The Top Five

 After weeks of deliberation, I have finally narrowed down the list of Cars I Must Own. Five different cars, from a group of over 50 candidates. The winners are...

  Microcar : Ford Festiva - Mazda mechanicals, built by Kia, and sold by Ford, the Festiva is one of the few microcars available here in the U.S. While the Chevrolet Sprint Turbo and Subaru Justy are worthwhile options, there's just something about the Festiva that strikes a chord with me. The Mini Cooper is another alternative, but there's no way I'll be ble to afford one anytime soon. If cost was no object, the Honda Beat would win this category, but alas, I haven't won the lottery yet.

  Hatchback : Pontiac LeMans - Enginerred by Opel, built by Daewoo, and sold by Pontiac, the LeMans is my choice for hatchback to have. There's a ton of choices, with the likes of the VW GTI, Dodge Colt, Toyota Corolla FX-16, Honda Civic, and Daihatsu Charade, this is my nod to the European manufacturers. I'd love to take one of these and put Opel Kadett body pieces on it. The styling is funky, and it will take some work to get one where I would want it, but the LeMans is surely a car you don't see every day.

  Sporty Coupe : Isuzu Impulse - Turbocharged, all-wheel-drive, with suspension designed by Lotus, how can you not like this car. Thee's a soft spot in my heart for Isuzu, and while the Diamond Star trio adn Celica All-Trac are attractive alternatives, the Impulse wins hands down. I lusted after this car when it was new, and that fire still burns in my heart. I gotta have one!

  GT Car : Mitsubishi Starion - This was probably the hardest choice. The superb Nissan 300ZX came a close second, and of course there's Toyota's fabulous Supra, but the Starion is the most unique of the choices. While it doesn't come with a six-cylinder engine, the styling puts Ford's New Edge to shame. The Chrysler Conquest is the same car, but if I have the option, it will be a Starion.

  True Sports Car : Toyota MR2 - This was a foregone conclusion from the start. While the Miata is convertible, and a blast to drive, the MR2 is the car I want more than any other. Mid-engine design, nimble and quick, a true driver's car in every aspect. She's out there, somewhere, just waiting for the right time to present herself to me.

 What about the three cars I own right now? The Probe is a birthday gift for my Nephew Dorian on his sixteenth birthday. There's a lot of work to do to her, but I think 15 years should be enough time to get her ready. The Corolla and the Escort will be daily drivers, cars I won't be afraid to put miles on and haul groceries in.

 Most people that make a list like this usually list cars like Ferrarris and Porsches. While they're the paragons of automotive performance, and eventually I could own one, why bother. The enjoyment of driving is not determined by how expensive the vehicle is, how fast it gets to 60 mph, or how high the skidpad number is. It's a union between a man and his machine, and's that something that can be achieved with any car.


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