The empty space in my driveway mocks me. The 300 is gone and I know it is not coming back. I have accepted that and I really believe in my heart-of-hearts that the car has gone to someone who will give it the use it actually deserves. But the sun still shines and the money in my pocket burns like fire against my thigh. I dare not ask my wife to allow me to buy another toy, she’s small but feisty, but never the less I still find myself on Craigslist considering all the possibilities. Help me, oh best and brightest, help me to exorcise this demon before I do something rash.
This weekend one of the cars I wrote about a few weeks ago in my article, Psycho Love, suddenly appeared for sale right in my own neighborhood. The 1993 Grand Prix is on my short list of cars I wish I had bought back in the day, and this one appears to be in pretty amazing shape; especially when you consider the evil that road salt works on cars of this age in this part of the country. I managed to stop myself from calling this young man up and rushing right over, but I did, in the name of putting my youngest child to sleep in her car seat, drive up and down dozens of streets in my neighborhood hoping to “stumble across” it. I never did find it, but I note that as of this morning the ad is still up so perhaps…
The ad says this car has just 90K miles on it, is still inspected and is on the road as of this writing. It also comes with a cold air intake, an aftermarket Magnaflow exhaust, a sunroof that doesn’t leak the speedometer projection and aftermarket rims. The owner claims that there is not a scratch or spot of rust on it and that it even comes with its own cover. All this for just $2900.
Compounding my crisis of the soul I just happened to be perusing the classified section of my favorite Turbo Dodge website on Saturday when I came across a 1987 Dodge Daytona Pacifica. Truth be told, back in the day I thought Daytonas were girls’ cars and of them all the Pacifica, with its puffy padded seats and snooty sounding name, was especially evocative of overweight women in their 40s who thought themselves just too cool to buy into the LeBaron. Before you get angry, just bear in mind that I can back up my assertion with the fact that the vast majority of Daytonas I see today, yes even the turbo Daytonas, have automatic transmissions.
The Daytona Pacifica I found just a few hundred miles away in North Eastern Ohio however shatters my preconceptions. Just read the ad and judge for yourself:
91,000 miles, 5 speed manual, 2.2 Turbocharged Block. Car has been converted from a Turbo I to a Turbo II. Car is in great condition and has many extras. Some extras are: 2 piece intake. mildly ported head, ported exhaust manifold, custom built turbo a little larger than stock,+40 injectors, heavy duty motor mounts, Koni adjustable shocks and struts, strut tower brace and custom rear shock tower brace, 255 ltr/hr high pressure high volume in tank fuel pump, Accufab adjustable fuel pressure regulator, rising rate regulator, Hella E Beam headlight lenses, custom front mount intercooler, talon blow off valve (modified for high boost), 3 stage manual boost control, switches at console ( can be adjusted to any settings), kumho 205X55ZR16 tires, braided steel turbo lines, 2 1/2″ mandrel bent exhaust, alarm with aftermarket power door locks, Alpine CD player. $3200.00.
To make my crisis even worse, when I asked a simple question about where exactly in Ohio he was, I got this response:
I’m North East Ohio, about 4 hours from Buffalo. Owned the car for the last 16 yrs. Been running the tuneup for the past 10 yrs without a problem. Passes E-check just fine with the existing tuneup. This car is more Shelby Daytona than a Shelby Daytona. I built this car to be dependable, fast and handle. This car is nothing like the Pacificas that people write about. No digital dash, no power windows, no factory power locks, no automatic.
Crisis acute. I’m a sucker for the days of my youth and this car looks like it was hand built by Doc Brown with the should intention of returning me to the 1980s. A turbo Dodge with all the right mods and a 5 speed. Of course, recent medical tests have revealed that I am producing less testosterone than I should be so that might be part of this crazy attraction I am feeling, but that Gel was supposed to fix that! It might just be puppy love, I know, but then again it might also be that I happen to know a really cool car when I see one. I’m so conflicted!
OK, so what the hell do I do? Do I face that tiny but extremely vociferous typhoon of a woman that I brought home from the far East ten years ago with the full knowledge that we will be going overseas in another year and that the money I drop on one of these cars may not entirely return to the account from which it came? Or do I keep my money safely in my pocket, and my head attached to my neck, and know that this sudden bout of infatuation will pass in due time? Help a brother out, your advice is much appreciated.
Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He writes for any car website that will have him and enjoys public speaking. According to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.