$100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge: Anthony Cagle
You know, when this topic was first broached I thought the process would be about as exciting as painting the living room. But once I started I found it a lively little exercise in pushing the boundaries of getting as much as possible without going over budget. There's only two of us in the household so I was looking at a minimum of two vehicles; I've already got a true Car Lust car so I wasn't about to get a stable of Pacers, Hornets, and F-body Camaros and Firebirds. So I went mostly new and nice with one thrown in for fun. I did, in fact, consult the Spousal Unit on her preference(s), and after dissuading her from demanding a Tesla roadster, I think I've come up with a few decent choices.
For the remainder, I have a mix of new and used. For starters, I take off $9,000 for my Mustang II. That's not the NADA price, it's what it was valued at a few years ago.
Next I built a new Nissan Xterra for $28,772. I decided on this one to use as a daily driver for me; and by "daily driver" I mean a couple of times a week around town and as a field vehicle a few times a month. For the latter work I wanted a decent amount of room for equipment and passengers and the ground clearance and off-road capabilities of a truck-based SUV -- we often have to drive on sloppy Forest Service roads, construction sites, etc. -- while still being a nice ride for non-field driving. The Xterra always seemed to me to be just about the ideal truck-based SUV: simple, rugged, capable off of the road, and really practical for working out in the field. Oddly, it never seems to have caught on among archaeologists; at least in the northwest, they mostly go for Subaru Outbacks.
I've always wanted an F-body and found a 1977 Trans Am for $14,700 at AutoTrader.com. It's white with the Screaming Chicken which isn't my favorite option, but whatever. It's got the 403 engine and a decent number of options so it's probably representative of what I could reasonably get. Prices I found ranged from $4800 for a local Berlinetta up to over $30,000 so I more or less just split the difference.
Finally, I decided that, since this purely theoretical anyway, I might as well break down and -- despite the Spousal Unit's avowed dislike of such a thing ("We're not getting a damn motorcycle!") -- get one anyway. I tooled around the Interwebs a little and found one that would probably best suit a new rider on this budget: a Honda CTX700. Admittedly, I know next to nothing about cycles, but whatever. It comes with an automatic transmission that runs in either automatic or semi-manual modes. I know, the purists out there will roll their eyes, but I don't care; I'll probably end up killing myself on it anyway, so I may as well enjoy the ride while it lasts without bothering with a clutch. The price here starts at $8,799, which brings me up to $99,416.
Then again, I might drop down on the cycle cost a bit and get a cheaper CBR500R so I could afford a new Honda Scooter for the Spousal Unit who, it seems, believes that a scooter would be great for her while I could in no way have a motorcycle. Go figure.
I'm open to some swapping, of course. Since I wrote this, readers and fellow Car Lusters have provided more fodder. I could easily swap out Al. S's "1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V Diamond Jubilee Edition 460CI V8 in blue" for the F-body, although I might prefer the Thunderbird. A pre-1977 Monte Carlo, Grand Prix or 442 would also work. And That Car Guy's Jeep Wrangler Sport could displace the Xterra. Possibly more likely is that I'd wax nostalgic and do my best to find my old friend, a 1975-ish AMC Hornet.