Something Fun: The 30K Millionaire Challenge

Thomas Kreutzer
by Thomas Kreutzer
something fun the 30k millionaire challenge

Yesterday, the astute Derek Kreindler added to his already excellent body of work on TTAC another installment of his “Generation Why” series in which he explored Land Rover’s resistance to the current trend of marketing lower cost vehicles to young people. In the body of the article a couple of sentences in particular jumped out at me –

While the parents of today’s college-age consumers still associate Mercedes-Benz and BMW with stratospheric price tags and unique dynamic qualities, the next generation seems them as cars that can be leased by any $30k millionaire because they’re too proud to drive a Honda Accord. If you drive a BMW 320i, girls won’t think you’re rich; they’ll think you’re a try-hard.

Naturally, that got me to thinking and I was hoping that we might discuss it a little further. Tell me oh best-and-brightest of TTAC, what car (new or used) can we 30K millionaires buy on a budget that will convey the sense of wealth and success that we so earnestly seek?

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7 of 145 comments
  • El scotto El scotto on May 08, 2013

    Thank God I live in the South. Well, Virginia; the beginning of the South. Drive anything you want to the yacht/country club, well no 22's or fart can exhausts, dress preppy and drink magnificently. Rediscover panther love as the yellow limo takes you home.

  • Marko Marko on May 08, 2013

    Volvo XC90. You can't tell how old it is! Toyota Land Cruiser. They barely change, either.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 09, 2013

      That's a good point on both of them, but do the people you would want to impress as a "30K millionaire" know or care what those models were?

  • Romanjetfighter Romanjetfighter on May 09, 2013

    I don't think any car signifies you're a millionaire. The era in which material things said something about your current financial status has long gone. It's all about the ephemeral experiences that the poor and middle-class cannot afford or even pretend to afford, e.g. flying business class to Vail or Grindelwald to ski for a weekend. Having a battalion of vintage British roadsters that you have time to constantly fix and then taking months off of work to race them at Laguna Seca or where ever the hell they race those things. Volunteering at an orphanage in Bali. Adopting a third world baby. Being tutored German, French, Latin, etc. Owning something like BMW or Mercedes means you're rich? Please. One of my tenants drives a 2006-08 3 series and rents month to month in a crappy fourplex near Huntington Beach, and is always late on rent because she doesn't have any money! Many people are in this situation. In high school, when my friend got her BMW 3 series from her dad (50k optioned up) the first thing she told me was "IT'S NOT LEASED. LOOK AT THE REGISTRATION PAPERS!!!" We then drove off and she picked up a $600 pair of ballet flats that just came in at the Louis Vuitton boutique. She was vain as hell and did not want to be mistaken for a wanna-be. Better than being a try-hard, right?

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    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 09, 2013

      @corntrollio I just can't understand that train of thought. I'm a waiter so I'm probably on the lower rung of the income scale (save those in the big shot restaurants) and I have to have a new/newer C-class or a 3-series. I could understand the appeal of a classic one in SoCal since they are available and probably affordable (to at least initially buy). The only thing I can come up with is I hate my life but at least I won't hate the car I drive but will [probably] never really own?

  • Junebug Junebug on May 09, 2013

    Top Gear UK did this, old BMW & MB, bought cheap and looked great, conclusion - Clarkson reluctingly muttering he spent $1200 on the MB for an injector. Then there was a simular thing where they concluded that old Euro cars are cheap to buy, insanely expensive to own. Me? I'd rather get the girl based on my charm and when the snooty bunch on the curb wonders how I have the girl I got, they can't point to the car and say it was that.