QOTD: Is Your Driveway a Champion of Diversity?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd is your driveway a champion of diversity

People and cultures, like the arts, traditions and cuisine born of those cultures, come in all flavors, and so do cars. The great thing about global trade is that we have choice in nearly everything we buy. Few, if any, people are forced to purchase a product because no alternatives built by rival companies exist.

And, because we’re not living under the thumb of an oppressive apparatus that demands us proles buy dismal crapboxes from a sole state-owned factory, our driveway diversity is off the charts. Maybe yours tops them all.

Sure, there’s some notable absences. All Chinese-brand cars, for instance. Brands like Seat and Skoda and Holden and Opel and Daihatsu and the PSA Group lineup (for now), Hindustan, and vehicles built at AvtoVAZ factories in Russia. There’s plenty of vehicular nationalities we can’t get our hands on.

Old rarities sometimes float across the oceans, and a person’s advanced age (or globe-trotting career) can mean a now-unattainable brand once passed into their ownership, either here or abroad.

Sadly, your author can’t claim a diverse ownership history of various auto nationalities. Nope, just two countries: America and Japan. No Germans, no Italians, no Swedes (almost, though), no Koreans, and no Brits. My father’s father only owned two nationalities in his life: American and British, though a Renault Dauphine almost fell into his lap in the 1960s. My mom’s father could claim to have owned British, American, and Canadian — specifically, the Chevy-ripoff Acadian brand.

My father was very much the same, owning American, Japanese, and a lone Vauxhall Firenza. There was almost a Russian model once, but that bargain-basement Lada romance was not to be. Same goes for the VW Beetle he left on the lot following a near rollover during a test drive. Indeed, no one in my immediate family has ever owned a German car.

Here’s where you come in. Can you claim more vehicular diversity than anyone in your family or circle of friends? We’re not talking individuals brands or bodystyles, just country of origin (in the headquarters sense, not the production side of things). What’s your tally, B&B?

[Images: General Motors, Citroen, Kia]

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  • Synchromesh Synchromesh on Apr 26, 2019

    Let's see... 1. '87 Buick Skyhawk 2. '89 Subaru RX 3. '93 Honda Accord 4. '00 Acura Integra 5. '94 Mazda Miata 6. '95 Mazda Miata 7. '12 Subaru WRX 8. '72 VW Beetle 9. '75 Porsche 914 10. '68 Porsche 912 (project) 11. '69 Porsche 912 (project) 12. '84 Porsche 911 Pretty much everything was made either in Japan or Germany. 2 exceptions: Accord and Buick were both made in US. So not very diverse. But then again I refuse to touch modern German and American cars so only buyer newer Japanese. But for old cars for some reason I like German, flat-engined and aircooled. Go figure.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Apr 26, 2019

    I've owned 3 vehicles built in Japan, 2 built in Mexico, 1 built in Korea, 3 built in Canada (I believe) and the rest built in the USA. Currently, my driveway is home to two Mazdas, 1 built in Mexico and the other straight from the land of the rising sun.

    • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Apr 27, 2019

      Repeating what others have done, in roughly sequential order: 1993 Ford Aerostar 1993 Ford Escort 1991 Buick LeSabre 1995 Honda Accord *1994 Toyota Corolla (brother drove this one) 2003 Honda Accord 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix 2011 Kia Forte 2013 Ford Focus *1998 Chevy T10 Blazer (bought same day as Focus) *1998 Chevy Malibomb (mom drove) 2014 Ford Escape *2003 Buick Century (mom drove) 2014 Focus ST 2016 Mazda Mazda3 2017 Chrysler 300 2017 Mazda Mazda6 **2018 Mazda Mazda3 (bought jointly with mom) Mom has been mostly domestic (Fords and GMs) with an oddball Dodge Dynasty and a very used Volvo. Dad has been all domestic aside from his Festiva and Aspire.

  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
  • ToolGuy You make them sound like criminals.
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