April 15th, 2008, 11:36 pm PST by Greg

I have been watching a lot of Top Gear recently. Top Gear is a British car show: I have been describing it as three middle-aged idiots playing with cars. Their motto is “ambitious, but rubbish”, which pretty fairly describes the challenges they are given.

My favourite challenge, by a wide margin, is when the three of them try to prove that British Leyland made decent cars. That video is about a half hour long, but well worth watching. If don’t howl with laughter during the rough-road test, you just aren’t trying. I love it when one of them almost falls down laughing at another. It happens a lot.

They also spend a lot of time driving outrageously expensive supercars that I could go a lifetime without seeing, let alone driving. Basically, car porn. All of this has made me remember that I actually like driving: I just haven’t ever owned a fun car to drive. Clearly, I need a sports car. Stay with me here…

Now, a nice Ferrari or Lamborghini runs somewhere upwards of $200k, but a Porsche 911 or Lotus Elise is more in the $100k range. A Porsche Cayman is a damn nice car too and lists new for only about $60k.

That’s certainly downright affordable, but I’m not proposing that I buy a brand new Porsche. As with all cars, these things depreciate a lot in the first few years of ownership (which is approximately the time interval between becoming a doctor/lawyer and having a child, forcing you to sell your sports car and get an atrocious SUV). A used 911 that’s in solidly good condition can be had about $50k.

After the first few years, depreciation on such a car should be relative to how much it is driven, not its age: if it’s driven occasionally, well-maintained, and kept in a garage, it should resell for a good price. Fuel economy in one of these cars isn’t actually bad either: they’re so light that the big engine doesn’t have to work terribly hard.

That brings me to the real plan: get a gently-used cheap car (a Yaris, Civic, etc.) and use that for everyday driving. Get a used 911 for occasional fun-driving. Come on… how can you not want that?

Imagine the joy of it: pack an overnight bag, throw it in the 911, and go to the Okanagan (the hard way, through Manning Park) for the weekend. Marvel at the tool beside you that paid only $10k less than you for his ugly, boring SUV.

Of course, we’d have to have a garage to put it in. So, buy a house first. Also, our current car has been making a different noise for the last few weeks. That probably has to be replaced first too. Kat should probably have a job to make it all affordable. Kids are out too, but that was the plan anyway. So, some time in the next decade, this plan may be implementable.

What was most surprising was that Oli and Tina had been watching Top Gear as well, and Oli had the exact same thoughts at the exact same time. He wants the Elise.

Strangely, when I mentioned this plan to Kat, she didn’t really seem to think it was a bad idea. I think it’s a trap.

6 Responses to “Vroooom!”

  1. Allen Pike Says:

    An Elise isn’t $100k! An Elise can be bought on a upper-middle-class-midlife-crisis budget of $55k, which is the exact raison d’etre of an Elise. I can’t wait for my midlife crisis, it’s going to be sweet.

  2. Greg Says:

    Yeah, but I didn’t want to hurt Oli’s feelings by comparing the two: 🙂

  3. Eunice Says:

    Keep in mind I totally agree with you.

    I’m searching for that second income right now.

  4. Eugene Says:

  5. Eugene Says:

    Bugger, that didn’t work.


    The name sorta gives it away. Oh well.

  6. Porsche followup-- Greg and Kat’s blog Says:

    […] earlier post about buying a Porsche has caused much conversation. Some people who I have told about the plan seem to think I’m […]