I spend more time than I care to admit pawing through the Hemmings app. My desire for a vintage air-cooled 911 in a lurid hue is well documented. Unfortunately others in my age demographic share this desire, and the ballers among us have driven 911 prices through the roof. There are several other cars I'd like to own and that are within the reach of my relatively limited means. Foreshadowing for another episode of WWzD!
I've also considered buying a cheap but cool old car abroad--although many foreign cars are impossible to register in the US, once they are at least 25 years old you can import and register them legally. Now all the big-timers out there can get their 959s!
The ideal car would be good-looking (sorry all you homeless Lotus Europae out there), European (the entire impetus for availing myself of the 25 year rule), relatively uncommon in the US but plentiful abroad (so it's easy to get parts), convertible (natch--anyone who dislikes convertibles never owned one or simply has no soul), and cheaper than a Honda Accord (because I'm cheap).
That said, I always believed that the likelihood I would ever find something I would legitimately want to buy on Hemmings was barely more than zero. But then I found this 1978 Peugeot 504 convertible.
Only the French--those brilliant voluptuaries who brought us mayonnaise, brassieres, Laetitia Casta, champagne, tongue kissing, cabarets, fried shoestring potatoes, Bridget Bardot, foie gras, roulette, menages a trois, Catherine Deneuve, latex, bikinis, and the Statue of Liberty--could make something so aesthetically wonderful.
The proportions are fantastic and make ladies swoon. The front swells over the wheels and plunges down to meet the headlights, giving the front a serious and purposeful, but not overly/comically intimidating, mien. The front overhang is almost nonexistent. The interior is preposterously Gallic: the steering wheel has only two spokes (and they're at 3 and 9 o'clock for proper hand placement); none of the switches are labeled; the air vents are positioned so that they cannot possibly blow air on the driver or passenger; the most prominent control, other than the steering wheel and shifter, is the center-mounted cigarette lighter; and the windows appear to be raised and lowered via a knob (as opposed to a more practical crank).
According to this fool who also fell victim to the Peug's siren song, there are about a dozen 504 coupes and convertibles in the US. So this drop-top 504 ticks almost all the boxes. At 26500 Euros it's less than a fully loaded Accord, but it's still more than I'm willing to spend. Perhaps I should modify this particular requirement to a used-but-well-loved-and-maintained Honda Civic from the 20th century.
Further, I have no idea how much it will cost to get this beauty over here from the Netherlands. And my garage is too small to hold a car. And I wouldn't want to store this exposed to the elements in my driveway (which would be at max capacity with another car). And zwoman would not appreciate the expenditure (as opposed to saving up to remodel the kitchen or send zkids to college). A man has to have dreams though.
PS: I hope you enjoy the 6th day of the 9th month!