10 March 2017

Facebook Answer of the Week: These ‘midlife crisis’ cars will cure what ails you

Hey, friend. Do you find yourself overreacting to your medical issues? Do you look at your peers and measure your life against theirs? Are you coloring your hair? Exercising? Spending more time with the younger generation, hoping their youthful exuberance somehow rubs off on you?

Sounds like you’re in the midst of a midlife crisis! But don’t fret. We have just the thing for you, and it doesn’t require cosmetic surgery.

Corvette or 911? Muscle or luxury? New or classic? Take your pick. We asked our Facebook audience, “What’s the ultimate midlife crisis car?” You offered plenty of suggestions to cure what ails us.

There was some discussion of exactly what the term “midlife crisis car” really means. Tony Martin suggested, “Corvette is the classic choice, but I would say any of those lil’ Hondas or (Toyota) Scions, all dressed in things that make them look faster but are mostly cosmetic. Oh, and any convertible.” Yung Vadim’s disapproval was swift: “Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements (RICE) are found on youngsters’ cars who can’t buy a fast car. That’s not a midlife crisis car. A Maserati or Mercedes would be one.” For Brian Lane, a midlife crisis car is “any driver project car,” and he included a photo of Volkswagen pickup. Ted Schoenling was picking up what Brian was laying down. “For me it would be something I could work on and enjoy. Say … a 1949–53 Chevy 3100 pickup truck.”

Neil Helfgot definitely put some thought into it. “I’d go with a Porsche Boxster / Mazda Miata / Chevrolet Corvette of some sort. Don’t get me wrong, (they’re) all awesome cars in their own right — but they kind of have a stigma attached as well.”

Without a doubt, the Chevrolet Corvette was mentioned more than any other car. From Mike Sherwood’s “Easy — a C3, C4, C5 or C6 Corvette” to Albert Anderson’s definitive “Everyone knows it’s a ’Vette,” it seems America’s Sports Car has earned a reputation as the go-to choice of middle-aged men. [And before you label that as sexist, know this: not a single woman participated in the conversation, let alone nominated a Corvette.]

Giovanni De Cicco has a picture in his mind of exactly what a midlife crisis car looks like and it’s a “white Corvette convertible with blood red interior.” John A. Hajeski can certainly relate. He included a photo of his white C3 convertible with blood-red interior and admitted, “LOL. Just picked this up at auction two weeks ago! Here in Florida we don’t need no stinking top up!” Bill Swiss tried not to paint with such a wide brush: “Depends on your age. For me it was a mid-year Corvette — a blue ’67 two-top four-speed.” And while Ryan Phelps proposed a Corvette, he added a little spice to the conversation by suggesting a custom job with an “IROC G-body.”

Even while nominating another car, Reggie Horning gave a nod to the ’Vette. “Growing up, I watched a lot of my friends’ dads buy 1970s C3 Corvettes, so for most guys that seems to be the car,” he wrote. “But my midlife crisis car will be a Supercharged Street Rod. Something like the fenderless ’32 Ford Coupe with blown 455 Buick Stage 2 engine that was legendary in the Flint, Mich., back in the ’80s. One night a bunch of us were hanging out and saw that thing line up against a ’69 Camaro, and when the owner dropped the hammer that coupe shot like a lightning bolt! Tires smoking, blower whining, just screaming through the side exhaust. It was like Zeus came down from Mt. Olympus as that Stage 2. That’s what I want — only Pontiac powered!”

Porsche was nominated multiple times, as was Ford Mustang — both classic and modern. “The purchase of my ’68 Mustang convertible four days before I turned 60 is purely coincidental,” Ken Thompson wrote. “That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!” Steve Hedke posted a photo of the red 2016 Mustang that he bought for his my wife on her 60th birthday. It was definitely a case of delayed gratification. “She had to give up her Grabber Orange ’70 302 because the car seat was tough to use 35 years ago.” Then he added, “She picked the color.”

Chris Clark wowed us with photos of his Shelby GT350 and Shelby Cobra, and Tony Bueti followed suit with a pic of his sweet 1964 Pontiac Catalina 2+2. Other classic nominations of note: David D. Aunchman Jr. chose a 1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am Formula 455, Dave Gershon picked a 1989 20th Anniversary Pontiac Turbo Trans Am, Stephen Pelletier went with a third-generation Chevrolet Camaro and Roger Carter III picked a 1956 Jaguar XK 140 MC.

Focusing on newer models, Joseph Jerome Pennington wavered between an American muscle car and a Swedish sports car: “Either the 707-hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat or the new Koenigsegg.” On the other hand, James Harrington, Duane Dolan and Bryce Bud Butler couldn’t have been any more decisive. James picked a 2008 Pontiac G8 Firehawk; Duane posted a photo of a 1991 GMC Syclone pickup he purchased on his 50th birthday; and Bryce nominated a 2012–14 FPV GT — “the one you Americans will never get!” Hey, Bryce, your Aussie is showing.

If only we could all have Drew Dunn’s attitude. He posted a photo of a yellow fifth-gen Camaro SS, and described “midlife crisis” differently than most: “Less of a crisis and more like mid-life fun!”

And no surgery required.

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