Journal: What’s The Longest You’ve Owned A Vehicle For?

What’s The Longest You’ve Owned A Vehicle For?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
April 8, 2016
41 comments

It just sort of happened, I guess. One day, I’m 16 and handed the keys to a car I’d bought with my money, eventually—what, did your parents charge interest?—a 1990 Volvo 740 Turbo. The next, I’m 32 and that same car is sitting, accumulating all sorts of awful in a barn of sort a few kilometers away. One day it’ll be Gatebil-worthy.

My other has been in the family for some form or another for more than 30 years. It’s a ’73 Porsche 914 2.0-litre that’s done more sitting in that time than the cast of Good Morning America, but I figure this is the year it’ll get driven a lot or cast away.

I’m not sure if I consider either ownership history to be an achievement, it just sort of happened that their keys are still around here, somewhere. What’s your take on holding onto a machine for a long time?

Photography by Afshin Behnia, Amy Shore, Jack Olsen, & Mike Cassidy

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Rattachai ThammaratvsccaguyFunElanArnaud FDRich Hall Recent comment authors
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Rattachai Thammarat

I have my 1992 Volvo 940 and still own until now with 2JZ-GTE swap lol.

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vsccaguy
vsccaguy

I’ve had one of the Allards since 1976. It’s still going strong.

FunElan
FunElan

When I was 15 I bought my ’68 1600-2. I’m 27 now. My dad has me beat – he’s had his Lotus Elan since 1982.

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Arnaud FD
Arnaud FD

Ive owned many many high end german sports and luxury cars that i dont keep very long but ive owned my wonderful 2002 maxima 3.5 6spd for 7.5 years and im never, ever gonna sell it. Just the best all around car ever! Its always there for me when the germans are in the shop or just being annoying

Rich Hall

30 years family owned.

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stradale
stradale

Alfa….(’69…1750GTV)…..49 years….My Baby…….can’t believe how the years have gone by

corvus54@yahoo.com
corvus54@yahoo.com

I’ve owned my Cutlass convertible for 43 years.

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Jack B
Jack B

My 1989 Range Rover which I owned from 1992 to 2016. I miss her, but she’s in a good home.

Matt Leicester

My first new vehicle was a 1977 Toyota 1/2 Ton Standard Bed pickup. That was the official name from Toyota. by the time I could afford anything else, I had done so much work to the now named Hotruck that I could not sell it, so it still sits in my garage and gets taken out to autocrosses now and then. Also in the garage is the 1972 Toyota Celica my Dad bought new in 1972 and kept until he died two years ago. Oh, and I have had my daily driver 1991 Toyota 4WD pickup since new in December… Read more »

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Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt

delete

Cody
Cody

The longest car I have owned is my first car a 1973 Chevelle Malibu (20 years now), but here is the cool thing. My dad bought it new in 1973 had it for two years, then my grandma bought it from him drove it for 21 years then I got it when I turned 16. Best car we have ever owned. It is mostly still all original, unrestored.

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Joel Milhazes
Joel Milhazes

the longest i ever onw a car so far was a daihastu feroza for almost 3 years, but i think that this last car i have will beat that personal record

Daniel Jansson
Daniel Jansson

My first car an Alfa GTV6 ’83. Bought 2003. Still mine, never selling it 🙂

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Lance Dong
Lance Dong

Bought my 1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6 Balocco in 1995, was daily driver for 15+ years and now it’s my weekend driver.

Per Eldh
Per Eldh

My Fiat Argenta 120ie 1985, since 1993!

James Tedman
James Tedman

I am 6 weeks away from owning and driving my 1990 Subaru DL Leone Wagon for 10 years. This breakable old car has taken me around most of the south eastern portion of Australia and I have many fond memories with it. this has been in the family since new, when my grandfather bought it for a trip from Melbourne to Perth. Looking forward to seeing what the next 10 years brings!

Victor Van Tress
Victor Van Tress

August 17, 1970 I bought a second hand ’65 MGB with a factory hardtop. Still got it. I don’t have any “Lucas Electrics” jokes and in fact if you have trouble with 3 wires, a generator and a regulator I’d suggest you find a different hobby. Really.

robert.mrfab
robert.mrfab

I bought a 1950 Austin A40 Devon in 1979 when I was 15. I still have it. I have 3 more now, one is a pick-up, one is a Jensen bodied sports and the other is a later A40 Farina. It’ll be 37 years in October!

Stephen Hosker
Stephen Hosker

Just made 26 years with this Miata. Was my daily driver, well 8 moths out of the year, for 10 years. Now its a dedicated track car. Still on the original unopened engine with 150,00 miles and 15 years of track duty

James Jensen
James Jensen

I just sold my 86 Corvette that I had for 20 years. I drove it regularly right up until I handed over the keys. I’ve had my 71 Malibu since 86. It’s my daily driver. I would say there is an upside to familiarity. This is especially true when your do your own maintenance.

Peter Inshaw
Peter Inshaw

39 years, SInce 1967. Does it count that I grew up wih the car from new, was my first car to take on the track and later blow up, then restore, race, park, race more, rebuilt again, and again, and finally again now for a race in June? I got it after my dad passed in 96, but thrashed it since 87.

Jure A.
Jure A.

I still have my Citroen Dyane, which I bought in September 1992.
Drove it all over Europe: From the west coast of Ireland to Romania, from Nordkapp in Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean, and all the countries in between.
I also still have all other cars which I have bought since.
Why sell a car if I don’t have to?
Got a picture of the Dyane (and other cars) here:

http://citrovideos.blogspot.si/2011/12/1-introduction.html

CJ_Madson
CJ_Madson

I arm-twisted my buddy to sell his ’66 E-type coupe almost 31 years ago (the first car I bought). The trip south to fetch it was sketchy but I got it back still looking like a car, moved it here and there and finally restored it. It gets a few thousand fast miles a year out to the coast and around the area and sneaks into the local C&C event with the exotics. Everyone seems to have a story about an E-type and enjoys hearing a bit about this one. I’ve bought and sold other cars since then but this… Read more »

Boxerman
Boxerman

Have a 1986 Yamaha radian bought in late 85. So that 31 years
My BBi owned from 93 is 23 years
05 M3 owned 11 years.
11 elise is the baby at 5 years.

The years fly by, and oen way to accumulate great cars is to buy them over time and before “collectors” catch on, and then dont sell.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Hmm … lets see now … bought the GTC/4 in and around 1979 * … sold it for a godawful fortune in …. errr .. can’t quite reveal the year as that alone might give away my privacy … e.g ” That would be telling ” [ Mr Lange despite his youth might get that one ] … but suffice it to say it was … before Obama’s first term . So almost thirty years …. 😉 * What can I say about the ambiguity of the purchase year …. it was the 70’s …. things were … different back… Read more »

Mario Baroz
Mario Baroz

My vehicles have been on an order of magnitude more humble than the cars mentioned earlier. But here goes… My first car was a 1977 MG Midget in 1978 which my father co-signed for. I loved it but it was so unreliable over the two years I owned it I was going to trade it in for a ’66 Mustang Fastback. But on the day before I was going to trade it, I was attacking a corner too fast for my talent and rolled it. My Dad and I cobbled it together with junkyard parts but the frame was twisted… Read more »

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

….. most definitely try and hold on to the Duc ! If junior turns out to have no interest … if things proceed as I think they may … you’ll have a nice addition to your retirement fund sitting in your garage awaiting the decision to sell .

Seriously .. you ought to see the boost a couple of VOC acquaintances/friends have gotten towards their retirement what with $100k + prices

Raltex
Raltex

My story is nowhere near as glamorous as some of the legendary machines metnioned so far in this post but I will tell you the story anyway. I have a beautiful Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon 2.4 JTD Veloce which I bought brand new in 2002. It was the result of being extremely badly treated at an Audi dealership where I was looking to buy an A6 wagon. After leaving the Audi dealer raging,I drove to the Alfa Romeo dealer and the only thing they didn’t do was lay out a red carpet. The staff were incredible and the salesman just… Read more »

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

A well told tale … and I get it when it comes to bad Audi ownership experiences . My turn in hell with a 2001 S4 Avant ended any chance of buying anything from the BORG [ VW-Audi ] ever again . But to be honest having owned a couple of Alfas myself … the .. ” best car I’ve ever owned ” … bit somewhat escapes me . If an Alfa .. any Alfa has been your best … I dread to think what your worst may of been . Having said that though .. keep on keeping on

Aaron Miller
Aaron Miller

5,943 days, or a few months over 16 years. My first car became mine in the middle of the afternoon on August 23rd, 1996. It was a Fox Mustang — a damn clean one — and it was with me through life’s lowest lows and some of the greatest heights. It was my first car, my first project car, and in some respects my first love. In the late 2000s, I embarked on restoring it, albeit with some performance enhancements. That car was my training ground for everything from detailing to mechanical work. I learned how to drive a stick… Read more »

Da Botz
Da Botz

19 Years, and counting. One week before dying, my father bought a then 7 years old Mercedes Benz W124, the Italian spec 2.0L four banger. I inherited it at his death. It’s got a rough patch, some three years ago, with electronic injection gremlins that the shop near home couldn’t fix (I miss the guy near my home when I lived in Italy… Spanish mechanics are indescribable) but turned out to be bad fuel that clogged the lines (Spanish gasoline is indescribable too, apparently) in winter. Apart that, it is till my sole and only daily driver. I still miss… Read more »

SFM5
SFM5

I bought an unrestored 1966 GT Fastback Mustang in 1995. I really couldn’t afford or justify it, but the opportunity came up and it was just too good to pass up. It was pretty rough but “driveable”. We had just had our second child and had recently purchased our first house, so there was no money to restore the car. I drove it occasionally, but for the most part it just sat in the workshop with a cover over it, while we spent what little extra resources we had renovating our house. After more than a decade, I had a… Read more »

Frank Barrett
Frank Barrett

Have owned my ’65 Porsche 912 since 1968, restored it twice, driven it 150,000 miles in all weathers, autocrossed and time-trialed it for years. So 48 years and counting…

Frank

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

.. and the hands down winner is .. you good sir !

Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt

Yessir, you are the winner here!

Alexander Lokkegaard
Alexander Lokkegaard

I’m still driving my first car too, a 1997 Peugeot 106 Rallye, that i have owned for 6,5 years. I picked it up when i was 19 (i’m 25 now), about one year after i got my license (legal limit is 18 here in Denmark), and i’ve put around 45.000 miles / 70.000 kms on the little bugger. It wasn’t really anything special when i got it – plenty of them around, but now most of them seem to have disappeared. I have also had people honk and wave at me, comment on it and wanting to chat about it… Read more »

geelongvic
geelongvic

Michael, to remind you, we had conversation about this during last year’s Maple Mille. There are utility daily drivers, and then there are “family members” as classes of cars. I have owned my 73 914 2.0 for 37 years and my 911S for 40 years. The history and associated pleasures/usage of both of these cars is intimately woven into the personal history of my family and into lives of my close friends who have shared the driving pleasures of these cars. For example, sharing the 914 with you in Northern Ontario last year during your photo session as well as… Read more »

Tom DesRochers
Tom DesRochers

The 76 Maverick has been a part of my life since 1978. Parked since 94 because I made the mistake of leaving it in the “care” of my sister when I went off to university. At least she gave me the excuse to do an engine swap.

paulmoseley
paulmoseley

Although it would be fun to sample a wide variety of bucket list cars, I have always stuck with a car collection of….one. Our last, a “patina’d” 1960 MGA, was our 15th anniversary gift to each other (to honor our college cars, a Austin Healey and a Triumph). We had the MGA to 20 years when four years ago we found the “it” 911, we all cried, hard, when the new owner drove it off. This is Emma as a baby and on the day it left.

M3racer
M3racer

This Friday will be the 18th year that I have owned my E30 M3. It was the first car I purchased. Other cars have come and gone but that one will always be there.

Brandon Herrera
Brandon Herrera

Damn the M3 was your first car you bought, badass. Longest I had a car was 2.5 years. In two weeks will be two years with my 93 Vette.