Limits are not something I’m comfortable with. Four of anything isn’t ever enough. Why have 4 of those mini Three Musketeers bite size candy bars when you can have 40 of them? Cars are the same way. I know people in their 40’s who have not even owned 4 cars in their LIFE! This doesn’t compute in my head. I’ve owned 4 different cars in the last two years. When people learn of my secret shame (I’ve owned 36 cars), one question always comes up: What was your favorite car? Answering this question is as easy as answering the eternal “which child is your favorite” question? They were all my favorite and in no particular order; here are my 4 favorite cars.
4. 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible. This was the second car I ever had. It was way back in high school, several hundred years ago, when these cars could be had for less than $1000, but I didn’t pay for the Camaro, I traded for it. I was driving a black 1963 Oldsmobile F85 that my parents thought would be a good car for a teenager because it was, in their eyes, safe. It was also slow and looked like a car that my mom might have taken to youth group meetings at her church in 1963. But who am I to complain? I had a car that did smokey burnouts and I was happy. One day after school, I dropped my friend off at the farm she lived on as her dad came out to presumably see who was trespassing and he immediately dropped over at the sight of the black Olds. It was JUST like the one he had when he was in high school!! He went on and on about the details of the car that I could have cared less about because I was staring at this white Camaro that was sitting in his barn. When he was done drooling over my car, I jokingly said “Hey, I’ll trade you my car for the Camaro.” He stopped in his tracks and said “REALLY?” The next thing you know, I was driving to school in a white Camaro convertible that my parents should have NEVER let me trade for. It had a 327 and a 4-speed and I won’t admit to anything that happened in this car because my mother may be reading this.
3. 2004 Ford Explorer XLT. This is my current daily driver and it’s my first SUV! I avoided these tall station wagons for years because they weren’t cool enough for a speedy car addict like me. But now, I see why so many soccer moms and game wardens drive these things. Mine has 116,000 miles on the Aspen Green Metallic paint and plain beige leather interior. It’s comfortable, quiet, has a great stereo, room for my daughter and her friends and, somehow, it looks like it has 100,000 miles less than it does. The only problem is, an Abrams Tank gets better gas mileage than my truck and I still don’t care.
2. 1993 Honda Accord EX Coupe. I bought “Black Lightning” for $3,000 from a friend who only sold her very pretty, 5-speed car to me because she got a brand new one. It was in perfect shape, only had 99,000 miles and was less than 10 years old when I took delivery of what I thought would be a car I would hate. But since it got great gas mileage, it seemed perfect to commute from way south of the Skyway to St. Petersburg every day and I would probably dump it after 6 months anyway. Then something happened. I got emotionally attached to it. Maybe it was because a state trooper in an airplane thought he clocked me at over 100mph on the bridge one afternoon or maybe it was because that little car never broke at all, even with my constant abuse. I taught several nieces and nephews how to drive stick in that car before I sold it to my sister-in-law with 217,000 miles many years ago and I still miss that thing.
1. This is where the limitations of The 4 really makes me insane. I would love to tell you that my favorite car was my Quicksilver Metallic 2005 Pontiac GTO or the Teal 1993 Mustang Cobra that were insanely fast, head-turning cars, but the most amazing car I have ever owned was the Black Cherry Metallic (ok it was purple) 2011 Hyundai Sonata. It looked cool, was reliable, comfortable, speedy, got insanely great gas mileage and rarely got me a speeding ticket. It’s also the car that I sold to a friend in northern California. My 11-year-old daughter and I drove that car 3,249.7 miles in less than a week and had the trip of a lifetime. We snuck in to baby’s first casino in Biloxi MS, one of us lost a tooth in the middle of nowhere Louisiana, and the same one threw up on Route 66 in New Mexico, we saw the Grand Canyon for the first time, drove down the Vegas strip and possibly saw a UFO near Area 51 and neither one of us will ever forget the best vacation we have ever taken all while riding in that purple Hyundai.
So there are my The 4, Favorite Cars edition. I would love to hear what your four are, if you’ve had that many cars. Tweet me @ericahab.
Erica Habedank/ CW44 Tampa Bay