I was a muscle car kid in high school. I wanted no car more than an LS6 ‘70 Chevelle.

A few years later, I bought my first BMW, a sand-colored 1969 1600. It was slow, but more important than its speed, I was pretty sure that my dad and I could keep it on the road. My friends made jokes about it. Back then, people weren’t as excited to see an old BMW on the road. My cousins asked me why I didn’t just buy a new car. My answer was purely financial. I mean, I liked having an older, simpler car, but the primary reason for ownership was financial feasibility. Old German cars were reliable and fixable.

I slowly began to appreciate it. The little box handled better than my brother’s Camaro, despite only having one tiny sway bar and being 23 years older. It also had more legroom.

Now, I fully love stupid cars. Show winning, perfect restorations? Not for me. Exotic supercars? I’m sure their owners enjoy them. Dragstrip-ready American muscle? Not my thing. Give me a tiny four-cylinder or, even better, a worn-out beater with terrible paint and a charismatic German six-cylinder with enough moxie to make it across the country to help me get my kids to school and daycare without a hiccup. Headliner be damned.