I have mostly driven a Toyota 4X4 truck. From 4-cylinder to 6-cylinder, long bed to short, it was the most reliable, economical and versatile vehicle for the snowy mountain region I call home. But that doesn't mean I haven't had others. From Cadillacs to full sized trucks, from TR-7's to Lexus Coupes, I've owned a lot of vehicles. There were a couple of dump trucks and 42-foot motor homes in the mix, too. I was beginning to think I had a wire loose somewhere, though. Aren't you supposed to have fond feelings your car? They were all just "rides", and nothing else. They just got me from point A to point B. They hauled my stuff.
That changed. I'm pretty tall, so when a guy bigger and taller than I got out of this low little sports car in a parking lot, I immediately grilled him on how he fit. He claimed it was right off the lot and his favorite car of all time. The trim said it was a Chrysler Crossfire. Besides being black, (which I think is the most stupid car color in history) I liked its looks. I called all my car geek buddies. "Buy it. I'm on my second one. They are fantastic, " they almost said in unison. After trying to buy a used one online, I discovered that it is hard to pry an owner's fingers off the wheel. They are loved and adopted, not owned. I finally found one in the back corner of a large dealership. It was two years on the lot, and a 2004 model. One test drive and I didn't care. It was white. I fit inside. It was on sale. In three days it was mine.
I've had it for two and a half years. I am getting 28 mpg out of the six cylinder engine, and it is the fastest, most comfortable ride of my life. I can't say enough about German car making (it's a Mercedes SLK on a Chrysler body). The ergonomics of the interior are superb (my first consideration, always). The mechanics of the engine and drive train are still genius. While I've heard of electrical problems in the years after, none of those has come up on this first model. After I had it painted to accent some body details, it still turns heads anywhere.
Repairs and maintenance have to be done at a dealership, but they seem to be everywhere. Like any sports car, maintenance is expensive. Parts are expensive. Tires are expensive (two different sizes and high performance). The good part is that the synthetic oil doesn't need replacing for 50, 000 miles. Tires get about 25, 000 miles before they need changing. The engine and air filtration system are almost sealed; dust storms and miles seem to slip right by with no ill effect.
It won't carry a dining room table or tow a boat, but other than that I have to give it the highest marks of any vehicle I've owned. Too bad Daimler and Chrysler can't work together. Looks like I'll have to make this a "classic" that I keep and, yes, love forever.