Dear Tom and Ray:
I'm hoping you can offer my boyfriend some insight. He currently has a beautiful BMW Z3, which he bought after his last girlfriend dumped him. He loves it. But we witnessed a horrible accident last week, which got him thinking about his mortality. He immediately resolved to get a bigger car. I suggested a Crown Victoria, as they are big and quite safe. They're also not very sexy (so as to discourage other women from looking at my perfect boyfriend, ha ha ha!). But he said he wouldn't be caught dead in one. He likes convertibles, and prefers to buy his cars new. What is a SAFE car, costing no more than about $35,000, that is sexy enough for my complicated boyfriend? -- Thanh
RAY: Well, nice try on the Crown Victoria, Thanh. You can accomplish the same thing (shielding him from other women) by having him get a really bizarre haircut, and then repeatedly assuring him that it looks really great. My brother's wife did that. But now, 25 years later, she can't convince him it was a hoax, so he's still sporting his Don King hairdo.
TOM: We have two thoughts about the car, Thanh. One is the BMW 325i Convertible.
RAY: It's closer to 40K than 35K once it's all said and done, but it's a hell of a lot safer than the little Z3. It also offers some of the same driving fun and handling that he probably likes in his BMW. So that's our first thought.
TOM: Our second thought is that you really ought to leave it up to him, and try not to impose your choice on him. In any good relationship, each person has things that are his or her own. And for guys, it's a good idea if a car is one of those things.
RAY: Right. If you force him into a Crown Vic or a Volvo (which he probably thinks is Swedish for Crown Vic) because you think it's safe or appropriate or whatever, and he hates it, he could end up resenting you every time he drives it. And then he'll end up dumping you, and YOU'LL have to buy a Z3. So keep that in mind. And good luck, Thanh.