Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Chasing Cars

CAUTION: This is an incredibly long post. It starts with a stupid whiny rant, but there are cool car pictures toward the end, so there's sort of a reward for reading it all. You have been warned.

The Monkeys go to the L.A. Auto Show every year. And why wouldn't we? We can walk to it!
This year our foray actually doubled as research. I will have to drive about 15 minutes to my new job, so I can no longer rely on my trusty feet to get me to work. As much as I love Big Red, I don't want to drive it every day because it only gets about 20 MPG. And then there's Purple Rain.

Oh, Purple Rain.

Purple Rain is our ghetto, scratched-up, super-dinged and dented, almost-10-year-old sedan. The windshield has a huge crack that spans at least 10 inches. Purple Rain is so jacked that, when homeless people go from car to car, asking for money at intersections, they just skip Purple Rain. I'm even too ashamed to post a picture of Purple Rain. And, yes, it is purple.

How did we end up with Purple Rain?

Several years ago, Mr. Monkey was in a five-car pileup on the 10 freeway. This dumb bitch "lost control of her car," swerved across four lanes, and caused dozens of cars to screech and turn to avoid her. Poor Mr. Monkey was Car #3, and our beautiful black Mercedes CLK 320 was no more.

[a moment of silence please]

[wiping away tear]

While waiting for the insurance money for our totaled car, we drove my ancient 1989 Mercedes 300E. This car may have been sweet when I drove it back in high school, but it was quite the clunker in the twenty-first century. Mind you, I am 30 now. I drove this car in high school. This crappy Mercedes leaked oil on a daily basis, had spotty air conditioning, and stalled...on the freeway.

Nevertheless, being the cheap mofos that we are, we kept driving the 300E, even after we got our hefty insurance check. (I now know Mr. Monkey used about a third of that check on the sparkly thing on my left ring finger.)

Then, one day, Mr. Monkey came home and said, "I bought a car." He just came home with hideous Purple Rain without consulting me. He sold my old Mercedes to his friend for just a few hundred dollars and bought Purple Rain from a co-worker for a couple thousand.

Huh?! I wasn't too jazzed about the lack of communication, but, scarily, even with all of its flaws, Purple Rain was a step up from my high school wheels, so I was mad for about a day, and then I agreed it was a good decision.

I must admit, however, to this day, I still hate that we have a fucking purple car.

It really is an embarrassment. I can't lie. I totally have car envy when I see the many luxury vehicles in our garage.

I also had car envy when I saw my former co-workers' cars. Perfecta has a brand new BMW X5. Both T-West and Bootcamper are Lexus owners. Lasagna Man drives an Infiniti. The Miz has a BMW 3-series convertible. Captain Amazing has a BMW 5-series. Ironman has a BMW 3-series convertible and a 5-series. And sweet little Curly Fries has a Volvo SUV, Porsche, and Mercedes.

Anyway, this is a ridiculously long (and somewhat irrelevant) intro to our auto show field trip. Long story short, I need a new car.

Mr. Monkey agrees that Purple Rain is an eyesore and that I should drive something shiny and fun. Depending on what we decide to get (some of my potential cars won't come out until 2008), we'll dispose of Purple Rain and welcome a new addition to our household at the end of this year or after we get back from South America next year. (Believe it or not, the same friend who bought my old Mercedes has actually requested that we sell him Purple Rain.)

On to the auto show! And, yes, we went to the auto show shortly after Thanksgiving. I haven't bought a car yet, so this post is still timely in my book. Nyah nyah nyah!

We headed straight to the super fancy schmancy cars first. Bentley, baby!

As we entered the Bentley area, we ran into Mr. Monkey's boss, who'd just come from that area. You may recall that he actually owns a Bentley. He said that he was checking out this year's new features. It made me chuckle that our unattainable cars were basically as common as Hondas to this guy.



Aston Martin.


Rolls Royce.

After ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the unattainable, we went to the normal people cars. Like Mr. Monkey's boss and his Bentley, we checked out the new 2008 features on our Big Red.

Then we surveyed the contenders to replace Purple Rain. My goal is to get a cute small sedan or coupe that gets decent gas mileage, is no more than $35,000ish, and has some flair. I don't need much space because we already have Big Red, and style matters!

Candidate #1: Infiniti G35 Sedan or Coupe

Candidate #2: BMW 135i Coupe (Yes, there will be a ONE series in 2008!)

Candidate #3: BMW 328i Sedan

Candidate #4: Lexus IS 350

Candidate #5: Toyota Prius

Candidate #6: MINI Cooper

Candidate #7: MINI Cooper Convertible

Candidate #8: MINI Cooper Clubman

This is new for 2008! It's few inches longer than the regular MINI and has suicide doors! The extra few inches make the backseat more functional, but the car is still so cute and small! It reminds me a little of old "woodie" surf cars.

I'm heavily leaning toward a certain make, but I'm currently undecided about the model. I think it's pretty obvious what my fave make is. I've wanted one for years now, and I'm especially excited they're very reasonably priced!


  1. YAY! My hubby and I are huge car fanatics. First let me say my dream car is the Lotus Elise, if you've ever sat in one, you'll agree it was made for a woman. Secondly, MH has restored a vintage circa 1970 Mini Cooper imported from England for a project car with his dad. He has been driving in a VW clunker for awhile and we've decided that he needs a new car too and so it's the Mini's that we are looking at. We were going to get a slightly used one but the prices are just as high as the new ones! Good thing to know; high resale value! Also, it means we will NOT be able to have kids for a while because we won't be able to fit them in both cars! (right up ur alley) Good luck in your decision. Sorry for the ramble!

  2. I'll sell you my '95 BMW 525i with no cup holders at a very reasonable price. It has new tires, front brakes and rotors and gets 25 MPG. C'mon, what more could you ask for? ;)

  3. the G35 is the loaner car i get when my car is being serviced. it is so.freaking.nice. i'm actually leaning towards staying with infiniti when my car finally bites the big one just b/c the torrance service dept is so easy to navigate. yes, that does hold a lot of weight in my book.

    my mom has a the lexus you show and she puffy hearts it.

    but you just seem like a mini cooper girl to me. and you look so damn happy sitting in it that i think you might have found your car ;)

  4. My vote is for the Mini Cooper! I would so get one if we weren't planning on expanding our family soon. I test drove a Mini Cooper S a few years ago and LOVED it. It's totally me! And totally you, too! Just do it!

    (Can you tell I'm excited? I need to live vicariously through someone else!)

  5. 1) The Infiniti G35 is my next car! As soon as I get a big girl job I get to trade in my honda.

    2) Think long and hard before you get a mini. My mom got one in June because she really really really wanted one. She loved it for the first month. Now she hates it. She won't drive anywhere because she hates her car so much.

  6. ::chanting::

    mini! mini! mini!

    you know you want one. don't fight it.

  7. I'm with Ssinca....the mini just screams monkey. DO IT.

  8. My dad hearts his Infiniti G35. I heart anything better than a Corolla. ;) Can't wait to hear what you choose!

  9. ok here's my contribution to your decision making.

    1. My husband had the G35 and loved it. Our friend has one and loves it. My mom has had an infiniti for year and loves it. See a pattern?

    2. I love the look of the 328i but I hear so many stories from friends who have BMWs about how they always have problems and the repairs are so expensive.

    3.Lexus IS is another car I really like. BFF and another friend have one and both girls love them.

    4. My cousin has one and at first was obsessed with it. It now often sits all alone in the driveway while he borrows his parents extra truck because he hates how small it is when he goes shopping or golfing or has other people riding with him. He's now looking to get rid of it.

    Kinda random but hope it helps.

  10. and when I say my cousin has one I should probably tell you what "one" is...a mini. Sorry.

  11. I say go with the Infiniti, they are amazing cars. As you commented in one of my blog posts, I am terrified of little cars, and that Mini is just too damn mini.

  12. [double take] a ONE series?? that's crazy talk!

    i like the 3-series, but you already know i'm a BMW whore. and that also makes it okay for me to join in the chanting:


    good god a'mighty, but i want one of those things. i'm going to have to live vicariously through you, my friend.

    [seething with jealousE]


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