Cars

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This post on Sailer’s site the other day struck a chord with me. I’m beginning the process of buying a car so I have been thinking a lot about cars of late. I truly hate the car buying experience for a number of reasons. The biggest one is that it feels like a waste of time. The dealership model is a carryover from a bygone era when a man would spend a lot of time on purchases. Most of us buy on-line now so walking car lots looking for the right car just feels like a time suck to me.

That last bit reveals a bit of reality with regards to how societies work. The car selling business has been immune to change and it has a lot to do with the political power of car dealers. Tesla found that out when they wanted to sell cars in New Jersey. The state had a law requiring car makers to have a dealership in the state in order to sell cars. Tesla finally got the state to yield, but they had to bribe half of Trenton to do it. Car dealers are a powerful lobby in every state and they use their influence to make life tough on anyone with new ideas.

That Sailer post reminded me of something I have noticed among my friends and acquaintances, as I have got into car shopping. It is a very emotional subject. For instance, I’ve asked people for their recommendations and to a man they have refused. I always get something like “You need to test drive them and pick the one you like.” The alternative to this is to just change the subject entirely. It’s as if there is a taboo against giving anyone advice on cars.

I think the reason for the reluctance is two-fold. One is people still view their car as an extension of themselves. If they recommend a car and you reject it, it is as if you told them they have bad taste. On the other side of it, thinking it is an emotional experience, people don’t want to talk you into something you may come to hate. Alternatively, the people I know may not give a damn about my new interest in cars or they simply don’t like me very much. You can never be sure about these things.

The other thing I see, something that turns up in the comments of car posts like the Sailer one, is the car scold. Whenever someone starts showing enthusiasm for buying or owning a car, car scold comes along to tell them he thinks owning a car is a great burden that he suffers through for the good of mankind. This guy has a lot in common with TV scold and music scold. It’s as if enjoying life is such a great sin that the righteous must always be letting everyone know they are in constant pain.

There are, needless to say, a lot of these vinegar drinkers on the right. It is an affectation and a silly one in my opinion. You have but a short time on this earth. Making the most of it, including the fun bits, strikes me as the heart of conservatism. It is the ultimate acknowledgement of reality. Every man has his tastes, but if owning a snappy car brings you pleasure, best of luck with it. I may not share your passion, but I do share your desire to make the most of our time on earth. What’s wrong with that?

The root of this, I suspect, is the dominance of the Left in American culture. The neo-Puritan hags have been screeching at us about how form must always follow function for so long we have lost our sense of style. You see that in cars where the goal of designers is to make them more aerodynamic and pack them with useful functions. The result is a fleet of well-built cars that look like they came from East German film noir during the Cold War. Our cars are ugly because inside, we have become an ugly people.

If you doubt this, look at pics of parking lots from 40-50 years ago. They were a carnival of colors, shapes and sizes. A person’s taste in cars said something about him, a form of advertisement. A people embracing life and its potential were out buying all sorts of cars in all sorts of colors. We are now a people marching to the inevitable end of our miserable existences so we buy cars that are suited for the task. The top three car colors in America are black, grey and white, with dark gray the top interior choice.

Now, one aspect of this self-loathing has been a focus on the engineering of cars and that has resulted in some fantastic options. The cars of my youth were better looking, but they were in no way better built or better engineered. I test drove a Camaro SS the other day and it was like flying a jet. It was fast as hell and so packed with technology it is not accurate to call it a car. It is a transportation platform. Last year I rented a Cadillac on a trip and I needed ten minutes to figure out how to operate it. It is an amazing age.

Even so, we have become a cautious and frightened people, like herd animals waiting to be processed. The sports car buyer in 1965 was looking for risk. He wanted to rocket down the road in something that was probably not entirely safe, but that was part of the thrill. Today, sports cars are packed with safety features intended to let the buyer know he can have the kind of fun that is permitted today. It is part of the overall feminization of the West. Engineers today care about you like a mother.

I saw the other day that a company now sells an add-on for cars that allows parents to spy on their kids and even take control of the car, from their smart phone. The ad is not all that clear on the particulars, but it appears to be a GPS system that also provides some ability to disable the car, sound the horn and flash the lights. That way, if your son is out enjoying himself, you can put an end to it from your couch. Nothing says freedom like having mom watch you as you make out with your girl in the backseat.

The ultimate expression of this is the self-driving car. The quest to take all the fun out of life, and all the risk, leads inevitably to the nanny-state providing a ride service so that you not only get to your destination safely, you get to the correct destination. People naturally think the surveillance state will be Orwellian. No, it will be run by Google and Apple, sold as a market solution to public safety. After all, when it comes to your safety, we can’t let things like freedom, pleasure and privacy get in the way. You’re too important to us!

In the end, that’s why I will be buying some sort of hot rod in the coming weeks. I look around and see that the fun cars are only for the Cloud People, while the rest of us will be stuck with the dreary conveyance units. There are not many mid-priced sports cars on the market. Toyota does not even have a fun car on offer. Neither does Honda. I figure I better get a sports car before I’m too old and the before the state decides, for my own good of course, that they are no longer safe for Dirt People.

 

 

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146 Comments on "Cars"

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Surveyor
Guest

Corvette would be my pick, still American made

kokor hekkus
Guest

Yes, still the classic!

Drake
Guest
Since I reached the point in life where I could afford new cars, I’ve been using the internet to get the price nailed down before I’ll show up at a dealership. I just never had any patience for the process of haggling with a professional haggler. You are right about Honda – an ’89 Prelude Si was my second car – fun! Bought a Mazda a few months ago, I certainly would have looked at a new Prelude if such a thing existed. Toyota has the FR-S or whatever it’s called now, it got mixed reviews and cost more than… Read more »
Severian
Guest

I dunno, Z… while I agree with you on most of this, the muscle cars that have come out in the last 5-10 years look pretty sweet. Yeah, it’s retro — e.g. Mustangs look like the classic Mustangs of old — but still. There’s a BMW and a Benz roadster that look awesome too (way out of my price range, but still). I dunno about the safety crap — again, out of my range — but that Beemer looks like a jet and sounds like an X-Wing. At least the Germans can still make an auto….

Drake
Guest

Just traded in a BMW – if you keep your cars and go beyond 100k miles the things that go wrong are baffling. At one point the motor-mount bolts broke and the engine was bouncing around free under the hood. Our mechanic told us it was because BMW used aluminum bolts in order to save a couple ounces.

Severian
Guest

What’s that old joke about Alfa Romeos? Be sure to get the Alfa repair kit…. an entirely different car, with a trunk full of money, that you tow around behind your Alfa at all times. So BMW quality control isn’t quite up to their Me-109 glory days. They still look cool, though, and since I’ll never be able to buy one anyway….

Karl Horst
Guest

@ Severian – Not to split hairs, but BMW did not build engines for the Me-109. They built engines for the Focke-Wulf Bf-190. Daimler Benz built the engines for the Messerschmitt Me-109. However, Messerschmitt did build a horrible little post-war car that thankfully went the way of the BMW bubble car.

Severian
Guest

@Karl Horst, I could’ve sworn the original designation on the Me-109 was Bf-109, from “Bavarian Aircraft Works,” a subdivision of Bavarian Motor Works… did they build the airframe or something? Or am I completely off? Either way, the Me-109 and FW-190 were some sweeeet fighters. A mentor of mine was a B-17 pilot; he had high praise for both planes (evidently there was a 109 model with a huge cannon that fired through the nose somehow). Ah, how I love old planes….

Karl Horst
Guest
@ Severian – The Me-109 was a bit long in the tooth towards the end of the war. It had a V-12, fuel injected engine, water cooled engine and had a 20mm cannon which fired through the center shaft. It got its initial start in Ethiopia and Spain but gained it’s real fame during the Battle of Britain. The Bf-109 came in later, first with a short nose, later an extended version which was fitted with an air cooled radial BMW engine. Aircraft parts came from all over Germany. Furniture and cabinet makers in little towns and villages would build… Read more »
Dan Kurt
Guest
Herr Horst, re: “The Bf-109 came in later, first with a short nose, later an extended version which was fitted with an air cooled radial BMW engine.”KH 1) Bf refers to Bayerische Flugzeugwerke. 2) the short nose and long nose plane was the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger. The long nose D model used the Junkers Jumo 213 liquid cooled engine and had an extended fuselage and nose for balance. One long nose variant was designated as the Ta 152E H Höhenjäger (“high-altitude fighter”) The F-W 190s also had an engineering marvel: automatic control of throttle & propeller pitch, something no… Read more »
Karl Horst
Guest

@ Dan – Typo on my part…Bf-109 FW should have been Bf-190. Thanks for the correction and additional details! Nice to see you Americans are up on German aviation history. 🙂

Severian
Guest

Dan and Karl, thanks for the info! See, this is why I come here: I learn stuff.

notsothoreau
Guest

I had one in college, plus a 65 chevy to drive when it was in the shop. It was running on two cylinders but still fun to drive. The local mechanics had no idea what to do with it.

Todd
Guest

That would be Focke-Wulf FW 190, Severain. It had an air-cooled radial engine built by BMW. The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was powered by a Daimler-Benz liquid-cooled inverted V12.

Member
GM has some great opportunities to bring out some retro cars and make some real money if they want. The GTO, Bel Air, Firebird, Riviera and Cutlass are name plates that would still resonate today if they were done as well as the Mustang and the Camaro. A 57 Bel Air with chiseled lines like the Mustang? They would make a mint. Ford needs to bring out a retro Merc. Cougar, circa 1967/68/69. That was one sweet looking car. If they leaned on their past Heritage more, they could make some big money and gain back some market share at… Read more »
Lulu
Guest

We had one of those Cougars – the first sold in our area. Gorgeous!

Member

Well said. Hi Z, longtime reader, another one referred by John Rivers via Twitter. My first purchase after finishing school and starting a career was a Dodge Charger, 2014, SXT in black. Because… I like it and it’s a fun toy. If there was a utilitarian aspect to the color, I don’t know about it. It just looks the closest to a Batmobile that was within my pay grade.

JohnTyler
Guest
“….. I’ve asked people for their recommendations…….” Since you did not ask for my recommendation, I will nevertheless provide it: never buy a brand new car – it is a ripoff. Get a good used car (otherwise known in our Orwellian, double speak, politically correct society as “pre-owned”). You will save a ton of money. There are many really good web sites that allow one to peruse online your car(s) of interest from the comfort of your couch and avoid, until the very last nano-second, having to deal with the next to last lowest form of carbon based life on… Read more »
Larry Kephart
Guest

At the end of November, I ordered a baby Cadillac coupe hot rod with a stick shift (an ATS-V series). It supposedly was built on the 2nd of January and the dealer called me this morning to tell me it was in transit. We’re almost there.

Drake
Guest

I spent a lot of time a few months ago searching new car lots (on the internet) for the car I wanted with a manual trans. I love it.

Have fun.

Ganderson
Guest

Hard to find manuals these days. I loved my 5 speed Honda Accord with the luxury package- leather, heated seats, moon roof, etc. My son still drives it- it just turned 225 K. Couldn’t replace it though-Honda only puts Manuals in their low end crap boxes. Wound up buying the last Ford Fusion with a stick- a new 2014 that had sat on the lot- no one wants six speeds anymore. One bonus is that thieves supposedly can’t drive ’em!

Brian-guy
Guest
Not a car guy unless we’re talking muscle cars but my 2012 Ram 2500 has the 6 sp manual bolted up behind the 6.9 liter Cummins. Crew cab. 8′ box. Sunroof/moonroof combination. It’s a bit slow…maybe it’s just me but jumping into the traffic gap is gonna raise a bit of someone’s ire. I’m happy with the manual. It’s unusual and that’s why I like it. It took me to Alaska and back last September. Something about driving your favorite vehicle on vacation somewhere spectacular with all four windows down and the roof open singing along to ‘Running down a… Read more »
RayC
Guest

Ive had nothing but manuals for the past 30 years; taught all 4 kids on them; while I knew they were getting rare I didn’t realize how much. just read an article stating that many mfgr’s don’t have a single model with a stick; only 3% of cars made are manual. they blamed it on the technology improvements to the ATs. I always assumed the manual got better mileage but no more. but I still prefer them. I’m far from a car enthusiast but had a lot of fun trying a friends WRX. very fun to drive.

Member

I’m with Surveyor. Check out the new Corvettes. Not much of a commuting car, though.

On the subject of the feminization of society, Martin van Creveld’s Pussycats is worth a scan.

Alex
Guest
Bought my first new truck ever early last year for work purposes (lots of driving to the Imperial City), a Toyota Tacoma with all the bells and whistles. Great vehicle and a lot of fun (if you like off-roading) so I’ll disagree with you on the Toyota comment… Anyway I have been a long time owner of 20th Century vehicles (80’s mostly, with a few 70’s and 90’s thrown in) and for some models that time period represented the high water mark of automotive (not e-gadget) engineering. You’ll have more fun driving a 1990 3 series BMW than any equivalent… Read more »
Alien
Guest

+1 on the Tacoma, but what I really want is a 4WD diesel Hilux. Toyota can’t sell them here (EPA for emissions, DOT for safety, etc.) but the Tacoma would be a natural for a decent 6 cyl diesel. Tundra gets one soon, maybe a few years later the Tacoma will, too.

Member

Rooster Cogburn had Beau. Go for it. You only live once.

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Yankee Girl
Guest
I’m a girl but I’ve always liked cars. As a 4-5 year old in 1950 I could identify just about every car that passed on the road. This was before I could read. My mother was mystified as to how I learned this as she paid no attention to this sort of thing. We had a pre-War ’38 Oldsmobile for a lo-o-ong time. My Dad was just not that into keeping up with the Joneses! When my big brother got out of the Air Force he came home sporting a 1953 Buick Roadmaster convertible, gunmetal grey with rolled and pleated… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest
Z Man; If it’s a thumb in the eye to the Cloud People you want, then it’s a full sized pickup truck you need. OTOH, living where you apparently do you might consider going for a ‘Ghetto Cruiser’ TM. Back in the day when I was commuting to a cloud enclave surrounded on three sides by vibrancy just a literal pistol shot away from the projects, that was my day-to-day ride. Specifically a car no self-respecting vibrant would be caught dead in. Then it was a mid-milage blue Olds 4-door with the more reliable short block 8 and minimal power… Read more »
Dutch
Guest

Cars are mechanically amazing devices these days, but the limits of the vehicles are so “out there” versus any kind of sane behavior on the highways. Here’s my solution. Old school full size pickup for me. Anonymous full size sedan for the missus. Buy the sedan slightly used and a couple of years old and pay half price. Old cars/sports cars/hot rods for fun on weekends. Race car driving school for kicks. Learn some real skills.

Dan Kurt
Guest

Z-Man,

At least test drive an Audi S series. I would suggest an S4. I don’t know if you can still get a manual transmission. My S4 2012 edition is a manual, smooth as silk. Of course I live out West and have roads where cops are sparse and one can rev up over 100 mph from time to time. The S4 easily gets to 120 without vibration because of its supercharged V6 engine.

Dan Kurt

Karl Horst
Guest
Any car you want to buy new, if possible, should be rented for at least a week, or over a very long weekend and driven as much as possible, preferably on a nice long trip. Then you’ll know just how comfortable it really is and whether or not you like the features. Buying a new car you only test drove around the block is like marrying a woman after the first date – you’re just asking for trouble! Since the subject of sports cars came up, the Audi TT roadster is good example. German designed, excessively over priced, and they’re… Read more »
Member

I’ve settled into the habit of only buying Honda products so I pretty much know what I am going to get. I always buy my Hondas/Acuras new. But I am really digging the Cadillacs lately … a car like that you almost have to buy used. I think they are priced the way they are new solely for the lease market. A retail customer would be stupid to pay that price.

bryanjb
Guest

If no one else will say, two ends of my spectrum are a Bimmer E46 M3 with all the problems fixed, or a 2003 or later Acura NSX. Fun in this life for sure. Drove an M3 last summer, and it was a rush. Fit like a glove – a car you can really wear. My current ride is an E46 wagon that just went over 200K, and yes, I do like working on it. Lots of BMW enthusiast web sites, where I’ve learned to do virtually anything the car needs. Good people, good FUN cars.

Vero Guy
Guest

Mercedes AMG C63 S? 510 HP…. Kind of a refined and discreet muscle look, too.

Member
A sports car is about as useful to me as a married father of three as a seatless bicycle. Anyway…for your readers…tips from a seasoned car buyer to make the dealer both irrelevant to the buying process, and also to get a better price: – Use the internet to test drive cars (Edmunds, AutoTrader, etc. all have online videos) and narrow your requirements. My wife and I do this for fun on YouTube 6-8 months before we buy a car. Think ahead. – Get it down to 4-5 cars you think you would like, then go drive them on different… Read more »
Sobey1683
Guest
There really are only two decisions you need to make. Whether your new Shelby GT 350 Mustang is delivered to you in the iconic Oxford White with Blue Stripes, or will it be the elegant and uderstated Ruby Red. The car, allegedly a muscle car, corners like a Ferrari and is more comfortable than a Mercedes S class. It’s is loud enough to cause little old ladies to frown in disapproval and nubile young ladies to swoon. Removing the traction control nannies results in instantaneous transformation of the the Michelin Pilot Supersports (which, with their aggressively angled side walls, look… Read more »
Vero Guy
Guest

I met a guy at the bar recently that test drives not-yet-released performance cars for the big auto makers. He stated the Shelby GT was the most fun car to drive. The best bang-for-the buck used muscle car, in his opinion?: 2002 Corvette Z06. He basically said if you can’t afford the Shelby, save your money and get the used Z06 for $15-20k.

J Cass
Guest

My permutation of “Drive it and make up your own mind” is sit in it, adjust the seat and wheel. If it isn’t comfortable don’t even bother with a test drive. It won’t improve over time.

Member

So, skip all that crap and buy your car on eBay. I’ve bought my last 8 cars that way and never had a problem. No visit to the lot, no sales pitch, no clear coat discussion, better price, infinite selection. I grew up on my Dad’s used car lot, so take my advice on this one.

vje
Guest

Most new cars look like motorized versions of blimps crossed with refrigerator boxes to me.

I can’t imagine paying for one, though I will be forced to eventually, I suppose, unless I allow myself to succumb to my animal instincts and get a Pre 2009 Mustang GT (after 2009 they started screwing them up again).

It may look like something a frat boy would drive, but the GT is still a thing of beauty.

Karl Hungus
Guest

If you want a new classic roadster, you can’t beat the Miata. If you don’t mind used, you can get a Porsche Boxster for a decent price. YouTube has tons of very knowledgeable reviews of all fun cars…

Karl Horst
Guest

I hate to admit it, but you will find the Japanese give you much more for your money than the Germans and for less over all. For example, compare the Audi TT to the Nissan Z-370 of equal year and you will quickly discover how much Audi (and Porsche) “nickel and dime” you for extras (heated seats, electric mirrors, etc.) In comparison, the Japanese include these “extras” for free.

Solomon Honeypickle IV
Guest
Solomon Honeypickle IV

Karl, that’s why the Porsche recommendations were for used 🙂 tremendously good deals on used german cars here. the jap cars are ok but do not have the dynamic sophistication of the german cars.

Karl Horst
Guest
@ Solomon – Personally, I feel German performance cars are over-engineered for 99.9% of drivers. Especially when you consider no one outside of Germany will every be able to appreciate what they can do on an open autobahn. If and when I get over taken on the autobahn, it’s by the heavy Audi’s, BMW’s and MB’s. Porsche’s, because they are so expensive even here, are not so frequently found here. In Switzerland, however, you will find more high-end cars than Germany. But the speed limit, like most of Europe, is only 120kph (75 mph). If the Honda S2000 was still… Read more »
Member

Re Porsche: I will never buy anything from a company arrogant and stupid enough to have made Joachim Peiper their North American sales manager.

Dan Kurt
Guest

Pieper was a real man and officer. Would the USA produce such soldat(s), in the sense of Siegfried Knapp’s book: Soldat. The Malmédy Massacre involving Pieper is an example of Victor’s Justice manufacturing a crime. Of course in Viet Nam America had its Lt. Calley.

Dan Kurt

Aggie
Guest
The comment about renting a version of what you’re interested is very good – highly recommended, and take it both around town and on the highway for at least a couple of hours. You might not find out that the seats are unbearable or the armrest is precisely mis-positioned without doing this. Virtually any modern car with any shred of performance cred is going to have a auto-manual option. No clutch, but one can shift up and down and run the gears. I had an Audi years ago, small A4 sedan but a ball to drive it in the ‘Trip-Tronic’… Read more »
Bob Saccamanno
Guest

If your criteria is a new, driver oriented sports car, check out a BMW 235 or its M variant. Jeremy Clarkson raved about the new M2 during the first episode of amazon’s Grand Tour.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-bmw-m235i-2-series-coupe-first-drive-review

One advantage of BMW’s is an active aftermarket. A 135/235 can be tweaked up to very close to its big brother M version without boy-racer bulging bodywork.

Maybe does not fit your Q-factor requirement, but unfortunately any true driver oriented sports car will be unique and less common than Camry’s.

thor47
Guest
Gave up all that ” car as personality ” thing a long time ago. For one thing, I couldn’t afford it. For another, the wife and I are minimalist, practical people. A car is how we get from point A to point B. It needs to be reliable; it needs room these days to occasionally carry grandchildren. We don’t care about the sound system or Bluetooth. We own an Equinox SUV and S-10 pickup. One of the best things about both is that we don’t have to climb in or out. Open the door, put your feet on the ground.… Read more »
ColoComment
Guest
Ah, finally someone who thinks as I do. My vehicle is a tool, As you say, it gets me from A to B. In 2007 I bought a new Hyundai Santa Fe with AWD, stability control, 3 rows of seats (g’kids, y’know), pax cabin surrounded by air bags, and a 6-yr, 60k mi warranty. In ~88k miles, I have spent for nothing but routine maintenance. It’s been a dependable vehicle, and excellent for typical Northern Colorado driving conditions. And lots of carrying room when the two back rows of seats are folded. Before that, I had a 1998 Chevy S-10… Read more »
Brian-guy
Guest

Thor that is awesome. Actually made me laugh out loud.

thor47
Guest

🙂

Jak Black
Guest

I’ve been predicting for a long time that once the driverless cars hit the road, the complete transition to no-drivers will happen almost overnight. Once the insurance companies figure out that the driverless cars don’t crash, they’ll force drivers out of the market.

Between women, lawyers and insurance companies, the America you remember is almost gone. I’m just glad that I was born in ’71, so at least I had a glimpse at what used to be.

Bob Saccamanno
Guest

The flip-side of this argument occurs after a self-drive car has its first serious accident and lawyers start sizing up google’s assets.

But yes, enjoy today’s amazing cars while you can. 🙂

John Bradley
Guest

The Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S is a great little sportscar for not a lot of money.

Dorf
Guest

either those or a Ford F-150 4WD. The cars are fun to drive and the truck is fun plus you can look down on the world.

In Voice
Guest

Black and gray computers on wheels that set you back $35,000? Come on, it’s for the children!

Member
This all sounds great in theory, but don’t kid yourselves. The reality is that the money that goes into car dealers pockets would instead go into Wall Street’s Pockets. Just look at the big car dealership chains that have formed. They are all subject to the same kind of metrics that squeezes other companies because of wall Street’s self-interest and it’s not like they offer some kind of a bargain compared with the locally-owned dealership. Being subject to the whims of Wall Street in turn results in employees being squeezed. I don’t feel any particular love for my local car… Read more »
Jim Gates
Guest
Fortunately you have a wide variety of sports cars to choose from. You can narrow your choices by coming up with answers to some questions: 1. Foreign, domestic or either? 2. Price range? 3. Used OK? You can get really good deals on slightly used vehicles if you aren’t too demanding about colors and options. Many will still have a warranty but you may have to do a bit more work to find what you want. 4. How long do you keep vehicles? Consider that German cars are expensive to maintain if you own one out of warranty. I’d argue… Read more »
Rasmus
Guest

I’ve always bought old or at least used cars. Right now I’m driving an old Saturn (’97) that my trusted mechanic found and bought for me knowing I had jack sh*t money for a car–a $800 car. I like it, but it IS ugly as hell. I even like that–absolutely no one would bother stealing the thing. It’s the only way to drive cheap–usually have to put $300 in repair a year–anything over that it ain’t worth repairing. I enjoy its various “challenges,” all the little oddball problems that come with an old car. Poverty spurs creativity, doncha know.

toyomike68
Guest

Toyota 86

Member

Nothing says “fuck you” in a university town better than a huge red double cab pickup with an NRA sticker in the back window..

Clayton Bigsby
Guest

Hahaha! Amen…2001 4×4 F150 Supercrew for me…Forgot my damn NRA decal… Love looking down on all the Priuses with rainbow and CoExist bumper stickers…and green haired drivers.. my “I stand with Scott Walker” sticker has always been a good ‘conversation’ starter here in Wi.

Yankee Girl
Guest

I’d send you my extra oval Trump sticker — very tasteful in navy blue and white — but I gave it to a friend in Memphis. I almost asked for it back when she said her husband would not let her put it on her car as it would attract all sorts of
nasty attention. Sorry!

notsothoreau
Guest
I miss my 95 Mazda 626. It was great in snow and comfortable. I put 300,000 miles on when I sold it. They had to replace the transmission early on, but it was covered under warranty. Our current truck is a ’97 GMC Sierra. I call it “The Mexican Blackbird” if you are familiar with ZZ Top. We have replace the engine, tranny, all the sensors, it’s always something. Right now, the passenger door and heater don’t work. I remind my husband how much I hate it, but he loves the look of it. We are talking about a second… Read more »
Ned2
Guest

Suggest something pre-1970.
The vehicle you buy serves a multitude of purposes, unique to each individual.
Buy that ’69 Camaro you always wanted.

Solomon Honeypickle IV
Guest
Solomon Honeypickle IV

I don’t like how that ends 🙂

Clayton Bigsby
Guest

Had the opportunity to work on a photo shoot in Stuttgart with Porsche in the 90’s. The marketing director at the time had gone to school in Michigan and confided in us that he thought the Z 28 Camaro was the most fun car the average person could buy to drive… and it was basically a no-brainer for anyone, when you could buy three of them for the cost of one Porsche.

PitbullRanch
Guest

Mini Cooper has the most customization options, can still be had in a manual and is a gas to drive. I wish the Americans made something this fun.

bud
Guest
If you’re a midget… excuse me, “smaller statured” :-), maybe. I wear size 12 shoes, and the only way I could get into the driver’s seat was some fancy contortions. If I just sat in the seat, I couldn’t get my right foot past the steering column, even with the seat all the way back. The “mini” appellation is accurate. I can’t imagine how anyone ever drove the original Austin-based version. I guess they were all half-starved in post-WWII Britain. Which points out the value of just sitting in a car. The last new car I bought was preceded by… Read more »
Member

Well, I’d advise against a Humber Super Snipe, but I’ve had a lot of fun with several Morris Minors and I just love my Citroen ID19 with 4 on the column… hang on, what year is this again?

Belay that. Time to do the Time Warp again!

J Clivas
Guest

Have your fun, but in moderation. Too much fun is a form of gluttony.

thor47
Guest

Hmmm . . . hmmm . . . hmmm; nope, just not seeing it.

LetsPlay
Member

Philosophically yes, but practically no. Go for it.

thor47
Guest

Oh, all right. ( Insert long sigh here )

David
Guest
I’m sure you will get lots of great ideas on cars. I just bought a new car 5 months ago and I’m not afraid to share my preference. I bought a Lexus E-350 and I just love the car. I’ve done the sports car stuff when I was single and have spent the last 20 years with family cars, for the family. Kids are now all grown up so I got something for me. I looked at the Dodge Charger, since I was still interested in a sedan, but I understanding they are not terribly reliable. I was also looking… Read more »
Lulu
Guest

My favorite car of all time was a Toyota Celica Supra. Loaded. What a nifty car! I’m supposed to be car-shopping now. I respectfully declined. I know the Acura TL I’m driving. It’s just fine. We’ve bonded. Not as fleet as that Supra was, and much harder to maneuver, but I’ve slowed down and it’s just fine. (And I don’t have to go car-shopping.)

Groman
Guest

Subaru/Scion BRZ coupe or go to the extreme and get a Doge Hellcat.

neal
Guest
Grandpa bought a Model T from the Sears catalogue. Ran shine with Col Sanders and hopped it up. Pretty much accounts for the spread of fried chicken and NASCAR. Ended up with Caddies and Buicks. Dad fixed up a hot rod 56 Lincoln and let me steer. All cars should have cop engines and searchlights. Always thought they should have kept producing Amphicars. Nothing like just driving into the lake and floating about. My first car was a 66 Impala convertible. Cheerleaders were attracted. I think anything that will combine a 70 Eldorado with a motorhome would work, these days.… Read more »
thor47
Guest

If you are the ruler of Venice you can drive anything you want.

kokor hekkus
Guest

The Audi convertible is a gorgeous car, but not sure how hot it is…The most amazing sports car I’ve seen lately is the powder blue Maserati, but a bit pricey.

Toolrat
Guest

Ford Taurus SHO is the ideal platform. Comfortable for long distance cruising, fast enough to go directly to jail and engineered well enough to be dependable and safe.

LetsPlay
Member

I drove a used ’96 Taurus SHO for years that I bought for $12K. What a sweet car. Power, style, options, performance. Put on some Goodyear Eagle F1’s, click on the sport handling suspension and had myself some fun! My only complaint, which was consistent with Ford’s, was the disc brakes. Always upgrade to ceramics to avoid warped rotors. They were considered the “Stealth” sports car because they looked like a regular sedan to the Smokies.

SFG
Guest

Still driving my Camry from 14 years ago,but you’ve got a different goal.

Enjoy your muscle car. 😉

Lulu
Guest

My #2 car, a 1996 Honda Accord EX, loaded, with only 33,000 miles, will soon go to #2 son. I was shamed out of continuing to drive it…. He thinks it’s cool.

TWS
Guest
My kids had to earn their cars working at plumbing and remodeling. My son’s first car was a pick up he traded for a Mustang. My daughter got herself a compact rice burner then she did a side job for a neighbor who paid her with a Mazda RX-7. That thing was too small for a normal man but damn did it fly down the road. That was taking your life into your hands. I had to insist that the state troopers stop my kids and give them a ticket if they were speeding. I figured it would save their… Read more »
Chronus
Guest

Seems simple to me; Zman should drive a Zcar. Get a Camaro. I am partial to the blue ones.

Member

Me, I’m nearly finished rebuilding my 1965 Sunbeam Alpine.

I had to give up on my initial rebuild it all original. No money in it and Stromberg and Lucas are not synonymous with reliable.

But it is a nice looking thing, innit?

comment image

Member

PS. That’s not mine. Wish it were.

Lulu
Guest

I had one of those! A white one. Gifted by DH. Thought it was adorable until I drove it to the supermarket with two kids and there was no room for my groceries.

I didn’t pick up the impression that ZMan was seeking a DIY project….just new wheels.

Member

If you know what you want and you are patient, go here: cargurus.com

jdallen
Guest

Probably a repeat of someone else’s comment further down in the chain than I want to read, but…
Last spring, I searched the web and got several possibles, then went on a road trip to find an El Camino that was reasonable in price, performance, and state of restoration. Bought one. My third El Camino, since college days. Find yourself a restored old vehicle, Z. It may even cost more than a new one, but there were a ton of things about those old cars that were better than the new ones.

Member

Yup, like after Iran sets of 4 or 5 EMP bursts over North America, at least our plug and point ignitions will fire up our cars.

Mike Anderson
Guest

Bought a low-mileage BMW Z4 from no-bullshit CarMax about 10 years ago; found it online, did a test drive, and was out the door in half an hour. Coming up on 110,000 fun-driving miles and no problems, thanks to regular maintenance. Will replace at 200,000 or when a used M4 becomes affordable, whichever comes first.

H.A. Reynolds
Guest

WHAT? Toyota doesn’t “even have a fun car on offer”? You, Sir, are clearly NOT a car guy.
[insert slap across the face with calfskin driving gloves]
What about the Toyota/Subaru FRS/BRZ (formerly a Scion model)?

Anchises
Guest
The increasing uniformity of American vehicles is indeed a minor tragedy; even practical cars should have a little character. I learnt to drive in a Chevy conversion van; people constantly joked about it looking like a creepy sex pervert’s ride, but I liked that it had some personality (even if the personality in this case happened to be “reclusive weirdo”). I still miss it- with the high driver’s seat, I felt like a fully-grown bull elephant on the African savanna. It was about as manoeuvrable as a battleship and the gas mileage was crap, but in a snowstorm we would… Read more »
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