How About this for Tawn’s New Car?

We’re driving a Nissan Cefiro, what in the US was basically the Infiniti I30, which is approaching a dozen years old.  While it has held up pretty well other than a few cosmetic scrapes and scratches, it is starting to show its age and has required more frequent visits to the mechanic for various small problems.  The signs are clear: sometime in the next two years or so it will be time to buy a car.

Of course, major purchases are often the source of potential conflicts in a relationship.  Different styles, different expectations, different buying habits, etc. all influence what each person thinks is the right purchase.  So over the next few months as we start the process of thinking about what car might be the right fit for us, I’ll share our thoughts on the blog.  That way you can get some insight into how we think about these things.

Tawn’s expressed his interest in a “statement” car, something that reflects his personality and sense of style.  Of course, you might correctly imagine that I’m looking at things from a much more practical perspective.  But let’s not delve into those depths quite yet.  Let’s just keep things fun.


A few weeks back we were at the local car wash and there was this convertible for sale.  It is a Sunbeam Alpine Series IV, a beautiful British car from the mid-1960s.  If there was anything that would work for Tawn, this would be it – except for the fact that it is a convertible and Tawn is not a fan of the sun!

What do you think?  Could you see us driving amongst the rice paddies of central Thailand in this?  The red color would certainly look nice against the lush green of the paddies!  Of course, the reality is we’d be sitting stuck in traffic in Bangkok, breathing the fumes.


0 thoughts on “How About this for Tawn’s New Car?

  1. Oh, this. This is lovely. I’m a big fan of 60’s British autos (especially the Aston Martins). I think this would be a perfect car for Tawn. I’m a hardcore car-guy. I think of people in relation to their cars, and I think this is SO him.You could always look for a hardtop convertible.I might be thinking very American here, and even more Californian… but it’s not normal for households to have more than one vehicle there is it? The reason I ask is because I have “fun” cars and I have “practical” cars. Meaning, I drive a little Toyota Corolla around because it’s good on gas and zippy and generally economical. I also drive a Toyota Sienna which I use for cargo hauling (which I do very often). I also drive a “fun” sports car very rarely, because while cars like this Sunbeam are fun to drive, they’re quite weary to drive on a daily basis. I used to have an old 66 Mustang Fastback, and while that thing was awesome, driving it around all the time was plain uncomfortable.

  2. Nice looking car but the tropical sun (and the traffic as you mentioned), rain, Songkran might all prove to be challenges. I’m not sure if some of those older British cars are reliable – parts might also be difficult to find. If highway speed isn’t a big deal for you folks – maybe a Kia Soul? It’s kinda boxy but practical.

  3. that’s a great looking classic. go for it! on second thought, maybe you should talk to a british car mechanic and see how reliable these things are first…

  4. “major purchases are often the source of potential conflicts in a relationship. “LOL – creating drama? :)RYC: Things are good, thanks. I hope to get some good posts lined up on xanga once again. I don’t write if I don’t have anything good to write about!

  5. Love the color and that would be a great fit for Tawn. Convertibles for us solarphobes are not a very good fit however. Can’t they figure out a car that has that dash and style of a convertible without getting sunburned? arg!

  6. Naaah!! Have seen a lot of British cars fall apart after 2 years. Tawn needs something dependable, that would give him many years of service. Convertible or not,  think I have to go with my gut feelings against British cars. Been burnt too often.

  7. It looks fun and I could picture him driving with a scarf flying with the breeze!Although I have to confess I would expect Tawn to seek a “designer edition” car with LV interiors!

  8. The color is right but I don’t think Tawn would be happy with a leaking ragtop and having to hoof it when it breaks down on the way to the floating market. I’ve never understood the “statement car” nor the car as an extension of self. To me the car is a tool to move me from one place to another. Then again I’ve only owned cars that were practical, economical, dependable, and durable. Case in point – the 91Honda Civic in the driveway, the 94 Geo Prism and 04 Pontiac Vibe in the garage… so far the two oldest are on their 2nd engines but running great. I figure another 2 years and the Honda will be able to legally by beer.

  9. Cool colour, I can totally imagine Tawn driving this as a weekend car! But for a daily car, I’m pretty sure you would go for a Japanese automobile. Speaking of cars, I saw a Banana yellow Lotus Esprit parked at the old cinema in Siam Square one day, what a sight! Minis and Bimmers are quite sporty cars and are quite popular in Krunthep, right? Where did Tawn get his blue colour shoes? They look pretty good!

  10. @arenadi – Good questions, Michael.  Cars are still very expensive here.  Ones made within ASEAN are roughly 15-20% more expensive than comparable cars in the US.  Imports (which is everything but the tiny cars and pickups) are often about 100% more expensive than US prices, so people still don’t buy multiple cars most of the time.  Based on where we live in the city, we could really survive without a car.  Tawn’s parents are in a location that makes it convenient to have a car, but given the expense, I just can’t see the need to have more than one car.  Maybe one of these days…@ElusiveWords – I’m actually a big fan of the Toyota Yaris.  I think it has a really cool design for a small car.  Highway speed is irrelevant because almost the only time we’re at that speed is on the way to/from the airport.  Other than that, it is stop and go, rarely above 30 mph.@CurryPuffy – Minis are very popular among the rich set and cost north of $80,000 for the base-line model.  I would love one.  They’re cute.  But not at that price.@murisopsis – My first (and only) new car was a 94 Civic and I loved it.  It was so reliable and fun.  I sold it only because I was living in San Francisco and didn’t really need a car anymore.@TheLatinObserver – Sure, but those are so hard to find locally!  Ha ha…@ElusiveWords – We haven’t really had that discussion.  We’re still at least a year from really entering the true car-buying phase so we can still just have fun.@M_1 – Oh, there’s the “R” word!  Reliability.  @yang1815 – Probably new because there’s not a very reliable system for evaluating used cars.@secade – Well, even if you don’t drive you have the passenger’s perspective, so your thoughts count, too.@ZSA_MD – I’m hearing that a lot.@stebow – Perhaps a convertible that comes with an awning?@chrispycrunch – Not at all, just laying the foundation for a larger story arc. Ha ha…@iskrak – @Chatamanda – That’s two votes in favor.

  11. @christao408 – $80,000 for a mini! No wonder the car salesmen are touting for long term monthly payments to attract buyers during a car show somewhere in Krungthep I attended a few years ago! I believe Toyatas and Hondas in general are more reliable under the constant scrutiny of hot climate.

  12. It’s absolutely beautiful. Tawn is perfect for the car. However, having been in Bangkok and driven the road of various town, I would prefer a volvo.

  13. Pat’s dream has ALWAYS been a classic Corvette convertible…RED please!!! Of course I can see the two of us trying to ease in and out of one of those now….heheheh. We had to go for “practical” over “statement” when we had a growing family, we had to have enough room for hauling all of the softball equipment to the tournaments, so no sporty convertibles for us. I can just see Tawn riding in that little red job….teach him to love the sun!!! Ruth Ann

  14. Well, if that auto is as good looking and as in good a shape under the hood as it is above….why not go for it? We owned a Sunbeam years ago….but it was an electric lawn mower, so I know nothing about the auto!I attended a program last night at the university here all about Thailand presented by a professor who is a Thai native and 3 Thai students whom he mentors. We also met 4 other new students from Thailand who had just recently arrived at the university. It was interesting learning about the history, religion, food, climate, etc. It was a joint program by the International Women’s group and my AAUW group. If I ever get to travel there, I will go toward the end of the year in November or December!

  15. OH yes the two of you would look wonderful in that beautiful bright red convertable.  You two would look might snazzy in that car.  Red is such a energetic filled color.  Hope you and he buy it and enjoy it.

  16. ha ha ha stuck in traffic. And I heard is really hard to park in Thailand. You got to have skills to park. I am from Indonesia, I think I am good in Parking but I am not sure I will pass parking in Thailand.

  17. that nissan you drove me to floating market? ehem, i am so proud of myself being one of the passengers =p next 2yrs? i might be in bangkok… hohohoho it’s my turn again 🙂

  18. i’m practical when it comes to cars too.  my husband dreams big but in actuality he & i are on the same page.  with that said though, i like the british car and looks perfect next to tawn.

  19. Well, why not get a new Jag in Racing Green. It should have a/c and you can switch off the external air supply if you are stuck in traffic. Alternatively, an Audi A3.

  20. @lcfu – Yes, same one. We’ll see if it is still around on your next visit.@vsan79 – Really? I can’t imagine what is difficult about the parking here. What have you heard about it?@styx_site –  I noticed there was no price sticker on it and the manager of the car wash didn’t know the price. One of those, “if you have to ask…” things.@Gma_Joyce –  I have a Sunbeam blender! Let’s hope the car runs better. As for a trip to Thailand, November through February are pretty pleasant months. Rainy season – late Summer – is actually pretty nice, too. Just don’t visit in March or April or May!@TheCheshireGrins –  But your hair would match the car color. How cool would that be?@yang1815 –  I don’t think the Cube is sold here; haven’t seen any.@Redlegsix –  Why not get something fun now that you’re past the hauling softball equipment around phase?@amygwen –  A Volvo or perhaps a Sherman tank!

  21. I NEED A NEW CAR TOO! My car is going to die within the next few months I think. I’ve been going over assessing future vehicles too. Thoughts about practicality, fuel economy, overall value, future worth, “style”, and what current dealers are offering have kept me busy these days. I don’t know…my “fun” car is leaning towards a Mini Cooper Clubman, “practical” is either the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid or the VW CC. I get so sick of going over all these figures though. I HATE the car buying process. Is it a better experience in Thailand? I hate haggling…

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