Journal: Does One Car Do It All, Or Are Multiple Cars Necessary?

Does One Car Do It All, Or Are Multiple Cars Necessary?

By Josh Clason
March 25, 2013
30 Comments

As much as I would love to channel my inner Jack Olsen, I unfortunately cannot subscribe to the one-car-to-do-it-all philosophy. Although I already have one car that I am incredibly happy with (a BMW 2002), I still find myself always looking at other cars. For me, cars are a bit like shoes: you generally don’t have only one pair to wear to work, play sports in, and then go out on the town; rather, you have a few different types of shoes to go along with their respective activities. In respect to owning cars, it’s nice to have a more comfortable daily driver, a car more set up for the track, a convertible for those sunny days, and something a bit out of the ordinary.

Is this a sickness? Most definitely, but it’s a sickness that a lot of you out there can probably commiserate with.

– – –

For your automotive passion, does one car do it all, or are multiple cars necessary?

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Thomas Stukel
Thomas Stukel
5 years ago

Automotive monogamy is boring! A man needs one loyal, reliable, dependable car that is always there for you…and then a harem of exotic exciting cars that never fail to get a rise out of you…

Sal
Sal
10 years ago

For me two cars is more ideal, I guess it depends on the situation. I own a Range Rover Evoque & BMW E30. I’m also a business owner & sometimes I need to carry large supplies, which can be hard when using the E30. I use the Evoque for daily drive purely for ease of use & comfort. The E30 is my toy, upgrade suspension, engine, etc. Much like Jack Olsen’s Porsche, its a street car but with good track capabilities. For me that combination is ideal, 1 car for comfort, space, easy driving & one car for fun spirited driving.

Leucea Alexandru
Leucea Alexandru
11 years ago

Well, if parking spaces come up short and you don’t want to insure two cars, to change cars depending on needs, then i think there is an option. For an all-rounder i would go for the Bmw M5, regardless if its an E28, an E39 and so on. I need to drive the kids to school and pick up grandma on the way, and she might bring some groceries with her. I won’t have a problem with that, i have plenty of room. Or maybe i’ll go on a roadtrip with my friends, with luggage, beer and some good music. I will have enough space for the cool box, cup holders for the drinks we get at the Drive-In, a good stereo for the music we brought. We can also use the navigation system in case we get lost, and feel comfortable in the leather seats, cruising on the motorway. Then i want to drive it on a track day. I don’t see a problem with that, there is plenty of power, i’ll just fit some adequate tires for the job and get going. I think this is the actual purpose of this car, to be everything a car should be. Practical, comfortable, roomy and fast when needed. Of course, for us men cars are like shoes for women, we can’t wish for one only and it’s difficult for us to decide which one we need and which one is best to have. But the ‘one car does it all’ is plausible.

Brooks Wade
Brooks Wade
11 years ago

Could I get by with one suit? Sure, but where is the fun in that? Instead i have 20. If you can get buy with just one car then by all means do it! I have 2 that serve basically the same purpose. I have an E28 M5 and a C5 RS6. Both have 4 doors and comfortably seat 4 average sized adults. Both are also tuned track capable toys. But the both provide me completely different driving expiriences. The M5 is a very raw rewarding car to drive. The RS6 is a beastly yet comfortable GT car.

Luc Bonachera
Luc Bonachera
11 years ago

I’ve had up to 5 cars at the same time but it was more a frustration than anything else: what to drive today? Is it going to rain on that original 40 year old paint? Can I afford 500 miles with that fuel economy? And so on. In the end, there were always cars that wouldn’t be driven for weeks or months, so what was the point in keeping them?
I’m down to 2 cars now: one extremely sensible car I don’t even dare talk about, and a 1991 Miata that is, actually, my daily driver as often as I can (i.e when there’s no salt on the roads). The plan is to upgrade to a classic 911 some day but I won’t be able to use it as often (because of the cost of gas in Europe) or to drive it where I drive the Miata (hardly a week goes by without a new scratch or dent because of careless drivers), so I’m not in that much of a hurry…

Giannis Agrotis
Giannis Agrotis
11 years ago

Personally I wouldn’t be totally happy with a single car. Already I’m having to borrow the girlfriend’s or one of the parent’s cars when I need to carry more than 1 passenger (I drive a Z4 M Coupe), have to transport something bulky or go on a camping or hiking trip so eventually I see myself getting a small 4X4 as a daily driver and outdoors car and keep my BMW for the evening outings, weekend drives and of course track days! My ideal garage though would have 3 cars minimum, a daily driver/outdoor combination, a GT or sports car and a dedicated track slag!

cardyjones
cardyjones
11 years ago

B6 S4 V8 Avant 6 MT.
Yes that’s one car.
It does it all.

Joe Sterling
Joe Sterling
11 years ago

No way, I need a minimum of 3 Ive come to find out.

Show car/summer car/fun car = 68 BMW ’02

Rallycross car/Winter beater/Pile = 87 Audi 4000CS quattro

Daily/boring/drive when you broke everything esle = E39 528i 5speed

Those Cars can and will change but I need those 3 positions to be filled at any given time 😀

Joe Sterling
Joe Sterling
11 years ago

No way, I need a minimum of 3 Ive come to find out.

Show car/summer car/fun car = 68 BMW ’02

Rallycross car/Winter beater/Pile = 87 Audi 4000CS quattro

Daily/boring/drive when you broke everything esle = E39 528i 5speed

Those Cars can and will change but I need those 3 positions to be filled at any given time 😀

Richard Harrold
Richard Harrold
7 years ago
Reply to  Joe Sterling

I wouldn’t call an E39 528i boring… very nice cars!

Isaac DC
Isaac DC
11 years ago

Well that’s a good one, i my opinion a 911 could do the job. But everyone has these moments that you have these moments that you need more luggagespace or that you want to drive more economical or that you want more comfort and sometimes you might want a stiffer and louder ‘racing’car. So i think your comparsion with the shoes discribes the situation perfectly! And after all, when you re driving and you see other nice cars it is inevitable that you dream about driving or owning them. And in my opinion dreaming is what it is about, but being able to drive or buy a dream must be like some Nirwana.

Gavin
Gavin
11 years ago

I think it all depends upon where you live. California would allow one to use a 911 for almost all situations. Chicago or Boston? Not so much…

Andrews Balboa
Andrews Balboa
11 years ago

It depends on what do you understand about ” to do it all” .
If you drive your 911 daily to take your children to school (2 child + school backpack), drive 40 miles to work (traffic jam) and do the shopping (park everywhere, between people cars who don’t care about others )… people will say you will need for sure, more than one car “to do it all”. They’ll say you’ll need something more comfortable, something bigger, a car with less fuel consumption. But… those who think this way , probably, wont understand the satisfaction with litle sacrifice of daily drive such a great CAR.

Chris Newport
Chris Newport
11 years ago

I think it depends where you are in life. If you can accept the compromise (greater or lesser, but inevitable) in an all-rounder, whether due to financial restrictions or if that’s just good enough for you, then that’s not a bad route. However if you’re in the position to max out the envelope, only a dedicated vehicle per task will do.

Paul Steel
Paul Steel
11 years ago

1 car, no.. petrolhead knows, there is no limit.

Tyler B
Tyler B
11 years ago

JDM classic Impreza STi wagon…or buy a ’93-01 wagon in the states and swap it. Just because it’s a swap you doesn’t mean you need to go all out with exhaust/suspension. Stock STi powertrain in a wagon with Prodrive WR suspension. Done and done.

Jordan Holmes
Jordan Holmes
11 years ago

I think at least 2 are needed. A small wagon or hatch with some power for fun and function as well as a pickup or van for hauling and towing needs. If you have the funds and space then diversify as much as you want, but a museum of non driven cars is a waste, so keep it to 7 max.

Derek Entesano
Derek Entesano
11 years ago

If you have three small kids like me, you may want at least two cars. I have a Giulia Super that I can fit them in the back seat, so they can enjoy the classic experience with me. I also have a stepfront GTV of which the usefulness of the backseat is questionable so I am building it as more of a racer. But even two is not enough. I tell my wife I need at least 3 so that each of the kids can have one when I drop of the perch in 50 years! I think many of us are not only limited by our wallets but shed size and wife approval!

Nicholas LaGreca
Nicholas LaGreca
11 years ago

I am 22 years old, and have been lucky enough to have put together my very own “shoe” closet. I have five Italians in my stable along with five germans, and they all have slightly different purposes. An e34 wagon for mountain biking, a Z3 M Roadster for taking girls on dates, a 750IL for double dates, an e34 M5(as previously mentioned for the daily duties, and everyone once in a while I like to put my trust in mechanical fate, and take out my Alfa Romeo Milano Verde. I believe that more the merrier! Happy Motoring:)

john tolle
john tolle
11 years ago

In one word– No
In two words- No way

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
11 years ago

If I had to pick one car to do everything it would have to be a BMW 335d Touring M Sport. A load lugger that’s fast economical and good to drive. To be honest my natural desire to collect and hoard means having just one car is never really an option.

Mat smith
Mat smith
11 years ago

Personally I find I need more than one car. A L322 Range Rover is my daily driver, offering limo like luxury yet with all terrain tyres and a tow bar will earn its keep towing trailers, pulling tree stumps out of the garden and as a family bus. My porsche 996 turbo is a GT and supercar rolled into one, four seats, very fast and perfect for that road trip down to Italy. My w124 pillarless coupe Mercedes 300ce provides the car when I want to waft along, windows down on a summers day, very smooth and quiet, a pleasure to drive and such quality. We have a fiat 500 as the eco city when you just need to get there but still fun to drive. I still think I need an Alfa in the garage too and perhaps a late Bentley Mulsanne Turbo R, for when the sun is out and I have a long drive ahead.

Originalracingsnake
Originalracingsnake
11 years ago

My 1990 928GT does almost everything brilliantly. It has a big boot, can carry 4 people, can hoon, do burnouts and paint 11’s. it can take you 300 miles at 100mph and make you feel like you just popped out for some milk. However, you cannot load it with 200kg of tiles and grout, fit a ladder inside it, or a door. It will not do 650 miles on a tank of fuel, and it costs a fortune to service. My wife will not drive it. My W211 E320CDI does 150 mph, handles, carries ladders and tiles, bikes and logs and is my wife’s favourite. No car can do it all, but choose carefully and you can have it all. The MX5 is simply for fun.

Xander Cesari
Xander Cesari
11 years ago

There are some things that I really appreciate in cars that preclude this. I like some cars for their weirdness, personality, single-mindedness, obscurity, or history. Plus, the engineer in me loves optimization. One car will always be a compromise in a few ways and given unlimited money and shop space I would love to optimize a large number of the reasons I want cars.

That being said, for now my Alfa is doing a lot of things well and with just a few upgrades I’ll be able to turn it up at autocrosses, hillclimbs, and track days.

Inigo Loy Colmenar
Inigo Loy Colmenar
11 years ago

It is never enough! Choose the best weapon. It is even different between tracks. A car that is good for SOW would not be good for the Big Track, etc etc. Plus, we all want variety.

Fotis Fotiadis
Fotis Fotiadis
11 years ago

One car, will always be a big compromise… 😉

ShamWerks
ShamWerks
11 years ago

I agree with John (first comment) : 1 car-does-it-all is a compromise, meaning there’s something you’re not comfortable doing… I had a 911 for a while, fantastic car, but not really that practical when you try stuffing your groceries under the front hood. You *can*, sure, but it’s not its strong suit.
In the other hand, I’m a strong believer of a few-cars-garage. No matter how much money you have, you only have 24 hours a day. Having dozens upon dozens of cars in a huge garage does not make sense to me. Well, it’s not a garage any more, it’s a museum then ; which is highly respectable, but means you don’t work on your car, and the vast majority just keep getting dusty, going on the road only a couple of times per decade.
So, one car do-it-all : meh.
One daily-driver car + one project car to put your greasy hands in + one driving condition fun/sports/classic car for the week end = perfect combination, if you ask me.

P Cornelius
P Cornelius
11 years ago

An E34 M5 does many things well. Entertaining to drive and track, carries people and all their stuff, is relatively simple mechanically, is comfortable, handsome, fast and stealthy. It is well built, by hand. It is the car I would keep if I had to give the others up.

Jayson Wade
Jayson Wade
11 years ago

I think it depends on what “all” means to you. If a convertible satisfies your “all,” then one car can do it all. My dream garage includes 1 sports car (Porsche, thank you), 1 convertible, 1 luxo-cruiser as my daily driver, 1 4×4, and 1 pickup. Or, I could combine the pickup and 4×4. Or get a Jeep as a 4×4 convertible. SO many choices…

John Gronberg
John Gronberg
11 years ago

I think it’s possible to have a car that does everything, but you’ll still know in the end that it’s a compromise on some aspects. For a long time I drove a twin-turbo Audi S4 Avant with lots of upgrades from suspension to turbos to electronics, so it was fun on the track but could haul all of my ski gear into the backcountry for a day of adventure. I doubt any car will surpass it as an all-rounder for me. Now I have multiple cars for multiple purposes, which all well and good when I have the means to do so. The answer to the question ultimately comes down to what you’re able to own/maintain.

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