MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Nick Carboni is a Marine with G-6 communication and information systems who shares a passion for being a Marine and for automobiles. He drives a sports car that is no longer made, and one day aspires to own a Lamborghini.
> When I was growing up, my grandpa, on my mom’s side, was one of those guys you would see in a 1950s movie. He had fast cars, leather jackets, slicked back hair and was always working on cars.
> My grandpa on my dad’s side was also into cars and participated in amateur racing. Having both grandparents into cars developed my fascination for them.
> When I was younger, I was also interested in art, and would enjoy drawing cars. I have always been fascinated with the way they look, especially sports cars.
> I learned to drive at a very young age, helping my grandparents by driving tractors in the cornfields. As soon as I turned 15, I was in line for my permit and eventually my license.
> While I was in Buffalo, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to drive like there is in California.
> My true passion is luxury sports cars. My dream is to own a Lamborghini or a Ferrari.
> My first car was a red, 1991 Thunderbird. After having that, I realized how much I admired and appreciated the open road. Being able to hit the highway without a care in the world, with no one around, is a great feeling.
> I would also eventually like to get a motorcycle. I could see myself doing a roadtrip across the country on a bike.
> Being stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., I have a lot of opportunities to drive. There are a ton of old highways and scenic routes that I enjoy. My favorite route to drive is the Pacific Coast Highway. There is a ton of history on that highway, and the view of the entire West Coast is amazing.
> Being temporarily assigned to the Combat Center, I have had the opportunity to enjoy desert driving as well. There is a ton of open road, straight roads out here that I have learned to appreciate also. I was here a few years ago as a student, and it is definitely a different experience being out here with my car.
> When I go back to Camp Pendleton, I have a few rituals. I always make it a point to stop at Black Rock Coffee, where they serve this drink called the ‘Jackhammer.’ It consists of five espresso shots. A trip to the beach is also a must.
> I currently drive a Toyota MR2 Spyder that I purchased at the lemon lot on Camp Pendleton. I chose that car because you don’t see a lot of them around, and I like that. You see a lot of people with the same cars, and I like to drive something that stands out.
> Being a Marine hasn’t affected my love for cars. While I stay busy at work during the day, I still have plenty of opportunities to drive and research things to do to my car.
> I eventually want to do some modifications to the Spyder. There is a lot of opportunity to upgrade it, and I plan on doing that once I pick up corporal and start making a little bit more money.
> The Spyder is a good vehicle to have in my current situation. I travel back and forth from Camp Pendleton to the Combat Center almost every weekend. It is a manual, so it keeps me awake and alert when I’m driving long distances. It also gets really good gas mileage, which helps me save money.
> I eventually want to upgrade to a new sports car, but I think I will keep the Spyder as a side project.
> I have always wanted to travel across the country in a vehicle. I could take my admiration for scenery across several states. If a permanent change of station to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C, is in my future, I will get that opportunity.
> I plan on coming back to California someday. The impression it has left on me makes me want to return if I leave.
> I have a lot of saving to do for the car I want in the future. I’m going to have to start saving my pennies for that Lamborghini.
> A lot of people from New York don’t ever want to leave. While I enjoy going home and visiting Buffalo, there is so much more to do in California and so many more opportunities for me.
> My favorite part of being out in Southern California is the cars you see. Down in San Diego, I always see super nice sports cars and it reminds me that I need to save to reach my goal.
> I don’t know a lot of Marines who drive Lamborghinis’, but I wouldn’t mind being the first.