One of the most depressing conversations I have ever had was when a friend asked me what my dream car was.
Considering the fact that I have reached the pinnacle of car ownership by driving a 2002 Honda Accord, I didn't know what to tell her.
You see, I belong to the genus and species of buzzkiller practicalis.
I may salivate over a Porsche 911, or admire the clean lines of a late-eighties era BMW. And since I've been with J, I can even appreciate the musical roar of a V-12 or a straight 6 or a V-8. But I know that none of these cars will take care of me.
Ultimately, what I am looking for in a car is that it will start when I turn the key and that it will continue driving reliably with very little effort on my part. I sometimes wish that I didn't have the burden of knowledge that a) I am not a grease monkey and never will be and that b) cars that are fun to drive are very rarely easy/cheap/effortless/fun to own. (As to point b, I actually believe there is a negative correlation between reliability and fun.) Sadly, I know that saliva-inducing cars will cause me nothing but headaches, so I stick with my boring Mazdas and Hondas.
I was, therefore, very interested to read this recent Bankrate piece about high-tech cars that James Bond might want to own. (I did have a brief thought that I might be more willing to own a dream car if Daniel Craig's Bond were included in the purchase price, and then I remembered that I'm a happily married woman and that James Bond is a fictional character.)
Included on the list of high-tech cars was the Ford Fiesta and the Mini Cooper S Coupe--two cars that I could actually see myself owning. (The Fiesta is only a minor step up boringness-wise from the Accord, but at least it's named after a party rather than a trade agreement between nations.) Since the Mini Cooper actually seems like it is unadulterated fun on four wheels, I suspect I would talk myself out of purchasing one even if I were ever willing to drop $25k on a car--James Bond included in the purchase price or no.
Then, there's the tech. All five of the cars they talk about do have really incredible technology, particularly compared to my 10-year-old Honda. (And don't even get me started on my 14-year-old Mazda--soon to be sold).
But the little buzzkiller practicalis voice in my head has something to say about that, as well. The more systems you put in a car, the more there is that can go wrong. They may never show Bond having to stop his chase of Blofeld right in the middle of a running over a fruit cart because the invisible/swimming/flying car he is driving had broken down and 007 had to wait for Q to get to Istanbul all the way from London in order to fix it, but that doesn't mean it never happened.
So, sad as it may seem, I think my reliable old boring rides really are my dream cars.
They will never leave me high-and-dry whilst I am conducting international espionage. And that, my friends, is what a dream car is all about.
(Even if it does make my 15-year-old self shriek in agony to hear me say such a thing.)