bicycle. the one that stays with you doesn't have to be u the car that cost you an arm and a leg, just the car with the most soul. He also had a Hudson Hornet sedan when my dad was lil'… Damn i wish he kept them all too

        1. I think you're making that up. We've only been going steady a short while. If it's true, I will cry myself to sleep tonight. I'll have to hear it from him.
          HEY, SCHMO!!

  2. Hey, why not? I already promised myself that I'm never selling my Honda CB550F. Even if it means I have to let it languish in a shed at the bottom of the ocean (after global warming consumes us all, of course) for a few decades, I'm still going to keep it around. At the very least I want to give it to my future progeny as a family heirloom.

  3. I plan on taking my current F150 to my grave. It isn't much but serves my every need. And the aftermarket is HUGE for gee-gaws that I want/need. Though it may retire duty as a daily driver some day for something a bit more fuel efficient.

    1. I happen to agree. Hell, I have trouble kicking cars out of my garage in GTA; I don't see myself ever voluntarily getting rid of my real car. Provided I can keep the rust under control, I expect I'll never have to – I'll drive her until the oil wells run dry, and by then I hope to have a house on a little piece of land in a nice town somewhere, somewhere where Violet will make an amazing storage shed.

  4. If I could only have one car, for the rest of my life, it would have to be a 1988 325i Touring. There is nothing else that provides the same balance of fun (at relatively legal speeds) and practicality, while being old enough that I can do all my own work on it.

  5. As the proud co-owner of many lovely little cherubs on wheels (read VW Beetles) I'd have to go with that. Or the bus. Or the Thing. Ok – point is, there IS something about slingin one of those little bugs around, the smell of horsehair seats, the lack of A/C, heat and a radiator…they're cheap to maintain and fun as hell to drive. And I'll admit it, I don't mind all the questions and stories and camaraderie every time I go to a show, pull into a parking space, stop at a light.
    Everything about these little bugs has made me own them for the past 9 years, and hopefully they'll be sitting in my garage for the next 50.

    1. That reminds me! My best friend really really wants a Thing. Can you keep an eye out, or let me know if you hear of a great one? Whether he'll actually pull the trigger and get it, I have no idea, but we haven't been able to find one around here ANYWHERE.

      1. I remember when Things were really common. Not like really really common, but that it was no big deal to see them all over, typically driven by stoner high school kids. Orange paint + primer + band stickers was the standard livery.
        And now, they've all but disappeared. I'd love to build a Baja Thing one of these days.

          1. There's an art to keeping them semi-original…or at least "in character"
            With something as rare as a Thing, I kind of object to stripping it down to just enough metal to be recognizable and throwing $20k worth of tubing and high-end suspension onto it. If you're gonna do that, might as well just get a rail or a baja bug.

          2. I was trying to find the pic of the one that the guy did where he kept dang near everything intact…cut out JUST enough…so frikkin cool. If I find it I will post.

      2. This one's for sale at a Lotus dealer in Toronto (I know, wrong side of the country, although at least it doesn't have to be imported). I'm not sure if driving a Thing across country would be fun or terrifying.

  6. No prizes for guessing that yes, I could happily live with an SW20 MR2 for life. I might even start this year if I can sell my '97 Q45. Which, incidentally, I might end up keeping for life whether I want it or not. There is absolutely zero market for old luxury cars, especially those that were the top-of-the-line from a maker that a fair number of people around here haven't even heard of (literally. I needed a locksmith a little while ago and told him it was an Infiniti. "Who makes those?", he says.). That wouldn't be at all bad though, in between kilobuck repair sessions. I keep thinking of newer replacements and keep concluding that there's no reason to upgrade.

  7. I highly doubt I could be car-monogamous, having owned 40+ cars over the last 15 years or so. But if I was to pick just one car, it would probably be something fun and light. Miata, Corvette, etc. Leave the utility work for borrowed or spouse's cars. However, a CTS-V wagon might be a feasible single car that does both fun and utility duty!

  8. No. Sadly. I am just waaaaaay to hard on shit. I learned that early on with the '90 Daytona Shelby. And I am still really hard on my F-150. If I took it easy on my vehicles, my enjoyment from them would diminish significantly. I can move on to hoon yet another ride, but I am grateful for the hoonjoyment that my current ride provides.

    1. Amen, brother! Thus far in my automotive career, every car I've been involved with has either left on the hook or been traded in before that could happen. In fact, there's an F100 in my back yard waiting for spring so I can get the hook involved.
      Anyone want to save my GTO? (Not gonna happen. I'll either be buried in it or cut out of it by the Jaws of Life.)

      1. I'm in your camp. Even if I had the desire to hang onto one of my previous vehicles for life, it wouldn't have worked. At some point economics would have pushed me into using it hard and around here that means exposing it to salt and wheel-eating potholes. From past experience the most I could get out of a car would be about 200k before the rust monster and my own hooning would make it beyond economic repair. My current toy car, the infamous malaise era, pimptastic Eldosuarus, will probably sit in the garage for a while. 500ci, bordello red finish and more metal in the front bumper than two Honda's, make it way too much fun to drive. The "get out of my way" grill is a treat too.

    2. I'm harder on mine than I should be, perhaps, but she's my first car.
      Trouble is, she's the most common variant of Volvo 240… in the most common setup… so there's a vague, nagging feeling that I could find another. But I can't find another like her.
      I may have to let her go someday, but I'll let her rot before I see her go to someone who won't take care of her at least as well as I do.

  9. I wish I could have kept my Karmann Ghia.
    Actually, I wish I could have kept most of my cars. I only sold one of my main cars voluntarily. The others I had to part with them due to a major thrashing and/or circumstances out of my control.

  10. Yes I could, but probably not as a daily driver. There are too many different cars that I want to experience. I do still have my 2nd car a 77 Corvette. It currently isn't on the road, but I have plans to someday restore it/get it back on the road. With enough work it could be a daily driver. Otherwise 5-10 years on the daily drivers, then onto something newer. Someday I hope to drive a car made in the 21st century everyday.

  11. Keep one car while going through others, Yes.
    I've gone through vehicles but will never part ways with my very first, my Apache. It will always stay with me no matter what.

  12. Yes. In fact I plan on it. I want my next car to be the one that stays with me. It has to be classic but something Ive always really liked. Im thinkin a 1965-70 Impala or a Buick Riviera before they went to fwd (boattail or clamshell headlights?). Although technically I already have a car that has stayed with me. Or with my family rather. For the last 8 decades we have had a 1929 Chevy 4 door that my great great grandfather bought brand new. possibly the first car in the family?? Its waiting for a restore in grandma's garage. First year for the Chevy straight-6 btw.

      1. Hey man will do. Its safe for now, i just don't have the time money or resources to get to it. Being garage-less and tool-less doesn't help. I love that thing tho and I believe its the reason I got into the car hobby.

    1. That is legendary that you guys have kept that car and plan on keeping it. Family heirlooms are priceless. I have my great great grandfather's sword that he carried during the Civil War, it's right over there. The stories that your Chevy and my cavalry saber could tell are the closest connection to the past that anybody could ever ask for. That's real history, right there where you can touch it. Bravo.

      1. Well thank you, sir. Cool story on the sword too. My family is fortunately pretty nostalgic about things like these. My dad couldn't care less about cars in general, when they work, that's all that matters, but he knows what that car means. Of course idk what kind of stories she'd tell, being buried under newspapers in a garage for the last 30 years.

  13. I like to think I'm well on my way… even though I got a late start… and at the moment the object of my affections is less "car" and more "backyard planter".
    I didn't get my first car until I was 20 – it was a 1988 Thunderbird "LX" (not technically an LX, but as I later discovered it to be a wierd-option demonstrator, it probably could have been). I bought in May 1997 with 72K miles on the clock. This car would be my laboratory, shop manual, hoonmobile, employment steed and road trip car all-in-one, as everything I would come to learn (which sadly oftentimes seems like not much) would be a result of teaching myself, solo, what I needed or wanted to know.
    By fall 1999 it had over 130K miles – I'd effectively nearly doubled the not-insignificant mileage of a decade-old car in a little more than 2 years. An amazing feat, but one which proved fatal as my steed's heart was none other than the infamous Ford 3.8 – a smooth, steady, high-MPG plant afflicted by terminal head gasket failure.
    When they finally had their way in 2001, the car had 144K miles. I replaced it with a '97 T-Bird Sport V8 that proved bulletproof in every way, but kept my old soldier friend. Unfortunately, sitting still was something it had not been accustomed to, and fitness drives were not enough to keep the tired brakes, transmission, and other mechanicky bits in even short-trip working order. A few other significant broken pieces put it out of commission… and a stubborn lack of space, funds, mechanically-inclined friends more or less kept it there.
    We moved to a new house that still lacks a garage, but at least has a private yard where the neighbors won't give my wheeled pupa shifty glances. The Angstmobile proved a more workable project, and "someday" I will have a garage, or meet someone local to help me out and help with the rest of the ropes.
    But even if that car should be doomed to sink back into the earth from whence it came, I'll never part with it. There are too many stories and I've already rambled far too long, but that car had a downright supernatural ability… despite its numerous and legendary fits and tantrums, it always took care of me, got me where I needed to be, and developed a wonderful character before making it's needs for attention known. Before its resurrection – of which I sadly question the feasibility at times – it has earned the right to rest in peace: a cherished and respected old friend. They'll have to bury me in that car if I can't get it fixed for my girls.
    Woe be to the savage who turns his back on a mechanical beast with a soul.

    1. *sniff*
      I have the same attachment to a '94 Z28. Currently it resides on stands with 198,000 on it, patiently enduring my ham-fisted attempts to weld steel widebody fenders on it. I decided to make a 2000 Sunoco-style Camaro out of it, something which, in hindsight- I should have had more experience before I attempted such a thing.

    2. I'll never need to struggle to explain, now, why I never intend to part with my first car – equally unexceptional at a casual glance, but unstoppable, reliable, durable, and endearing to those who know her well (namely me).

  14. Already on my way, 1993 Bronco, Purchased on September 7th 1999 with 73,000 miles. So that's 10 years and 4 Months minus a couple of days. It's now here in the parking lot at work with 251,000 miles, a 4" Lift, 35s and lots of parts from random cars and trucks in/on/under it. Under my care the truck has been at speeds in excess of 115MPH, been driven in 4 states, 2 countries, been driven on more dirt then most cars drive on pavement, has seen low orbit a few times and "Lawn Darted" once.
    So yea I think this one is gonna stick around for the long run.

  15. Sure, until it's becomes cheaper to pay the mortgage and/or it tries to kill me. Also, it needs to be a car worthy of such dedication. I am not going to spend decades with a Camry, although I would feel just fine, say, with an M3, or a big Merc.

  16. Looking back at all the daily drivers I've owned, I normally buy cars when they're about 5–7 years old, and then drive them about 5–7 years per car (of those that I voluntarily got rid of that is, one I would've held onto longer was destroyed destroyed in an accident).
    The longest I've ever had the same daily driver was my '94 Escort wagon, which I had for 11 years (1998-2009, when the head gasket finally went). That's about as long as I intend on ever keeping a car that I use for serious transportation. By the time they're 15+ years old and beyond 150K or so, they just aren't very satisfying to own. It's not so much big problems stranding you on the side of the road, but lots of little trivial things end up just staying broken or worn because they don't keep you from arriving at your destination and are too much trouble and expense to fix. Individually they don't mean much, but they cumulatively end up ruining the driving experience.

  17. Do multiple wheels have to fall off? I'm still driving my '96 T-bird after this happened while pulling into my garage a year ago.
    <img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/28gqtg4.jpg&quot; width="500"/>
    It's been my daily driver for 11 years and 184,000 miles and it's still hard for me to comprehend parting with it. From late in high school, all through college, and now six years into a career it's been one of the few constants in my everyday life. It's carried me through 11 states and two provinces; south to TX, north to MB and ON, west to CO and east to WI, with loads ranging from just myself, to a carload of friends, to me + a dorm room worth of belongings. It's been hooned mercilessly at every possible opportunity and still has never had the valve covers or oil pan off (though it is on transmission #3 and the engine burns enough oil that it now needs 2 quarts worth of topping off between oil changes) and it still looks good other than the dented hood (deer) and a crack in the back bumper (stupid driverme.)
    As it is, though, I think this is my last year with this as my DD. It's now a $1500 car (at most) that could use $1500 in paint and body work (at least, between the hood, rear bumper and the sandblasted rocker panels.) I could keep driving it for a while but I suspect we'll soon be looking fondly back at the current $2-3/gallon gas prices, and I'm getting itchy to add a manual to my fleet but don't have room for more than two vehicles, and the pickup's not going anywhere.
    So, finally to get back to the question: if it's the drive-on-sunny-days car, absolutely. If it's the snow-goer/off-roader, maybe. If it's the daily driver, I wouldn't expect more than 15 years.

  18. If I had to have just one car for the rest of my life, it'd probably be the one I have now, which my parents bought from the original owners back in '86 when it was three-years-old. Sure, it's not the most comfortable, most economical, best handling, best accelerating (Ha!), safest, or probably even most reliable vehicle under the sun. But in my (totally biased) opinion, it does a lot of things pretty well, it holds a lot of memories, and because it's a mechanically-injected diesel, it's almost Apocalypse-proof. I don't plan on ever selling it.
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2524/3860644017_d4414fc48f_o.jpg&quot; width="800" height="600" />

      1. They are indeed. It also has Eibach sport springs front and rear which, although designed for lighter gas-engined W126s, provide an absolutely perfect stance.

  19. One vehicle? HA! NEVER! Too many cars and trucks I want out there.
    BUT, I am faithful in a bigamist sort of way to the ones I buy LONG beyond what others think is normal. I have 9 vehicles and they are all old/older. Most of them I have had for more than 10 years, and one I've held onto for over 20!
    Years ago I sold one vehicle (66 Chevelle) and lost 3 others (72 Gremlin, cool 73 LTD Wagon, 59 Baja Bug) when I joined the service. The Chevelle was cut up for parts and the rest were sent to the junkers while I was overseas, and it KILLED me. I've never had the heart to sell anything since. I just keep hanging on, and figure rather than spending $500 a month on one car, I get to spend $50 a month on 10 cars! The wife finally put me on a moratorium and says I can buy anything I want, I just have to sell something first. It's unfair, but probably a good rule to keep me from eventually becoming one of them odd-news stories on AP.
    My old timers include:
    67 Dodge Polara, 22 years – HRM "Power Tour" Long hauler '96, prominent resting spot outside my back door.
    72 MGBGT 17 years
    83 GPz550 14 years
    98 Dakota R/T 12 years (The vehicle that convinced me to buy used for the rest of my life)
    79 Dodge Motorhome "Brownie!" 18/10 years (Purchased by family in 1992, mine in 2000)
    The rest I have also had for a while
    79 MGB 6 years
    67 Datsun 5
    77 Ironhead 2
    The Killer ZomBee MGB was our newest addition, and I was supposed to sell the Harley to get it. Hasn't happened tho, and I imagine I'll probably keep all these forever too.
    If I ever find my dream car, i.e the one that was supposed to be mine when I turned 16 (1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Convertible) it will result in some serious parking and spousal problems. At least I have a place to stay if that happens (see 79 RV above).

  20. Just last weekend I sold our faithful '89 Corolla All Trac wagon (aka Yuki, aka The HantavirusMobile, aka The Farm Truc, aka The Rolling Tool Shed). Owned it for exactly 241 months. I was sad to see it go but at least it went to someone who, hopefully starting tomorrow, will be iceracing it.

  21. Yes I could, but probably not as a daily driver. There are too many different cars that I want to experience. I do still have my 2nd car a 77 Corvette. It currently isn't on the road, but I have plans to someday restore it/get it back on the road. With enough work it could be a daily driver. Otherwise 5-10 years on the daily drivers, then onto something newer. Someday I hope to drive a car made in the 21st century everyday.

  22. I've had Henrietta Ford, my '66 F100, since 1998 and have no plans to sell that truck. I know every nut and bolt in the thing, and know just what it will and will not do. I don't baby her at all, the thing sees rougher terrain on a daily basis just feeding the cows and jackasses than most vehicles will ever see, and gets taken out and bashed around in the desert on a regular basis. I have the feeling that that tough little truck will last forever and endure such treatment, because I'm confident that I can fix anything that goes wrong or breaks, I mean I've already rebuilt the engine. I'll never get rid of that truck. I'd hate myself if I did.
    I tend to hang onto things, when I can. I still have my skateboard that I bought as a kid in 1975, and can still ride it.

  23. Decades? I doubt it – I could rationalize keeping a daily driver for years, but undoubtedly it'd be starting to rust by year 10, and I don't know if there'd be anything left by year 20. As for a toy, unless I was in a position where I could collect them like Hot Wheels, after a year or two, I'd be ready to move on to the next thing – I'm constantly oscillating between obsessions.

  24. Never. Could I keep 'a' car for that long? Sure! Ford GT or GT40… F350 dually diesel crew cab… My grandfather's '65 Mustang Fastback…
    There are all cars I could keep for the rest of my life. But with my hobbies, no single car would be able to do everything I need including drive me to work without breaking the bank.

  25. I don't think I could stand the same car for more than a few years, no matter the car. I've been with my E30 not two years, and its time to move on. I'd upload a picture if I knew how…

  26. I've had my Volvo 240 for a bit over a year now, been driving her regularly for not even half that time.
    And I already can't imagine selling her.
    This, you see, is a problem… because I inherited my grandmother's not-roadworthy, decidedly-rusty 244 for parts. Same year. Same interior. Same powertrain.
    It's a great source of parts, but I already have two Volvos.
    And I know I'll own a 245 someday as well. Three Volvos, if I still have the parts car. (I'll probably pull off every useful nut and bolt and intentionally not be home when the scrap truck comes – I'll be out getting wasted.)
    It's hard enough imagining getting rid of the first car I drove. It's impossible to imagine getting rid of the first car I drove on my own in, the first car I got past 75 MPH, the first car I had to have towed out of a ditch, the first car I got pulled over in, the first car I off-roaded, the first car I broke the windshield of (from the inside, no less), and the second car I spun 180 degrees (but the first car in which I did so with a huge grin and knew exactly why it happened, on a surface that wasn't covered with snow). Oh, and before long, the first car in which I'll more than likely get some action. Ahem.
    The car that's taken me on amazing journeys around – and out of – the state. The car that taught me what drifting was.. The car that shot a dead raccoon fifteen feet. The car that takes on shrubbery, snowbanks, traffic cones, even reflector posts – and just laughs.
    Violet may not owe me a thing, but that doesn't stop her. And I have an obligation to reward that loyalty as best I can. The Lolvo ain't goin' anywhere without me.

  27. Now that I've finally gotten it on the road, I plan to keep my 924S for a good long while. Seeing as that it's my first "real" car (mom's Caravan does not count), and that a 924/944 has been my dream car sine the age of 10, I'll always have a special place for it in my heart.

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