Fathers tend to help shape our opinions about cars, good or bad. Those sentiments tend to stay with us the rest of our lives. Yet when Father's Day rolls around what do we usually end up getting them? Probably something dull like a tie or aftershave or, if he's lucky, maybe some golf balls.
How about getting dad a gift he'll really remember this year? In honor of the approaching paternal holiday here are five cars for sale on AutoTrader.com with solid connections to fathers. Some are for sale by dads, some are for dads and some used to belong to dad. Regardless of the circumstances, we think your old man will likely appreciate any one of them more than another bottle of Old Spice.
1991 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur
Rick Howe's Stepfather was a real car buff. For proof look no further than this stellar 1991 Rolls Royce as an indication of his love of fine motorcars.
"He was a true car guy," Howe said.
As a Jaguar dealer who also worked in real estate, this Rolls is just one of the many different cars Howe's stepfather owned. At one time his collection even included a rare 1939 Bugatti. But he didn't use the Rolls as a daily driver, instead preferring to save it for special occasions.
"He never rode in it everyday to work. It was a Saturday afternoon kind of thing," Howe said.
Howe said the family lived in Gainesville, Fla., located in the center of the state, and occasionally the car would be used for something like a trip to the coast for dinner. But other than that it stayed close to home, which actually is a real selling point for a Florida car.
"It was always in dry storage in the middle of the state. There is no corrosion. It's always been kept in a no salt environment," he said.
Currently the Rolls is stored along with some of Howe's other cars, and an antique Stearman Biplane, in a hangar at a local airport.
Howe says he has mixed emotions about selling the car after it has been in the family for such a long time, but he no longer has room for the car in his collection. But he still adheres to his Stepfather's rigorous maintenance schedule.
"I still take it in for regular service and I drive it every month. It is maintained continuously and is a great running car," Howe said.
1995 Acura NSX-T
Most of us at some time or another have tried to convince our dad to buy something, usually with less than successful results. Whether it's a candy bar or a new baseball glove, most Dads can usually be counted on to keep their wallet in their pocket. But Matt Bernhardt, who should be a hero to sons everywhere, managed to convince his dad to buy a mid-engined super car.
"I talked him into it," Bernhardt says referring to the purchase of this highly collectible Acura NSX.
Father and son both enjoy working on cars as a hobby having restored more than a few muscle cars together, including three classic Pontiac GTOs.
But to be totally honest Bernhardt says his father also might have been swayed by the NSX's performance reputation, as well as its dependable Honda pedigree.
"It's the most reliable sports car you can buy," he said.
His father eventually sold the NSX to a friend, but a few years later Bernhardt bought it back. He has owned it for the last 6 years. Under his care the car has had many performance upgrades and tasteful customizations.
The engine has a Comptech Supercharger and headers as well as a lightweight exhaust. New Bilstein shocks, Tein S-Tech springs and thicker anti-sway bars have improved the handling of what was already a high-performance machine. Brand new Dunlop Z-rated tires are mounted on custom bronze Volk Monoblock wheels. Bernhardt says the modifications have all been subtle though, and the car is as "honest" as they come.
"If you are looking for an NSX this is the one. There are no secrets with this car," he said.
The Acura has just slightly over 70,000 miles, which is considered low for a car of this type, and Bernhardt says he has seen several other examples used as daily drivers that are still going strong with more than 300,000 miles.
With a little luck maybe you can convince your dad to buy it for you.
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
The heavy mantle of fatherhood brings about a lot of changes in life, not the least of which concerns your choice of vehicle. Take this customized 2010 Camaro SS. Gorgeous though it may be, it's not exactly designed to easily address the needs of a growing family.
"It's not made for toddlers," says the car's current owner, who prefers to go by just "Kain."
Kain recently became a father for the first time. He quickly found that the demands and requirements of being a dad made owning a Camaro, and specifically loading a child into a child safety seat in the back, not exactly practical.
"You really just can't do it," Kain said.
This Camaro is the latest project in a long line of modified vehicles he has worked on customizing, and the new owner of this car will benefit both from Kain's experience and understated approach to customization.
"I've modified everything I've ever owned, be it a tricycle or a bicycle. It's what I do," he said.
But he always maintains a high level of taste and decorum when working on a project, and this car is no exception.
"It's tastefully done. Some guys will go over the top with the stripes and things but this car appeals to younger and older people," he said.
Kain says that he looked for a while before he found the exact orange exterior and black interior color combination. He usually tends to avoid more muted hues.
"Sports cars to me should have some color," Kain said.
He claims the car is a "head turner" and that wherever he parks the Camaro "teenagers to old guys" start taking pictures of the car with their cell phone cameras.
The car was professionally lowered with Eibach springs and has 22-inch matte black Donnington rims. All of the chrome has been refinished in matte back as well, which combined with the window tinting gives what Kain refers to as look of "mystery."
The car has an upgraded intake and exhaust system as well.
For those of you not blessed/burdened by the responsibilities of being a father this Camaro could be a bargain.
"Why spend all your money on a new car when you can buy this one, where the work is already done," Kain said.
2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8
What car says "dad" more than a station wagon? Arguably the minivan perhaps, but to be honest soccer moms have long since taken over that marketing demographic in the minds of the public. For many, big, powerful and usually Detroit-built station wagons have an unmistakable fatherly vibe, and few, if any, were more powerful than Dodge's mighty Magnum SRT8.
Wendy Rosasco's father once owned a 1957 Chevrolet Nomad at what was most likely the height of station wagon cool. And when he saw this Magnum he thought it looked familiar.
"When they came out it brought back memories. It reminded him of a car he had once before," Rosasco said.
The car is "loaded" as my dad used to say. Rosasco's Father bought the car new in 2006 and it has nearly every option available at the time save two. It lacks only the rear backup sensors and the backseat DVD players. This makes perfect sense when you realize that the SRT8 package was more about performance than watching movies while the family truckster droned on to some picturesque vacation destination like the Mitchell Corn Palace.
Dodge did not design the Magnum SRT8 as a standard grocery getter. It was built with a 370 cubic inch V8 producing 420 horsepower and 420 foot-pounds of torque, and is capable of going from zero to 60 miles per hour in right around 5 seconds. The right kind of car for a man Rosasco said was a long time aficionado of performance autos.
Besides his 1957 Nomad Rosasco says her Dad owned several sports cars in his lifetime including a 1966 Porsche 356 and a 1973 BMW 2002.
"He really was a car guy," she said.
Rosasco says she has been driving the Dodge very little since her father passed away and the car, with less than 28,000 miles, it is still in very nice condition and a "blast" to drive.
"The car is very powerful. If you like to go fast it's the car for you," Rosasco said.
2005 Dodge Dakota 4x4 Extended Cab Laramie
Pretty much everyone knows the legend of the "little old lady" who only drove her car to church on Sunday. This loaded 2005 Dodge Dakota has a similar tale, but in this case it was a dad behind the wheel.
This seller in Shorewood, Ill., a small village west of Joliet, is offering his father's truck for sale and it's a one-owner car purchased new as a 2005 model. The "only driven on Sunday's" story seems to hold true as the truck has only has 9800 miles on the odometer. That's exactly 1400 miles per year, which takes the "like new" claim to a whole other level.
The outside of the vehicle appears to be in excellent shape as well and, unlike most pickups, the bed was apparently never used to haul anything rougher than a few sacks of groceries.
The Laramie was the highest trim level offered by Dodge for the Dakota in 2005. The 4.7-liter V8 provides more than enough power for towing, yet the truck is also fairly frugal, returning 19 miles per gallon on the highway.
This truck is loaded with options including heated leather seats, an Infinity stereo system, and anti-lock brakes.