As much as we’d love to have a vast collection, most car lovers can’t afford, maintain, store, or look after a bunch of cars. Life and income limits many of us to two cars, which inspired this week’s challenge, the two-car solution. We set a generous budget of $40,000 to find the perfect pairing to suit all of our needs wants.
Regular viewers will notice that contributor Jonathon Ramsey isn’t on the show this week. Stranded by a shattered windshield in a small-town hotel without decent WiFi means we don’t get to see what sort of unhinged two-car collection he would’ve gathered. So, we invited back Luke Sellenraad, a C/D staffer and now GM-employee. Sellenraad chooses a 2003 S2000 and a 2010 Lexus GX460. We could see Ramsey choosing both of those, but probably not at the same time.
Road & Track’s newest staffer, John Pearley Huffman who rarely reads the challenges and believed the budget to be $30,000, selects two low-mileage Mazdas with manual transmissions. His fun car is a 2006 NC-generation Miata, while his practical choice is the slower-than-slow CX-5 manual. Pearley admits to never having driven the CX-5 with a manual, which leads the rest of the crew to try to warn him about how slow the things are. We also bring up the body roll of the early NCs, but in typical Pearley fashion, he dismisses all of our concerns.
Senior editor Joey Capparella follows Pearley down Miata way. However, Capparella’s 2016 Miata is ten years newer and while we can’t fault the vehicle choice, the price seems quite high for a five-year-old Miata with 50,000 miles. To balance his two-seater, Capparella selects a 2011 Acura TSX Wagon that draws respect, but we wish the wagon had been offered with the TSX sedan’s manual gearbox.
By the time deputy testing director K.C. Colwell’s choices are revealed, we almost expect to see a two-seater as his “play” car. Colwell presents his Japanese-market 1995 Toyota High-Ace pickup first, leading some of us to think it’s his fun choice, but his enthusiast choice is actually a garnet-red 2008 Lexus IS-F. His 416-hp V-8-powered sedan might not have a manual, but Colwell expects it to outlive everyone else’s choices.
Last to present is deputy editor and host Tony Quiroga who opens with a rust-free but slightly ratty 1988 Mitsubishi Montero two-door manual similar to the four-door Montero we compared back in 1991. Pearley believes he sees rust in the radio, which is as ridiculous as that sounds. The remaining $33,000 of the $40,000 budget goes to a fine-looking 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 convertible that looks pleasingly original, but the choice gains no traction with the rest of the shoppers. Pearley, with zero evidence, seems to think that the 911 is a scam. Lots of laughs in this one, but hopefully Ramsey will get a new windshield installed before we record next week.
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Source: Motor - aranddriver.com