When you don't know that enough is enough
Common wisdom says Millennials don’t understand the car. They prefer their fixie bikes, public transportation, or even walking. They don’t see the point in owning a car. They don’t know the convenience of hopping in the driver’s seat whenever they want and going wherever they want the moment they feel the desire. This idea has been reported endlessly from the largest of broadcast stations to the smallest of blogs. I just don’t understand it. I hardly understand owning just one car.
I don’t think I could ever own enough cars. I think this is because there is no do-it-all all-rounder car.
As a young millennial myself at a pivotal time in my life, most of my peers are busy concerning themselves with making advances in their careers, instead of daydreaming of the possibilities of automotive ownership. I am concerned with landing a good job myself, but I wherever I move and whatever job I have, what my mind is really consumed with is what cars my future holds for me. And that is cars, as in plural. Not just one.
I don’t think I could ever own enough cars. I think this is because there is no do-it-all all-rounder car. Each car has been built to do a specific task, though the degree of their success varies.
Take a Honda Accord, for example. It is really good at getting a person from point A to point B reliably, but it’s less interesting than dog poo. Or the Smart ForTwo. It is extremely good at parking in small places, but it’s not a car that you can fit a murder victim in the back of. A Dodge Ram is really good at hauling around lumber, but you wouldn’t want it to be the car you drive on a celebrity date.
I want to be able to accomplish all these tasks and more to the best of my (and my car’s) abilities. And for me that means owning at least one car for each task.
I suppose if I’m being responsible, the first car I need is a daily driver, something that will get me where I need to go. This is a very broad task, so there are many cars to choose from. For this example though, perhaps I’ll choose a Subaru Forester. (Not one of the new ones. They’re hideous and reek of crossover compromise. Let’s take one from the first two generations.) It’s got lots of practical space, and it has all-wheel-drive, which will help me out in the harsh northern winters. Booyah! That’s two tasks down with one car. Aren’t I efficient?
A Subaru Forester isn’t stylish or luxurious, though. I now need a car that won’t embarrass me at a fancy dinner. After all, that’s what fancy dinners are for, aren’t they? To show off to people? For that I’ll probably need something German. I’ll take an old Mercedes SL, please.
But what if I need to move my buddy’s couch? Or I need to pick up a new engine for my project car? I should probably have a truck for that. An old Dodge Ram 1500 should do nicely.
Speaking of that project car, I need to have one of those, too. What else am I supposed to do on the weekend? Read books? I’ve always been fond of Porsche 914s. I’ll take one of those.
Ah, weekends. A time to relax from the stresses of the work week. While I’m waiting for the paint to dry on my project car, how else would I relax besides driving a convertible through the countryside? I need to have some fun in the sun. A Mazda Miata is always the answer. Small, light, agile; what’s not to love?
But some weekends are special. And by special, I mean track days. I need another car to flick around the track. I hear E30 BMWs are good for beginners on track. But other special weekends, I may want to go to the beach. I need a car that can truck around in the sand without getting stuck, and preferable one without doors. Or a roof. I want a Jeep Wrangler.
You see, I just don’t know how I would live my life with just one car. Why own one mediocre one when I can one several specialized and exciting ones? What do you think? How many cars do you need?