johansundstrand

THE HOPELESSLY EMOTIONAL CAR BUYER

It started when I was around 12 years old.

Every single weekend my dear father, who L-O-V-E-D everything on four wheels, dragged me along to a fantastic world of car dealer showrooms. He wanted to know everything about every car’s functions and features and was probably driving the sales reps crazy. But he effectively got me hooked too, for good.

The very day I turned 16 my father gave me my first driving lesson, and the week after I turned 18 I got my driver’s license. Since then (I am 36 now) I have made more insane car buying decisions than any normal people make in a lifetime.

“Black of course, for maximum neighborhood impact”

I am probably a bit vain and always opted for something different, a real head-turner. So I was one of the first people in my hometown to own the first modern VW beetle. I actually bought it before I turned 18, with more than a little bit of help from my equally car-crazy dad. Black, of course for maximum neighborhood impact.

A few months later I discovered that the beetle was way too slow, so I traded it in for a used Audi TT cab. Delicious to look at and delicious to drive in the summer, but absolutely useless during the Swedish winter. The gearbox fell apart, the dashboard froze to pieces, and the roof leaked. Big time.

So I traded it in for a Mini Cooper S Works with boosted performance and a brutally loud stereo. The most fun car that I ever owned, until some envious kids decided to scratch the car’s paintwork in the cruelest, most respectless way.

car

Years later, after securing a string of reasonably well-paid jobs, I had intense love affairs with a hot 3 Series M-sport, and with a bright red Porsche Boxster S too. And then I met my beloved wife to-be, who incidentally doesn’t care one bit about cars. At the time I owned two different red sports cars, in my humble view very spectacular vehicles, but after riding in both she didn’t even notice the difference. Love is truly blind.

There is more, a lot more. Did I tell you about the super-compact Toyota IQ that couldn’t quite make it uphill to our downtown apartment? Or the super-cool, military green Jeep Wrangler Sahara with a plastic roof that almost fell off during the ice-cold Swedish winter?

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the Audi Q7 that I ordered a few years later. A wonderful car, but not the smartest choice when you live downtown with no kids and only drive a few miles every week. My only excuse was that we were now dog owners, but the Q7 was clearly overkilling for a 3 kg lapdog. The difficulties to find legal parking spaces, and the numerous parking tickets that followed convinced me to look for a more sensible alternative.

johan_racetrack

Through all these years I also spent numerous hours on the racing tracks, another love story inherited from and inspired by my dad.

Today, as a responsible family man with 3 amazing kids, I look back at my life as a hopelessly emotional car buyer with fondness. And my professional life is all about making sound business decisions. But cars and car buying still bring out my most emotional instincts.

What about you?

JOHAN SUNDSTRAND

Co-founder and CEO, Phyron

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