On Episode #53 of the Driving While Awesome podcast, our friend Art sat down with us to discuss...cars. He has owned a lot of cool cars and he's into photography, so we had him right a little blog post for DWA.
Words and Pictures by Art Cervantes
Whether it is teaching you how to contort in ways you never knew possible while changing out a busted heater core or being the catalyst for a lifelong relationship with a dear friend, the cars we own have a huge impact on our lives. And not unlike our human relationships, they can enrage us, give us moments of great pleasure, and inevitably, one will break our heart. I recently had the privilege of sharing (part) of my car ownership history on DWA podcast #53. With around 60 cars under my belt, it was a bit tough choosing the standout cars on the fly. One car had to make the list, not only because it is where my journey as a lifelong gearhead began, but because it was indeed a standout car.
My first car was a 1971 BMW 2002 with a "Nevada" exterior over a tannish-brown interior. In retrospect, the car needed everything redone. Every bushing and rubber component was completely shot, there was rust in the rocker panels, hood, trunk, front valence, etc. It did have solid shock mounts and the battery tray was in great shape though! That being said, it is still the only car I wish I still had. It would have been great to completely restore that thing and make her everything I wanted her to be back then. It would have been cool to re-live the stupid crap I did as a kid with, and in, that car haha! As romantic as it all sounds though, I let my little Bimmer go and moved on, just like I did my first love (talking about a girl now). I learned a ton tinkering on that thing and it was a perfect low power RWD car to learn how to tackle twisties in without killing myself. She was the perfect foundation for every other car in my life. I will not divulge too much more here about this 2002 or the other cars pictured below. Check out podcast #53 to hear more about my rides and a bunch of other random car convo with the DWA dudes!
1971 BMW 2002
Below is the only pic I have of my first car. Note that the trunk lid is not quite the same color as the rest of the car. I replaced the rusted out original with a white one and primered it the closest to Nevada tan I could find at the local hardware store :) It will perpetually annoy me that I didn't straighten out that stupid trim clip. I think it is definitely a representative "snapshot" (get it?) of me as a 17 year old photographer and car owner. Both my main hobbies to this day.
1996 Acura GSR
I have no idea how my 96 GSR was never stolen. Oh wait, it had a quick release (steering wheel), clutch lock, kill switch, and alarm system. She had a ton of goodies under the hood, a fully decked out suspension, and was the closest I ever got to an Integra Type R. The only thing I miss about owning this car is the sound of that VTEC equipped B18C at 8,000rpm.
2000 Honda Civic CX
Ah, this sexy beast. Another very thefty car, my 2000 Civic CX. Very lightweight base model with a ton of sexy goodies. No joke, I had an ugly black polyester seat cover I would put over the Recaro SRD when I parked the car on the street at night.
1991 Mazda Miata
Sadly, I don't have a pic of my first Miata. The images of that car died with my first photobucket and corresponding hotmail account . The one pictured here was my 3rd NA MX-5, a 1991 A package car with an LSD. I had an absolute blast in this car. She was the first Miata I autocrossed and it was a car that taught me a ton about the NA chassis.
1999 Mazda Miata
This was the last Miata I owned and definitely my favorite. She was a desirable 1999 Popular Equipment Package (PEP) car that included the very essential Torsen LSD. The NB chassis has all the lovely nimbleness of the NA chassis in a faster more refined package.
1995 BMW 325is
The Black Beast! A 1995 325is with extensive track centric mods. She was a hoot, albeit a bit over the top as a daily driver.
1995 BMW E36 M3
Driving my 1995 E36 M3 after owning a race prepped e36 was an eye opening experience. I was super impressed by how well balanced these cars are (fairly) stock! You got all the connectedness and pure balanced handling of the E30 M3 in a much sturdier package. Oh, and a WAY better/faster steering rack.
Volkswagen Corrado VR6
I always wanted a VR6 Corrado and I was amped to find such a well kept example. Owning this car however, was the beginning of the end for me and FF cars. That big 12V VR6 sound tho!
Fast, comfortable, and compact. My 135i was the perfect city car/commuter for me. It took me over a year to find the color and option combo I was looking for--black on black , no navi and 6spd manual.
BMW E30 M3
My E30 M3. Gorgeous car, but just turned out to be the wrong setup for me. I had a vision involving an S50B30/32 swap in this car as it already had an OBD1 6cyl under the hood. However, the more I drove the car, the more I realized that this chassis was greatly disrupted by the longer, heavier 6. If I get another one in the future, she will remain a 4cyl. Likely a beastly S14 build...or F22C (*dive for cover!).
1997 Porsche 993 C2
And my favorite car to date. My gorgeous 1997 993 C2 equipped with a 6spd manual, LSD, and that glorious VarioRam aircooled flat 6 out back. So stoked to own this well kept example in the exact color combo I wanted. Truly my favorite 911 body style of them all.