Sneke_Eyez

You've got $3000.

33 posts in this topic

Alright, heres a real thread, asking a real question. A lot of times situations like this are hypothetical, this is actually happening to me. Some of you know the details of this, but I'm curious to get your opinions. I know I'm new, and probably most of you know nothing about me, but thats actually a good thing. It'll make you vote with your gut. These are my specs, this is what I'm working with, and I'm in this precise situation:

Your winter/daily driver car gets totaled.

You're given a little more than $3500 for it.

For that reason, you pretty much need to stick to a $3000 budget due to tax and title expenses. There isn't a penny extra anywhere for the new car over what you're being given for the totaled car. Of course, you can negotiate the price of any vehicle, but within reason.

You need a car that is going to last you for at least the next 3 years. That is, until 2014. Then you'll probably be trading it in on something newer, or starting to drive your other cars.

In the next 3 years, you will be commuting back and forth between a major city that is anywhere from 1-3 hours from your home. You won't make this commute all the time, but every now and again.

You will park in parking garages, on the street, and in spaces that would make you literally cry if you parked your "favorite" car there.

The car will amass door dings, general wear and tear, and will probably get hit once or twice.

It must start when you want it to start, and be reliable when you want it to be reliable, over the next 4 years.

It must power through the snow and ice when you need it to go there.

It must weave its way through city traffic and find its way into parallel parking spots when necessary.

It must give you enough joy when you're driving it that you don't feel like you're opening the door to your refrigerator every time you get in.

It must look decent. You're a car guy, this can't be some ugly $h!box.

You will live with this car for about the next 4 years, despite brief summer-only stints driving your own vehicles, which do bring you excessive joy and happiness.

Low mileage is a big plus.

The newer, the better.

You're not buying it, it must be approved by someone who is generous enough to take the money they are being given for their totaled car and buy you another one with it. This is a decently traditional 77 year old man who will be paying for the maintenance on what you buy. Therefore, that means nothing ridiculous, no sports cars, nothing super impractical or excessively expensive to maintain.

There you go. I've given you the budget, I've given you the specs.

Now tell me what you would do. What would you buy if you were car shopping?

Feel free to take my specs and run with them.

I'm pretty much allowed to buy what I want, but as I said, within reason...

This honestly should be a no-brainer for me. I'm such a Mopar/LH car fan that "Intrepid, Concorde, or 300M" are easy answers. However, I am in this conundrum because I'm not sure I could subject an LH to this kind of use and live with myself on a regular basis. Its no secret how much I love the cars, could I beat one up like this?

Edited by Sneke_Eyez

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Aurora, Alero, Grand Prix...basically any 3800 newer than `98. I would also suggest a Panther car. Easy to work on, cheap to fix, indestructible 4.6, reasonable fuel economy.

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Pick your candidates from a selection of low-mile granny cars.

Be brand and nameplate blind until you meet the above criterion, then use the process of elimination to meet as many of your other requirements as possible.

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If I could only DD a convertible, a Cutlass Supreme Convertible would be on my short list. Gimme one with low miles and the 3.8 in one of the nice colors they make and I'd be super excited.

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If I could only DD a convertible, a Cutlass Supreme Convertible would be on my short list. Gimme one with low miles and the 3.8 in one of the nice colors they make and I'd be super excited.

Sorry to be a downer, but there is no such beast such as the one you described. I had a 1994 Cutlass Supreme convertible and know them well. The 3800 was NEVER offered in the W-body Cutlass Supreme. In the convertible, you had your choice of the dog ass slow 3.1 V6 or the fast for the time 3.4 DOHC V6 with 215hp and 215 ft/lbs of torque. This engine would run with the V8 Mustangs of the day.

The 3.4 is a good engine if you're handy, but it can be a bitch to work on because it is positively STUFFED into the engine bay. It will eat alternators and the timing belt is only good for about 60,000 miles. I highly recommend professional (an actual GM dealer, preferably Chevy or former Oldsmobile) replacement for the timing belt.

After that, the only trouble spot on the convertibles is the brakes. They stop the car just fine, but they were designed for the original W-body coupe which was about 1,000 lbs lighter, so they wear out very fast. Ceramic pads are highly recommended.

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Pick your candidates from a selection of low-mile granny cars.

Be brand and nameplate blind until you meet the above criterion, then use the process of elimination to meet as many of your other requirements as possible.

BINGO!

It was how I wound up with my $3200 Chrysler Concorde...one of the best cars I owned....I drove it another 100,000 very tough miles and sold it for $300....

Chris

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Sorry to be a downer, but there is no such beast such as the one you described. I had a 1994 Cutlass Supreme convertible and know them well. The 3800 was NEVER offered in the W-body Cutlass Supreme. In the convertible, you had your choice of the dog ass slow 3.1 V6 or the fast for the time 3.4 DOHC V6 with 215hp and 215 ft/lbs of torque. This engine would run with the V8 Mustangs of the day.

The 3.4 is a good engine if you're handy, but it can be a bitch to work on because it is positively STUFFED into the engine bay. It will eat alternators and the timing belt is only good for about 60,000 miles. I highly recommend professional (an actual GM dealer, preferably Chevy or former Oldsmobile) replacement for the timing belt.

After that, the only trouble spot on the convertibles is the brakes. They stop the car just fine, but they were designed for the original W-body coupe which was about 1,000 lbs lighter, so they wear out very fast. Ceramic pads are highly recommended.

Eh, you're not being a downer, just pointing out how little I really know about them. My grandfmother had a 94 when I was young (around 8 or so) and I liked the car a lot, but it was long gone by the time I would be old enough to really remember the driving experience. I just think they're good looking cars, and I figured with the 3.8, one of those things would MOVE.

Now if we were talking about LHs... :D

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oh well... was a monte carlo ss in 'Vette yellow

Oh, really?

;)

Hmmm....if my winter beater gets hit, particularly by a FWD car, someone is going to be very sorry they met me that way.

Doesn't fit all of your criteria, but I'd go with another '79 CC or an '89 CC.

Cort | 37.m.IL.pigValve.pacemaker | 5 Monte Carlos + 1 Caprice Classic |

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I can't really answer such a question for you, only for myself, considering my sometimes odd tastes. I'd probably be looking for either a diesel Benz, a Saab 900/9000, Nissan 240SX, or yet another VW MKIII, because I can always use another.

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