Lance's Cars

Those in bold are current

1973 VW 412. This is a same model/year/color likeness to the first car I ever drove. It was my parentís car (never mine), but it had some history. I took it up to 93mph and got cold feet when the rear end started bouncing around. I almost rolled it on the side of a dirt hill I tried to 4-wheel on. Please donít tell my parents J. It created many dust clouds as first 2 of my older brothers, then I practiced donuts anywhere we could.

1979 Mazda RX7. This is another likeness Ė same model/year/color, of the 1st car I ever partly owned. This was the first year the RX7 was made. My brother bought it brand new for $10k, and he was $400 short of the down payment. I lent the money on condition he would share driving the car with me. I was a senior in high school and had two near mishaps in this one. A friend suggested we take a detour so we could test the car around a hairpin turn. I wasnít familiar with the curve, but was very confident. He begged me to slow down, but I refused to use the brakes. I figured he had no idea how well the car handled. Well, it was in a residential area with cars parked on the curb. It was quite a bit tighter than I expected, and there was a little gravel to deal with. However, the car drifted with full composure around the turn and came no closer than many inches (3-4; he would swear it was 1-2) from bumping any of the parked cars. I was as surprised as my friend we were so lucky. Another close call was during a speed run (again, showing off), when a 50-ton dirt mover pulled into the middle of the road. I slammed the brakes and slid sideways to within 10-feet of disaster! Later, my other brother (not the one who owned the car) side swiped a cliff with it right after his girlfriend told him what a great driver he was Ė all her fault J.

1972 Mercury Marquis Station Wagon. This is a same model/year likeness of the first car I ever fully owned. Mine was yellow with wood grain sides (can you tell I drew the wood on this photo?). This car was tough. I ran it many miles with no/zip/zero oil until it started to ping a little. I was no friend to car motors. I hit a deer on the Raton pass with this car and it was hard to see any damage Ė on the car that is. I tried to avoid him, but he ran in front of me at the last second.

1971 VW Bus (Casper). This is the 2nd car I ever owned. Can it be called a car? This is the car I learned to work on. I drove/pushed it without a clutch cable in Houston rush hour traffic once. The first time the starter went bad, I couldnít afford a replacement, so I learned how to push start it every day for a few weeks. I got to where I could push start it by myself within a space of only 4-5 feet! Oh yeah, thatís me in the photo - with hair even. I was a full time musician at the time (1983). With 50 horses, I was very popular each day after leaving work at Compaq in this car as it pulled ever so slowly up the hill out of the parking lot. Everyone would honk and wave as they drove by. I was too busy pedaling to notice what they were waving

1987 Mitsubishi Cargo Van (behind the Camry). The Mitsubishi was the 1st brand new vehicle I ever owned. It had no AC and I drove it in Houston for 11-years. I didnít get too many repeat dates while this was my only car J, but I had no fears of theft or vandalism.
1998 Toyota Camry. The Camry did have AC. I took this up to 110mph once, but it felt too sloshy to push it any faster. It didnít feel safe at speed. Itís the first car I ever drove over 100mph though. It got egged and oiled its first Halloween and the paint never looked the same.

2003 Acura TL. This car was awesome. Its handling seemed to defy physics after me being used to driving the sloshy Camry. It was also very comfortable, and great for long trips. However, it didnít like the altitude and lost its grunt when I moved to the mountains. We just traded it for a new MINI this year. Thatís my brother walking and his son in the car. We took it for a trip up the California coast through the Redwoods. That was some fun. The huge trees and California mist made me feel like I was driving through some fantastic fictional story. This car was well composed at speed. I drove it close to 120 and it didnít feel at all nervous. I could have gone quite a bit faster, but I didnít want to go over the speed limit. Well, not by too much, you never know when a little pot hole or wily rabbit will pop out and just ruin your day!

2007 Toyota 4-Runner. This is the first car we bought after getting married. My wife had a 2-runner that did pretty bad in the snow, so we traded it for this true 4-wheel drive model. It doesnít have much history yet. It has a little worse gas-mileage than I had expected.

2007 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (B2). We bought this so I might be invited to join the car guy club! Actually, I had considered buying a C5 vette in 2002, but opted to go to school full time instead. However, after seeing the C6, I could no longer resist! This is not a car, itís a race car! The engine getís really loud at >6K rpm, however, itís not as loud as the howling wind when driving 140mph with the windows open. B2 is named after a dog I had. She loved to run, but died before I had a chance to buy a house with a yard big enough for her. Thatís my cute wife smiling in the passenger seat!

2008 Mini Cooper S. Driving this car is FUN FUN FUN. And the gas mileage is easy on the wallet too. I think it will see many more track days than B2, just because of the cost of replacing tires on the vette. Thatís me at my first autocross. Itís more my wifeís car, but I like it too! We wished we wouldíve rented one of these when we drove for 3-weeks on Irelandís twisty little roads.