Unlike many of my friends, I was unable to afford a motorized vehicle, of ANY type during my high school years. I got around with friends, by jogging, or by riding my bicycle! But while I was in Panama, I decided to save some money and buy a new car when I returned to the states. In December 1983, I purchased a new 1983 Mercury Capri RS. IT was Mercury's twist on the Ford Mustang GT! A hatchback, with a 4-barrel carburetor, 302 V-8 engine, and a 5-speed manual transmission; although it had an actual higher top speed and nicer interior than the Mustang, they never sold very well. Probably due to the slightly higher price Lincoln-Mercury charged for them. I'll have to dig up a picture and scan it in one of these days...
In the spring of 1986 I then bought a new fire-engine red 1986 Mercury Capri, but with an automatic transmission and fuel efficient 6-cylinder engine. Nothing great, but when it DID run, it was serviceable as a family car. Unfortunately, between the burning wires, leaking air conditioning system, and some other problems this car had, it only lasted two years...
It was then replaced by a used white 1985 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, bought from a friend who was leaving Little Rock Air Force Base. It was then replaced by a blue 2-door, 1985 Pontiac Grand Am LE family style car; followed by a white 4-door 1988 Pontiac Grand Am SE, semi-sporty, but still a family car. I had to say goodbye to this car when I gave it to my ex-wife.
It was during the time frame that I owned the 1985 Grand Am when I purchased my first motorcycle. I had just reenlisted and when I was given my bonus check for re-enlisting, I realized I could buy another vehicle. I had to decide between a used car or a new motorcycle. The bike won and I bought a 1985 Honda CB600SC, the Honda Nighthawk.
After going through the normal acclimation process to learn how to drive a motorcycle (which is a nice way of saying this bike got dropped and abused while I learned how to operate and drive one well).
Finally I decided to get something faster (don't we all?) and purchased a 1988 Honda CBR600. Yes, the well known Hurricane! I loved the commercials Honda ran during this time frame, pictures of the Ninja man running from the stormy force of the Hurricane. Not very well hidden, but Kawasaki had apparently been Honda's target and the shot was a bulls eye!
The small CBR became my daily driver for over 2 years, in ALL kinds of weather, as my only form of transportation! Unfortunately I had to go overseas in 1990, for a while, and decided to sell this bike and buy another one when I returned!
I came back in late 1991 and had sticker stock at the prices for new bikes! Since I couldn't talk myself into buying another bike at the current dealer prices, I did without. Fortunately I had a friend who was now going overseas for awhile, and since we rode often together on our bikes, he asked my to take care of his car for a year!! What a guy!! So, I had his 1991 Plymouth Shadow to drive for a year while I convinced myself to buy another bike,
When I got back to the states in December 1993, I went to the Honda shop to see what had happened, caught up on the bike changes and discovered sticker shock! It took me two years to talk myself into buying another motorcycle. I then picked up a new 1993 Honda CBR1000F, yep, the big Hurricane, but now called the CBR1000F. When I want speed, this is my vehicle of choice.
As I left the military and started out in the civilian world I decided I would need another four-wheeled vehicle for bad weather days (as now I didn't have the ability to keep all my clothing at the office) and during my long term vehicle search I found a used 1993 Ford Thunderbird SC. The big, yet semi-sporty Thunderbird in Super Coupe trim. Yes, I became a fair weather rider with the purchase of this vehicle!
My girlfriend owns the 1999 Ford Taurus SE, it is a very nice car for traveling for 2 people. She got rid of her older Toyota Corolla for this car (very good decision in my opinion)! The Toyota had problems getting out of its own way... <g> But the Taurus died in 2006 when my daughter totaled it out...
When we had the occasionally need for a pickup, I either borrowed one or rented one. But I was ALWAYS on the lookout for a nice truck and after about a year and a half of looking, in November 2000, I found a 1995 Ford F150 XLT. A nice looking custom truck, done over by Choo-Choo Customs out of Tennessee. It has become my current daily driver during bad or inclement weather vehicle.
In the meantime, turns out I found something to replace the 1995 Ford F150 XLT with. On April 20th, 2002 I became the proud owner of a 1999 Ford SVT F150 Lightning, #2565 of a build of 4000. It was in great shape with only 12,100 miles!!
Although I was happy with the 1995 F150, but it was a very tight squeeze getting it into the garage!! It fit in the garage (when I pulled it in by hand) with about 1.25 inches of clearance in the back and a little over 2 inches in the front (it just BARELY cleared the garage door hinges as the door closed)...
I was concerned I might end up hitting the interior back wall if I ever came in with wet tires from a rain storm or during extreme cold (and ice). Needless to say, NOT very much room for error!
The SVT, so far, has been awesome. Turns heads everywhere and gets compliments any time it is stopped somewhere. Check out the SVT information via the link to see the pictures and what changes have been done. Since I like stock vehicles, there won't be much done to it! I'd rather BUY the speed than pay to convert something for more speed!
Well, with all the major construction going on in the state, in the last year I've replaced both driving lights and the windshield. I've decided I would pick up something a LOT cheaper to drive daily and to obtain replacement parts for. Since I've got one of everything (a car, truck, and a bike), I decided to get a small SUV. I found a good deal on a Hyundai Santa Fe and picked it up.
For any woman that may read this, let me tell you that my girlfriend just loves driving it! Which she can do anytime we're not driving together. Her oldest daughter and son-in-law liked ours so much they traded in their Toyota Tacoma and picked up a new one themselves (a white, 2004 model). And we have since upgraded to a 2005 Black Santa Fe...
I received an invitation from nearest dealership for a VIP appointment in a sales attempt by them to trade in my 2002 Santa Fe for a new 2005 model... Well, after a day long session, we made a deal and Olga and I are the proud owners of a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe LE. A step up from the Santa FE GLS we had, and at a good price.
In late January 2006, I found a nice, used 2000 BMW 528i and decided, since I've been looking for one for quite some time, to check it out. It was so nice, I just had to pick it up. Now I'll have to upgrade to an M5...someday!
In February 2008 I dropped off my CBR1000F to have some major work done on it and decided to indulge some research with the sales manager on the Honda Rune... While a limited production Honda vehicle, I can still find some new ones on line and wanted to know how much it would cost me to get one... $19,500 was the quote, but he seemed more interested in my buying something newer as he wasn't thrilled about getting parts for such a limited run vehicle. And while the new vehicles are nice, they just don't catch my eyes like the Rune does... So I did some asking around locally and found a 2004 Honda Valkyrie Rune, with only 1,561 miles on it!
In March 2009, I made the last payment on the BWM 528i and based upon how solid it is and the great ride, was searching for something a little larger for use on vacations and found a 2001 BWM 740iL (the long version)... This thing has a larger back seat than most vehicles have front seats! It was a great way to see if I would be willing to spend more for a newer one later...
And in March 2010, I traded in the 2001 BWM 740iL and picked up a 2007 BMW 750i (this time not the long version). While I went originally to personally check out a blue one I had found on their site, it didn't quite sing to me, and I mentioned that to the salesman. He offered to take me out back where several more unprocessed vehicles were waiting their turn. And I found the one I wanted when I saw it... Yep, Titanium Grey, with a black interior, and most of the bells and whistles...includes the Sports Package and 20 inch chrome wheels!
We made the deal that day and arrangements for me to come and pick it up in four days... They had it ready in three. I drove it home and surprised Olga with it. Olga and I both love this thing and think it is an awesome car and we're highly impressed with the number of changes BMW has made to this line of cars over six years! This was a great car, during the extended warranty period, but during the end I started to look for a replacement 750il, but could not find one with the options we desired.
So, in March 2014, I found a 2010 BMW M6 Coupe on the lot and took it for a test drive. Awesome. Guess I won't be waiting for that M5 anymore! I decided to go ahead and sell the 2007 750i for this car, turns out that several co-workers were interested in the 750i, and I see the current owner driving (and parking it) at work still. This is the first M6 I can recall finding on any lot...the car isn't as common as the smaller M cars, such as the M3, on used car lots... And this one is in great shape! Before the rain had a chance to come in, I went and took some pictures and posted them in the cars area...
Finally, after 12 years, in March 2017, Olga and I bought a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe. I took her out to check on a 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate AWD, but it was in White (both of their AWD models were in white), she saw this one on the lot and had already mentioned to me that instead of Red, she wanted one in Blue. This will replace our older model, this one is in Storm Blue with a 2-tone interior and modern electronics, it is very nice. I think the older one will be headed to one of her grand daughters...which didn't last long as they sold it and bought another car.