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Looking for a good "midlife crisis car"

My husband has expressed the need for a “midlife crisis car” (his words).

The problem is that at 6-foot-five, he doesn’t fit in many that would otherwise be on the wish list.

Cars that he does fit in are either way too pricy, too boring or not the right style. (He doesn’t want anything that seems like an entry-level or “kid’s” kind of car.)

We’re considering new or used. Manual transmission would be a plus, as would reliability and reasonable cost of ownership. (Not $100 for an oil change)

Any suggestions??

Maybe our definitions differ, but “too pricy” and “$100 for an oil change” are exactly the kind of cars I picture when you day “midlife crisis car”. Corvettes, etc. Reliability and reasonable cost of ownership really don’t paint that same picture. Maybe an example?

A used Corvette convertible for around $10k would work. Top down and no one is too tall.


PS: Make sure the pre-nup is up to date.

What about a BMW 325Ci or a 330Ci coupe or convertible? A 2006 is less than $20,000. You can find them with either a manual or automatic transmission. I don’t know if he fits. Take a ride by the local BMW dealer and find out. If you can afford more money, look at a newer model. Another possibility is an Infiniti G35. A 2007 is a little over $20,000 - about the same price as the 2006 325Ci or 330Ci convertible.

Ideally, the car would be $30k or less.
We have owned European, American and Japanese vehicles over the years, and in our experience, the Japanese cars have had the best reliability and lowest cost of ownership. (Others may have differing opinions, but this is our experience.)
We would have loved a Mazda Miata or BMW Z3/Z4, but neither of us fit in those.
He fits in the VW GTI, but it seems too much like his old VW Rabbit that he drove when we were young and broke.

Does he fit in a Honda S2000?

How about an Acura NSX?

OK, I’m going WAY out on a limb: Mustang GT. Convertible? Cheap, easy to maintain, and you can do smoky burn-outs all day long. A brand new one probably falls within your price range. Corvettes are so . . . midlife crisis car.

Check out the NSX!

Then tell him to get over it. What a waste of money!

Mazdaspeed 3

A motorcycle, any motorcycle.

We’ve got motorcycles. The Mazda 3s and Honda S2000 are WAY too small. NSX was cool, but is looking pretty dated with no body updates in years.
Mustang GT - there’s an idea.
We looked at the Audi 5. The back seat was tiny (I sat in the back during the test drive. A miserable 15 minutes.)
Problem with many European cars is the reliability, cost of ownership and can I just say that they can’t figure out cup holders. BMW’s cupholders are these flimsy plastic things that don’t hold a cup and break easily. For the cost of the car that is inexcusable to me.

Okay lets clarify something. Midlife crisis car can not be very reliable, reliability is a characteristic built in a Japanese/Korean econobox for daily commute. I second the Mustang suggestion, will live you some dough for repairs too.
Does it have to be sporty? If not I will go with a Jeep Wrangler.

I dunno 'bout that. There are a number of really cool midlife crisis cars that offer both the feeling of being a young hot-rodder and the reliability of a riceburner. Nissan 370Z comes to mind, as do some Infinities. There’re some that offer affordability too. Hyundae just came out with one, but I forget the model name.

But I think the Mustang or the Camaro is a good choice too. I like those cars.

The big problem will be the “big” problem. 6’5" is a lot of person to cram into the average midlife crisis car. There’s a lot of cars I’d like but cannot fit into, in my case because of my girth and my bad back, so I know how the poor guy feels.

Perhaps a full size droptop would provide that youthful feeling?

A motorcycle is not a car!!! lol

If he fits in either of them, I think the Nissan 370 Z and the new Mustang 5.0 are both nice cars. How 'bout the Camaro SS? Dodge Challenger? Of the cars I mentioned, I think the first two are good reliability bets. The new 5.0 Mustang is WICKED! Far more powerful than the 5.0 mustangs from the late '80s-early '90s.

I’m too old for a midlife crisis, but I saw the perfect car for a midlife crisis parked at a repair shop yeaterday. It is a 1951 Studebaker Commander. It has a V-8 engine, manual transmission, suicide rear doors and the unique Studebaker airplane front end. There is nothing on the road that looks like it. The V-8 engine made it fast for its day and there is plenty of room behind the wheel for a 6’ 5" driver.

On another lot in our town is a 1962 or 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk. This car is a little sportier than the 1951 Commander Sedan. The original engine has been replaced with a Chevrolet 305 V-8, so the Studebaker purists don’t want the car. However, it would be easy to maintain and in my eyes is very sporty and unique.

But would a 6’5" guy fit in it?

Some guy around here has a Studie body that appears to be on a musclcar chassis. He’s got it pretty messed up, though, with hand-painted neon random stuff all over it. I think he was going for the hippie look.

For a big person, the Corvettes and muscle cars are probably the best bet. Many Americans are big, and this is taken into consideration when they are built. On a $30k budget, I would spend half of it on the car and save the rest of it for upgrades and repairs. If he really wants to be a kid again and wrench on the car and make upgrades, there is one heck of an aftermarket for the modular V8s in the Mustangs.

I vote Camaro SS. Of course it’s new. A few year old Mustang GT would be cheaper.

“But would a 6’5” guy fit in it?"

I’m 6’2" tall and have long legs. I’ve always found Studebakers had plenty of legroom for me. I’ve driven everything from the Studebaker Lark to the Studebaker Hawk. My dream car is a Studebaker Avanti.

When I was much younger, I thought I wanted an Austin Healy Sprite or the similar MG Midget. I was always able to shoehorn myself behind the wheel, but I was never in the position to purchase one. About 10 years ago, a local family owned dealer had an MG Midget that he advertised as a “mechanic’s special”. It needed a clutch and extensive rust repair, but was priced at only $700. I went down to look at the car and the two salemen were busy with customers. Their mother, who is the book keeper asked if she could help. I asked if it was o.k. if I sat in the MG. She said that I could and if I could get into the car, they might just give it to me. Well, I managed to get in. She came out and looked at me in the car and said “If you can’t get out, you will have to buy the car”. I almost had to buy the car. I realized at the point that MG Midgets and Austin Healy Sprites aren’t cars for geezers.

1998 to 2002 Corvette. Reasonably reliable, easy to get worked on, easy to get parts for.
Most of them were owned by middle aged fanatics who take anal type care of them. Most have low miles, as they were second or third vehicles.
I can easily sit my 6’5" frame in one once I get inside. Ingress and regress are the somewhat awkward part. Many guys are trading this generation in for the newest one and low mile very clean ones can be had for low to mid twenties.

Other than that, a Camaro SS or Hemi Challenger under warranty would be a good choice.

I didn’t get the impression from your post that this had to be a fast car or one known for handling like it’s on rails, so how about any Cadillac from the early '50s up to '74 ? Plenty of room for any size person, reliable as an anvil, fantastic driving manners in any road conditions or speeds, and surprisingly cheap compared to most “special” cars. Plus, these cars just exude class and style, no matter what year or model you choose (remember, I said prior to '74, that is !).