Spend Management in the Home: No Exotics, Please

As a Honda Odyssey driver -- OK, I'll admit my last three previous cars before it were BMWs -- I found it a bit hilarious to read last week in the Journal about how wrecking $150K+ exotic cars is becoming a hobby of sorts. According to the article (registration required), "In the past 18 months, drivers across the world have cracked up at least six rare $1 million Ferrari Enzos -- only 400 of which were built. In March, a California man rammed his $300,000 Lamborghini Murcielago into five parked cars; while in England, a 39-year-old driver caused an international stir among car enthusiasts by crashing a Bugatti Veyron -- an extremely rare $1.5 million turbocharged missile with a top speed of 253 miles per hour ... [And] on the way to an M.B.A. class near San Diego one recent morning, Nasar Aboubakare, a 40-year-old private-equity firm president, lost control of his new 550-horsepower Ford GT and wrenched it over a lane divider."

What's the lesson here? Guys and gals, why can't we just make do with the base Boxster or 911? They're both plenty fast. And if you buy them used, it's a wise Spend Management decision. Let some other idiot take the first two to three year depreciation hit, I say. And then scoop one up, head straight to a driving school, and hit the road. And don't forget to complete the Spend Management automotive program by buying a good radar detector (I prefer the Passport / Escort series, personally).

What are other good Spend Management bets in the fast -- but not crazy fast -- category? Personally, I believe that you can't go wrong with a used M3 or S4. With good tires, the S4 will even keep you planted on Storrow Drive in bad weather at 75 MPH. Unfortunately, this is not something I can claim for a good friend of mine in the Spend Management world who thought a tricked out Subaru WRX -- you know, the kind with the exhaust that sounds more like a fart and less like a piece of precision machinery -- would do the same trick.

Jason Busch

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