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The perfect two cars – at least for us

September 27, 2008

Land Rover Defender and the Smart fortwo are the perfect cars for my household. One car that can hold haul more than 2 people plus stuff and the fun, fuel efficient car for everyday running. We have always had one car that was practical and one that wasn’t. I have the practical 2000 Chrysler Neon and my husband has the 1973 Jeep DJ5 postal jeep that doesn’t have doors or a roof. I love my reliable Neon with it’s 160k miles and 8 1/2 years on it. I expect to have it for a few more years to go. But when or if it’s time is over I will get a Smart Car.

I have been in love with the Smart fortwo since 1999 when I first saw this one parked facing out of a parallel space in London (see photo). I test drove one in 2006 and was surprised how similar it felt to driving my Neon. Only when I looked back to change lanes do you realize how short it is. It’s comfortable and sits a little higher than the Neon which is nice for visibility. It doesn’t get quite the mpg that I would hope for with it being so small but it does well.

My husband is in love with the Land Rover Defender. He learned how to drive on one in England at Boy Scout Camp. They are practically indestructible and just awesome looking. Old classic vehicles have only 2 reasons to not be on the road. First, we stop putting gas in cars. Second, the previous owners haven’t done any preventative maintenance. Everyone who stops, steps back, takes a look, crosses their arms and just thinks for a minute can do most work needed on an old car. Gas mileage may not be 30 mpg, but then again you can replace your radiator for $250 instead of $800 on a new car. You get in a fender bender…fine the new car that hit you suffers $5,000 dollars of damage and you might need to cough up $100 for a new metal bumper and $8 for a can of black spray paint. Oh well. Besides, there’s nothing like taking a spray hose to the inside of your car to clean it out. So satisfying. As an afterthought, have you ever tried replacing a fan belt on a new car? Yeah, not gonna happen… With a nice old classic, it’ll set you back $10 and 5 minutes. Nice.

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