Lessons Learned from the Disease
I’ve had it a long time. It’s been a part of me since an early age, probably around five years old. It waned for a while, only to be reignited in my early teen years. Since then it’s grown, become more interesting, and, inevitably, more expensive.
No, I’m not referring to an obsession with Mountain Dew.
Rather, the “it” that I refer to is what we at Everyday Driver affectionately call “The Disease.”
Ever since seeing Back to the Future when I was little, I’ve had a deep love for cars.
Watching that stainless steel, gull-winged ‘80s icon zoom Marty McFly back in time was thrilling. I loved the design, the speed, the sound, the way the manual transmission shifted, all of it.
What began as a young boy has grown into a deep passion. While I was one to admire the Lamborghini Countachs and Ferrari 360 Modenas of my youth, just as many other young kids did, I was always more interested in the cars that could slay the giants.
In 2001 I remember reading an article in Car and Driver about the new to the U.S. Subaru WRX defeating an Audi S4 and BMW 330xi and was dumbfounded by it. How could this little, blue, bug-eyed rally car emerge the victor among those German greats? I was so enraptured by that little car I convinced my dad to take me to Nate Wade Subaru in Salt Lake City so I could ride along on a test drive. It was awesome.
This began a long, still on-going tradition of going on test drives with my dad. Since those test drives of my teenage years, I’ve come to own many of my bucket-list cars, and experience the thrill of driving -- even on the autobahn and world-famous Nurburgring track of Germany.
I feel fortunate to have played out so many of my dreams behind the wheel and grateful for a hobby and passion that is relatively innocent and harmless. I genuinely believe it has kept me out of other, more dangerous paths.
There are always new experiences to be had, and new things to learn when it comes to cars and the driving experience.
To quote Paul & Todd from an old intro to the podcast, “Cars are more than just transportation. They’re freedom, a common ground, a way to grow, and can even make life better.”
“When you find the right car, it becomes more than just an appliance to get you from point A to point B; it becomes an adventure, a getaway, and a prized possession.”
I’m grateful for the fun they bring into my life, and the connections they create. I’m grateful for a dad, who still goes with me, even out of state, just to check out that extra special one, and I’m especially grateful for my wife for understanding the car disease I am plagued with!
For the past 13 years, I’ve had almost 20 cars (I told you I was sorely afflicted!), including:
2008 Volkswagen Jetta
2001 Honda Prelude SH
1998 Jeep Wrangler
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX
1981 DeLorean Motor Company - DMC-12
2005 BMW M3
2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI
2015 Subaru Forester XT
2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
1991 Mazda Miata MX-5
1997 Honda Prelude SH
1991 Acura Legend LS
2000 Toyota Land Cruiser
2007 Subaru Forester
2000 Honda Civic Si
1993 Acura Integra GS-R
1998 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru WRX STI
2020 Subaru BRZ
The experiences these cars have provided have all been valuable. Some have been more fun than others, but, hey, sometimes the car you drive is a learning experience. For now, we have two cars: a 2020 Subaru BRZ and a 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser. I love them both and have no plans for changing over either of them -- at the moment (we all know how that can change).
We’ve had the Land Cruiser for about five years and it’s been the perfect vehicle for hauling gear and our two young kids on trips. There is nothing precious about it, and it’s been well used and loved. A longer review is forthcoming, but in short, It’s been awesome, and just about everything you’d expect from the Land Cruiser nameplate. It is getting to show its age a bit, so a replacement might be coming in the next year or so.
I’m also grateful that for the experiences of Todd and others with their 86s. It spurred my interest in one and boy, I’m glad I went poking around BRZ/86 land. Of all the cars I’ve owned, I can confidently say that my world rally blue BRZ is my favorite. Sure, it’s not fast, and the torque dip is real, but boy, it’s a brilliant car. The first time I drove one, I described it to my wife as “feeling like I was home.”
The disease is real, and I’m grateful for it. In the ever-changing landscape of cars, I’ll enjoy each day with this affliction, as long as it lasts.
Jason Bell is a lifelong car enthusiast who loves sharing his passions as a teacher, writer, speaker, and social media manager. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or @thejasonbell on Instagram. The views and opinions expressed here are his own and may not align with the founders of Everyday Driver.