By on October 13, 2011

 

American Badass?

Anonymous writes:

Dear Sajeev and Steve,

I have the misfortune of working with a bunch of aspiring Yuppies. You know the types. The ones who believe that all American car companies make crap and the only true luxury cars come from Germany and Japan. Never mind the $1300 maintenance charge on their Audi or the fact that the Lexus ES is about as exciting as wilted corn flakes.
Long story short, I am sick and tired of hearing their crap. I want to buy the type of American car that will take these pompous, sniveling wussy boys and blow their stuck-upityness right out of their ass.
My choices are the following…
1) Corvette – preferably one with a muffler package that sounds like a roving gang of Hell’s Angels ready to roll.
2) Silverado – One with all the options. Throw in some Bigfoot tires so that I can roll over those little prissy scootmobiles.
3) Hummer H2 – Instead of a horn I would get four bullhorns and have them blare out lines from Ah-nold’s movies and Jesse Ventura’s speeches with every beep. Maybe a few fart noises too.
4) Chevette – I’m thinking if I go in dressed like this guy one day, and buy a few accessories along the way, I should be all set.
5) Adams Probe 16 – One of only three made. But built for a good purpose.
OK, I’m exaggerating with all this. But really. I want to get a luxury car that is All-American and the absolute best in it’s class. Price limit $40k. New, used, doesn’t matter. What do you recommend?
Steve Answers: Custom. Get a ride that is a true representation of all you enjoy.
As for yours truly… I would start with a 1992 Buick Roadmaster Limited. Nothing quite says ‘Imports suck!’ quite like Grandpa’s car did back in the day. Besides I happen to have one at the moment. You want it?
Modify the 350 engine to your hearts content and then throw in a nice high end Magnaflow. Spend a couple grand on upgrading the sound system and suspension. A little subtle tint in the windows. Wheels that come from a vintage Buick as well as a serious tire upgrade. Maybe also throw in some vintage aftermarket effects to accentuate your love of all things American.
My vote would be for an airbrush of a scantily clad Marilyn Monroe blowing a kiss on one side. A few images of our troops through the ages on the other side… and a collage of famous Americans (real and fictional) on the hood and rear. Oh, don’t forget a Class 3 hitch, a multi-sound horn, and a loudspeaker that will allow you to share your tunes with all of your anti-Detroit friends. Country, Western (they are two different types you know), Elvis, TV tunes… anything that is truly American through and through.
Total cost? Maybe about 10 grand and a few long-term friendships.
With the money you save, let your office mates know of all the wonderful places you plan on going for the next few years while they’re ‘paying off the note’. Think Fiji… or Belize… or maybe Greece when the next round of austerity measures are introduced.
Good luck!
Sajeev Answers: Oh yes!  I am sick and tired of hearing their crap too!  Nothing says “I hate you and everything you stand for” like a Hummer, especially one in Alpha trimmings.  Screw them! Who the hell do they think they are anyway?
Here’s my short list:Mustang GT 5.0: because of that evil live axle that the fanbois love to hate on!
Pontiac G8 GXP: cuz those jerks probably hate Outback Steakhouses too!
Corvette Z06 (C6): kicking everyone’s ass while saying “LS7-FTW!” to piss off those haters!
Last-Gen Cadillac CTS-V: see above, change to “LS6-FTW” instead.
Dodge Ram SRT-10: don’t you wish your girlfriend could oversteer like me?But honestly your best bet is a decommissioned Panther from the Bob Bondurant School, back when they ran with Ford: Cobra powertrain, big brakes, console, racing seats, roll cage and a subtle (almost-Euro like) body kit just to really burn their croissants.    You’ll scare the living shit out of them on the freeway with that Police-a-like style and really burn them because they will never catch up to you after the realize they’ve been had by an imposter!
Need help with a car buying conundrum? Email your particulars to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com , and let TTAC’s collective wisdom make the decision easier… or possibly much, much harder.
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99 Comments on “New or Used: Kill the Yuppies Edition?...”


  • avatar
    jj99

    A Corvette is cool, as long as it is normal base model, and you get the manual transmission. Forget the rest of that American stuff. It is all junk. Another good choice is the Nissan GTR. If you want to get something cool with little spending, the Civic SI is your vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      drylbrg

      I think you need to reread the article and then maybe look in a mirror.

    • 0 avatar
      acarr260

      Nice troll attempt… or you’ve missed the point so badly that you should go back for some reading comprehension classes.

      • 0 avatar
        jj99

        No troll attempt here. Did you see that I said the Corvette is a good pick? I like the base model with the 6 speed. Luxury. Handling. Refinement. I think the high end Z06 and ZR1 are tacky. But the base model is very very nice, and it would be an American car I would be proud to own.

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      First off, these morons believe they should buy something they do not need with money they do not have to impress people they do not know.

      They care about brands, not competence. They don’t care about nationalities, they only care about how to offset their shortcomings.

      Do not play their game. Get a stripped down classic pick up that can tow one of their pretty little things when they get stuck.

      It is about the man behind the wheel, not the damn wheels.

  • avatar

    Guys, you fumbled a really easy one. The answer is clearly:

    http://bit.ly/q4OZJm

    There are a few 2009 CTS-Vs in this price range on autotrader. The one linked has only 4,000 miles. In my experience, even the most ardent import fans respect the V. Just set aside some cash for gas and speeding tickets.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      The fine print sez no powertrain warranty because the vehicle was “used for testing.”

      Dem’s 4000 HARD miles, pahdnuh!

      Not sure why the OP didn’t specify the Chrysler 300C SRT-8, it’s Dodge equivalent or — even better, the Jeep variant of the same car: actually delivers what the H2 only promises, baby!

      • 0 avatar

        Testing? Sounds like someone got their warranty voided due to mods.

        Not a problem. Just pick up one of the cars with 20-30k, still not many miles. Like this one:

        http://bit.ly/qXeg4t

        Among SUVs, I would vastly prefer the JGC SRT8 to, well, any of the others including the H2. But the 300 SRT8, while an entertaining car, isn’t nearly as impressive as the CTS-V.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @michael- a friend traded his M5 for one, and his other car is a late model Ferrari.

  • avatar
    Wagon Of Fury

    How about (a) upgrade your friends, or (b) if they’re not really friends but work acquaintances who gives a rip what they think ?
    You can’t fix stupid, or in this case, people’s biases, at least not in the way you are going about it.

    Unless this was all a (not-so) clever ruse to ask what domestic $40k car should I buy.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    New: Chrysler 300C in black or Cadillac CTS

    Used: I second Michael’s suggestion of a CTS-V

    • 0 avatar
      Prado

      +1 on a new 300C. The sound of the Hemi alone is enough to give anyone ‘engine envy’.

      • 0 avatar
        joe_thousandaire

        Totally agree on the 330C. Your yuppy friends will hate that it is from a bailed-out car maker owned by an Italian company with the motto “Imported from Detroit” – their righteous indignation will be as sweet to your ears as the sound of the Hemi.

        Then they will check out the interior and wish they had bought one themselves.

  • avatar
    Almost Jake

    I seriously doubt that any domestic vehicle will “blow their stuck-upityness right out of their ass”. It’s a mindset. You need to get over the fact that there are people like that out there. I tend to fall into that category somewhat, except I’d never waste money on an Germany nameplate. I never tolerated a high-maintenance girlfriend and I refuse to have a high-maintenance car. (I’m sure to hear from the lucky few who had reliable German cars, but overall, they are maintenance pigs.)

    As for your short-list, the Vette is the only car that may create some envy. You may look at the Camaro. The convertible doesn’t have that cave-like interior of the hardtop.

    It’s great that your passionate about cars, but at what cost. In the end, just buy whatever makes you happy and ignore what other people think. Life is too short.

    • 0 avatar
      Neb

      It’s great that your passionate about cars, but at what cost. In the end, just buy whatever makes you happy and ignore what other people think. Life is too short.

      Exactly right. Buying some sorta middle-finger mobile just because you co-workers are dumb just makes you dumb in the same way. Get what you want; positive or negative, who cares what other people think?

      That said, ditch Hummers. They broadcast [b]“I HAVE MORE MONEY THAN SENSE OR TASTE!”[/b] The 300C SRT 8 is newish American Iron, but there’s a lot of old stuff too, (like the Buick and the Panther Platform) that would do the same thing and be dirt cheap. Get what you want!

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        That said, ditch Hummers. They broadcast “I HAVE MORE MONEY THAN SENSE OR TASTE!”

        I don’t know, that sounds pretty ‘Merican to me.

        With respect to the original question:
        a) Nobody cares what you drive
        b) Antagonizing your co-workers is a bad idea
        c) Buy a CTS-V

  • avatar

    My next car will be a current-generation CTS-V. Haven’t seen any under $40k that weren’t scary yet. My current car is a last-generation CTS-V, and you can probably get a really nice 2006-2007 now for $25k-ish, which leaves plenty of money for mods like a supercharger if you want to go that way. Interior isn’t quite up to what you’d think a Cadillac’s should be (and isn’t as nice as the current car’s), but it’s stiff and tight and has big Brembos and yeah, LS6 FTW.

  • avatar
    Almost Jake

    Based on experience, I’d stay away from Chrysler products if depreciation and blown transmissions are an issue for you.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I knew it! I just knew Sajeev would slyly sneak in a panther reference there!

    Hummer H3. A bit easier on gas, if you cared, in yellow, please.

    I do really like the Buick Roadmaster, though, I wanted one for years and there’s lots of them around here still – that would fulfill your dream quite nicely! Go for it!

  • avatar
    Jesse

    Me, I drive my 30 year old Volvo 242DL to my professional job. I think the only statement I make is that I’m cheap (which is far from true, as evidenced by the amount of money I sink into my 1800ES).

  • avatar
    George B

    Ford F-150 Lightning with louder aftermarket exhaust. Any era of Lightning will do. In case they become acclimated to the Lightning, many modification opportunities exist to keep up the annoyance.

    Going from Country to Urban, the Chrysler 300C is large enough to carry your friends to lunch on a regular basis. Many opportunities to assault their sensibilities with bling and general excess. Add a hip-hop sound track and insanely big wheels if they get used to the stock model.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Buick Regal Turbo?

  • avatar
    LeeK

    American excellence without looking like a Redneck is the key here. The CTS-V is a competitive vehicle to the Audi RS4 and the BMW M3. The US still arguably makes the best trucks and SUVs in the world, but you’ll just come across like a local yokel. I’m going to bet your Euro/Japanese snob co-workers will lift their respective noses at just about anything unless it has a lot of ” wow factor”. Right now, that comes from a Chevy Volt, which no matter the endless debates about it’s economics here at TTAC it is still a technological tour de force.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    Dear Anonymous (the anonymity thing alone is not a good start)

    In your letter you suggest that you despise these so-called ‘yuppies’ because they believe that “the only true luxury cars come from Germany and Japan.” And you’re going to ‘show them’ otherwise by getting a muscle car (or ‘sports’ truck/SUV)? Either I’m confused (and I’m not getting what you mean by “luxury”) or there’s something wrong with this picture.

    You’re not going to “blow their stuck-upityness right out of their ass” by buying a Vette or a Silverado and then beating them up with it. That will only add fuel to the fire.

    Don’t buy a vehicle just to impress some people you claim to despise. Just buy something that you’d like to own, and leave it at that.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Anonymous,

    1. Why do you care what your co-workers think about your car? Why do you care about their cars? If you’re dazzling them in the workplace, they may end up wanting to emulate you and driving a Chevette, if you get one. I’m getting the sense that isn’t happening.

    2. Why are you so interested in getting “in your face” with them? This isn’t about sharing your core values and lifestyle, this is work. You are there to produce results, earn money, hopefully advance and make more money. Doing things that suggest you secretly loathe your co-workers isn’t going to advance that agenda. I’m not saying you should buy an ES350 to blend in but your workplace prospects are better if you dress slightly nicer than the rest of the herd and getting some nice-looking, comfortable wheels isn’t going to hurt. Get a nicely appointed Cruze, or something similar, and save yourself a bunch of money because they probably aren’t going to get excited about my other suggestion, which would be a Buick (well, they ARE nice). Or get a nice Ford product… Ford’s getting more respect these days.

    By the bye, you should skip hatin’ on those furrin’ cars, yourself. As impressed as I have been with some American cars, many of the German and Japanese cars are either damned nice (ES350) or handle really well (Bimmers). And the Japanese cars do have excellent reliability (and getting to work on time, every time, is important).

    3. None of the vehicles on your list are likely to impress them much, anyway. The Corvette may get a nod. A custom Silverado might get some of them thinking, “jerk.” Probably nobody knows what an Adams Probe is, or cares.

    So, get whatever you really want but try to buy something that suggests you should be managing the place. Some “American” cars are actually pretty nice inside and look good on the outside. Presuming you actually have good relations with these people or are willing to fake same, when you drive people to lunch in a nice American car, they may take notice that the cars are above what they expected. If you can tell them you think the car is a good value then the interior, looks, appointments and power will help the car sell itself and may also suggest that you’ve got good financial sense.

    If I were you, I’d be giving some thought to something with a leather interior, as long as it’s nice. However, I’m not you and I’m content to drive a highly reliable, paid-for, 11 year old Toyota with 110K miles, still shiny but with a few bumps’n\'bruises, good fuel economy, proven low cost of ownership and a cloth interior that still looks, somehow, nearly new (not that it was anything to write home about when it was new).

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      +100

      Drive what you like, but in a professional environment your car will reflect on you, just like your clothes, manners, and (of course), accomplishments. The parking lot at the office of successful people generally has some pretty nice metal in it…and no Roadmasters or Crown Vics driven by anybody but the cleaning or security staff.

      If you want to make the “downsizeable” list dress like a slob, treat your co-workers with an FU attitude, and buy the Roadmaster or Crown Vic. Every workplace has a culture, and if you want to succeed you become a part of it or move on.

      The Jeep Grand Cherokee or Taurus SHO would keep you under budget and get you respectable transportation, no explanations required.

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    Buell 1125R.

    Wait, no, wrong website.

    Jeep Wrangler. The H2 is a Tahoe with a couple hundred pounds of bullshit bolted onto it; the H1 won’t fit in your parking spot or budget.

  • avatar
    tbp0701

    You’re all thinking too small. Here, do a Google image search for “Custom Peterbilt.” Here’s an example: http://tinyurl.com/44nkaqw . For the budget you may have to find a pretty old one, but … hey, wait a minute, a reasonable budget is not really part of traditional American culture!

    (More seriously, worrying about your image, especially with yuppies, is pretty yuppiesh, and no matter what you get, they have likely built a fairly impenetrable wall of denial that anything other than what they bought is worthy of touching their fashionable pants. I’d just get something you like, can afford and, most of all, really like driving–and learn how to seriously drive it–and let them keep telling themselves they made a better choice. Wait, that’s not a traditional American attitude, either! Get the Peterbilt and Steve’s Marilyn Monroe paint scheme.)

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    How about a ’68 Roadrunner with a lumpy cam and loud exhaust?

    H2 screams yuppie soccer mom – at least in my neck of the woods, I think a SVT Raptor is more in line with what you are looking for.

    A Wrangler could be a good choice; more subtle than the others and will give you a bit of mysterious outdoor cred if it shows up muddy on Monday morning.

  • avatar
    dastanley

    Dear Anonymous,

    Just get a penis enlargement and steal their women. Or get a bicycle and play pious oneupmanship with the environment, sort of the reverse GM bicycle ad – just get the special seat so your lettuce doesn’t wilt. Seriously, ignore what these “friends” think and drive what ever you want.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I was going to say something very similar to your first statement. Hummer H2, rightly or wrongly, in the hands of a “macho dude” as anonymous seems to want to portray, screams “nice car, sorry about the penis.”

      No, I’m not trying to restart the debate that the size of one’s car is inversely proportional to the size of one’s bits. It’s bound to happen anyway though.

      I certainly wouldn’t feel like paying the extra fuel costs to “stick it to em” when they’re not bound to understand what I’m getting at anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        dastanley

        Agreed tankinbeans. The problem with playing oneupmanship with douchebags is that you’re playing according to their rules, their terms. You’ll never win these kingshit games. Rather than trying to gain their approval with your toys in the sand box, just be the best at whatever your job is.

      • 0 avatar
        Unlimited Headroom

        That’s only one of the reasons I chose an LBC (little British Car)…just sayin’. Sorry, couldn’t resist the debate opening.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    If you care what you’re coworkers think;

    We just got a 2012 Mustang, V6, Base model. Mainly the wife’s nice car. If you have $40k to get yourself into debt with (or even better, just laying around) I’d get premium Mustang GT. Probably would be the fastest in the parking lot, and they are quite nice.

    I have a nice newer Jeep too, but we don’t use our new cars to commute. I drive a 78′ Chevy Malibu to work everyday, pretty beat up, a bit worn looking, but very solid and reliable. No point in taking a nice new car and running it into the ground, especially with a commute like mine. I’d rather have everybody think I’m some poor degenerate anyways, but unfortunately there have been weeks I’ve driven a different car to work everyday, so now everybody thinks I must be rich….

    As far as what you’re co workers think, screw them. You’re at work to work, not make friends and play social games. Build people’s respect for the job that you do, not the car you have in the parking lot.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    I knock GM constantly (for good reason). However, my ’05 C6 (6 speed) was a very good car. Never under 20 mpg, close to 29 on the highway. Impressive performance, no rattles, very good quality control. I recently sold it due to GM’s inability to make seats that neither my wife nor I could sit in for long periods. It’s the one car that GM makes that I’d think about getting again….IF…they would 1) pay off the govt loan (never happen), 2) tell the UAW to shove it up their smelly Obamas, and 3) hire many more engineers and far fewer MBAs.

  • avatar
    jeanpierresarti

    must be a slow news day for this to make it on the blog…

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Pontiac G8 or one of the last GTOs. Yes they’re Australian but much more “American Bada$$” than anything those doucebags are driving.

    My other choices for “F*** Yeah, America!” are a 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood (dual Flow-bastards should give it the right sound) if it’s not fast enough for you yank the de-tuned Vette motor for something cooler. If you want to go Ford, find a gently used Town Car, either an Ultimate Edition or a Touring Sedan and start tweaking it. Get Kenny Bell to supercharge it for you. My only vote on the Chrysler front would be a Hemi 300 with every possible option. Make sure the car is a sinister color like black.

    Have fun!

  • avatar
    stryker1

    Ditto on the CTS-V, otherwise I’d consider a challenger 392 or the afore-mentioned Mustang 5.0

    I test drove the 5.0 several months ago. I believe I could fight crime with that car.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    Serious response: CTS-V hands down.

    How I’d go about it: Ford Centurion one-ton, T444E (though a 460 would be appropriate in a way), loudest legal pipes you can get, Elvis in the tape deck, flagstaff on the right front flying Old Glory – only on sunny days, of course.

    I may daily-drive an old Volvo, but every so often, screw ‘em.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Already recommended above, but I’ll echo the recommendations

    1) Pontiac G8 GXP – but even used be prepared to pay $33K to $37K, these cars hold their value – the manual is even more rare – they look very classy in white and will eat the previous gen M5 alive, even Jeremy Clarkson wet himself over the Euro Vauxhall version

    2) Previous Gen CTS-V – and with the left over cash beef up the rear differential, the only weakness in the driveline. The one in the previous gen offering was crap. I believe one for any of the Zeta platform cars (Camaro, G8) are bolt on – don’t hold me to that.

    3) STS V-Series. Rare find, the “old” GM but a darn nice ride and you’ll have plenty of coin left over from your $40K

    Corvette gives them too much to complain about – especially that crappy interior. You won’t find too many people walking around that will say with a straight face, “the Pontiac G8 GXP is a steaming pile of crap.” And if they do – eat ‘em alive with the 415 HP under your right foot.

    If you go G8 GXP I would recommend getting it tuned to run on premium unleaded and change the shift points on the stock programming if you go automatic. Good for about 10 to 12 HP at the axle and shaving off a good 2/10 to 4/10 of a second on your 0 to 60 time, mainly due to the shift changes (no it isn’t just increasing line pressures and trashing your tranny, the stock setup is for fuel economy not raw performance). Also good for 2/10 to 4/10 in the quarter mile. Add a CAI (don’t go OTR – go Roto-Fab or Volant) and you can add another 10 to 12 HP to rear axle. Now you’re to base Corvette land.

  • avatar
    Britspeak

    Mid 60′s Lincoln Continental.

    http://www.classiccarclubphuket.com/Webpics/Brochures/Lincoln%20Continental%201965.jpg

    And by the way, anyone who is seriously going to argue that a Lexus / Toyota sedan is a ‘driver’s car’ or anything to covet is not worth your time.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Only a loser would need to use a car to impress other people.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I wouldn’t go with a previous gen CTS-V. It ‘s fast but performance isn’t what these guys care about. They’ll probably see it’s mere penis-wagging. The ugliness of the interior will be much more important to them, and the new CTS does a better job at that.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I used to work with a bunch of guys like this, so I feel your pain. The problem is, you arent going to win this one for under $40k. As others have said, the CTS-V will do it for sure, but only the new generation. The old one, while immensely capable, has an interior that is more Saturn than Audi, which I guarantee they will point out immediately. Any of the new ones will be over $40k.

    The Corvette will make you look like a douche, unless you get a Z06, but once again, you wont for your price limit. Any truck will instantly label you the local redneck, ditto an H2. Nothing from Lincoln or Cadillac will impress them, too much baggage with those brands. A Mustang GT (or better yet, a Boss 302) will be impressive, but not for luxury, in which case they will say “sure its faster, but the interior is still pure Ford”. Same problem with a Camaro SS or Challenger, only gearheads like retro muscle cars, not import snobs. The new Charger SRT-8 could do the trick, but although its interior is worlds better than before, its not quite good enough to compete with Audi or Benz. So what to do???

    I happen to like the new Buick Regal GS Turbo quite a lot, even my wife was incredibly impressed and she is a brand snob too. It is under your price cap, even with every option, looks incredible, performs well, the interior is beautiful… I think that will do it.

    Of course, its really a German car, but hopefully they wont know that… LOL

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Best way to win the Yuppie Wars is not playing in the 1st place. Act like it doesn’t exist and get one of these

    http://staticssl.ibsrv.net/autodata/images/?WIDTH=800&IMG=CAC10FOT132B0101.jpg

    Nothing too crazy, just the basics. Show up on Monday with some mud on the tires and if they ask, just say you did a little camping then change the subject. Chicks a your work will wonder if you’re on the rodeo circuit or ??? Either way, yuppies are a dime a dozen in the corporate world and it’s impossible to out yuppie them. Don’t even bother and while you’re pretending to be an outdoorsman, try out some new activities like mountain biking, fly fishing or white water kayaking. Who knows…

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Driving a pickup truck to my office doesn’t come close to coming across this way. It comes across as “hey, I’m the kind of guy who likes to pay extra in order use the wrong tool for the job!”

      My office is in the IT industry, and has a decidedly white-collar culture. We’re also located in the Midwest. Driving a $30k or $40k truck to a white-collar job just makes you look like the kind of shallow guy who would pay extra to do that….

      Unless you happen to have a snow-plow on the front of your truck and live somewhere where you have to plow the road on your way to work, as a few of my co-workers do. They’re also the ones who take vacation around harvest time and drive combines in the evenings, and we all know who lives on farms and who lives in town. Buying an F-150 Office Worker Edition to commute from a house in town like me would just make luser next to the guys who actually use their trucks for something, AND drive a normal car when the conditions allow.

      Lastly, as someone who’s actually done some outdoorsy things, I’d like to point out that a 4×4 is NOT required for any of the activities you list. Fishing and hiking spots are generally accessible by gravel roads that can be traversed with any front-wheel-drive car. If you think anyone need a 4×4 to drive on gravel, they ain’t ever been outdoors. I’d recommend that he tries those activities in whatever he drives now, and not worry bout cars so much. He may find he likes fishing better than trying to give the finger to his co-workers.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Luke42

        You don’t need a 4X4 for most outdoor activities especially in the dry summer months except for four wheeling itself. Plus 4X4 trails give you access camping, fishing and hiking far away from the general population including yuppies.

        Driving a 4X4 truck to the office is ALWAYS “the wrong tool for the job” but who says you have to use 80% of it GVWR at least 20% of the time and is it your job to police it? Is it also your job deciding what price range of trucks makes you “shallow”? Driving a high end German car doesn’t? Isn’t it also “the wrong tool for the job” if a Camry would’ve sufficed?

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        @Luke
        Two of the most dedicated outdoorsmen I know drive short wheelbase Chrysler minivans.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Luke42,

        +1

        “F-150 Office Worker Edition.”

        LOL!

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    For 40k I would get two cars:

    1) a large newish american luxury sedan, RWD, one that you don’t see often: Cadillac STS- very underrated car, a little bigger and roomier than a CTS, no need to get the STS-V, the regular 4.6 V8 is plenty of power, even the updated V6 is pretty good, these deprciate like crazy so find a 2008 or 2009 model which leaves money left over for…

    2) a used Silverado

    nothing says American like driving to work on Monday in a large luxury sedan and then tuesday show up in a full size pickup

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    What could be better than a Cadillac pickup ? The Escalade EXT, to be precise. In white.
    http://cadillac-escalade.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/2005-cadillac-escalade-ext.jpg
    any number in your price range here: http://motors.shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=cadillac+ext&_sacat=6001&_dmpt=US_Cars_Trucks&_odkw=&_osacat=6001&bkBtn=&_trksid=p4506.m270.l1313
    Like this. Put a Harley in the back FTW ! Opulence. Excess. Studliness.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Look at me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Listen to ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am forcing my NOISE upon folks whether they want to hear my exhaust NOISE or not!!!!!

    Oh, grow up, kiddies.

  • avatar
    benzaholic

    Leaving aside the obvious replies that you shouldn’t care what others think of your car and that you shouldn’t spend that much on a depreciating asset, I see a legitimate question in there:
    What American vehicle is as complete a package as an MB/BMW/Audi/Lexus?

    There’s plenty of wiggle room in there, (car? truck? hot rod?) but metal from our Golden Age probably just confirms the question. “Yeah, we used to make world-leading cars, we just decided not to do that any more.”

    The interior is what’s really limiting in my opinion. We haven’t done those impressively in a long time.

    Is the CTS-V mentioned so many times because this is the only US car that survives an apples-to-apples comparison?

    Maybe the Raptor.

    Hey, what about a recent Taurus SHO? Are they decently well-rounded?

  • avatar
    alan996

    Here is one for you asking only $7500 41,000 miles…

    http://www.weilcadillac.com/inventory/Used-Vehicle-Detail-Page.aspx?desc=1992-Cadillac-Deville-&vin=1G6CD53BXN4257133

    1992 Cadillac Deville
    1/4 Vogue Top,15in. Aluminum Wheels,Gold Pkg,Gold Grille,AM/FM Stereo w/Cassette,Cruise Control,Power Windows,Power Locks,Power Seats,Power Mirrors-D
    Accent striping *Color Selection Req*
    Cadillac script on rear end panel
    Center high-mounted stop lamp
    Moldings-inc: lower accent color, wheel openings
    Sedan de Ville script on quarter panel

    They also hav e selection of used Hummer, CTVs, and a STS AWD in flaming red..

  • avatar
    ajla

    Just get a first gen Ford Mustang. Everyone likes those things. They are like the cute puppy of the automotive world.

    Just don’t crash into anything.

    IMO, the last “all-American” luxury car was the Mark VIII.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    My sister (who lives in Indiana) drives a Toyota Sienna with a license plate frame that says “Made in Indiana”.

    That’s my recommendation. Buy a nice Sienna and put a “Made in Indiana” plate frame on it.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Why are full size pickups, Hummers, and loud exhausts are being suggested here? Mr. Anonymous wants a competitive luxury car. No one driving a 5-series BMW or Infiniti M is going to be at all impressed with a farting lifted Silverado, tarted up Suburban w/ a Cadillac badge, or Hummer. If these vehicles are considered the best examples of American automotive engineering, then it is small wonder his coworkers wrongly default to Germany and Japan for their rides.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    First up, ignore all the commenters here who question your motives. I don’t know your workplace environment, but at mine (a fire dept), in your face chest thumping about who makes the better car is par for the course (although my workplace is more the opposite of yours, with full size pickups and SUV’s dominating the lot). If I get a station wagon for my next car, I’ll willingly admit that part of the reason is just to give the middle finger to every idiot in a crossover. If you have a good relationship with your coworkers, then it’s all in good fun. They’ll mock you every time they touch the cheap plastic in your interior just like you laugh in the face of their bank busting repair bills while doing endless doughnuts on their front lawn (ok fine that last point may be a little overboard).
    Far as recommendations, a used Chrysler 300 SRT-8 or new Charger SRT-8 if you want the American alternative, and any V series Caddy if you want to beat them at their own game (get a model or poster of the SCCA World Challenge racecar and the Nurburgring car to really rub it in their face if you want). My only hesitation on either of the Ponchos (the GTO or G8) is the made in Australia badge they come with. An owner who starts bragging about his cars “American” muscle in front of me will hereafter forever hear his car referred to as a Holden Monaro or Commodore (personally if I had one I buy the Holden Fascias and put them on as I think they look better anyway).
    I don’t know if sports cars count as luxury and if this is intended to be a daily driver, but a current loaded up Mustang GT, used 2011 GT500 or Corvette should do (pics and models of the Le Mans car will again look good). Viper too, but possibly too crude for a daily driver and likely just as expensive to maintain as the Euros.
    If you’re gonna go the SUV route, it’s gotta be an Escalade or a current gen Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. No other vehicle (American or Euro) does in your face obnoxious luxury better than the Escalade, and nothing can beat a Jeep when the going gets tough, especially while still providing luxury and comfort. Fiat knows this; they bought Chrysler just so they could get Jeep.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Honestly, nothing modern sounds right to me in this case apart from a ‘built-in-a-shed’ plastic sports car with a truck engine. And I’m not talking about some teeny-weeny V8. No, we’re talking about a car that can go faster around the Nurburgring than any other production car (that could actually end up impressing your yuppie co-workers). Well, you may not be able to get an ACR for 40k, but any old Viper would do. And don’t even think about getting one without the side pipes or lemans/shelby stripes :)

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      side pipes might be a tough call, as they were only on the original 1992-1995 RT/10 roadsters and then then post 2003. The Porsche spanking Le Mans winning started with the 1996 generation, which had the center rear exist exhausts. I don’t think the 2003 ones will make it to the $40k price, and the original 1992 ones are rather crude and no more powerful than any of the other cars listed.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        OK, he’ll have to live with ‘normal’ exhaust then ;) It’s not so much about power as it is the silly huge aluminum truck engine in a sportscar concept :)

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        Yeah a large truck engine that won 5 FIA GT Championships (including 3 consecutives), 12 regional GT Championships, 3 overall wins at the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring, overall win at the Rolex 24, 3 consecutive class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and class wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Petit Le Mans, and Fuji 1000 km. In the last 20 years, I’d guess that maybe only the 911 has a shot of matching that record. And yeah, I agree that the side exhausts are way cooler, just unfortunately hard to manage at this price point.

  • avatar
    slance66

    You did say “luxury car” right? Not many American options. Most of your list would not achieve the right effect, other than maybe the Vette. A new Grand Cherokee is much nicer than an H2 or Silverado.

    Rather than a Vette, a Viper is far more interesting. But those are expensive sports cars. A new Boss 302 Mustang would be very cool.

    If you want to confuse them, get a new BMW X3, made in South Carolina.

    Aside from that it’s really just the CTS and not much else. If you want them to be surprised by how nice your American car is, a Buick Lacrosse might accomplish that. I once had a boss who bought a new Catera (I know) and I bought a lightly used v6 Contour SE with leather and a stick. Drove her to lunch and all she could say is “You paid what for this car? Your car is nicer than mine.” You might get that effect in a Regal or Lacrosse.

  • avatar
    cc-rider

    The poster needs to contact Sajeev’s brother about that 70′s land yacht Cadillac that Jack Baruth delivered and waxed eloquently about.

  • avatar
    campocaceres

    Either I’m missing a whole lot of tongue-in-cheek going on, or a lot of you guys need to get your exaggerometers readjusted. It doesn’t sound to me like his actual motivation is to show up his co-workers, I think he’s in the market for a new car and is proud enough of the domestic manufacturers that it bugs him that his co-workers seem to wholeheartedly disagree.

    “But really. I want to get a luxury car that is All-American and the absolute best in it’s class. Price limit $40k. New, used, doesn’t matter. What do you recommend?”

    Besides the CTS-V that has already been suggested numerous times, I’d say Escalade, Navigator, or GMC Denali. I’m more like your co-workers (with exception of the Corvette, I love that car), but all of those scream bold American luxury to me. Enough that it even irks me just that slightest bit more when one inevitably cuts me off on the road because they can’t see around their own (figurative, but stereotypically appropriate) fat asses :)

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    I want to get a luxury car that is All-American and the absolute best in it’s class. Price limit $40k.

    I’m not sure that exists even without the price limit.

    With it, well… I’d like a magic pony that farts rainbows, but those don’t exist either.

    (The CTS-V is a fine vehicle, if you like the styling. But “best in its class”? Hah.

    And the Corvette is more a sports car than a “luxury car” in the normal sense, isn’t it?)

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I’ll give the Corvette a best in class, but it is in a pathetically weak field. Other than that? If it has to have a USA badge and be best of type, I think 3/4 and 1 ton diesel pickups are the only non-delusional answers.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Put me in the “who cares what your co workers think of your ride” school of thought.

    Yes, for sure, how your dress,how you conduct yourself speaks volumes. Your car/truck ? Not so much, IMHO.

    People putting 60k on the table for a car? More power to them. If they feel they need to drive a high end car to impress others, why not? Maybe they truly believe, the driving experience of such a car justifies the big bucks. Then go for it.

    Personaly…I’m not impressed,but then again who really gives a fu–what I think?

    Buy and drive what ever you heart desires. Search around find a gently used “W” GM, Grand Prix, Impala maybe. Detail it,then detail it again. Maybe spring for some nice wheels. Park it beside your co workers BMW. You got a nice car. So does your co worker.

    But YOU got about 30K more in you pocket.

    Read Murilee Martins “65 Impala from hell project” Now that,my friend is one cool ride.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    (To clarify, the CTS-V, eg., might be best value in class – but that wasn’t what we were asked for…)

  • avatar

    OK, I’m exaggerating with all this. But really. I want to get a luxury car that is All-American and the absolute best in it’s class.

    I think this would do the trick and also simply outrage your coworkers. Just think, 500 all-American cubic inches.

    http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/carsforsale/cadillac/eldorado/1288337.html

    Description:
    Cadillac 1976 Eldorado convertible, 6,300 mile survivor, excellent condition, red/white, 300+ photos and written report, test drive video, $33,500 or best. Jason Phillips, auto appraiser, 810-691-2664, MI; http://www.autoappraise.com $33,500

    That leaves you with $6,500 for gasoline.

    • 0 avatar
      Madroc

      A little off-topic, but there was a Dodge dealer near my high school in the mid-90s that always had some unusual old iron on the used lot. A nice (but not quite show) 30s-era Ford, a late-50s Lincoln that even I knew was a project car. For a long time I was lobbying my parents to buy the tired but serviceable ’53 Chevy they had.

      But that ’76 Eldorado convertible in metallic pumpkin orange-brown … I had it *bad* for that car. To this day, part of me still thinks it would have been the best $8500 I ever spent.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Wow. That car is probably worth every penny. Definitely would make an impression that would not be forgotten. Fun to drive, fun to be the passenger, fun just to look at.

      Wow.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The Acura TL seems like an obvious choice. It was designed for the US market and is built in Ohio.

    In the alternative, you could get a Canadian-built Chrysler 300, a Mexican-built Lincoln or an Australian-built Pontiac. Those are red, white and blue American, according to some people.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Somehow people that want American brands care more about keeping jobs from Americans who won’t join organized crime than they care about if their junk is made in Mexico, Oz, or Canada.

    • 0 avatar
      Madroc

      Or for that matter, any number of SUVs (luxury or otherwise). Toyota Highlanders and Acura RDXs are pretty popular around my Yuppified office, and I’m pretty sure they’re as ‘Merican as any Canadian-built Opel rebadged as a Buick (not that there’s anything wrong with a Regal GS 6MT…)

    • 0 avatar
      pdieten

      That’s why he should buy a Taurus. Domestic name, built in Chicago and tops the list for domestic content.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    Forget luxury and go for capability. Get a Jeep Wrangler that has been reworked by AEV including the hemi conversion, lift/35″ tires and their wicked looking bumpers (don’t forget the winch!).

    If you live in an area where there is flooding or you get snow, your co-workers will be envious of the fact that you will be able to pull them from the ditch when they get stuck on the way in to work.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I’m not a GM fanboy – far from it. With the exception of a few Cadillac and Corvette models, there’s not a single vehicle currently being made by Government Motors that I’d ever entertain the idea of buying, much less consider class leading. That being said, Cadillac deserves special credit for the V. First up, with the exception of the C5 Audi RS6, none of the Germans have competed in, much less won in professional road racing, whereas Cadillac has now won races with both generations, and a championship with the first. Say what you want about Ring times, but Cadillac went and beat the Europeans at their own game. Is the interior on the CTS-V unbecoming of a car in its price range? Yes, but so was the E63 AMG I sat it, and at least the Cadillac looked nice. Never mind that it’s faster around a racetrack, has a proper manual, and especially in coupe form, is painfully beautiful outside. The M5, especially in its newest version, has become the symbol of everything that’s wrong with BMW. Any car which must artificially enhance it’s engine note through its audio system speakers loses any claim to the title of “Ultimate Driving Machine” and becomes the “Ultimate Poseur’s Computer.” Audi has its strong points (design, quality, engines), but their idiotic nose heavy design combined with AWD forfeits any right to claim handling supremacy over a well tuned, balanced RWD chassis. Never mind that the S6/RS6 have never had a manual gearbox and aren’t being sold anymore anyway.

  • avatar
    chug

    This made me laugh.

    This is exactly what I did back in June, but my limit was $10k.

    1996 Lincoln Town Car Cartier, champagne exterior and off-white interior, with every option except sunroof and 143,000 loving miles by a little old lady in North Carolina. No rust, the body was straight, and the interior was immaculate. It did need a lot of small-issue mechanical TLC, and since I no longer wrench I budgeted $10k for purchase and repairs.

    Had everything fixed and anything approaching 75% wear replaced, including all new tires, fixing the air suspension (thank you TTACers for your advice about that), a bunch of minor stuff, and putting in an iPod dock.

    For $10k I got a car that gets about 14 mpg in town, 25.5 highway, floats like a cloud, and puts a big smile on my adult children and (younger) co-workers’ faces – and on my face when I drive it.

    The one thing it still needs is a great horn – the PIA I put on just isn’t cutting it.

    It is a beautiful yet very gracious-middle-finger-kind of car. And I just love the looks I get from the mostly male drivers of BMWs and Audis – priceless.

    And an unexpected bonus: no one tailgates anymore!

    Feel the Panther love….

  • avatar
    ChevyIIfan

    Where’s the Panther love? How about a Mercury Marauder, something like this?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Rare-2003-Mercury-Marauder-Only-17468-Original-Miles-One-Owner-Car-/280754721126?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item415e491166#ht_30306wt_1165

    You can use the extra cash to customize it, exhaust, tinting, etc. Pretty badass.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    4-Door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, 2010 version coming off an early lease if you can snag it. That way you should be able to get it for around 20-21 even and grab a sahara or something a little more “trail-rated” now the fun comes, go ahead and dump in something fun and large. The Wrangler’s front end has room and you can basically drive up saying to your estranged colleagues “Yes, I hate you and I spent money pointlessly to offend you!” Of course they’ll be too busy enjoying what they own to care about you or your hyper-inflated sense of self-worth and move on. Both egos will be satisfied. All will be right.

  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – American Engineered and Built, Big V8, 4X4, in your face exhaust note, leather interior. What more do you need?

  • avatar

    Sajeev,

    I have a fond memory of tooling down the GBT in Carrollton, minding my own business over in the right hand lane, little D21 motorboating along. Suddenly, Whoosh, a Marauder flies by, almost too fast to recognize. “Damn!” sez I, “nice ride” Then came the train of Bayerischen Geld Verschwender vainly attempting to keep up :)

  • avatar
    gmrn

    I vote for a low mileage Magnum SRT8. I bought mine in April ’09 with just under 13,000 miles for $24K. Of the SRT8-family it sadly seems to hold it’s value the least. However, this makes for a very entertaining ride for little dough. Every person should experience that exhaust shriek at least for a bit in their life. Truly, the epitome of a bad ass American wagon (with a smattering of German bits).


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