By on February 25, 2013

Today’s edition of Monday Mileage Midget is brought to you by the state of Florida.

Palm trees. Retirement communities. Traffic signals and double yellow lines that are treated as mere suggestions. Florida has become an economic juggernaut thanks in large part to cheap housing, plenty of sunshine, and legal loopholes that allow well deserving retirees and unethical douchebags to live on the cheap.

There is one other unusual reality benefit of living in Florida… low mileage cars.

 

Here we have a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with only 3,289 miles.

I love the interior on this one. It just screams out, “Road trip!” with those large cupholders and the virtually untouched seats.

And here we have a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with only 10,702 miles. Pardon the sun glint but I’m not the one taking these pictures.

Finally, if you are willing to go a bit beyond the usual automotive blue plate specials, there is…

A 2005 Honda Pilot EX with AWD and 15k miles.

A loaded up for 1994, Ford Ranger STX. ABS, Cruise, 5-Speed, Ice Cold Air, AM/FM Radio with the all too essential cassette deck and alloy wheels. A ride that may have cost less out the door in 2009 than it did back in 1994. This one has 22,375 original miles.

Finally, if you find yourself owning a lifetime supply of Grey Poupon and houndstooth sportcoats, you can buy yourself one of these.

A 1997 Bentley Brooklands. Gorgeous. 30,021 miles. Need I say more?

Well, if I must. This may have been one of the last old school designs that you could get before bulbous bling started to take over. The difference between the Bentley Brooklands of 1997…

and the Bentley Brooklands of 2008

is a classic representation of how elegance in automotive design gave way to gaudiness. The most recent generations of the Grand Marquis and the Pilot represent much of the same. Well earned prestige, that ended up completely subverted by those who thought the protruding plasticidity of Escalades and fingernail thin chrome treatments would be the way of the future.

Mark my words. The 1997 Brooklands will be a classic for all the right reasons. The 2008 model won’t be nearly as well received when it comes time for tomorrow’s classic car shows. It may be a hot auction commodity by then. But only because they sold so few of them.

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15 Comments on “Monday Mileage Midget: Vecchio Combustible Paradisio!...”


  • avatar
    -Nate

    Don’t forget the free rust ! .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    So… what prices did these cars sell for?

    Low mileage is great, so long as you’re not paying a crazy premium over an average mileage equivalent.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Prices here are not bad actually, especially on these “blue hair specials” that are generally not highly desirable in the used market. Much of it is also due to private sellers not really aware of what they have. Dealers will still try to gouge you.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Nate:

    Sorta, kinda rust free.

    I can tell you first hand from living in Florida for many years that if you live at the beach, you’re going to have rust. Not like Ohio or Michigan of course, but I’ve seen some real hammer wagons that have spent their lives right on the shore line (the Atlantic side is worse than the Gulf) and they are generally rusted all over the surface, with holes, as opposed to in the floors or lower fender, doors & quarter panels.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Try Okinawa, where the ROOFS of cars have rusted out! At least that was the case when I was stationed there two times for a few months each in the early 1970′s in the air force! That really shocked me.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      Yes , I know this :

      I grew up a (damn) Yankee and have been in the Auto Trade my entire life , here in Sunny So. Cal. we get loads of unsafe Florida rust buckets that look good at first glance .

      Those damn flood cars too….

      -Nate

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Watch out with that 2008 Grand Ma. In that year Ford had really bad paint adhesion issues with white on these cars. There was an extended paint warranty for police and fleet cars, but retail owners got boned once outside of basic warranty when it starts flaking off.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Uh-oh – creeping old-fartism alert.

    Am I the only one who thinks the ’08 Brooklands looks better than the ’97 model? I especially like the older one’s flat side windows and the front and rear wheels that are recessed 3 inches inside the fender lips – the motor home look. And yes, I realize that makes mounting curb feelers easier.

    I don’t see a dime’s worth of difference between the looks of the 2001 Grand Marquis (gen 3) and the 2008 (most-recent gen). Could you point out to me the generation of Grand Marquis that exemplified good taste and restraint?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The visual differences between the ’01 and ’08 are small, just different headlamps and grille, different tail lamps. The real differences are mechanical. The ’08 has an aluminum from subrame with rack and pinion steering, different suspension geometry and wheel offset. They handle much better than the pre ’03 models which didn’t have these improvements.

      Anyone looking for the Peak of Panther goodness would be advised to look for an ’03 up. Small improvements since might make a difference to some (standard tachometer in 2006! woo hoo!) but there really isn’t much difference between those years.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    that 2008 brooklands looks kinda like…. kinda like what? damn what does it remind me of??????

    o yes, the pillsbury dough boy, or better yet a fat one trying to wear clothing that is 2 sizes too small. it just ooozes beyond the tasteful limits.

  • avatar

    Romance Writer Loretta Chase had only about 25,000 miles on her late ’80s Golf when she got the Fit. While she and her husband were away, my cousin Michael, a long-time friend of Loretta’s husband took me over to check out the car–I had some thoughts about LeMons. Anyway, all I could think about the sound of that engine after we started it up was wicked piston slap. Loretta apparently would drive it a mile to her destination and then a mile back, and that was about it. She loves the new Fit, which unlike the Golf, has a slushbox.

    • 0 avatar
      claytori

      +1 on this. Low mileage used cars = either – bucket of sludge and oil leaks or turned back clock. My preference is for well maintained high mileage but not too many years old (rust is the killer).

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    The 2008 and all post 2008 Bentleys look like VW designed them…..

  • avatar

    I am a huge Bentley fan. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the late Bentley Brooklands. For all intents and purposes, it is very reserved for a car of that class, especially when compared to the Mulsanne-based coupe that will eventually replace it. It still has a classic shape (just updated for that era), and I think it’ll be quite well-received in the future.

    As you all so eloquently pointed out in your “The DONKinental’s Got to Go” article, the Continental (and the new Flying Spur, which by the way is hideous without having even come out yet) will be worthless. Both the first and second-gen Continental have too many era-specific technology interfaces, and because of their finicky natures, probably won’t be preservable in the future. This Brooklands, on the other hand, seems to have classic technology, particularly the tried-and-true Bentley/Rolls-Roye 6 3/4 V8, which was around before fuel-injection. The Mulsanne still has that engine (for now; it’ll probably get replaced with a derivative of the Audi 4.2L V8), but even the Mulsanne, with its smattering of Audi electronics, will do better than the Continental in the future. The Continental’s equity is in the badge and name; it’s really just an overgrown Volkswagen with British coachwork…


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