By on February 23, 2016

2014 Chevrolet SS at Daytona Beach, Image: Steve Fecht/Chevrolet

Greg writes:

Hi Bark,

I’m a 32-year-old red-blooded male, life-long car enthusiast and hopeful to be raising a few future enthusiasts in the foreseeable future. I can smell which way the wind is blowing and know that the car market is going to look very different in the future. I’m excited about electric cars, but also want a “timepiece” that’s tasteful, fun, and a bit irrational to cherish for the indefinite future.

Two requirements: no torque converters, and it must be able to accommodate my 95-pound rottweiler mix, future miniature-sized humans, and my wife. So no Boxsters, unfortunately. I’m not interested in four-cylinder cars; I already daily a FoST.

My train of thought is divided between a less-expensive-to-acquire BMW — like an E39 M5, E46 M3, or E90 335 — or a less-expensive to maintain Mustang GT or Camaro SS.

What car would you be proudest to step out of in 20 years at your kid’s baseball game?

Oof. That last sentence made this a hell of a question for your friendly advice columnist: I have a son, and I know exactly the emotion you’re describing here. Of course, in 20 years, my son will be 28 years old, so he better be playing second base for the Oakland A’s and making at least 10 million a year if I’m going to his baseball game, at which point he better be buying dear old Dad whatever car I want.

But, before I answer the question, let’s take a moment to reflect upon one of the greatest car songs of all time.

Ah, Red Barchetta — what a great song! Inspired by Richard Foster’s story, “A Nice Morning Drive” in the November 1973 issue of Road and Track, it — in turn — inspired me to write “The Controller” here on our pages. Let us hope, for dear Greg’s sake — and for all of us — that both Foster and I were wrong about the future of the automobile in Oceania, er, America.

But there’s no denying that CAFE and other regulations will undoubtedly change how cars are made in the future. While it’s equally undeniable that great acceleration can be had in an electric vehicle, there’s nothing quite like the roar of a real combustion engine.

I don’t know what the world will be like 20 years from now, but I do know that we live in the greatest era yet for performance cars — everything from your daily-driver FoST to the aforementioned pony cars deliver performance unlike anything I could have dreamed of when I was growing up in the post-Carter era. I think we still have a little bit of time before we’re all forced into Modern Safety Vehicles, but maybe you’re right to think that this is the Golden Era over which we’ll all fondly reminisce.

There’s no doubt that you’ve come up with a fantastic list of cars. The E39 M5 is an iconic car, to be sure, but the E46 M3 is probably the least worthy of its nameplate (from a historical standpoint), and the N54 335i of that era can be troublesome to maintain. I’m never going to tell somebody not to buy a Mustang GT. I haven’t personally driven the new Camaro SS, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. If you didn’t have that “no torque converter” requirement, I’d tell you to buy a Charger 392 Scat Pack and call it a day. But since you did say that, there’s really only one great option left.

The Chevrolet SS.

Hear me out. There are endless Camaros and Mustangs on the road. I’m guessing that most of those BMWs will have found their way to junkyards in 20 years, the victims of one expensive repair too many. But the SS could end up being an cult classic. Limited production, especially with the manual transmission, could mean it will keep a higher value than any Mustang GT will. They’re also available at incredibly reasonable prices now. No, the looks of it don’t scream pure sex like the pony cars do. But maybe in 20 years, as you’re safely in middle age, that won’t be such a bad thing. Most importantly, you’ll be able to easily get yourself in and out of it then, too.

While my heart might tell you to go get a Mustang, my head tells me you’ll be happiest with the SS.

Got a question for the Barkster? Send him a quick note at [email protected] or fire up the Twitters and find him at @barkm302.

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105 Comments on “Ask Bark: Which Car Will Make The Best Nostalgia Machine?...”


  • avatar
    nickoo

    Challenger scat pack manual.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Flat black rattle can. Mad max style.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      http://m.caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-dodge-challenger-r-t-64l-scat-pack-tested-review

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      Real dangerous life long decision to turn over to the B&B. But ya I have to say scat pak too. It’s the only car in that class that can hold not only miniature humans, but full size humans in the back. I think the Camaro is going to look really dated in 20 years. And every 20 year old KFC manager will be driving a 20 year old mustang just like yours in 2036.

      I really like the SS, but you imply that you want to make a statement. The SS is a little subtle. If the pride you want to experience is all self contained, this would be an excellent choice.

      BMWs are just to on the nose. Plus you want something with a hint of irrationality. Irrationality in 2016=V8s.

      Also, since you want a car that can handle a large dog, you have to have a car that can take some interior abuse and look OK with a blanket thrown in the back. If you get a scratch on the interior, which car can you shrug it off?

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      It only has 2 doors. Otherwise an excellent choice. What about a V-line Cadillac of some sort?

    • 0 avatar
      BiturboS4

      OP here: I’m not “long” on FCA cars because I think the company is in serious trouble. They can’t make a bread and butter compact car and are begging for help at every opportunity. They reportedly have to totally re-engineer the Guilia, and they have zero investment in electric or alternative fuel cars. The only thing they have going for them is the Jeep brand, which they will likely have to give up in a fire sale in the next 5-10 years.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        I don’t think that’s an issue for the cars discussed here. The Challenger has been manufactured in this basic form with some minor tweeks since 2008. If FCA went out of business next month I’d still be willing to bet in 2037 that it would be easier to get 20 year old Challenger parts than 30-35 year old BMW parts.

        You want a manual, but you want a car big enough for kids and a big dog. Mustangs have back seats good until about age 10. It’s hard to find a manual coupe big enough long term for kids. 30 years in a BMW may be an entertaining financial commitment. If you can find a 3 series wagon- maybe you can check all the boxes.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Op. Fca is screwed. They make a mean chally, and the viper is a no holds barrred f u to supercars everywhere. Enjoy it before its too late.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    I would not go with a sedan. Nostalgia would go to the Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro, or Ford Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      The Chevy in the picture above just screams “unmarked police cruiser”.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        It just needs a little tint.

        It screams it almost as loudly as the white unmarked Tahoes our local sheriff uses. They are the only no option, deep tinted, steel wheeled, large antenna sticking out of the roof SUVs on the road. They also have a few unmarked Explorers but when they are painted like Darth Vader’s personal fighter it is hard to expect them to blend in.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        That car doesn’t scream anything it’s so boring looking. What it does is say quietly, “Hey, I’m not a Cruze.” I’m sure it’s fun to drive, but it sure is an dull looking thing; the poor factory workers probably get sleepy when they’re bolting these together.
        You want to impress? Plum Crazy Chally, you’re welcome.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        That would be its platform-sister, the Caprice PPV…which in my area, they actually *do* use for unmarked police interceptos. Of course, if you’re an enthusiast, you know that Caprices are only sold as police interceptors, and so it ruins the game for them.

        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/2011_Chevrolet_Caprice_PPV_–_12-06-2010_front.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          Johnster

          It’s been about 5 years or so, but I used to see Chevrolet dealers in the Denver area listing new Caprice PPVs for sale on Craiglist.

          And the Ford dealers were listing new Crown Vics after they were no longer marketed to the general public (although those must all be bought up gone by now).

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Wasting time on AutoTrader yesterday I saw a nearly new unmarked Explorer PI for sale, no cage, certified speedometer, AWD – $26,000 but no third row.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “want a ‘timepiece’ that’s tasteful, fun, and a bit irrational to cherish for the indefinite future.”

    Bark is 100% correct with the SS suggestion. That thing represents the “end of the road” for so many things (Holden, Pontiac, the GenIV LS, big manual transmission sedans, Chevy V8 sedans, NASCAR vehicles having any relation to the showroom).

    The only real issue with the SS is that it is kind of fancy (the Scat Packs do a better job here) and that it is going out of production before I could buy one.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Lets add that sales were do dismal that the weak chance we might get the Ute or Sportwagon here died after the first year.

      If GM had brought the Sportwagon in the SS form here, the G8 garage queen would be gone tomorrow.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’m going with the Tesla sedan.

    The whole “plug it in” thing will be so quaint in the era of matter/antimatter reactors.

    Or am I being too “Jetsons”?

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I 100% agree. The SS makes the most sense. Its pratical enough that you can still be a dad, but its a serious sports sedan as well.

    BMWs may hit the same mark, but as mentioned, they are incredibly complex and expensive to repair.

    For pure driving fun, and an honest representation of an iconic formula (big American V-8 + big car + manual trans), its a winner.

    Go for the SS.

  • avatar
    omer333

    Ten mil from the A’s? Keep dreaming, they’re probably going to keep up with the Moneyball plan by the time your son is 28. There’s also the chance by that point $10 million will be chump-change due to inflation.

    Or we’ll all be slaves to our new robot masters.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    In 20 years the majority of the market will be split between EV and HEVs with perhaps a dragging of ICE-only vehicles in certain areas of the market. All of those vehicles will blow the doors off what you get today. Especially the more effective EVs that have been tuned towards performance.

    That being said, you want nostalgia for yesteryear today for tomorrow. Go with the last generation Mustang GT. The newer car is slicker and nicer but it’s definitely more sports car than pony car or the current Camaro SS. If you really need all 4 doors to stuff smaller humans, grab the SS and be done with it. Nothing else is going to fit your nostalgia model as well.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      A V6-powered anything of today is faster, safer, and more efficient than a Marauder X100 but I still wouldn’t kick the Mercury out of my garage.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Oh yeah, but I think if you’re going to buy today you mind as well save some of your own dollars for the inevitable performance decline. You’re better served finding a car you love than burn than extra dough when if you’re going 20 years with it you can invest that in long term care of the eventual performance parts you may want to install.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    The SS is not a horrible suggestion, but I’d have real concerns about 20-yr parts availability for the beast. Probably won’t be impossible to get parts, but as Jack would say, it’s going to contain quite a few items that are NLA but RFN. (No Longer Available, but Remarkably F-n Neccessary.)

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      There will be plenty of parts; you’ll just have to spend a month or two importing them from Australia. Still an issue for a daily driver.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I just had this conversation with a co-worker who DDs a G8 GT, parts are already an issue today let alone ten year from now. A wise owner would stock up while he could and then include the parts when his car is sold (private party of course).

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Depends on the parts – some are definitely becoming made out of unobtanium.

          The most every day parts in the driveline, AC, starter, alternator, brakes, suspension, etc. etc. are going to be easily found as they are shared on so many other GM vehicles.

          The Camaro is Zeta platform, and a lot of parts swap over. The Caprice PPV is also Zeta, and there are a number of parts, like the alternator, that will bolt right in and are an upgrade.

          But one thing is for sure if you own a G8, don’t hose a growing list of interior pieces and don’t bend the sheet metal. It is a long wait for some of those parts.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Parts availability in 20 years? This is a Chevy or did I miss something? The parts for this car are shared with so many other versions of Chevy for the last 10 years.

      Brake components from a 69′ Chevelle literally bolted right up to my 57′ Chevy when I converted to disc. Parts came from Napa.

      Sheet metal may be the only ‘parts’ that you could possibly have an issue getting, but I assure you every piece and component under the hood is currently being used in trucks, Tahoe’s, Suburban, vette, on and on it goes.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    That was inspired advice. It will be so deep of a sleeper that by 2030 you may have the unique position of being the only owner of said car within 500 miles of wherever you sleep. People being born today will wonder what that thing between the seats without fixed lower pivot does, as well as why a third pedal. The local police are driving a few of them, so if you’re ever in Portland, do not try to outrun them with anything less than a Hemi.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “I’m a 32-year-old red-blooded male”

    who has different colored blood?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I get the sense that this is more about the feelings the car inspires than the actual driving characteristics of the car. So, as much as I love the SS (and I would probably own one right now if I hadn’t decided luxury was more important to me than performance), I think the answer has to be the more in-your-face Mopar products. As a relatively new dad myself I think you would rather have the extra two doors than the manual in a heavy V8 car, so my vote is Charger SRT 392 (or Hellcat if you’ve got the scratch). They are less subtle and more nostalgic than the SS.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Check Carcomplaints.com before purchasing anything. Just so you know what you’re getting yourself into. The SS has it’s share of issues, and TSB’s. You can also verify crash worthiness.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    I’m down with the Charger / Challenger picks, but for a rarity – 2014 300 SRT. That bodystyle only existed for a few years with the SRT option before being killed off. I’m willing to believe that these are going to be kept long term and not hooned like the cheaper FCA cousins.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    The premise of this question reminds me of I book I read, Scream If You Want To Go Faster, by Will Beauchamp.

    It’s about the various owners of a Ford Galaxie 500. The story starts with the original owner who purchases it in the sixties and ends sometime in the mid 2030s with an auto “technician” who longs for the feel and sound of an ICE engine after they’ve all been outlawed.

    Many people have recommended the Chevy SS and I thinks that a good choice.

    Personally, I’d choose a 2013 BOSS 302. Why not a 2012? Two reasons. First, I prefer the hockey stick better graphic over the C. Second, the color choices. I’d choose school bus yellow and if I couldn’t find that color possibly green or white but SBY is by far my favorite color for the car.

    The BOSS gives you the V8 goodness you crave and it has a historical connection to the Grand Am cars. I don’t have a dog, so I don’t know if everyone would fit but if it comes down to it I wouldn’t not buy the car because of the dog. Fido can stay home when you take the family in the BOSS. Just give him/her a stew bone and it’s all good.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I’m a dad with 2 kids under 10 and I just traded my Charger SRT 392 for a new SS. I had to go slushbox because my wife drives it on occasion and she has no desire to learn how to shift herself.

    The SS is much more enjoyable to drive as well as much more low-key. The Dodge was a little too “in your face” for my middle age status. I didn’t realize it at the time. After owning both, the SS is much more enjoyable for daily duty. The SRT was nice and loud but it got old quick. The SS has the perfect combo of intake/exhaust noise to keep things interesting and as a result, is far more satisfying to drive every day.

    Parts availability in 10 years (never mind 20) is a concern of mine, however.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      You don’t need to worry. They’ll be plenty of parts available in OZ. Just a short Amazon drone flight away.

      • 0 avatar
        pb35

        Thanks for the reassurance but tell that to the guy on the G8 forum frantically searching for a power steering hose for his 2005 GTO.

        • 0 avatar
          jrhmobile

          @pb35 – Pressure hose is in stock at my local NAPA, $87.99 retail.

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            The Mustang isn’t so bad when it comes to dog hauling. I routinely transport my rottweiler in mine. Small children also fit well in the back.

            If your looking for a keeper I’d say GT350 once the hoopla dies down and the 2016’s unless they’re sold out might turn out to be the ones to make a deal on since somebody spilled the beans and released a dealer memo detailng the changes for 2017, foremost the track pack is standard and Ford no longer is forcing perspective GT350 buyers to pick between the track pack and electronics pack or as GT350 or step up to the R to get a “tracK pack” and electronics package.

            The value option will be the Camaro SS 1LE as I suspect it is going to surpass the GT350 in overall performance with possibly the exception oftop end charge.

            The only thing is that GM’s pony car while always seemingly the harder charging of the two just doesn’t have the long term appeal of Ford’s Shelby Mustang.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    SS FTW.

  • avatar
    countymountie

    Love the SS and if I could rationalize picking up a green 6mt model I’d have it today, assuming one could be found. I like the subtlety of the body even though I prefer my Charger.

    Since being brand new is not a strict requirement, how about a Cadillac CTS-V? They’re fast, maybe reasonably comfortable, and in 20 years the styling will probably stand out. Besides, Cadillac probably won’t be around by then and even if they are, I can’t imagine them doing the right thing and offering a rwd V8, much less a manual transmission. Wanna really stand out? Find a wagon version. There’s one for sale on CL in Denver right now even though the price is outrageous.

    I won’t vouch for Cadillac long term quality, the newest one I owned was a 94 Eldorado that leaked oil like any good Northstar but it didn’t matter because I stole it for $500 needing an A/C compressor when the owner thought it was a transmission. But, the CTS will have an LS motor so the powertrain will be bulletproof.

  • avatar
    rjg

    I think the SS or scat pack Are great suggestions for an Enthusiast oriented family car. But for true “timepiece” quality I think you want something older with more style that was built to be repaired and not just junked. An air cooled 911, e30 m3 or any Mercedes built before 1990 might fit the bill better. They are expensive but will likely hold their value with inflation. Something of lower quality but dead simple with great style like a 60s muscle car would be a good choice too.

    For a newer car, I like the boss 302 suggestion as well. A 1m might be intersting too.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    There is but one answer that fills all requirements. 2004-2008 Volvo S60/V70R 6MT with Atacama orange interior, duh.

  • avatar
    Boff

    E90 M3 (4-doors). Screaming, normally-aspirated V-8’s have already gone the way of the dodo, which takes care of the nostalgia bit. Plus: no car, in my opinion, combines class and menace like this one.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I’m not a huge SS fan, so perhaps I’m biased when I say I just don’t see this being nostalgic. A big engine in a car in no way makes it a desirable car. I think of them like I do the most recent Pontiac GTOs. They just aren’t inspiring and most people I see driving them are kids.

    I say yes to the e90 M3. It is a complete package with a strong pedigree.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    What does a G8 GT in decent shape run these days? Is a GTO an option?

    Not sure why I am thinking of Pontiacs today…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      People want absolutely *ridiculous* amounts of money for them. the cleanest one on Autotrader (9K miles, GXP V8) is asking 40K.

      http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/Used+Cars/Pontiac/G8/Columbus+OH-43222?Log=0

    • 0 avatar
      Numbers_Matching

      And many G8’s that I see on the road have gone the way of the ’04-’06 GTO..let’s just say the ‘lower end’ of the market with the obligatory
      energy drink and tattoo lifestyle worship that goes along with that.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      A very good GT should run you somewhere just south of $20k. They’ve held their value. Partial credit to Chevrolet for 1) only selling the SS in loaded form and 2) waiting a year and a half to introduce the SS manual.

      I sold my very good, but not mint, GXP to a dealer last summer for a bit over $26k.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      G8 GTs have appeared to have hit a “bottom” in price about 12 to 18 months ago, and are now going up.*

      * BIG ASTERISK. Clean, unmolested, single owner, low mile examples that were owned by an adult are swinging back into the low 20s. There are several for sale at dealers around here from $21K to $24K – GTs with 50K to 70K miles.

      High mile daily drivers, abused and modified models sell for less. Auction prices are lower and should command lower retail prices, as 28-cars-later will point out, but what they are going for at auction versus what they are actually selling for in the real world are two different things.

      The V6 versions can be found for under $10K now pretty easily. Low mile GXP versions are commanding as high as original sticker price. An engine swap on the V6 version wouldn’t be worth it, as you would also have to to do the transmission and rear end, and you are still missing a number of other options found on the GT.

      The bar to get one totaled is very low, so the available supply is shrinking given that second and third owners tend to wrap these around the closest tree they can find.

      If someone was waiting to buy a clean cheap G8 GT, that ship has likely left.

      Have to admit I’m quite pleased that my 7 year old car has depreciated about 23% since purchase. Considering the Grand Prix I bought before it depreciated about 70% in 4-1/2 years.

  • avatar
    SOneThreeCoupe

    I’m going to eschew my usual insanity and say E90 M3 as well. It’s aged well and should still be considered muscular and bold in 20 years.

    Lotus Carlton or how about a Wald-kitted W140 S600 on 18″ AMG Monoblocks with a 420G or T56 swap? E38 740i Sport (facelift model) with 420G?

    All of that being said, if I was to choose a new car, it’d likely be the Chevrolet SS in Peacock Green Metallic.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Jeep Wrangler. Looks will never go out of style. Great vehicle to keep as second car. Get a convertible for summer, 4wd for winter. Get it dirty and use it, your kids will always remember going off road, getting stuck ect. There will always be aftermarket support for it and so many ways to customize it if you choose. All the other choices are just a car. Just about any car you would have bought 20 years ago your kids would be embarrassed to have you come get them in today. The same will be true 20 years from now, except for a Wrangler. Absent it being a Porsche or Super car.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    Two words: FORD RAPTOR

    This checks every box and will crush all those EVs littering the little league parking lot in 20 years. It screams bad ass like nothing else in that price range.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      Nah. I don’t get the feeling he is going for the “bro” nostalgia.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Yes, nothing’s more badass than taking your Raptor to the Little League parking lot and destroying someone else’s property.

      • 0 avatar
        e30gator

        Were you ever in middle school or did you just make a Doogie Howser-esque jump from elementary to grad school?

        My dad pulling up to parent pick-up in something “badass” when I was 13 was something of a fantasy of mine.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          I rode the bus. My dad was a school bus driver, though I only rode his route for a few years in elementary school. In the summer, we’d get picked up from school events in the 7410 or the blue ’79 Ford pickup.

          http://blog.machinefinder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/JD7410-IApic.jpg

          http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk186/witty731/78%20f150/0_IMAG0394.jpg

          Something like that, but minus the roof rails, clearance lights, and fat tires.

  • avatar
    Fred

    The only car I’ve had for 20 years is a Lotus Elan and it took 2 of them to span those decades. And yes individually every one in my family loves to go for a drive. Well the cat’s never liked it and sometimes the dog would want to jump out.

  • avatar
    Numbers_Matching

    The problem with the SS (and the G8 before it) is that it just blends into the background – Malibu? Impala? Not a strong following either – sure, it has its ‘crowd’, but this car will largely be forgotten and on the heap of other GM failed attempts.

    The Mustang (+some BMWs,Camaro,6 spd SVT) is iconic – it will actually still mean something to the public in the future. This is key – otherwise it is just an old car.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      Does everyone think this? I don’t think they blend in at all. I mean yes a sedan is like others which makes it unlike a Mustang. But the SS has true presence. Not in a Malibu sort of way.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        I agree. The SS has a strong, muscular presence that does not come across well in pictures.

      • 0 avatar
        Numbers_Matching

        Sure – YOU would notice it. But in the general public, who is going to notice it? Who even knows it exists? How many people working in the RenCen know it exists?

        Iconic cars (I think that is what we are discussing here) are at least identifiable at a broader level.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I guess it depends how broad of an appeal he wants.

          The SS in the future is probably going to be known more along the lines of something like the Torino Talladega or Pontiac 2+2, but it isn’t going to be instantly recognizable to the general population like a Mustang, Camaro, or Corvette.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Will the Mustang still “mean something” once the Baby Boomers are gone? Owning a Packard used to mean something, but it’s just a big old car now.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “Will the Mustang still “mean something” once the Baby Boomers are gone?”

        I don’t see many baby boomers driving Mustangs though I’m sure they do. Mustangs have cross generational and cross gender appeal.

        For the most part, I see younger people driving Mustangs and Camaros. Challengers seem to skew slightly older but still not an overwhelming number of boomers.

        I know this is anecdotal but whenever I’m aboard the local Naval Air Station the pony cars are well represented among junior officers and mid-grade/senior enlisted.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      How in God’s name is that a problem?

      I love owning the car that is the hidden sleeper that just blends in with everything else. It keeps entanglements with law enforcement for starters at a minimum.

      On the G8 specifically, bland styling is not a description I’ve ever heard.

  • avatar
    HiFlite999

    Mustang or Camaro? Buy it as a convertible! Almost every pre-1975 classic model now is worth more as a ‘vert than as an iron top. Can you imagine a 2035 Prius convertible? Nope, neither can I.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    whats GOING to be? miata, 1st gen xB, 80s/90s civics and acuras. samurais.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    An SS is a great choice if you can find one. You’ll probably need the patience for a nation-wide search to do that though.

    Bark has some strange logic pointing out maintenance cost on an E90 335i and then recommending a $40k car. I’m pretty sure the $20k savings can fix the wastegate rattle.

    Doesn’t matter though, I don’t think a 335i will be much of a timepiece. It must be a V8.

    So that said – E60 550i, especially the ’08-’10 m-sports (with the caveat that finding a manual might be even harder than with the SS). Much cheaper than an SS if you do find one though. It’s a surprisingly angry machine for that class of car.

    • 0 avatar

      Or you could just click on the link I provided. :)

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I didn’t miss the link. Is that car driving distance from Greg? I’m used to looking for much older cars and always being disappointed when I see them in person, so I can’t imagine a long-distance deal on something used. I guess he could find a closer automatic and if he likes that enough, go ahead and ship a manual from a cooperative seller.

        The listing for that SS is a head scratcher – 32 pictures including a captioned slideshow, and not a single interior shot.

  • avatar
    pdq

    I never had children so perhaps I’m mistaken, but don’t small children require car seats? And isn’t it a pain in the a** to get those into the back seat of a two door car? Or does the baby ride in the trunk nowadays?

    I’m being a bit of a smart ass I’ll admit, but getting all of the baby’s crap in and out of a two door car was my first thought. Ohhhhh wait….I think I get it now. The baby, all of the baby’s stuff and the obligatory cracker crumbs, puke, lost binkies and formula residue goes in Mom’s MINIVAN instead of in Dad’s sporty coupe! OMG, that’s BRILLIANT!

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I went to a car show on Sunday, but only car that left an impression was in the parking lot. But it wasn’t a car. A ’92-’97 F-250. Nothing special, just a 4X4 regular cab XLT, all white with gray interior. Except it was in absolute showroom condition. Sparkled too.

    Wtf? You never ever see those, not like that, and I wanted it bad! Still want it.

  • avatar
    Charlie84

    I’m very curious about why Bark thinks the E46 M3 is the least deserving M3 of it’s nameplate, considering the sheer love for that car among internet fanboys (most of whom will never own an //M-anything)

    • 0 avatar

      E30 is the legend. E36 is an affordable, fun as hell sled. E90 brings the real POWAH. E46? It’s kind of a $20-25K “meh.” I don’t even notice them on the road any more.

      • 0 avatar
        Charlie84

        Then we are in agreement. However, I think we are also in the distinct minority.

        • 0 avatar
          BiturboS4

          Somehow the E46 doesn’t really do it for me in the same way that other Bimmers do. But it is the prettiest, most timeless design that BMW has put out in a long while.

          I agree that E90 335’s wont be that rare or special, but in retrospect they might prove to be the high-water mark for BMW performance, engagement, and civility. My mom’s car is a 335D sport and it is truly fantastic. But I would want a more engaging engine and, as I said, no torque converter.

  • avatar
    Chan

    Challenger Scat Pack. Best new-car nostalgia for your money.

    Huge.

    Two-door.

    Huge V8.

    Sounds like a 1970s big-block.

    But stepping away from that extreme, any of the current muscle cars works. They all can be bought with mean NA V8s and manual transmissions.

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    I don’t know. 20 years is long enough for cars to get outdated, but I’m not sure it’s long enough for most car to become a “classic” in an nostalgic sense. I have a feeling a Chevy SS will feel more like a ’94 Chevy Monte Carlo does now than, say, a ’63 Ford Galaxie.

    A German/European luxury car will be cool *if* you can keep it in immaculate condition, which will cost money and time (and precisely the reason it will be “cool”).

    Maybe go for something interesting in a “simple and rugged like they don’t do anymore” category, like a stripper Toyota 4Runner or a Nissan Frontier?

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I liked the Challengers best when I was in second grade (’70). That’s likely the only reason I think it’s a better option than the Mustang or SS. The recent Camaro is ugly to me. BMW for 20+ years? Look at the current 20-30 year old BMW’s. Slowly walk away from a bad idea. If you want 4 doors, I’d chose the SS over the Charger, that car just doesn’t do anything for me visually.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Concur with SS.

    If the back seat folded down, there would already be one in my garage.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Between your choices: If you don’t flinch at the possibility, not certainty by any means, of purchase price sized repair bills down the line, get the E39 M5. It’s the last of the truly great, classic M road cars; the end of an era BMW largely defined as pertains to luxury performance cars. The E46 M3 already started veering a bit too far in the direction of track toy/bragging rights racer; and beyond that, I have a hard time maintaining enough interest to even remember, despite at one point having both an E90 335 and an M3.

    If you get one, try sticking with tires close to original specs, both wrt size and grip. The newest performance rubber is too grippy, and puts too high loads into the chassis and suspension, sacrificing some of the charm that made the car so magical in it’s heyday.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I’d go 2005 MB E55…. just a beast…. skip the M5… they are cheap with a ton of aftermarket support….

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    How about a Honduh Accord Hybrid. It’s so good… to be towed home by a F-150 with ecoboost. Ah, the nostalgia!


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