Which sports car are you? --  01/24/06

Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds says that he is a a Mazda RX8 -- He got his link to the quiz from Professor Bainbridge (who is a Porsche 911). I wasn't too sure about this quiz because I thoutht that I'd be more likely to be a Mazda RX8 myself, but then I realized that it was describing what kind of sports car I would be (if I were to be a sports car) rather than predicitng what sports car I would most like to own and drive.

I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

The trouble is, I tend to view the Corvette as a typical Detroit advertising fantasy -- over-priced and over-powered, designed to burn rubber when the light turns green, useful for going very fast in a straight line on an Interstate highway, a Viagra substitute for middle-aged middle-management types.

I kind of like that Mazda RX8. Actually, I even like the Mazda Miata MX5 (although I think it is probably too small for me to feel comfortable on roads clogged with cell-phone chatting morons behind the wheels of huge gas-guzzling SUVs).

My current car is a Toyota Corolla. Nothing sexy about that, just transportation that is economical, reliable, well-built, and enjoyable to drive. I've had a couple of Toyota Celicas -- nothing recent, I mean many years ago -- but Toyota has now dropped the Celica line and doesn't make anything even remotely sporty. Jill and Jeremy both love Honda Civics -- partly because it was sort of a first car for both of them (I had an old Honda Civic hatchback that I gave to Jill to drive when she was in high school and then Jeremy drove it for a couple of weeks when he first got his license) but also because they are really good cars. In fact, if I were to need a new car now, I might go for a Civic (although the Honda S2000 looks kind of interesting) rather than another Corolla... but that's a purely theoretical question because I figure I have years worth of driving left on my Corolla.

Of course if I were to follow the financial advice I got in the mail this week from a mortgage company, I could go right out and buy a new car with my monthly savings... I burst out laughing when I first read their letter -- and then I got a bit annoyed at their presumption that I could be the kind of moron that would fall for their pitch. Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corporation -- their letter head claims that they are "The Nations Largest Mortgage Broker" (which shows that they don't understand the possessive apostrophe). They say they have some good news for me -- they can save me more than twelve thousand dollars per year! Wow! What do I have to do? Well, all I have to do is take the outstanding balance on my current mortgage and refinance it as a thirty year mortgage. Hmmm, yeah, that would be a wonderful savings... except that would mean I'd be paying it off more more than twenty extra years and would end up paying far more than double the total amount I would have to pay. Duh.

But while I am thinking about financial things... [This only applies to U.S. residents.] Under federal law, you are entitled to a free credit report each year. That is one per year per credit bureau. Given that there are three big ones, that means you can get three free reports, one from each. The best way to do this (in my opinion) is to space your requests out every four months, picking a different credit bureau each time. That lets you keep track of your credit status on a regular basis and all for free. Naturally, these guys are in business and they will be happy to sell you extra reports and monthly credit monitoring services, etc. Also there are lots of companies out there equally eager to sell you their services in furnishing you with your credit reports (sometimes the first one is free). Ignore them. All you have to do is go to a Website that the big three credit reporting companies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) set up to handle requests for the legally required free credit reports. You can go there and pick one of the companies, get their report on your credit, then come back to that site in April and get your free report from the next company and then in September get your free report from the third one. Next January you can start over.

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