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A Life of Vroom

I've had a pretty varied vehicular history since I got my first car, a 1990 Ford Escort wagon, in 1994. This was a gift from my parents when I graduated from college--my mom's old car. I kept this one less than 1 year, and dove into something I liked better. I've had a hard time keeping any car more than a few years. A few bikes were added in later as well, for a total of 25 vehicles so far not counting my wife's cars. I even bought one of them twice (but only counted it once). Not a bad start.

1990 Ford Escort Wagon
1994 - 1995

My first car, given to me by my parents (it had been my mom's car while I was in college). I drove it across the country from RI to UT and it served me well for the year I had it. Parents weren't particularly pleased when I sold it to buy the Land Cruiser.

1976 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40
1995 - 1997

I'm still not even sure why I fell for the FJ40, but I did. Saw one on the road and decided that I needed to have one. I still remember the first time I drove it with the doors and top removed -- fantastic! I eventually sold it as it really wasn't the best car for someone with few tools and no garage (though it rarely let me down). I swore I'd buy another one someday.

1994 Suzuki Sidekick
1997 - 1998

A really good little truck. Close to 30 MPG and reasonably comfortable. Needed air conditioning, though. Sold when I went on the road with Catherine's Clock and needed a van.

1990 Ford Aerostar
1998 - 2001

I put two transmissions and engine into this one, and really lost my shirt on it. It did what it needed to do, carrying the band to Portland and around to gigs, but it was never a very good vehicle. Was not sad to see it go.

2000 Kawasaki KLR650
2000 - 2004

My first motorcycle. Ugly, slow, and a bit ungainly it was still a great first bike. Gave me a taste of what a motorcycle can do and really instilled a life-long love of riding. I only sold it as I was ready to try something else.

2001 Subaru Outback Wagon
2001 - 2004

I had been casually looking at new cars when the engine on the Aerostar went out again. The next day I was at the Subaru dealer getting a deal done. The most comfortable car I've ever owned. Sold it after we got married as Jenny can't shift and I was ready to try something else.

2000 Kawasaki W650
2004 - 2005

Saw this bike for sale used at the local BMW dealer and decided it was the bike for me. A neat little bike, but never really fell in love with it. Sold it to fund the quest for an old car.

2003 Hyundai Accent
"The Moo"
2004 - 2008

In some ways this was the best car I've owned -- traded the Subaru pretty much straight across for this one. Uncomplicated, cheap, durable, and honest. A great snow car as well. Did the job without any fuss, muss, or bother. Sold it to a friend at work and it's still soldiering on.

1962 Triumph TR4
2005 - 2006

My first stab at owning a sports car -- a car I shouldn't, in the end, have bought. Wasn't really what I wanted so it was sold (at a loss) to fund the continuing quest. It only ever sort-of ran and was a rattly thing. Needed a full restoration that I didn't want to do.

1959 Austin Healey Sprite
"Tunebug"
2006 - 2011

Finally I had bought a car that I wanted, not just one that was available. Spent three long years doing a full mechanical restoration and upgrade, my first restoration work. Fun and frustrating all at the same time. I never intended to sell this car, but things do change and I decided that one old car at a time is my limit. He's off to a new home in Maine.

2005 Suzuki V-Strom 650
2006 - 2007

Without question the best motorcycle I've ever ridden. Quick, capable, inexpensive. Ugly, though, and I never really connected with it. Sold it to buy the Bonneville.

1974 MG Midget
2006 - 2007

This was only a parts car, but was running and complete when I bought it. Donated its engine, transmission, rear end, and brake system to the Tunebug. The remaining parts and the body shell were sold off to help others finish their restorations.

2007 Triumph Bonneville
2008 - 2010

The bike I should have bought years before and provided a great chance for my wife to say "I told you so." This bike suited me very nicely, other than the relatively small fuel range (150 miles). Would go anywhere, from a mountain pass to a desert gravel road. I only sold it to try and find something similar with longer range. I won't rule out buying another one some day.

1966 Honda S90
"Meep"
2008 - 2008

Bought this little bike on a whim when I saw it on Craigslist one day. Neat little thing, needed some overhaul work but was all doable. Sold it after a few months when I realized that I had gone one project too far and really didn't have time for it. Wouldn't mind getting one of its dirt bike cousins (Trail 90) some day.

2009 Honda Fit Sport
"Fitty"
2008 - 2012

I really liked the looks of these cars, and when the new models came out in late 2008 I decided it was time to get one. Having four doors is really nice, and it's a great car. Handles far better than a cheap hatchback should, and regularly gets 40 MPG. A fantastic daily driver and a great little car. Sold it to get something with an automatic transmission that my wife could drive.

1973 BMW R75/5
2010 - 2012

I spent the better part of a summer hunting for a good one of these. This is the long wheel base version made just for the 1973 model year, and has the large tank (good for 200+ miles). This bike was a bit tired, but still capable. It was a good fit for me, very similar to the Bonneville but with longer range; a vintage bike that can be ridden every day. Sold it when I realized that I really only wanted one old vehicle at a time.

1970 MG MGB
2011 - 2013, 2016 - Present

In contrast to the BMW, I started looking for a right hand drive MGB on a Friday, and made an offer on this car two days later. I expected the search to take quite a while, as I specifically wanted a car that was not a project and that had right hand drive, overdrive, and didn't have wire wheels. Turns out it took just a couple days. The car has been in Canada since the mid 1990s, and was in the UK before that. Had three great seasons with this car, then sold it on to a good friend to fund the RHD Bugeye. In 2016 I had an opportunity to buy the car back, so I did.

1976 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40
2011 - 2012

Crashing on the bike out in the desert by myself really drove home the message that I needed to find another 4x4 that I could use for my camping trips. This led me right back to the first fun vehicle, a Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser. I thought about it for a year, and after some discussions with Jenny as to the details I decided to hunt one down. I found this on eBay out of California. It was what I wanted, an unmolested original and rust free stock truck. Unfortunately this proved to be one old vehicle too far, so I sold it a few months after I brought it home.

2012 Kia Forte 5
2012 - 2014

We drove a bunch of cars during this car search, and the little Kia really stood out. Nice, comfortable, and well equipped for the price point -- a great daily driver. Proved to be a bit dull to drive and was traded in for the Jeep.

2006 BMW F650GS
2012 - 2013

After selling the R75/5 I decided that a I needed a modern version of the old airhead -- practical, fun, and inexpensive. Mentioned to my father-in-law that I was interested in one and he made me an offer on his that I couldn't refuse. Really nice little bike, 60mpg, light and agile, and fun to ride. Sold it as I wasn't riding it all that much.

1959 Austin Healey Sprite
"Penny"
2013 - Present

Yes, another Bugeye. I really wasn't looking, but a friend sent me a lead on a right hand drive Bugeye for sale in California, and I just couldn't resist it. It'll be a bit of a project but at least I'm back on familiar ground.

2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
2013 - 2015

I had been looking at these bikes since the 2013 update came out, but there wasn't a local dealer where I could take a test ride. Then our local BMW/Triumph dealer picked up the line, and on a nice Fall Saturday I took a test ride. Fifty yards in I was sold -- just had to sign the paperwork and I rode it home. A mix of what I loved about the Triumph with the longer touring range of the R75/5 and some classic Italian style. Sold it after a low-side accident (fully repaired) when I decided to get out of riding.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport S
2014 - Present

I went to an auto show when I still owned the red FJ40 and sat in one of the current generation Jeeps -- and realized it was what I should have bought. A year of driving Jenny's '13 Wrangler convinced me. One special order and six weeks of waiting and I brought it home. Just the right mix of functionality, fun, and a six speed manual.

1967 MG MGB GT
2014 - 2015

Another RHD MGB, seems to be a thing with me. I almost bought this car in 2013 out of Colorado, then didn't, then a motorcycle crash in 2014 convinced me that I needed a fun car to drive while I did the restoration on Penny. This car popped up for sale again, this time 25 miles from my house. Never really connected with this car, and sold it to a friend to help fund Penny's restoration.

1966 Morris Minor
2015 - Present

Funny how the things come about. What started as a chat about a VW Beetle turned into a lucky search for RHD cars and an online ad for this car. She was originally sold in Wales and came to the USA in 2000 to be towed behind a motorhome. The car is largely in original condition, though with a few nice upgrades (1275, 5-speed, disc brakes) for modern usability. Will make a nice touring and event car once sorted out a bit.