In 2005, I leased a 2005 BMW 5 Series, which seemed like a great idea at the time. Five grand down and 36 payments of $581 later, I purchased the car at lease-end for $28,000. Another 60 monthly payments after that, I had spent exactly two craploads of money on the damn thing.
Calculating how much cash I would have saved by driving a Prius instead never entered my mind - until my wife got pregnant. My financial advisor said I'd need to save $1,000 per month from conception if I wanted to send my son-to-be to an Ivy League school, which meant I was going car shopping ... and my kid could go to community college.
Reflecting further, I elected to keep the car.
Sometimes - seeing as how I don't have a backup camera or LED headlights and can't stream Pandora through the radio - I long for a new ride. Other times, I feel smart for not having had car payments for the past four years.
A couple of weeks ago, something popped up on my dashboard, and, this time, it wasn't the "check engine" light. It was a binary mother lode on my odometer, an unlikely string of 1s and 0s (the "111.1" to the right side of the display indicates the tripometer), proving that I've been up and down Interstates 5 and 15 in the same car for a decade.
I played the lottery the day I took that photo, but I didn't win. So, I've come to another crossroad:
Fill the wiper fluid and keep on driving?
Please enjoy this automotive-focused edition of PacificSD, dear Reader. May your lights be green, your rush-hour traffic light and your hands at 10 and 2. And if you happen to purchase a vehicle from the folks advertising in this magazine, please mention my name to the sales manager. She or he will offer you a discount if you do so, and I might be able to send my kid to college ... and get a new car.
David Perloff, Editor-in-Chief