Enjoyable cars are neither expensive nor bad for the environment when you use them as replacements for boring cars that spend all their life stuck in traffic.
Joe Eaton of Rumblenote in Slate presents the following rationale for sports car ownership: it costs much less both in financial and environmental terms to commute with public transportation during the working week then drive on the weekends for fun in a car built just for that. Here’s how the author describes his escape from the travails of daily automotive commuting:
In spring 2007, my wife and I sold our Volvo and committed to public transportation. Since then, it’s been no traffic jams, no mechanics, no gasoline, and no insurance bills. With the money we saved, I started a “hot rod” bank account dedicated to making driving fun. Public transportation is paying for my Porsche.
Eaton echoes a James May column from last week published in The Telegraph, where the Top Gear presenter argues that cars as we know them will inevitably cease to exist as tools for going to places and the only form of the car to survive will be the sports car, purchased and driven purely for enjoyment. Of course he then proceeds to live his argument and go shopping for a used Ferrari.
While the Eaton-May solution is not an option for those of you living in the suburbs of the typical American city with no public transportation to speak of, it is increasingly a viable stragety for those of us who either live in cities or in European-style suburbs with rail links to city centers. And if any of this will contribute to killing off boring cars in favor of interesting cars then it is a very happy development indeed.
Read a good book on the train—then drive that 911 like you stole it. Or that Superlight Miata. You get the idea.