Journal: What's One Car You Could Own for the Rest of Your Life?

What’s One Car You Could Own for the Rest of Your Life?

Avatar By Ezekiel Wheeler
September 27, 2013
98 comments

I’ve been asked this question since I dedicated the my life to the automobile as a teenager. A silly thing to do in hindsight, but I have no regrets so far, except one that was abruptly brought to my attention answering this question. Why don’t I have a Porsche 911 yet?!

A car for the rest of my life? Without a question, it would be a Porsche 911 (a ‘73 911 2.7L RS, if I’m lucky).

I dare you to find another car that is as performance driven, recognizable, and just plain beautiful amongst any generation. My reasoning stems from both education and family. As a design student at the Art Center College of Design we would spend days debating which cars we would own post graduation. Many, if not all, fell behind the steering wheel of the 911. Its honest form development accentuated performance, technology and aerodynamics. The total package if you ask me.

My father dreamed of owning a 911 since he was a boy, imitating down-shift blips with his orange matchbox 911 S. Nearly 30 years later, he realized his dream of owning a 911—a 1997 911 S to be exact. My father has never been known, at least during my childhood, to purchase cars that delivered the joy of driving. He opted for practicality and function, so for him the 911 transformed his driving personality into sheer bliss. After experiencing this first hand, I finally knew what every 911 owner had been talking about: the noises, the cornering speeds, brakes, and the glances from pedestrians filled with envy and desire—its my mission to own these qualities for life.

If you put my feet to the fire, I’d opt for a late ‘70s to ‘80s 911 SC. Yes, the classic Porsches ooze charm and sophistication, and yes, modern models are a favorite amongst valet parkers in Hollywood, but there is something so brutally pure about the construction of the SC. It simply begs me to own it and drive it—not just to drive to work but to go long distances and discover new experiences on winding country roads. Hell, if I pour in a little elbow grease, I can take it to the track and one day even compete at Le Mans—this may be too optimistic, but you get my point.

Now we’d love to hear from our Petrolisti. What’s one car you could own for the rest of your life?

Photography by Ezekiel Wheeler

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Victor Enrique RojasTimothy AmesTony MorrisMatt SieverdingJohan Andreas Furebotten Recent comment authors
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Victor Enrique Rojas

My 2007 Porsche Cayman. The 2.7 liter engine is just the right amount of get-up-and-go . It’s perfectly weighted, has a 5-speed transmission and has 2 seats for my wife and I. I’ve owned it for 2 years and I do not plan on getting rid of it ever.

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Timothy Ames
Timothy Ames

2003 Audi RS 6 Avant with remapped ECU – miltek exhaust and VMR 810 Rims on sport pilots

Tony Morris
Tony Morris

I think I own mine already. Porsche 968 coupé, non-ClubSport version. Had it for almost 20 years now, so I should probably just hang on to it I guess?!

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Matt Sieverding
Matt Sieverding

Turbo Buick Regal

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Dan
Dan

I would have to go with the 2017 Ford focus Rs. Yes, im sorry it is such a new car, and dont get me wrong I love classics, probably more so then this car but if it were the one car for everything, I would choose this car. Its got a reliable long lasting 4cyl, with decent mpg, with the horsepower to have fun with. Its large enough for a family of 4 + a weekends worth of luggage. It has the awd to take care of the snowy roads, as well as going off the pavement to get back… Read more »

Tom Schmidt
Tom Schmidt

I already own it: A 1970 BMW 2002 in original/concours condition. I had one in 1970 and sold it five years later. The new one is exactly like the original car, same color, same everything, being three months off the build of the original. It was like hitting a bullet with a bullet.

Jay Walker
Jay Walker

I am blessed to be the lifetime steward of mine. A bond originally formed on the track 17 years ago that still hasn’t waivered. She’s a 👍
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Johan Andreas Furebotten

X88?

Michel Dupuis
Michel Dupuis

For me the Porsche 968 does it all . analog & balanced also rare & stylish on the last hand made production Porsche . A gem !!!

Oldlizard
Oldlizard

My 84 Citroen 2CV is the only car I have ever needed. Its unique suspension, front wheel drive, and high ground clearance allow me to go practically anywhere. I am on my third one and I am considering getting buried in it. (If I am ever in a crash it may be easier to bury me and it since it would be very difficult to remove my body a little bit at a time.) I recently ran it on a road racing track with Ferrari, Jags and Austin Healy’s, none of them lapped me more than once! (Check our LGGPR.org… Read more »

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Kim
Kim

I have a 911 SC from 1980… Its almost stock just with 17″ “Fuchs style” rims, bilstein suspension, Raceline strut bar and Dansk exhaust… I have had it for 1 year now and I love it… I drove 5000km last year and 1000km this year so far 🙂 It puts a smile on my face every time and its so pure and fun to drive. I think it will be mine for the rest of my life 🙂

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Igor Panitz

Guys, there is one thing for sure: One of the best things ever left Stuttgart is the 300 SEL 6,3. It has so much style, accelerates like a Porsche, sounds excellently and is just beautiful – inside and out. Once you fixed it professionally it’s solid like a rock. The roadholding is kindai lousy of course but this somehow makes the driving experience even more enjoyable. I’m driving mine since about 15 years now and it saw a couple other cars coming and leaving. I really can say that this is the car of my life.

Tom Schmidt
Tom Schmidt

When it came out, it was the fastest sedan made.

Andres
Andres

Audi rs6

Mike Aldridge
Mike Aldridge

I’m not sure if I’ll keep my Alfa 156 V6 forever, but it’s cheap to register and parts are still plentiful. I regret selling my 944. There are so many different cars in my head that I’d like to own that choosing a keeper is nigh on impossible, but a 928 S4 has a lot of appeal.

In reading through the comments it’s interesting to see the eclectic range of cars that people are into.

Tharanga Wijayaratna
Tharanga Wijayaratna

While I love Alfa Romeos (I own a big one with Busso and a small one with Boxer), my one-car-for-life would be a Citroen SM.

Tim Hüber

Aircooled Porsche 911 and a 1995 Toyota Landcruiser.
Porsche’s are the Landcruisers of cars and Landcruiser are the Porsche of trucks. 🙂

Todd Westlie
Todd Westlie

My 1993 BMW E34 M5 of course! Bought it in 1995 and am going on 20 years together. It is modified more than a bit, hehe, but appears stock except for the rumble of the exhaust – sets off car alarms in parking garages. A true SLEEPER if I were to de-badge it!

Kaylen Richardson
Kaylen Richardson

I too am a part if the “own your dream car” club. Unlike most I’ve never dreamt of having a Ferrari or Lamborghini, Instead I wanted a Nissan. 🙂 I have a 1989 Nissan Silvia that I put every dime that college doesn’t take from me. I was very lucky to find this car and I paid perhaps a little more than I could afford but you can’t put a price on a dream right? I am already planning to buy another after I get this one where I want her to be. I’ll have this car for the rest… Read more »

Douglas Wittkowski
Douglas Wittkowski

Mulling over all sorts of Porsche 911 options, then there is the BMW E30 M3, but one do all end all car for everything forever?
The W124 1994 Mercedes E500 might do it.

FERRAND Fabrice
FERRAND Fabrice

Just like Leo, i would propably choose a Peugeot 205 GTi because it is a great daily driver, very reliable, and spicy.
My other choice would be a BMW e30 convertible for it stuning design, a real classic design for sure.

Den van den Ende
Den van den Ende

My current car, A semi-sporty saloon, which is in fact a proper ‘sleeper’; A ’01 Passat 3BG 4.0 W8 4Motion Sedan. It’s 275Bhp and four wheel drive hasn’t bored me yet. A few personal tweaks involves, adjustable KW suspension with H&R heavy duty anti-roll bars, Mannesmann drilled and grooved discs, Full stainless cat-back exhaust system (butterfly valves for engine-note regulation) on 18″ BBS Le Mans rims. I love it to bits, but still not as much as my 8 y.o. son. He already put in his claim to inherit the “8” when i am gone. 😀

Richard Kepler
Richard Kepler

If it was my only car it would be an audi rs6 avant with the twin turbo v10. But if it was for fun only it would be a Ferrari f40

Ib Erik Soderblom
Ib Erik Soderblom

Well, been driving a lot of cars, I’ve now settled with my 156 2.5 V6.
She’s a keeper and my 5’th Alfa.
Might want a true classic one day. But then, I don’t really feel that need for a classic any more.
Maybe an old Lada 210x, that I can thrash around and customize to what ever I might feel like, without having to answer to the “Original Polizei”…
Or something else, that others regard as trash…
But my 156, she’s just so complete in every sence.
Classic and modern, good quality, reliable engine, Great sound, great driving and then so absolutely beautiful.

Tommy Plouffe
Tommy Plouffe

A Fiat 500 57-75

Paul Delfre
Paul Delfre

Another member of the “I own my dream car” club here. My father had a Datsun Sunny and later a 74 260Z so my adoration of the Nissan and the Z car was instilled early on. Then in 2003, when the Z33 arrived it was love at first sight. 2 years later, in 2005, I found my car with less than 10k and near showroom paint. With just a few modifications the car takes pretty much anything I’m able to throw at her. Track days are just a blast and as my confidence/ability builds the car is able to respond… Read more »

Rafael Campos
Rafael Campos

Here in Brazil we only haver “regular cars”. The Sports cars like (Porsche, Ferrari and Lambos) and the imported (Skyline and other) doesn’t exist. The luxury cars here are Toyota Corolla and New Civic. Cars in Brazil are so much expensive. My personal dream is a Volkswagen Gol GTI 1989 dark blue. I love cars and racing but i never drove a sport car. I drive a regular fiat grand punto with “super powerfull engine” with 92 hp.

Anders Forsberg
Anders Forsberg

While I’m decently sure that I will keep my BMW635CSi for a good, good while – there is one car that really [i]does it[/i] for me…
[b]Ferrari 288GTO[/b].

Oh yes. I’m born in the eighties! 😉

JanMichael Franklin
JanMichael Franklin

Yeah, the 288 GTO is definitely one of my favorites! Beautiful! I prefer it to the F40.

Leo Edward
Leo Edward

I’ll never sell my 205GTi

FERRAND Fabrice
FERRAND Fabrice

Hi Leo, I had one 205 Gti just like you, in very nice condition too but with “miami blue”. Do you know an other little sporty frenchy named Clio Williams ? It was such a great car too. Very collectible in France.

Bogdan Danailescu
Bogdan Danailescu

I’m in the “I own my dream car” club 🙂
It’s a Honda Civic Type-R (EP3) it’s reliable, sporty and practical too
I can carry my mountain bike inside with one passenger.

Michael Hainey
Michael Hainey

I already have it and don’t ever plan on not having it!

Ryan McWaters
Ryan McWaters

This is a question I’ve been considering lately myself. Having driven a collection of cars over the years – including of various Porsches (including a 2.4 911S and a 993 RS), V12 Ferrari’s, DB Aston Martin, Mercedes 280SL, etc, as well as a current model Maserati GT – the only car I could see myself enjoying until the end would be a ‘personalised’ 911; much like a singer 911, taking the minimalist design elements I love from the early 70’s, yet with the modern drivability and performance of say the 993 RS. The best of all Porsche worlds! But if… Read more »

Greg Ritter
Greg Ritter

Audi Ur-Quattro.

JanMichael Franklin
JanMichael Franklin

1997 Acura NSX. The engine was enlarged to 3.2L, the power rose from 270 to 290, it had the 6-speed manual rather than the 5-speed, and it still had the pop-up headlights as it was originally designed. This was the best version of what I consider to be the best Japanese sports/exotic of all time. So far.

RS Anthony
RS Anthony

Easy answer. A Porsche 993 911. Make it 4S so I can drive it any time I want. Early in the morning. On the wet or on the snow. Even slightly tired at night. Yet safe. A confidence based relationship. Why this car? I was about 10 years old when it was launched. Two things had a strong lasting impression on me. The legendary commercial with narration by Patrick Stewart and music by Deep Forest. And walking in the streets maybe 15 years ago, looking at a blonde 30-ish woman sitting in the passenger seat of a black 993 with… Read more »

Kazumi3
Kazumi3

I’ve been a fan and loyal owner of Datsun’s my whole life. One Datsun that I currently own is a 1972 Fairlady Z and it’s been a joy to build and own. I’ve extended my passion and sickness for another car recently and this will be a long time keeper ~ Black 1997 Porsche 993 (T). I drive both cars as often as I can along Orange County California’s Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). The RB25 (T) Straight 6 Nissan and 993 (T) Flat 6 Porsche engine’s sing so eloquently with the Pacific Ocean. It’s been a great joy to drive… Read more »

Chris R
Chris R

Since we’re talking hypotheticals here, I’ll with my dream: a Ferrari 250 SWB. I

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott

After reading this so many beautiful rare classics came to mind, but thinking about it more I would keep my 1977 Reliant Scimitar. It’s a very understated car and I have so much history with it after only 5 years of ownership that I couldn’t let it go. I love the fact that it’s so usable, it’s small, sporty and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it for crazy trips as the shooting brake design means there is plenty of space for whatever I will need. It’s a car I feel I could use for anything that I desire from owning… Read more »

Patrick Trautfield
Patrick Trautfield

I currently own a car that could be considered for this… a Z3/M Coupe. Very interesting (and to me…pretty) shape that is both aggressive, sporty and practical (with the hatch). A very special car with not many of them made. Hits all the right buttons for me, aside from the lack of a back seat.

However, I think I’d be quite happy living with a Singer 911… :p

Flyinglotus
Flyinglotus

My current, and first car, a Peugeot 205 1.1 ’89 5door. Its a beauty in light blue, no rust, little scratches and has sofas as seats.
Some things i want to do:
1. Make it even lighter (now 870kgs)
2. Upgrade suspension + more grippy tyres
3. Engine swap/tweak
4.[u]Rwd conversion[/u]
5. A kid’s seat in the back 😀

Jakub Wrobel
Jakub Wrobel

If I’m being realistic, then ultimately a 911 (a 70’s one hopefully), but for a soon-to-be-graduated MBA student and lover of all things classic, I’d have to go with a more affordable option – that of a 944.

Vincent P
Vincent P

I think I finally found my “forever” car. My 76 911S is the stuff of dreams and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t sit and daydream about things we are going to do together.

Bertram Wooster
Bertram Wooster

The answer is Miata, of course!

Lasting appeal? No problem on someone else’s dime, but what happens to that Porsche or Ferrari when the kids need ortho or tuition? Or when they show up in the first place? Or it needs a new clutch? As long as you’ve got a place to park it, there’s really no reason to sell a Miata and it’ll always put a grin on your face, especially with a lightened flywheel.

Vincent Basile
Vincent Basile

I have thought about this as well since I was a teenager. I would have to go with an Audi Sport Quattro. Rare, fast, all-wheel-drive (I live in Canada), I would keep it forever, no matter how expensive it ever became to fuel it up.

Christian Peta
Christian Peta

Having never owned one, coupled with the terminal state of my automotive sickness I can’t say that I wouldn’t ever be curious about another car but if there was one that I would be willing to test my devotion with I think it would have to be a black 993 turbo. It’s beautiful, rare, and arguably one of the best cars to ever come out of Stuttgart. I don’t think you can really want much more than that.

Peter Sente
Peter Sente

I currently own a 2000 Alfa Romeo GTV 1.8 TS, my first car. As with many an Alfa of the era, I can, objectively speaking, make quite a list of things that could have been better or different. I even had to replace the engine due to inadequate maintenance by he previous owner. But when I see it standing by the road from my first floor window, I can’t but smile and think: that is my car. I can drive it whenever I want, listening to the little engine revving like only Italians can rev, going around corners with a… Read more »

drooartz
drooartz

Interesting mix of choices here. Not surprising, though, as we’re all attracted to something different. Me, I just bought a car that could very well be a rest-of-life keeper. It’s a ’59 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite, RHD (originally sold in Cornwall, UK). Why this is my Holy Grail is a long, complicated story but when it came up for sale recently I just could not pass it up. Two months in and no regrets, even with the ever-mounting list of things to do and money still to spend. All the pain and financial ruin still to come is far outweighed… Read more »

Paul Glyde
Paul Glyde

My Morgan 4/4 1600 competition of course. It was brilliant fun in the 70’s and I know it’ll be just as good in my 70’s.

tlease181
tlease181

You hit it on the head. I will forever keep my 1980 911 SC. It’s more raw than anything I’ve ever driven and never fails to put a smile on my face.

Jack Chesnutt
Jack Chesnutt

No argument. 911sc. Forever.

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P Cornelius
P Cornelius

An E34 M5 is a wonderful car to live with long term. I’ve spent 11 years enjoying one while doing all sorts of chores, touring, back-road blazing, track days and taking kids to school. The 89 911 Targa is a lot more entertaining, but is less than ideal for the real work of day-to-day living. Your needs will determine the ideal.

Dave Senab
Dave Senab

The one I’m driving now, a 1999 Jaguar XK8 convertible, purchased new. I swore I was going to keep if forever after shelling out $80k. Like any British car, you pay the price, but it’s worth it.

Sanjit Deepalam
Sanjit Deepalam

Series 1 Jaguar E-Type. I’m a teenager, so it’s a dream car, but if I had to live with one car forever, it would be a Series 1 E-Type. I saw it on Top Gear a few years ago and I fell completely in love with it. It was just so breathtakingly beautiful. For me, it’s a toss-up between The Series 1 and the Eagle E-Type. Both are beautiful, and both are incredible, but I can’t decide. I don’t believe in selling cars though. It just seems morally wrong to me. A car is like a wife, except it just… Read more »

CJ_Madson
CJ_Madson

Keep believing. I loved my little red Matchbox E-type coupe way back (pre-teen) and the full-size version is wonderful. I’ve had it for 32 years and it will always have a warm & dry spot in my garage after a fun drive. And if you want a great conversation-starter, it’s super. People notice it, want to talk about it, and find it approachable rather than intimidating. I hope you find yours someday and have tons of fun with it.