Herald Journal Columns
May 22, 2006, Herald Journal

The car dreams are made of

By LIZ HELLMANN
I found the car I’m going to buy.

With 400 standard horsepower and the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, I find it to be practical as well as powerful.

Who wants to still be hovering around 45 mph when you are already two-tenths of a mile outside of the city limits? That’s just inefficient.

The car tops out at around 186 mph. Some people might find this excessive, but I think it’s important, and here’s why:

I’m always hearing about these people who pretend to be police officers in unmarked cars. They target lone drivers with a light and a siren.

If I would be driving in my new car, and one of those cars pulled up behind me flashing a small red light atop its vehicle, I could simply step on the gas and be to the nearest police station in 90 seconds or less, even when in the middle of rural Wright County.

I am also a firm believer in buying only what you need. Extra parts and fancy bells and whistles just offer more parts to break and fix.

This car has only two doors. Perfect for me and a passenger. I rarely have more than two people in my car at one time.

This will save on the wear and tear of door hinges. How many times have you gone in for a routine oil change, only to have the mechanic report the bad news:

“Sorry ma’am. Looks like you’ve overextended the hinges on the back left passenger-side door. We’re going to have to replace some nuts and bolts. That will be 50 cents for parts, $400 for labor.”

Okay, so maybe it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s good to plan ahead.

Besides saving money on repairs, this car is environmentally conscious. Its design is all about thinking green.

After all, while you’re driving around the countryside with the top down, you will be entranced with all the wonderful scenery.

On the unfortunate chance you find the landscape marred with trash or other refuse, you will no doubt become empowered to do something about it.

Angry that such irresponsible behavior has ruined your Sunday drive, you will be compelled to complain to the nearest form of government about the state of affairs, outraged that they sit idly by.

You storm out of the meeting hall, fire up your beautiful baby and pull out of the parking lot, leaving the government officials to breathe the exhaust-filled air spewing from your dual chrome exhaust pipes.

You wonder why people can’t see how their own actions make a difference.

All of that stress and worry might leave you feeling depressed. But not to worry, as your car will take care of this, as well.

Every time you drive it, the sun’s rays penetrate your skin from above, giving you mood-boosting vitamins.

And if that doesn’t do it, the perky cherry-colored finish of the car certainly should.

So what is my mystery car?

I bet you are dying to know so you, too, can trade in your indulgent minivans and silly fuel-efficient cars.

It’s none other than the best car ever made; the 2006 Chevy Corvette convertible.

Starting at a mere $52,000, it is a steal for all the health, psychological, and safety benefits you’ll reap.

Of course, I will have to add a few extras to my model.

I can’t be driving around town without monogrammed cup holders, voice-activated engine, or spinning rims.

Since this is no ordinary car, but is technically speaking, “the best car ever,” no ordinary license plate will do.

Only one that reads “Babs,” “2 Kool 4 U,” “IM A POMPOUS JERK,” or an equally embarrassing vanity plate will do.

It may be a little more cost up front, but after everything is said and done, I’ll only be about $70,000 in debt – but it was worth it to have my initials chiseled into the gold-plated dashboard.

To put it in perspective, some people have that much debt acquired just from student loans.

Sure, they’re called doctors, and they can save lives. But I bet I’ll have more fun during my first five years of my investment than they did.

I think it’s obvious which is the better choice here.

For those of you who might find it irresponsible to buy a fancy, excuse me, “the best car ever made,” without taking into consideration how I will pay rent and buy food, let me explain.

This is an investment. I’m always hearing how young people should take seriously their finances when they’re younger. That way, when they are older it will be much easier to retire.

We all know that a car’s value skyrockets the second it’s driven off the lot. If my car is worth $70,000 now, imagine in 10 years what it will be worth.

Wait a second, then why is it that used cars are so much cheaper?

I’ll have to look into that one.

Not to worry, I have evaluated my situation and decided, for the time being, that food, clothing, and shelter have trumped my need for speed, for now.

The first sentence of this column still stands. I have found the car I’m going to buy, and it will be a Corvette – it’s just not going to be the next car I buy.

I am still in the used car market, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Corvette is a luxury, and it is also a goal of mine. The fun part of reaching goals is knowing that all your hard work has paid off.

I don’t think I’ve put $70,000 worth of work in, yet.

But don’t be surprised 50 years from now, when you see a little old lady show up to play bingo in a cherry-red Corvette convertible with a gold-plated dash and license plate that reads “BEST CAR EVER.”


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