By Chris Cantore
When I first pulled into San Diego for college, my primary mode of transportation was a 1967 Volkswagen Bug. My first car, it was red but fading and had that omnipresent VW smell - a combination of burning oil and moldy, rotting seats. Thankfully, for ventilation purposes, the driver’s side floorboard came equipped with a huge rust hole in the floor.
Embarrassed by its hooptiness, my younger, SDSU self was actually relieved when it got stolen off of Montezuma Road. From there, I graduated to owning a variety of newer vehicles while exploring San Diego via various modes of transportation - from boats to beach cruisers, trolleys to skateboards, air-balloons to (shhhh) rollerblades.
However, nothing, and I mean nothing, ever compared to putting around town in that $600 beater of a V-dub. As it is with a first love, you never forget your first car. So much so, I recently picked up a 1970 VW bus. Painted in gray primer, it has the aforementioned VW smell and rust holes in the floor. It’s perfect.
Some call it a midlife crisis. I call it destiny. Here are a few options I’m considering for when the wheels fall off.
Priced around 40K, this new Jag is poised to compete with the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Combining its sleek and sexy style with its impeccable driving behavior and British prestige, this luxury sports sedan is set to pounce - and pull hipper, younger drivers away from its German competitors.
Base price: $35,895
Available at: Jaguar San Diego
4525 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa
The Flying Cloud
One of Airstream’s most popular trailers, The Flying Cloud is perfect for a weekend of glamping at San Elijo State Beach, long-term adventures or housing Cousin Eddie in your driveway. With more floor plans and decor options than IKEA, this amazing vessel (ranging from 19 to 30 feet in length) includes a queen bed, dinette, galley, bathroom (with shower) and MAJOR cool points.
Made famous by Wiz Khalifa at LAX, the MonoRover is one of a growing number of personal transportation devices aka autobalancing scooters. It’s capable of cruising for six hours between charges, just long enough for someone to video you crashing on it.
Base price: $300
Harley-Davidson Softail Slim
Sporting a classic WWII-inspired design - complete with military olive color, clipped rear fender and Hollywood handlebars - this bobber motorcycle comes loaded with a Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine. In other words, it delivers the same amount of power and performance as it does badassery. See you at Waterfront.
Base price: $15,899
Available at: San Diego Harley-Davidson
5600 Kearny Mesa Rd., Kearny Mesa, 858.810.1919
4645 Morena Blvd., Bay Ho, 858.616.6999
Vespa LXV150 IE
Grab yourself one of these #TBT scooters and you’ll be the king or queen of North Park. A nod to Vespas of the 1960s, the LXV is built around a 150cc four-stroke engine, capable of hitting the freeways with the same level of ease as 30th Street.
Base price: $5,699
Available at: Vespa Motorsport
3955 Pacific Hwy., Mission Hills
Vespa North San Diego County
572 N. Tulip St., Escondido
Billed as the world’s lightest electric vehicle, this super skateboard comes equipped with two electric motors, precision brakes and a wireless remote. With a top speed of 20 mph, Boosted gives its rider the sensation of surfing and snowboarding through the streets. But remember, pavement tends to be less forgiving than snow and water.
Base price: $1,199
Toyota’s state-of-the-art hydrogen-powered car is called Mirai, which is Japanese for “future.” The word now also means “hideous.” Aesthetics aside, the vehicle is packed with cutting-edge technology and with a range of 300 miles - compared to about 75 miles with most electric cars, which means you can round trip from San Diego to L.A. on one charge. Suddenly, the future’s getting less smoggy. (Still ugly, though.)
Base price: $58,395
Available: Winter 2015/2016
The good news: this board is real. The bad: it’s not for sale. Developed by Lexus for marketing purposes, the Slide uses the same technology as the Hendo Hoverboard, which is available for purchase but requires a magnetic surface on which to operate - something you’re not gonna find at OB Skate Park.
Base price: $10,000
Available in Shark (X model), Killer Whale (Y model), and Dolphin (Z model), the Seabreacher operates more like an aircraft than the mechanical Jaws at Universal Studios. Giving its pilot and copilot the ability to dive under and over waves, the 2016 Killer Whale model can even do a barrel roll - and, it’s approved by PETA!
Base price: $80,000
Gibbs Quadski XL
Something Batman would cruise around on with Robin, the Quadski XL is the best amphibious vehicle available to the public. With a top speed of 45 mph (on land and water), it’s capable of switching between “quad” and “ski” faster than Ben Affleck transitions into the Dark Knight.
Base price: $40,000
Available at: Bert’s Mega Mall
1151 N Azusa Ave., Covina (L.A. County)
Billed as an amphibious light-sport aircraft, the ICON A5 - which takes off and lands in water - is the sexiest thing to fly through the air since Henry Cavill. So advanced a (rich) kid could fly it, the folding personal plane weighs about 1,000 pounds and can be towed by your Range Rover. With a range of 450 miles and maximum speed of 110 mph, the A5 gets a serious high five.
Base Price: $189,000
TESLA Model X
Tesla’s new all-wheel drive Model X is the fastest SUV on the planet. Powered by two digitally controlled engines, Model X-celerates from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Oh, yeah, and it’s electric, capable of driving to the Nevada border on a single charge.
Base price: $140,000
Available at: Tesla Motors
4545 La Jolla Village Dr. Ste. D17, University City