My motoring enthusiasm started early. My father used to take me to the beach in his 1985 Nissan 300Z. With the t-top open the combination of sun, salty air, and winding coastal roads was forever ingrained into my mind. I learned to drive in a 1997 Ford Expedition, so I’m comfortable driving just about anything smaller than a school bus. My my first car was a Jet Black 2003 BMW 325xi. Its the car I learned to drive stick in, igniting my purist attitude in transmission and driving preference. In fact, I believe that the best cars have the least distance between the driver and ultimate control of the vehicle. Things like automatic transmission, start/stop, cupholders, and electronic driver aids detract from the true purpose of being in a car; driving. And yes, cupholders. With mixed emotion, I sold my 325xi to make room for my first new car, an Estoril Blue 2013 BMW 335i xDrive. As required, it has a 6 speed manual and a minimal amount of cupholders. While my personal affinity for sport sedans from Munich might expose me to claims of bias, I’m always looking to define the personality of every car I drive. Each car is different and has to be driven as such. I won’t be satisfied until I’ve driven them all.
In all honesty the first memory I have is one of sitting in my father’s 1968 Corvette. It was pale yellow with black interior, a black removable vinyl roof, and a 4 speed manual. To this day he regrets selling that car, and to this day I still miss sitting in that passenger seat. Over the years however I have become more than just a Corvette lover, though they will always hold a special place in my heart.
Currently I drive a 2009 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited, black on black and I really dislike this color combination and I am constantly talking about how I never want another black vehicle (this doesn’t always sit well with Chris). Over the last few years I’ve developed a borderline obsession with Lamborghini, to the point where just seeing one on the rare occasions makes my day infinitely better. Where Chris and I differ is on the automotive technology aspect. I absolutely love double-clutch transmissions, electronic stability settings, and everything in the current techno-wiz Nissan GT-R. Similarly though, I am an avid fan of the Reichstag and their ability to make the best cars in the world, consistently. On that note my fair-weather car is a 2011 BMW 335i, and I absolutely love it to death to the point where I will defend it until I die, but would I want another one? Over an Audi S4? Probably not.
All-in-all, I like to stick to the tag line “I love to drive, I hate being driven” and hopefully through our opinions, writing, and whatever else we come up with, you will be able to hold on through the corners.
I could drift before I could walk… Although my parents have pictures to prove it, I have no recollection of running around the house sideways – but I remember laying skid-marks all over the basement floor, proving that I had a serious driving addiction before I could actually “drive”. As I got bigger, the rubber I laid with my antique fire truck pedal-car got longer. Fast forward about seven years, and I remember my Dad’s ‘89 Ford Ranger, and that he’d let me shift his five-speed for him. I’d listen for the revs, he’d clutch in and call out a gear. That truck had no radio, no air conditioning, no carpet, and instead of bucket seats, Ford gave it a vinyl bench without headrests. By the time I was ready to learn how to drive, the Ranger was in decay, having a engine that was locked up as the result of a spent oil pump. It became a vehicle we had neither money nor desire to repair, and thus it was relegated to became a dusty relic of Americana, like so many Rangers that had come before it.
Having grown up in a family that only drove Fords and Buicks, the first car I ever purchased was in fact a 2001 Ford Focus LX sedan in a color Dearborn called Jackpot Gold. It was the summer of 2003, and I had just seen The Fast And The Furious, so needless to say that my first car had to come equipped with a manual transmission, and have aftermarket support. I remember the day I bought it, Super Street in hand. I couldn’t even drive the damn thing, but I loved two things about it: 1), it was a manual, and 2), Wings West made a body kit for the ZX3, the later of which fruitlessly led me towards “modifications” of all kinds. My first style mod was taking the gray plastic wheel covers off, followed by my first and second mechanical mods, an HKS intake and a custom, carbon fiber exhaust. First handling mod were Tein S-Tech lowering springs, which made the car look much better, except I noticed that my shocks were working overtime. Because I didn’t have the means to acquire any go-fast parts, I became obsessed with saving weight instead, and this resulted in the whole vehicle being stripped down to bare metal aft of the front seats.
Needless to say, I was a “ricer” at heart, and soon enough I’d get the car of my dreams, which was, at that time, a 2003 Honda Civic Si in Taffeta White. I left this car completely stock because, unlike the Crackpot Gold F—us that came before it, this car was perfect. Two years, 50,000 miles, and a college degree later, I made my first actual sports car purchase – a 2005 Infiniti G35 Coupe with the Sport Package (included RAYS 19” rims, factory aero kit, and better suspension). I was back to drifting, but with a long commute, unpredictable St. Louis winters, and high gas prices, I couldn’t justify hanging on to the G. This led towards my reluctant purchase of my first new car, a 2009 Honda Fit Sport A/T. This is the first, and will be the last vehicle I buy with an automatic transmission.
I have had an interest in cars from quite an early age. I would be riding along with my parents and be able to rattle off the year, make, and model of practically every car we passed by on the road. To some people it was a borderline obsession, but cars fascinated me, and still do. One of my loves as an adolescent was the Mitsubishi Eclipse—specifically the GSX trim level and 1995 to 1999 model years. I always wanted one; if only I had the chance to drive one to get that bug out of my system. Granted, it was not that exciting of a car. The Eclipse GSX was AWD with a 210 hp turbocharged 2.0 L engine. But it was still one of those cars most teenagers wanted at that time.
Over the years, my tastes have changed in regards to what I like as well as what I drive. For the past 6 years I have been a SUV girl (2005 Buick Rainier CXL) but have recently become the proud owner of a Mineral Gray 2013 BMW 328xi. It was quite an adjustment—going from a SUV to a mid-size car, but completely worth it. It does not matter if it is a quick trip to the mall or heading to work, the drive is always fun. Turning up BPM on the radio, putting the windows down, and feeling my hair fly up into the open sunroof is enough to put a huge smile on my face.
A car should not be known as just means of transportation. I believe they all have unique personalities and are a great way to express a person’s style. I plan on evaluating a car’s fundamental elements and features, but with a uniquely female perspective.