While in San Diego I had the joy of being given a rental car that was a convertible. I had driven convertibles before, but only for a short drive, never on a regular basis. This was my first trip to San Diego, a city I had never heard anything bad about, and after seeing it the only negative thing I can say for it is that it's in California (take that in any way you think I intend it). After about 5 days I realized that the weather was similar to the Puget Sound weather without the rain. Many days I cruised with the top down and the heater on full blast. I had begun to experience life with the top down and did not want to go back to the claustrophobia that is an enclosed vehicle. In addition to becoming accustomed to taking the top down I began talking with someone who had a Smart Car. Like most our conversation about his car began with a "Oh, you drive a coffin can!" comment. To which he patiently replied, "Yes, but..." Matt began describing the car, its features, its engineering, its comfort, and its advantages. Then, we went for a ride.
He first saw the vehicles in Europe and waited until they came to the US. When they did he snatched up one of the first and has since put over 140,000 miles on it. His one way commute to work is nearly as long as mine, but he has put many, many miles on it crossing the country alone and with one of his teenaged sons. It was an incredible learning experience, and by the end or our training session I pulled up the website and "built" a car. Another friend next to us did the same with a Volkswagen diesel--his response to "what I should get" instead. My fully loaded convertible Smart ended up being just under $20k, Jeremy's vaunted VW was neither loaded nor striped but hit the wallet at $38k. As I flew back home I had an idea.
As an engineer, I love numbers. It didn't take long to work up the numbers and discover that the car note and gas costs would be less than what I pay just for gas in my 99 F-150. Which, oh by the way, needs a repair from time to time. I began searching for a car, and found one, the right one for me.
One disadvantage of the vehicle is that you become an unofficial spokesperson for the company. If you buy one, you'll be selling them. It is an incredibly fun vehicle. Responsive, turns on a quarter, stops on a dime, and you can put the top up or down while still driving down the road.
Once we experience life unleashed, we don't want to go back.
The title is a reference to a Prince album which has a song with a lyric "I need another lover, like I need a hole in my head." My driveway now looks like a car lot with 4 vehicles. I needed another car like I needed a hole in my head.