What kind of car should an architect drive?


We once had a job applicant who requested a salary based on the cost of a new Corvette he wanted to buy.

He ended up with a used jeep. 

Sep 12, 14 4:03 pm

I have a close friend that was a VP at a large realtor/developer company and he was in charge of development. He was a classy guy and bought a new corvette and the first day he drove it to work the prick owner that I also knew well came into his office and pointed out the window and said to him “is that your Corvette?” He said proudly “yes it is” and this prick said “fine, get rid of it!” The prick soon drove the company into the ground and my friend went on to found his own development company and made millions and added a yacht to the mix for good measure.

I love Corvettes and it’s probably my #1 choice but can be a little in-you-face for some people. Last night when coming home from dinner a gray haired guy in a brand new Corvette turned in the intersection in front of us and I said “Jesus, look at that!”…and my wife said “He’s probably an attorney”.

I don’t know but I think a Corvette is a good choice for a successful architect over a Maserati or Ferrari…I think though that foreign my be more obscure monetarily. There is an expensive VW that I keep seeing that doesn’t even have a name on it, that’s probably a good way to go. A Tesla as mentioned would be an excellent choice for an architect. I think that going your direction Miles of finding something good that doesn’t have a common known price attached to it is a good answer.

Sep 12, 14 6:09 pm
Non Sequitur

As long as I can slide my skis in the back and the car has 4 wheels, I'm happy. A cup holder helps too.

Sep 12, 14 6:12 pm

Mityaa those Landrover pics are making me nostalgic.. My family owned about 3 of them while I was growing up in Asia..  They were well built machines that could take a beating,  and infact looked better roughed up ^^   Don't know what these cost these days but I believe we got them for real cheap..  They were brought to Asia 40-50 yrs ago when the Brits brought them over during colonial times and left them when they went back.

Sep 13, 14 3:14 pm

I just went with Subaru today, it rocks.

Sep 13, 14 9:25 pm
I admire the design intent and execution of the VW golf/rabbit series
Sep 14, 14 1:04 am

Thanks to all who contributed – let’s see, here is the list:

Saab, Volvo, Miata, Audi, BMW, Subaru, TESLA, Land Rover, Old – Most anything that was once expensive.

Do we have it? No one guessed the connection- “Carrera”- first came the car then came my Great Dane – both are dead.

Sep 25, 14 9:49 pm

For many years, my commuter car was one of these

Sep 26, 14 1:00 pm

Keith Carlson, which Subaru did you get?

Sep 26, 14 4:45 pm

Nice gwharton!

Sep 26, 14 9:59 pm

Sweet gwharton!  My buddy back in HS had a '68 Firebird that was built...  Only car I've ever been in that could do a wheelie.  Had a chance in college to buy it in college and passed on the deal... I still regret that choice.

Sep 29, 14 10:01 am

Mine was a red '67 Firebird 400 convertible. Exactly like the one in the photo above except the interior was black, not white. I completely rebuilt the drivetrain while I had it. Bored out the motor, ported the heads, put 3" Flowmaster duals on it. It was putting out about 390 horsepower at the rear wheels, which caused the differential to blow up, at which point I replaced it with a Ford 9" rear end and custom-made heavy duty drive shaft. I loved that car. Driving it up to a job site would cause all work to stop. It had a truly satisfying V8 rumble: a rolling seismic event. I could drive slowly down my street and set off every single car alarm just by being nearby. It would do 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and had a sub-12 second quarter mile time.

But it also only got about 6 mpg and was otherwise expensive to keep on the road. I eventually sold it and bought a BMW.

Sep 29, 14 3:52 pm

Mightyaa- probably better you didn't buy it. I just sold my built wrx ( putting down 345 bhp to all 4 wheels with full coilover suspension, brembos, etc) and as fun as it was to let it rip and do WOT pulls in 3rd gear, autocross, and canyon carving, it was an endless money and time pit.

Sep 29, 14 6:19 pm

mine is a 1972 ROHR Bart car

Sep 29, 14 8:11 pm

It bother's me to see an Architect (or anyone) that drives a BMW as being branded with having a certain personality, or worse as some evil showboating egocentric personality. I am a 53 year old hard working, passionate, relatively successful architect that happens to drive a BMW 428i at the moment, and makes no apologies for it. In my career I've owned jeeps ( both wranglers and laredos) a Saab convertible, a truck, a vintage 911, a vintage scout, a Land Rover, a beat up s**t brown Toyota Corolla that had been hit by a bus, and 3 silver BMW's with black interiors ( an architect that owns a black car either washes it every night or doesn't care about his car looking dirty all the time). Again keep in mind I've been in practice for over 3 decades so this is not as excessive as it may seem. I could make a legitimate argument that any of these are the perfect "architect"s car", ( other than the brown Toyota) but I'll focus on my current vehicle, the silver BMW 2014 428i.

First, it's an absolutely beautiful, well designed car, I get pleasure each time I hand wash it, and every time I drive it, a feeling that I hope our clients get every time they walk into one of our buildings. The other thing I appreciate is getting high quality without being excessive, something we strive for in our work. My car is virtually identical to an M4 at about 2/3 the price, it has everything I could possibly want and gets twice the gas mileage at a lower insurance rate than an M4, the same qualities we strive to achieve in our projects. I have an eco mode that I use most of the time, but can switch over to sport and enjoy the benefits of a true sports car. I keep a pair of mud boots in my trunk ( which by the way will hold my road bike when I ride home from work and leave my car at the office) and plastic mats to throw in after muddy Jobsite meetings, and with a built in vacuum in my garage, a feature we recommend to most clients, in less than 5 minutes I can transform an interior that has been to 3 job sites back to a beautiful, well designed, clean  space. On those few occasions where I am invited by a client to join them for a fund raiser or charity event, I have to admit I feel much more comfortable representing them in s nice car, than pulling up in a 1974 Volvo that is leaking oil and blowing smoke because that's what's " Architects are supposed to drive".

So, call me an ego-centric architect (which most good designers are) but I love my BMW, just as I've appreciated each and every vehicle I've owned, every project we've done, and most clients:-)

I don't normally participate in these things, but all the BMW comments hit a nerve.

Aug 10, 16 9:22 pm

My main car has 8 steel wheels, 4 electric motors that I ride share with 80 - 150 other people and is connected to 8 - 9 other cars just like it (Bart) - My other car is  a 2001 Green New Beetle - I only drive on weekends

Aug 10, 16 9:41 pm

911, land cruiser, or a Tacoma. 

Aug 10, 16 10:50 pm
Non Sequitur
It's just a car.
Aug 10, 16 11:45 pm

There's nothing more appropriate for an architect than a Range Rover. It affords that sense of imperiousness that we love, and looks equally good romping around on a dirt logging road in the mountains as it does pulling up to the valet at a swank restaurant downtown.

And what architect can't empathize when such a flawless, classic design gets completely undermined by shoddy workmanship? I'd love to drive one, but I wouldn't want to be responsible for maintaining it.

Aug 11, 16 12:27 am

Realistically, right now I live ten minutes from the office and walk to work, so there's no need for a car. But I'm hoping to buy a condo in the next 2-3 years and it will probably be somewhere out in the suburbs. For daily commuting I plan to use this:

But for errands and weekend trips I plan to get one of these:

When Fiat first bought Chrysler and released the images of the new Jeep Cherokee, I just about threw up. But now I've driven it a few times and warmed up to the design, and I'm totally in love with it.

Aug 11, 16 12:56 am

If you are into the whole 'less is more' Bauhaus thingy could there be any other choice? German too!

Aug 11, 16 7:58 am
Non Sequitur

Volunteer, I'd rock that over the Jeep any day of the week. Probably not as good in the snow, but that's the price you pay for fashion!

Aug 11, 16 8:12 am

The smallest, chepest car I can fit my 6'-5" ass into along with the wife 3rd grader and baby carrier.  

Right now it's this:

Aug 11, 16 8:18 am

Some model recent Jeeps tend to explode when hit from behind as they put the gas tank behind the rear axel. One such accident happened fairly close to me on the Interstate. A lady in my town witnessed it and was going to testify but Jeep settled quickly so she didn't have to. The newer Jeeps may be OK but the defect has left me feeling queasy about Jeeps.

Aug 11, 16 8:21 am

I drove my Miata around the Speedway track two weeks ago. Sadly was wearing my dorky Indy 500 visor instead of my super-dorky Taliesin visor...


My friend John set up getting me access to the track and also took the picture of me laughing my head off - it was so much fun! It's all about the driving experience - guess I'm a phenomenologist about both my architecture and my cars.

Aug 11, 16 9:06 am

Should?  Could?  or do?

Aug 11, 16 9:08 am
Non Sequitur

I like the CR ad banner in the background.

Aug 11, 16 9:30 am

Holy shit I didn't even see that on first pass! Is CR a big thing in Indy?

Aug 11, 16 10:48 am

Ideal architect car is a Volvo V70-R in anthracite grey with tint. It says you are practical but also appreciate performance and looks, you are safe and will build safe buildings, but they will also look nice. 

My baby:

Aug 11, 16 10:59 am

This was the day after the Brickyard, which was sponsored by Crown Royal. CR banners!

Aug 11, 16 11:08 am
Non Sequitur

So Donna... Canadian mass produced whiskey finding it's way into your backyard? Are your bourbon sensitivities under attack?

Aug 11, 16 11:32 am

I don't drink whiskey. I drink bourbon. Isn't the Brickyard 400 a NASCAR thing? I think those guys brought it with them.

Aug 11, 16 11:53 am
Non Sequitur

Obviously CR is not Bourbon, it's not even Rye-Whiskey (unless you get the harvest version).

I think I have 3 CR types in my bar. They serve as a distraction for the less informed/les appreciative guests. Ooooh, what's that in the crystal decanter nicely centered on the shelf and raised on a finely crafted wood disk? I'll have one of those please!.

Suckers, it's a trap! Enjoy your CR black. I'll have myself an Ardbeg.

Aug 11, 16 12:10 pm

non sequitur, wise words: don't display the scotch...people will drink it...stingy scots hide it away

Aug 11, 16 12:12 pm
Non Sequitur

^ my house was broken into a few years back and my scotch collection was taken.

T'is was a sad day, but at least I was insured.

Aug 11, 16 12:20 pm

Donna, how fast did you get up to?  I've only ever driven a Miata on twisty mountain roads, looks like a track would be fun.

For a daily driver, a black or anthracite grey Volvo 200 series is the only answer

Aug 11, 16 12:31 pm

couple mouths ago i picked up some CR Maple because it dirt cheap and I was curious - haven't had a second drink from it yet

Aug 11, 16 12:31 pm

The 200s are timeless. I was looking for one but went with the newer V70R cause it was a deal and a half.

Gets me where I need to go, and if all else fails it's big enough to sleep in!

Aug 11, 16 12:53 pm
wurdan freo

This is the next one I'm buying!!! 1997 7.3 powerstroke. Choke on my exhuast suckers!!! For some reason... no one wants to see a contractor arrive at their place with a fancy car (thinks they're making to much money at their expense)

Aug 11, 16 1:20 pm
Wood Guy

I'll be getting a lightly used, gray Prius soon, which I think is appropriate for the high-performance, well-engineered but not fancy houses and renovations I design.

The Honda Accord I've been driving is long in the tooth and I'm sure it does not inspire confidence, other than confidence that my rates are probably reasonable.

Not everyone judges people by the cars they drive, but like clothes, haircuts or personal hygiene, they are one way of quickly assessing who you're dealing with. First impressions and all that.

Aug 11, 16 1:34 pm

Just once I'd like to drive up (or, lets be honest, be driven to) a jobsite in the Nautilus car from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Aug 11, 16 2:18 pm


that is the exact same truck I have, except it's not extended cab, and perhaps beat up a little bit more. Love them!

This is in addition to my regular car. 

Aug 11, 16 2:33 pm

(shuellmi, you pour that shit on pancakes, or more realistically, whip it into your homemade whipped cream to go on top of the pancakes - that would be delicious! But don't drink it.)

Aug 11, 16 2:39 pm

Donna's got pancakes on the brain today.

Aug 11, 16 2:46 pm
Non Sequitur

It's good on vanilla ice-cream too Donna.

Aug 11, 16 2:46 pm

do architects have motorcycles?  

wife made me sell mine when we got married and when my dad offered me his beemer I had to turn it down, still unhappy about both.

Aug 11, 16 3:20 pm

Current car is a Dodge Challenger Scat Pack. Next car will be a Tesla Model 3 (already paid the $1,000 deposit/reservation) when it comes out.

I used to have a BMW... got funny looks when I took it to jobsites. The contractors like the Scat Pack!

Aug 11, 16 3:53 pm

Stars for the ice cream comment, Non! Yum.

Aug 11, 16 4:19 pm

Couple of my past employee's had motorcycles.  One rode a BMW enduro sort of bike, another a Harley (I hated), and the other I thought was more fitting; a custom Triumph cafe styled motorcycle.

I think a person here at our new office rides a Vespa in.  And lots of bicycle commuters here.

Should also say that there are several here who's "car" is a car share subscription.

Aug 11, 16 5:55 pm

Really want to drive my beamer again...even if my wife would let me I'd have to move 15 years worth of shit from around it that somehow appeared in the shared family storage barn.  

The car in the background would be pretty badass to drive around too.  My father-in-law's '76 Lincoln Mark IV.  I think it's like 20' long.  

Aug 11, 16 6:43 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: