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Last month, we asked our readers to 'fess up to their first rides; now, it's time to let us know what's currently occupying space in your driveways. We'd love to know the following:

  • What is it? (Be specific!)
  • Did you buy your current vehicle(s) new, or used?
  • How long have you owned it?
  • What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle?
  • I love/like/hate my ride because...
  • Any modifications, or unique original features/options?
  • If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it? (Let's be realistic, OK?)

Don't worry - we're not collecting this info for any evil marketing purposes. We simply like to talk about our own vehicles, and would like our readers to do the same. Flaming of other people's rides will not be tolerated.

After the jump, I'll run through a list of the vehicles that currently form the Bryant motor pool.

First and foremost, we'll start off with the vehicle I've own the longest, and the one with which I have the deepest emotional relationship. I picked up this '96 Impala SS in late 1998, after accepting an offer for my first "real" job. I went wandering around the used-car lots and found this Dark Cherry Metallic example with 55K on the clock. At the time, I figured that it'd cart myself, my friends, and our mountain bikes around the country in style, and wasn't supposed to be anything but a daily-driver.

The "mod bug" bit early. Oh, sure, it started off innocently enough - a K&N filter here, some exhaust mods there, and some computer recalibration. It now sports an LT1 that's been punched out to 396 cid (6.5L for the metric weenies out there) and topped with ported LT4 heads and intake manifold. A Canton oil pan, pump, and pickup solved some early oiling problems, and a Walbro fuel pump and 30lb SVO injectors work to deliver sufficient amounts of 93 octane. A sizable Comp Cams Xtreme Energy bumpstick and 11.7:1 compression ratio result in instant power at any engine speed. It's backed by a McLeod twin-disc clutch and a Borg Warner/Tremec T56 6-speed manual that was built with a combination of GM F-body and Dodge Viper components, which transfers the power to a 4" MMC driveshaft from Denny's. The suspension has been beefed up with Koni adjustable shocks, huge swaybars (33mm up front and 38mm out back), and spring rates normally reserved for heavy-duty trucks. With the exception of the basic machine work on the engine block and mounting/balancing tires, I've performed damn near every bit of work on this car myself (including the fabrication of the manual transmission swap components).

I love this car because it's a great sleeper (the only appearance mods are a red Bowtie up front and a pair of Borla exhaust tips in the rear), but I hate it because it rarely makes it between oil changes without breaking something. That seems to be a consequence of having a significant amount of power at the flywheel and a lot of mass at the contact patch. In the end, though, it's worth it, as the car is an expression of my wrench-turning, fabrication, and tuning skills. Plus, it's incredibly amusing to whip the big burgundy bruiser around an autocross course faster than cars that it really shouldn't be beating, and it sounds and looks great while doing it.  

If I were to replace it with something, it'd be a previous-gen BMW M5 or a Cadillac CTS-V. My reluctance to do so isn't so much an issue of finances (although I'd much rather spend that chunk of change on my upcoming garage project), but instead the fact that either choice would severely cramp my DIY style.

Then there's my 1996 GMC K2500 SLE. I bought this in early 2002, shortly after purchasing my current home, as it's tough to maintain a house and some acreage without a proper "farm truck". With only 39K on the clock when I bought it, it was an exceptionally clean vehicle for something that had spent its life in the Midwest, and I've tried to do my best to keep it rust-free despite the fact that it's my weapon of choice during the winter months. It remained pretty much dead-stock until late last year, when it received a body lift and a wheel/tire package from a Hummer H2. That's the way it'll stay for a while, as it sees regular duty hauling anything from engine blocks to several cubic yards of gravel and dirt, and such activities are best handled by a vehicle that retains its original level of robustness. It's nice to own at least one vehicle on which scratches and dents are badges of honor instead of stroke-inducing events. When it's time to replace it - and if my previous ownership experiences are any indicator, the body will rot away before the drivetrain and chassis gives up - it'll be with a diesel heavy-duty truck of some sort.

My daily-driver is a '91 Caprice wagon, and my wife commutes in a '96 Buick Roadmaster Limited. Both vehicles are superb highway cruisers, about as simple and robust as the average chunk of granite, and average around 20 MPG around town and 24 MPG on the expressway (a fuel-injected pushrod V8 loafing along at a few ticks faster than idle doesn't suck much fuel). They're perfect for loading up with some friends and camping gear for a weekend away from civilization, and the wagon can actually hold a full 4x8' sheet of plywood with the tailgate closed - a feat not accomplished by many SUVs and minivans

It's possible to draw any number of conclusions from the above list, including perhaps that I'm adverse to foreign vehicles (nope) or small cars (also not the case). Rather, having four vehicles that share a large number of parts and architecture simplifies the task of keeping several vehicles maintained with a minimal amount of time and money.



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  • 192 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      * What is it? 2005 infiniti G35 coupe
      * Did you buy your current vehicle(s) new, or used? New
      * How long have you owned it? 8 months
      * What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle? Love the look and ride of the car. The engine has won many awards. Very dependable. Very affordable. Hate the Z
      * I love/like/hate my ride because...Love - its a beauty to drive hard or soft. Very comfortable car. Looks fucking great! (i bought the lakeshore slate w/ Wheat interior - a little sporty and a little luxo looking at the same time...timeless beaty. Hate the update...too sporty. Leave that to the Z

      * Any modifications, or unique original features/options? Nope
      * If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it? (Let's be realistic, OK?) Well some strange reason i am in love with the new body A4 avant. But comeon Over $40k loaded for the 2.0? But i cant afford the S or RS so maybe. Or maybe just another G35 coupe.

      FYI My girlfriend steals this car at least twice a week...i go out to the driveway and its gone...i get stuck w/ her lexus IS 350. what a piece of SH!T
      • 8 Years Ago
      What is it?
      2004 Yellow Jeep Wrangler with 1/2 doors.

      Did you buy your current vehicle(s) new, or used?
      Brand-spanking new from a rude dealer.

      How long have you owned it?
      Since June of 2004.

      What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle?
      It was actually my wife's idea, for a second car. (We've since gotten rid of the first car.)

      I love/like/hate my ride because...
      I originally was neutral about it. But, after driving through the woods with the top down, I fell in love with it. Recently, with prices up over 100% since I bought it, I don't like it so much. The fuel prices are just out of my budget.

      Any modifications, or unique original features/options?
      I got better tires for off-roading and tow-hooks. Other than that, it's stock.

      If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it?
      It's actually up for sale. I've already replaced it with a bicyle and a bus pass. It was a hard decision, because I love cars. But, it's a matter of convenience vs. affordability. I figured out that my Jeep cost me $7000 a year. I can do a lot with that much money.
      • 8 Years Ago
      * What is it? (Be specific!) 2004 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Double Cab TRD - that's a mouthful
      * Did you buy your current vehicle(s) new, or used? Bought new
      * How long have you owned it? 2+ years now
      * What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle? I wanted a dependable truck that had room for 4 and would be somewhat fun to own (offroading).
      * I love/like/hate my ride because... I love my truck because it's just flat out fun to drive around.
      * Any modifications, or unique original features/options? I did a K&N intake replacement, and I put in a nice sound system with a Kenwood Keg so I can listen to 10 gigs of MP3s.
      * If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it? (Let's be realistic, OK?) Probably something that got better mileage. Possibly a new 2006 Tacoma with the same package.
      • 8 Years Ago
      * What is it? (Be specific!) - Mazda3 Sport GT
      * Did you buy your current vehicle(s) new, or used? - New
      * How long have you owned it? - 2 weeks
      * What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle? - Perfect vehicle
      * I love my ride because...it's what I always dreamed of
      * Any modifications, or unique original features/options? - None
      * If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it? - Mazda RX-8 GT
      • 8 Years Ago
      # What is it? (Be specific!)
      2003 Impreza WRX wagon, silver, manual trans, stock underseat sub, factory short throw shifter, and auto-dimming compass mirror.

      # Did you buy your current vehicle(s) new, or used?
      Used

      # How long have you owned it?
      3 months

      # What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle?
      I've always liked four doors but I'm a musician and I need to haul stuff so I owned an xCab Tacoma for a while. I love trucks, but I LOVE great handling cars. With the gear and now two dogs the wagon is an awesome choice. It's a super daily driver and gets decent MPG if you drive like an old lady (22-24 mixed mpg.) AWD is awesome for Tahoe trips!

      # I love/like/hate my ride because...
      I love my WRX 'cause it's a blast to drive, the interior is straight to the point with no frilly crap, it hauls my dogs and my gear, it's reliable, it's got that sweet flat four growl, it handles like a champ, and I didn't pay Honda/Toyota/Audi/BMW dollars for it. The Wag (as I call it) cost me 14k and it's mine all mine. I love that it smokes the '00 Mustang GT and '01 BMW 323i I had in a straight line AND it handles much better!

      I hate that it doesn't have a sunroof.

      # Any modifications, or unique original features/options?
      The stock features I mentioned above: short throw, stock sub, and compass mirror. The car has plenty of power so I'll leave the hp mods alone... but I will be putting a stiffer rear sway and solid end links on pretty soon after I move to the mountains this year.

      # If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it? (Let's be realistic, OK?)
      Well, if I sold it that means my needs would have changed so I probably wouldn't buy another WRX though I LOVE my car. I'd probably go with an econo box from Hyundai, Scion, Kia etc. and see how that treated me. All I know is that if I can't buy a car outright, I'm not buying it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      1988 BMW 325is. Bought in 2001 with 69k miles, now has 149k, including 22 track days, Best car I've owned, and a perfect city car. It's fun enough, stylish enough, cheap enough, and is nearly bulletproof in its reliability. The huge eighties bumpers provide great protection when parked on the street, and I've never been comfortable driving an expensive asset around Boston and Cambridge. Also the car with which I started to learn how to drive on racetracks. Mostly stock, with the exception of Bilstein HDs, E30 M3 springs and a set of 15" Kosei K1 wheels for the summer.

      1988 BMW M3. Not registered, used as a race/track car and prepped for NASA and BMWCCA club racing. Not a lot of straight line power, but telepathic handling and a great, reliable track platform. Full rollcage, firesystem, Cobra seats, Turner Motorsport j-stock suspension. My second E30 M3.

      2003 Ford Expedition 5.4, 103k miles. Tow vehicle for the M3, and used for occasional miscellaneous hauling. Bought earlier this year.
      • 8 Years Ago
      1. What is it? (Be specific!)
      2000 Honda Accord EX-V6 coupe

      Did you buy your current vehicle(s) new, or used?
      Used

      How long have you owned it?
      Since June of 04.

      What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle?
      Eagle Vision TSi lost everything in the front suspension/steering setup that wasn't made of metal. I wanted a Honda, and I liked the way the Accord handles. Also, great driver position (necessary since at the time I commuted 170 miles daily to work).

      I love/like/hate my ride because...
      I love it because it holds road great, and the Vtec V6 has great pickup/passing acceleration, crucial for the country roads in Mississippi.

      Any modifications, or unique original features/options?
      The car was maxed on every option when I bought it; I bought better tires (Goodyear Assurance Triple-Tread, which are great touring tires, IMHO).

      If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it? New Civic Si, or Element, or Scion tC.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ignore my other post, I forgot some things.

      -What is it? (Be specific!)
      1999 BMW 328i, 5spd manual

      -Did you buy your current vehicle(s) new, or used?
      Used with 70K miles. 120K miles now.

      -How long have you owned it?
      2.5years

      -What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle?
      Handling, comfort, design, accleration

      -I love/like/hate my ride because...
      I love it because it makes me smile every time I drive it, accelerate, or go around corners. I also autocross it. I love how at 120K miles it has no squeaks or rattles. I hate the expense of parts and even more the expense of repair if I don't DIY.

      -Any modifications, or unique original features/options?
      H&R sport adjustable springs, Koni SA shocks, UUC swaybarbarians, B&M short shifter, BMW Mtech front air dam & lip spoiler, Conforti Cold air intake+Shark injector software update, 18x8 and 18x9 ASA AR1 wheels.
      Pic: http://redwood.smugmug.com/gallery/41526/1/28092704

      -If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it? (Let's be realistic, OK?)
      Mazdaspeed 6, '07 Subaru Legacy GT 2.5 SpecB (worst shifter ever on the '06 and '07 gets the STI 6spd),'06 BMW 325i sport, or used 330i performance package. Any of these would have to be manuals.
      • 8 Years Ago
      1992 Renault Clio I
      Used
      Owed it since I got to France - 2.5 years
      I kind of adopted this car, so there was only one reason for the choice - it was available and free; but reasons for continued ownership - it's dirt cheap to change stuff on (CV joint just replaced for 30 euros plus a couple hours of labor) and it's easy to drive in the city and it's not beautiful so if some punk tries to cut me off I don't have a problem rubbing paint off.
      I love my ride because as I just mentioned, I can beat it up and don't worry about the body work. It's simple as hell (have you ever looked at a 1.2 litre carburated engine?). It fits in parking spots that no "normal" sized car would it it.
      I hate it because it's like driving a lawnmower. Because it does 0-60 in minutes, not seconds. Because the ride quality is probalby worse than a Citroen 2Cv and because at highways speed (83 mph here) it feels like it's going to either spontaneous combust or just float off the road. There's no tach, but I'm sure that at 80 mph it's at 5,000 rpm. And lastly because i think I just blew the head gasket (from the aforementioned highway speeds for extended periods of time) and I don't want to have to tear it down to fix it.
      No modifications, but I do think that a 1.2 litre 55hp engine is an unusual feature for Americans.
      I also have an Opel, but it's less fun to laugh about - it's just a normal car. If I had to sell my Clio, I would probably look for another little city car, but with balls. Something like the Fiesta ST: http://www.ford.co.uk/ns7/fiesta/fie_0508_body/fie_0508_body_st/-/-/-/-
      • 8 Years Ago
      What is it?
      2003 BMW 325i

      Did you buy your current vehicle(s) new, or used?
      Bought it used

      How long have you owned it?
      Since November 2005

      What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle?
      Weren't sure what we wanted. Test drove a new Civic, new Mustang, new Pilot, and used BMW. Story over.

      I love/like/hate my ride because...
      It drives and looks like a dream

      Any modifications, or unique original features/options?
      License plate holders. Don't feel the need to make any changes at this time.

      If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it?
      The new BMW 335i or a BMW 525i (hooked on the Beemers now).
      • 8 Years Ago
      What is it? 1999 BMW M Coupe
      Did you buy your current vehicle new/used? USED
      How long have you owned it? 1 year
      What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle? Rare
      I love/like/hate my ride because... Hate how inpractical it is and hard to get in and out of!
      Any modifications, or unique original features/options? Pretty stock
      If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it? (Let's be realistic, OK?) Yes, Audi S4
      • 8 Years Ago
      * What is it? (Be specific!)
      1998 VW Jetta, VR6

      * Did you buy your current vehicle(s) new, or used?
      Used w/ 20K miles...now has 120K.

      * How long have you owned it?
      Since May 2000

      * What was the reason for choosing this particular vehicle?
      Plethora of after market parts available, like the boxier looks of this generation, and I have a friend who is a VW mechanic (cheap labor!).

      * I love/like/hate my ride because...
      Love it because it is pretty fast. It is also my first car that I've owned outright. Hate it because of its VW-eccentricites (lots of stuff breaks!)

      * Any modifications, or unique original features/options?
      Bilstein coilovers, neuspeed tie bars, K&N air filter (new wheels coming soon).

      * If you were to sell it tomorrow, what would replace it? (Let's be realistic, OK?)
      I really like the Mazda3 5-door.
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