My Car Turned 10 Today! What Do I Do With It Next?

It’s driven across the country, on race tracks and through rivers. It’s not dead yet. There’s no way I’m getting rid of it. What next?

byStef Schrader|
Culture photo


Exactly 10 years ago today, I got my daily driver as a graduation present: a red 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. In that time, it has been absolutely impossible to kill—and not for lack of trying. Part of me wants to gun for million-mile hero status, and all of me wants to ship it to the Nürburgring. Point is, I've done enough oddball things with this car that I need to keep adding to the list. What should I do next? 

So far, the Lancer has a pretty impressive list of accomplishments. It's rallycrossed, autocrossed and even done a local time trial. As soon as it was out of its break-in period, I took it on Harris Hill Raceway. When track days finally opened up at Circuit of the Americas, I ran the Lancer there, too. That's right: The most aggressively normal car on this website is the one that's been on a Formula One track. Go figure. 

I'm pretty sure beating Jalopnik's then-editor-in-chief Matt Hardigree in a "rental car deathmatch" at Harris Hill led to my first automotive writing job. That's what I'm claiming, anyway.

I've used it to move a few times, filling up the car with everything from dirty car parts to multiple car-loads of every little thing that I didn't want to pay movers to haul. 

Then there's its existing mileage—over 171,000 miles—which was helped along by a cross-country trip up for my ten-year high school reunion earlier this decade. It went down most of the Pacific Coast Highway and over the tallest pass over the Continental Divide. Most recently, it forded a river for laughs. 

In the garage for its first track day at COTA. , Stef Schrader

The goal is to do as much as I can with this car that wouldn't need any major modifications or a roll cage precisely because this car is there. It exists. It runs. It's around. This car is worth far more to me than it would be to anyone else. Aside from being hit a few times, it's only ever had minor issues that were pretty easy to fix. It is the ultimate regular car and has the Regular Car Reviews episode to prove it, but I love using it to do unusual or unexpected things. 

I have a short list of ideas of what to do next. It was supposed to go drag racing for a Jalopnik

video the week my dad died, and I still haven't checked that off the list. The oh-so-sketchy Mt. Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire is on there, too. 

Just normal Lancer things., Thomas Endesfelder

It's never been out of the country, and it was only about a couple thousand bucks to ship it to Europe and back the last time I looked, so why not send it to another continent? Could I actually return with my car after a long cross-continent rally unlike certain other writers on this website? Who knows?

Surely there are some other absurd automotive bucket-list items I should do with my beloved, paid-for Lancer that I don't know about. Let me know in the comments. I've got a running list for when things get back to normal. 

Stef Schrader

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