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Why I Don’t Drive My Miuras

Community  /   /  By CarCast with Adam Carolla
People are always asking me why I don’t drive the cars in my collection, especially one of my Lamborghini Miuras. Now, Jay Leno is the most famous car collector out there. And he’s also known for actually driving the cars in his collection. If you spend enough time in Burbank, you WILL see Jay puttering down the street in a Stanley Steamer. His attitude is that you have to drive your cars. Supposedly, every car in his collection is ready to be taken for a spin at a moment’s notice.

I’m the exact opposite of this, and here’s why. If you drive a Miura or some other flashy car on the street, people will look at you. And I don’t like the attention. I know that sounds crazy coming from a comedian who has spent the last 20 years making his living in front of a camera or a microphone. Wanting to be the focus of attention while performing is one thing. Wanting to be the focus of attention while driving to the hardware store is something else entirely, and it’s not in my DNA, believe it or not.

Plus, as cool as my Miuras or any other old cars are, there’s always something that’s going to break. No matter how well you maintain them, no matter how much rebuilding you do, they will always surprise you with some little leak or shorted wire. It winds up being too much of a hassle. All of my cars are in very good shape, but I’m just too busy to fix the nickel and dime problems that keep me from using one of them as a driver.

And you see those old car TV shows where Dennis Gage will ask some guy if he ever drives his beloved blown ‘41 Willys pro street coupe. The guy always says, “She ain’t no trailer queen! I made the 375 mile drive from Fresno to be at this event today. I drive her every day to work!” That’s great, but those guys are always living in some small town.

Sure, if I lived in Carmel, I’d be taking my cars out for a stroll up and down Pacific Coast Highway every Sunday. But I live in Los Angeles, which is a scary and freaky place to drive. Our streets are full of crazy, uninsured drivers. You always see some guy with his ‘82 Toyota pickup that he’s converted into a stake-bed with a Sawzall. He’s got wood pallets stacked 30 feet high, all held on with one frayed bungee cord. I don’t need that guy and his poor life choices anywhere near one of my Miuras.

Also, you’d think that once I started vintage racing, I’d be crazier on the streets, but it’s actually made me more mellow. Driving on the street is kind of a let down compared to being on the track. If I’m not in a fire suit and helmet, getting cinched down in a six-point harness, it’s a snooze. And L.A. streets are just lined with cops waiting to give you a ticket for speeding or any other damn thing. It’s hard to hit the apex when you’re looking over your shoulder for a CHiP with a radar gun. So, between not wanting to deal with breakdowns, the over-zealous cops and already getting my jollies on the track, I just want the drive from my house to work to be as uneventful as possible.

And besides all of that, why do people insist that a car collector has to use his cars to enjoy them, anyway? Does anyone ask a stamp collector if he uses his stamps to mail in his gas bill? Hey, how come coin collectors never fed a parking meter with their ancient Roman denarius?

Maybe I’ll change my mind someday and hire a full-time mechanic to tend to my herd, like Jay does. But until then, I’m fine with just enjoying the beauty of my vintage cars.

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  1. Ba Humbug May 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm Reply

    Spoken like someone who doesn’t have Jay Lenno style bank account.

    That isn’t a criticism, just that I bet if his balance sheet had a few more zeros the concern would start to fade.

    • seroevo May 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm Reply

      He said that exact thing. If he had a full-time mechanic like Jay, he’d probably view things differently.

  2. S. Onate May 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm Reply

    Ain’t the internet grand?

  3. swingset May 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm Reply

    Why don’t you go occupy your local town hall, and shit on a cop car because Adam is talking about one of his passions. You poor baby.

  4. RPD May 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm Reply

    So right. Please regale us with your busted up Honda stories.

  5. Jack J. May 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm Reply

    Woah, got your panties in a bunch much? Sure, almost no one can afford to have a stable of Lambos, but why crap on someone who does? Why the inferiority complex?

  6. Mike Damone May 23, 2013 at 7:45 pm Reply

    Rich man poor man. Having cars that something will “always break” when you drive them.

    • Dbcoyle May 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm Reply

      Yes! Good call.

  7. Andrew May 23, 2013 at 7:54 pm Reply

    Sounds right to me! I don’t even like taking my truck on the road after I wash it. A bird shits on it and the day is ruined. I can only imagine if I was driving a six figure collectors car!

    • seroevo May 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm Reply

      Entirely agree. I only had a Civic and it was scratched in a parking lot a week after I got it new. I also had shopping carts, accidents (not at fault) and various things over the great 10 years I had it.

      I think with even a $75k car if I could get myself to drive it anywhere I’d definitely never want to park it.

  8. eBay Motors May 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm Reply

    Thanks for the comments everyone! Let’s ensure we remain courteous and respectful to our fellow eBay Motors community members as this is a fun, safe and open experience for everyone and with your help, we want to ensure it continues this way.

  9. DeeznutsInYourFace May 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm Reply

    Adam…you made the money to buy the cars. That eans you do with them as you please. Screw all the TROLLS…..

    • seroevo May 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm Reply

      People are going to hate no matter what. If he says nothing, they hate. If he provides a reasonable explanation, they hate. If he just says to screw off, they hate.

      Just shows how many people aren’t happy in their own lives.

  10. Jim in Maine May 23, 2013 at 8:43 pm Reply

    I totally get it, Ace. Besides Leno, I’ve also seen Steve Martin tooling around Beverly Hills in some kind of vintage Euromobile.

  11. Tyler Sweat May 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm Reply

    The average person has no idea what it takes to maintain a classic car. When a car is brand new everything is ageing at a certain rate and all parts together. So when a car hits 90,000 miles it will start to have failures because it is roughly 8-10 years old. When it hits 160,000 mile everything slowly starts to fail together. When you have a classic, foreign, exotic, supercar it is much more difficult. Exotic car were designed to be driven to the edge with the best technology of the day, they were not designed with everyday peoples abuse. To make everything worse with ethanol mixed gas and new horrible oils these fall apart fast. Back in the day you would put 12 oz of HEET in your gas to remove water from the tank, and now your car has A GALLON OF ALCOHOL. This in a short time of sitting turns to sludge and ruins anything touched by it. Jay drives his car to keep them running good and free from problems. Plus he has full time mechanics to fix all these problems and most likely uses gas that can sit for awhile. Love you Aceman. Your not “a wasting my time”

    • Jeff May 24, 2013 at 10:19 am Reply

      I’m curious why you think new oils aren’t as good as old. By all accounts, new oils (especially synthetic ones) are in EVERY way superior to oils of yesteryear. Cars used to have to run cooler to keep from emulsifying the oil. They are able to run hotter now (which is better for BOTH power and economy) because oils are so much better than they used to be. Check out this page:

      (I’m in no way affiliated, just found it to be an excellent real-world test).

      Regarding Ethanol in fuel, can you point to any scientific data (not anecdotal) that suggests that this fuel’s shelf life is any different than pure gasoline? My searches didn’t turn up any. In either case, proper fuel storage is likely to make a bigger difference than the type of fuel.

  12. Brent. L May 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm Reply

    If you lived in Michigan where you would only be able to drive your truck. We have potholes here that would eat your Miuras. But at least are cops don’t give chicken shit tickets, so we have that going for us.

  13. oneany May 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm Reply

    This is new and interesting. try saying something new on the ACS. its been all rehash for the last three months. read Dime For Scale if you dont know what i mean.

  14. Collin May 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm Reply

    Great article Adam! I’m not a reader like you, but I enjoyed it so much that I read the whole thing.

  15. Jeff May 24, 2013 at 9:55 am Reply

    I get it, kind-of. A Miura is one of the best looking cars of all time, and has a reputation for being (typical of old Lamborghinis) a schizophrenic beast to drive.

    A recent M3 will be a faster, better handling driver on the track (and street), with less risk of firey death.

    But an M3 isn’t like a Miura in ANY sense. Isn’t a little bit of insanity the point? If cars are art then to sit one on a pedestal relegated to observation is closing yourself off from most of the original artists’ expression. It’s like hanging the Mona Lisa on the wall backwards.

    If I had the means to own a Miura (much less two?), I’d drive it. Maybe not on the street, but I’d find a way.

  16. Dudlington May 25, 2013 at 2:55 am Reply

    Nice you have them………….enjoy anyway you want…… pure art !

    I am the same way with my motorcycle collection.

  17. Greg C May 25, 2013 at 5:22 am Reply

    I understand what he’s saying but then I’d either sell the collection or I’d have the cars garaged in another location where driving is less stressful. I took up road course racing a few years ago, and it really does make you a more mellow driver on the street. Street driving becomes a way to get from Point A to Point B because there’s nothing you can do on the street that comes close to the thrill of racing.

  18. Paul May 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm Reply

    Excusss, excuses, excuses ..

  19. Ben May 26, 2013 at 3:17 pm Reply

    You know what? I can enjoy Adam’s cars just as much as he does, if all we’re gonna do is look at them. And I have none of the expense to purchase, maintain and store them. Different strokes, and all that, but making and keeping a car perfect is an obsessive pursuit that takes the joy out of the experience. At least for me. Somebody wrote about his Civic getting scratched the first week. In a way, that’s liberating. After the first battle scar, you can relax and enjoy the car. I’ve had four new ones, and that’s the way it always was for me.

  20. Pingback: Why Adam Carolla doesn’t drive his fancy cars on the street | BurnOut360.Com

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  22. David J May 28, 2013 at 9:07 am Reply

    I had an opportunity a while back to buy one of only four Lamborghini Silhouettes that ever made it to the US, but I backed down for the exact reasons you all stated. The car sputtered and spat, could barely idle, the interior was deteriorating, etc. etc. What finally deterred my interest was Adam’s same confession here: owning is one thing, but maintaining is something altogether more daunting. Adam, I appreciate your zeal for the Miura, and hope when you’re “done” with them someday you sell them to someone who will showcase them. Thanks for the article!

  23. Andy Mrozinski May 28, 2013 at 9:31 pm Reply

    Both sides of this issue are correct. Park the car to keep it safe and out of the garage or drive it to enjoy it. I think I fall in the latter group. Find a way to drive it and safely push its limits, away from the character driving his pallet-stacked Toyota pickup who’s made “poor life choices.” Classic! Glad to see you here contributing, Adam.

  24. John June 4, 2013 at 1:10 am Reply

    I am with you Adam…..

    what people also don’t know that he does have a pretty sweet Martin he takes out now and then… He has also had other more modern audi bmw type stuff for daily….

    If I lived in LA and didn’t have three full time workers then I wouldn’t take mine out either.

  25. John June 4, 2013 at 1:14 am Reply

    Also remember the more you “repair” a car your changing it which can lower the worth of the car…..

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