Monday, March 08, 2010

Vista Cruisers vs. Fieros

Michael turns 16 in seven weeks. He has completed both driver’s education segments that Michigan requires all potential drivers to complete. He’s logged all the required hours. He’s a pro at parking and is getting the hang of parallel parking (truly one of the more asinine requirements) and by the time he takes the written exam he will be completely and exceeding ready to drive on his own. He has looked forward to this day since he first said the word car, one of his first three words. Thankfully it was the third. If he’d said, “car” before “mom” I would not be pleased.

He spends hours looking at used car ads on CraigsList, in the paper, on the web, anywhere there’s a used car for sale he’s checking it out. He’s saved a decent chunk of change and cannot wait to have his own set of wheels.

He’s partial to early 80’s Fieros:


He calls them sporty and fun. He tells me they get good gas mileage and have a “space frame” that makes them safe even though they’re small (with no air bags). He hasn’t mentioned how fast they go, which, I’m sure is by design.

This is what I want him to drive:


Not very sporty and certainly not a load of fun. Bad gas mileage but that won’t be a problem because he won’t want to go anywhere in it. And slow. Slow, slow, slow.

As you can see, we have a problem.

I don’t really want him to drive a tank. Not really. Well, maybe a little… Since a tank's not realistic I think we should settle on a mid 80’s station wagon. No air bags but lots of steel. And super-slow.

I guess what I’ve discovered is my criteria for his first car and his criteria for his first car are drastically different. Exactly why this is surprising me is a mystery. I’m the mom; he’s the 16 year old who’s impending license is about to shoot our insurance premiums to the moon.

I will lose this battle because the one person's opinion I haven’t mentioned yet is Sean’s. Believe me, he’s not going to let his son’s first car be a tank or a station wagon. Because he’s hoping to share.