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Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 08:49 AM   #1
 
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Recommendations: very used car

My daughter is going to need a car for a summer job/internship. Actually she'll need it from about February through September, at which point she'll sell it.

It doesn't need to be a good looking car, so my inclination is to recommend that she get a clunker. Maybe an old Toyota or Honda with about 130,000 miles. Spend under $3,000. This is in St. Louis.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 08:59 AM   #2
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

How about a 1998 Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer? Should be cheap and they are very reliable. If you can find a wagon, they hold a lot of stuff for a small car. Parts and maintenance are also cheap, and every mechanic in the heartland will have seen dozens of them over the last 10 years.
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 09:10 AM   #3
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

What about a Saturn manual transmission. early nineties around 80k miles. Maybe $2000. Or a Saturn automatic 1996 around 80k miles for maybe $3000.
Or what about a 4-door Oldmobile Cutlass Ciera (embarrassingly old lady looking, but indestructible and ridiculously cheap--ours cost $1500).
Get her used to cheap cars now! I prefer American private-sale cars--look in the paper or ask around the neighborhood after someone goes into a nursing home (is that horrible?). I got the Cutlass from a lady in a nursing home--it had 30k miles and was 10 years old!
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 09:32 AM   #4
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

No chance of making it a keeper? Get a year or two old Scion or a 3-4 year old corolla or civic, have a more reliable machine and drive it home later on? Cost ya 2.5x. maybe 3x the money but still be usable for another 10-12+ years. First major repair on the old clunker or having to junk and replace it and you'd be ahead...
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 12:33 PM   #5
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

Check Edmond for their picks at this price range. Here is the link to the top Used Cars from 1998-2003.

http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/bestb...les/index.html

The Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic were at the top of the list.
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

At a $3000 price point the best deal is to get a car in good shape and hope. For $3000 you'll get a 10 year old Japanese car or a 6-7 year old domestic. A car at this price point will likely have issues. Maybe you can live with the issues maybe you'll need to spend some money.

My advice is to look for a low milage car that a senior can no longer drive. They tend to take care of their autos and don't abuse them. But you never know. Also, getting a teenager to want some big domestic car that a senior drove might be pushing the envelope.

The trick is to look em over real good and then hope for no big repair bills.

I have bought lots of cars of this class in my past, but I used to work on em' myself.

For what it's worth, the most expensive (by far) car that I ever owned was a high mileage used car that was a good deal.

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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 01:15 PM   #7
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

Hmmm, St Louis..Before I thought about cheap I'd think safe cause I assume she will be commuting amongst a bevy of boneheads and probably through some areas you don't want a young lady to break down near.
When you are a stranger in bigcity usa it is tough to find an honest mechanic when you need one quick.
So, I'd buy a car with some size, air bags, mechanically sound and one anyone can fix at a reasonable price.* I'd be sure to have a tow plan as well.
All of that will help you sleep much better.
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 01:56 PM   #8
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
It doesn't need to be a good looking car, so my inclination is to recommend that she get a clunker.* Maybe an old Toyota or Honda with about 130,000 miles.* Spend under $3,000.* This is in St. Louis.
My '98 Camry had 115k miles when I bought it, and the KBB is still ~$7k..... 115k miles for a toyota is nothing

If you look at Toyotas from the '90s, make sure you have your mechanic check for sludging. Sludge = bad news. I pulled the valve cover off my engine and was happy to find that I didn't have any sludge buildup.

images from some website below.....

Sludge



No Sludge
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 02:14 PM   #9
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

Never look inside your engine.

You might see the gnomes.
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 02:35 PM   #10
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
Never look inside your engine.

You might see the gnomes.
I thought there were gerbils on wheels under the hood.
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 02:44 PM   #11
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

Another idea: how about an older buick century or regal. Safe, boring, good reliability and likely pretty readily available.
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 07:11 PM   #12
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
I thought there were gerbils on wheels under the hood.
See? You've been fooled...dont let THEM know that you know about the gnomes...
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 09:09 PM   #13
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

I don't think used small Corollas or Civics or similar are good buys unless you know for sure they've been driven by little ol' ladies or equivalent. Too many of the 'cheap' asian cars have had the crap driven out of them by teenagers or 20somethings. Repairs are really quite expensive when you need them. I would prefert to buy Toyotas et all as new cars that last forever treated properly.

Used, I would buy something domestic that is recommended by Edmonds. Would also support the choice of a used Buick. Usually well treated by middle aged or older types and have pretty good reliability records. They key is to buy something that lead footed people do not want to drive.
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-18-2006, 09:18 PM   #14
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

1982 Lincoln Town Car. Get it for a grand and put 2k into it. She gets into an accident, it happens in another zip code. Someone would have to call her and tell her it happened. Fix it with a hammer and a pair of vice grips.
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-19-2006, 09:13 AM   #15
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

Found this on Autotrader.com with St. Louis zip code

Private Seller 636-541-1724

West alton, MO 63386
Distance from ZIP 63102: 17 miles

Car DetailsYear / Make / Model / Trim 1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive

Comments
1991 LINCOLN TOWN CAR, 146,127 mi, air bag, abs, ac, ps, cc, tilt, lthr, p/seats, p/windows, tint, stereo, pdl, p/mirrors, state inspected, GOOD GAS MILEAGE, $1,795, 636-541-1724

* *
Price $1,795*
Mileage 146,127*
Exterior Color Burgundy*
Interior Color Offwhite*
Body Style Sedan*
Doors Four Door*
Engine 8 Cylinder Gasoline*
Transmission 4 Speed Automatic with Overdrive*
Fuel Type Gasoline*
Drive Type 2 wheel drive - rear*
VIN 1LNCM81W4MY768134*
Options Installed
Driver Air Bag;* Anti-Lock Brakes;* Air Conditioning;* Alloy Wheels;* Cruise Control;* Rear Window Defroster;* Power Seats;* AM/FM Stereo Cassette;* Leather Seats;* Power Door Locks;* Power Mirrors;* Power Windows;* Power Steering;* Tinted Glass;* Tilt Wheel;* *
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-19-2006, 09:17 AM   #16
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

here's what you get in an 82' Lincoln Towncar for $1000

and here's a picture of the guy who owns it.

If you buy this car for $1000, put $2000 in it. Then when you sell it, it's still worth $1000.

I wish I owned this car just so that I could park it in front of my neighbors house !

Attached Images
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File Type: jpg Towncar2.jpg (10.0 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg Towncar3.jpg (21.7 KB, 73 views)
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File Type: jpg_thumb Towncar1.jpg_thumb (26.3 KB, 0 views)
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-19-2006, 09:34 AM   #17
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

I think I like the Mark series cars better than the Towncars of this vintage. They are somewhat collectable. If you shop around maybe you can find one in decent shape in your price range.

Keep in mind that these cars suck down the gas. I believe that they have 6 liter (carburatorized) engines. Maybe if it runs well you'll get 10 mpg on the freeway and 5-7 mpg around town.
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-19-2006, 09:42 AM   #18
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzo
Found this on Autotrader.com with St. Louis zip code
Its a little new, but looks good for the price. I think we have a winnah!

Who cares about gas mileage? Between the bulk, the size, the air bags in that newer model, and the low center of gravity...plus if she's going to be driving anywhere longer distance, everyones going to want to go in the "big car" and chip in for the gas, hmmm?
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-19-2006, 09:53 AM   #19
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

():

Have you ever owned one of these (82 Lincoln) cars ? What was your experience with them ?

I have toyed with the idea of getting a Mark 5 or Cadillac of this vintage. They are possibly the ulimate cruisemobile.
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Re: Recommendations: very used car
Old 01-19-2006, 10:01 AM   #20
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Re: Recommendations: very used car

My porsche and my corvette were fixed by a mechanic friend who used to work on them on "his time"; he worked at a lincoln-mercury dealership. I used to rent the town cars all the time when he was working on them, which was pretty much all the damn time.

The good: if you're a larger than average person, you'll be very comfortable...at least I was on the brand new boofy seats. Not so sure about on one thats been sat on for 10 years. Nice soft smooth ride. At the time, all the comforts. Very nice sound system. One buddy owned nothing but town cars all his life and said they were the easiest cars to work on, plenty of elbow room everywhere. Plenty of accelleration. Six large suitcases in the trunk and six people, no problem. Accidents are things that happen to other people, elsewhere.

The bad: soft, squishy steering. A bit ponderous at high speeds. Lots of electronic crap (for their time) to break. Poor gas mileage. A treat to park in a short space. Forget parallel parking.

I always enjoyed the day or two of driving one, but maybe that was because it was such a counterpoint to the little hard riding, hard cornering beast I left in the shop.

That having been said, climate permitting, everyone should own a cadillac convertible from the 70's or 80's...at least for a little while...
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