By on June 3, 2013
Photo couretsy of turbododge.com

Photo couretsy of turbododge.com

The empty space in my driveway mocks me. The 300 is gone and I know it is not coming back. I have accepted that and I really believe in my heart-of-hearts that the car has gone to someone who will give it the use it actually deserves. But the sun still shines and the money in my pocket burns like fire against my thigh. I dare not ask my wife to allow me to buy another toy, she’s small but feisty, but never the less I still find myself on Craigslist considering all the possibilities. Help me, oh best and brightest, help me to exorcise this demon before I do something rash.

GP1

This weekend one of the cars I wrote about a few weeks ago in my article, Psycho Love, suddenly appeared for sale right in my own neighborhood. The 1993 Grand Prix is on my short list of cars I wish I had bought back in the day, and this one appears to be in pretty amazing shape; especially when you consider the evil that road salt works on cars of this age in this part of the country. I managed to stop myself from calling this young man up and rushing right over, but I did, in the name of putting my youngest child to sleep in her car seat, drive up and down dozens of streets in my neighborhood hoping to “stumble across” it. I never did find it, but I note that as of this morning the ad is still up so perhaps…

The ad says this car has just 90K miles on it, is still inspected and is on the road as of this writing. It also comes with a cold air intake, an aftermarket Magnaflow exhaust, a sunroof that doesn’t leak the speedometer projection and aftermarket rims. The owner claims that there is not a scratch or spot of rust on it and that it even comes with its own cover. All this for just $2900.

DT3

Compounding my crisis of the soul I just happened to be perusing the classified section of my favorite Turbo Dodge website on Saturday when I came across a 1987 Dodge Daytona Pacifica. Truth be told, back in the day I thought Daytonas were girls’ cars and of them all the Pacifica, with its puffy padded seats and snooty sounding name, was especially evocative of overweight women in their 40s who thought themselves just too cool to buy into the LeBaron. Before you get angry, just bear in mind that I can back up my assertion with the fact that the vast majority of Daytonas I see today, yes even the turbo Daytonas, have automatic transmissions.

dt4

The Daytona Pacifica I found just a few hundred miles away in North Eastern Ohio however shatters my preconceptions. Just read the ad and judge for yourself:

91,000 miles, 5 speed manual, 2.2 Turbocharged Block. Car has been converted from a Turbo I to a Turbo II. Car is in great condition and has many extras. Some extras are: 2 piece intake. mildly ported head, ported exhaust manifold, custom built turbo a little larger than stock,+40 injectors, heavy duty motor mounts, Koni adjustable shocks and struts, strut tower brace and custom rear shock tower brace, 255 ltr/hr high pressure high volume in tank fuel pump, Accufab adjustable fuel pressure regulator, rising rate regulator, Hella E Beam headlight lenses, custom front mount intercooler, talon blow off valve (modified for high boost), 3 stage manual boost control, switches at console ( can be adjusted to any settings), kumho 205X55ZR16 tires, braided steel turbo lines, 2 1/2″ mandrel bent exhaust, alarm with aftermarket power door locks, Alpine CD player. $3200.00.

To make my crisis even worse, when I asked a simple question about where exactly in Ohio he was, I got this response:

I’m North East Ohio, about 4 hours from Buffalo. Owned the car for the last 16 yrs. Been running the tuneup for the past 10 yrs without a problem. Passes E-check just fine with the existing tuneup. This car is more Shelby Daytona than a Shelby Daytona. I built this car to be dependable, fast and handle. This car is nothing like the Pacificas that people write about. No digital dash, no power windows, no factory power locks, no automatic.

Crisis acute. I’m a sucker for the days of my youth and this car looks like it was hand built by Doc Brown with the should intention of returning me to the 1980s. A turbo Dodge with all the right mods and a 5 speed. Of course, recent medical tests have revealed that I am producing less testosterone than I should be so that might be part of this crazy attraction I am feeling, but that Gel was supposed to fix that! It might just be puppy love, I know, but then again it might also be that I happen to know a really cool car when I see one. I’m so conflicted!

OK, so what the hell do I do? Do I face that tiny but extremely vociferous typhoon of a woman that I brought home from the far East ten years ago with the full knowledge that we will be going overseas in another year and that the money I drop on one of these cars may not entirely return to the account from which it came? Or do I keep my money safely in my pocket, and my head attached to my neck, and know that this sudden bout of infatuation will pass in due time? Help a brother out, your advice is much appreciated.

Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He writes for any car website that will have him and enjoys public speaking. According to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.

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105 Comments on “Raging Hormones Pull TTAC Author in Odd Directions – Assistance Needed!...”


  • avatar
    Motorhead10

    I bought a 94 Grand Prix for my wife – it looked like that one except it was a GTP with the white wheels. Looked much better than it drove – and that was supposedly the big dog (210hp IIRC). I don’t think that one is a GTP as it doesn’t have the air vents on the hood. If its not a GTP – buy the Dodge if you have to buy something.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Buy the Daytona!

    If I could, I would!

    A N-body Buick with the 3100 boat anchor is just…not inspiring.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Friends don’t let friends buy Dodge Daytonas.

    • 0 avatar
      mklrivpwner

      Only because even the best of friends will swipe it from under your nose and then laugh in your face about buying it for $200 less than what you said you’d buy it for.

  • avatar
    71charger_fan

    I sold my ’88 Pacifica 11 years ago and still regret it.

    • 0 avatar
      phreshone

      As a former 88 Dodge Shadow ES owner, I would be all over that Daytona if I had room for another car. Especially because it doesn’t have the ugly red interior like most daytonas, and that one looks great w/ white exterior.

      Koni shocks in the rear is a sub-hour job. Know enough now that head gaskets/turbo repair not a major hurdle.

  • avatar
    Cirruslydakota

    Another vote for buy the Daytona!

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    Thomas, do NOT buy those cars! For one, your wife will kill you (I have a Japanese wife myself and know whereof you speak (mine is 5’7″ though so the damage is greater)).

    Also, you could go back to Japan and take that cash, convert it into newly depreciated yen and then go shopping for something silly over there. Or you could get a new bike, say a CB1100, or a CBR400. You could probably get better resale on the Japanese stuff this time around, especially if you went for something old enough to import to the U.S. The Japanese Nostalgic scene has grown to the point it might be profitable for you…

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      CBR400, eh? I like your thinking!

    • 0 avatar

      My job won’t pay to ship any car purchased overseas. There are way to many problems with getting them through customs so they have decided to forbid the practice altogether. If it would, I’d have bought one of the current model Mazda MPV vans when my VW shit the bed and I would have that today.

      I wish I could be certain that Japan is in our future, but I won’t even get the bid list until later this summer. If it does, chances are I will do something close to what you suggest, although I think bikes and I are quits right now. I like the CBR400, but higher on my list is the RVF400. Of course these things are all a couple of decades old these days – *sigh*

      Thing is, depending upon my posting, chances are that I won’t be allowed a second parking spot so I am guessing there is another van in our future.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        All the more reason for a short term ownership/easy sell car. Riddle me this, who outside of TTAC in Buffalo is going to want either of these in 6-12 months?

        • 0 avatar

          That, my friend, is exactly the kind of thing I need to hear.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You’re quite welcome. After going through a poorly thought out and expensive ownership of a ’90 Town Car in 2008, I switched to this line of thinking and recently purchased the $2200 Volvo 240 for my secondary/toy car in place of the gorgeous ’99 Deville D’Elegance/47K I was offered for 5. I don’t regret the decision.

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        Thomas, I wasn’t suggesting you ship it yourself, I was suggesting you sell it to someone like the JDM Legends shop (http://www.jdmlegends.com/) while still in Japan, and let them do the work of shipping it over.

        But if you can’t get parking, that makes things much more difficult. I’d fight that van with every ounce of strength, but I don’t know what you need in terms of space. My argument would be that unless it’s five western-sized adults, they’re not too big for an R32 Skyline sedan…

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    This ad begs the obvious question: Why is this guy selling it? Could it be that all of these add-ons overstressed the limits of the undoubtedly cheap MoPar motor, or the rest of the drive train for that matter?

    Someone’s project hot rod would be at the very bottom of the list of any used cars I would think of buying . . . unless I had time and money on my hands and wanted to throw more of both into the car.

    Is this car collectable?

  • avatar
    izzy

    Buy the Daytona and write about it. You can use that as an excuse … strike that .. reason to further you career in automotive writer.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    It makes me proud to be an American to know that there’s somebody, maybe more than one person! – who took it upon themselves to take a Daytona Pacifica and make it more Shelby Daytona than a Shelby Daytona!

    I’d love both, and I prefer GM, but if I had to choose between these two specific models, I’d go with the Daytona.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I agree with DC Bruce. Too many modifications,to even consider the Dodge,though the price is tempting. My first question would be why are you selling it?

    The Pontiac has either not been winter driven,or come up from the south.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    You only live once.

    These are cheap cars to indulge in (unless you have a catastrophic failure) even then, ask someone what their golf hobby costs them every Saturday.

    As long as you have the resources to provide for your family, I say go for it.

    I think the Daytona sounds like the one to get. I never thought they were a “chick” car, just sort of a Mopar Mustang. That Grand Prix looks like it’s been in the hands of some hacks with zero taste. I have to admit, I liked those also back in the day, despite knowing they were cheesy with their ridiculous heads up display and faux fighter jet dash design.

    • 0 avatar

      I think the Grand prix actually has some potential. I’m guessing that with a little bit of elbow grease I could get rid of that hidious sticker on the hood and do some other things that would make the car less “Ill.” Going back to the stock wheels or going with something a little more classic, like some centerlines, would also enhance it. If I did it right, I might even make some money on it. That’s what I find tempting.

      The Daytona just grabs my attention and says “Let’s go play!” I could see having a great time in it.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Your strain of this disease is far more potent than normal. Yours is for machines that actually exist, manifested by a desire for front wheel drive hot rods (an oxymoron for years, now actually possible to find). The only way to eradicate this problem is to expend your existing funds. To do this simply pass the addiction to your wife and to do so may require it be japanese in origin. An early celica, Z car, or rx7 would be rwd which would help but she might never forgive you.

    Best of luck.

    • 0 avatar

      Were I on the West coast, I would be serious about several of those other options, but in the Northeast those cars are either rusted away or high priced collectables. I’m thinking about low buck fun here so bringing in something nice from another part of the country isn’t an option I’d like to entertain.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The early W-bodies offered an array of 60 degree OHVs and an oddball OHC engine 3.4L LQ1 (which should be avoided IMO), none of which are particularly exciting. If you look at Chrysler, you see what I believe are almost all K-cars and variants through about 1995. Personally not being a Mopar guy I would opt for the boring but reliable GM OHVs, but if I were tempted by Chrysler I would track down a V6 Lebaron Conv or Maserati TC and ditch the Daytona dreams.

    The 88-89 TCs were some kind of turbo-4 similar to the Daytona, but give you the added class the Daytona lacks (plus TCs are almost free when you can find them). I believe the 90-91 TC and 90+ Lebarons Convs were all V6s, now I think there was some kind of transmission issue with whatever the 3.0L was plugged into around that time so do your homework on what works or didn’t work in that period. I sort of owned a ’93 Lebaron Conv in 05-06 (even had a digital dash!) and I really liked it. If one became available again with a good roof and working arms, I would snatch it up.

    Additional:
    Although I don’t think this is the kind of car you had in mind given the article, but if I were looking for a car to tinker with from the period, the RWD Volvos also come to mind if you can find one. Excellent build and materials quality, 70s technology, designed to be repaired, strong aftermarket, stands out in a crowd, and the best part, generally cheap to acquire/run and generally easy to sell.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      What’s wrong with the LQ1? Never heard of any major problems with the motor, and people on 60DegreeV6.com run those things with big turbos no problem.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I personally wouldn’t trust early GM OHCs, plus that engine only had a lifespan of about six model years and was only offered in the top trim packages. If I’m buying an old car, I’m buying one with proven history and decent aftermarket support.

        1991–1994 Chevrolet Lumina Z34 and the Euro 3.4 sedan
        1991–1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
        1991–1996 Pontiac Grand Prix
        1995–1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34
        1995–1997 Chevrolet Lumina LS
        1997 Chevrolet Lumina LTZ

        On 1997 and later Grand Prix models, and 1998 and later Lumina and Monte Carlo models, the LQ1 was replaced by the 3800 Series II (RPO code L36). With a minimal decrease in power output over the LQ1 on a traditional OHV setup, this Buick-designed V6 offered proven reliability. It is much simpler to work on, and offered wide aftermarket performance support.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Yeah, I know all about the lack of aftermarket support for 60V6s.

          You want to turbocharge a 60V6? You get to make your own turbo manifold because nobody sells one, and the same goes for superchargers.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s a little beyond what I look to do with my toys, although I’m a tinkerer not a full blown master mechanic. Those in the know may love that engine.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Parts are rare compared to the OHV stuff, plug changes are quite hard, and the timing belt is a nightmare.

        If it made like 280hp, it might be worth it.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Get the Daytona. You already know how to work on Turbo Dodges should you blow another head gasket (you probably will unless he’s studded it or put good bolts and gaskets in). The asking price is fair for a clean example of one of the more desirable combinations. Get him down on price a bit and drive it home!

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Steer clear of the old Chrysler junk. Find a Buick Reatta – now THERE’S something that’ll set you apart from the crowd! In white or red, please…

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Tally so far:

    8 votes for the Daytona
    6 votes against the Daytona
    2 votes for a Honda motorcycle
    0 votes for the GP

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’d really like to get a last-gen Buick Riviera or Park Avenue Ultra with that supercharged V6 and create a super comfy sleeper to cruise around in…

    Nobody expects a big old Buick to be quick!

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I could go for either.

    The Dodge is far more unique/rare, the GP is more practical kid/wife friendly…the graphics on the GP push it way over the line into “let’s pawn the neighbors’ shit and stay up for days territory.”

    Winner: Dodge

  • avatar
    jco

    the only FWD grand prix worth having was the super-rare 1989/1990 turbo models.

    the plastic body cladding was much less overbearing. and turbo! but that steering wheel with all the buttons, ack. it even has a disco-dash, improbably placed too low on the console

    http://www.tgpforums.com/index.php?topic=5870.0

    • 0 avatar

      Oddly there is a red one of these on the local Craigslist as well. I was a little put off because it is pretty rough shape and looks to need some body work. I remember when these first came out and they were so good looking, it makes me sad to see them thrashed and forgotten about.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      The 89/90 and the 93 all share the exact same body work. The only difference is the headlights.

      The TGP is more expensive to fix and more tempermental…the 3.4 GP’s are probably quicker 90% of the time too.

  • avatar
    David Hester

    The trick is to buy a toy car for yourself after convincing the wife that it’s something she wants.

    And, no, I’ve never been able to pull the trick off successfully myself. Bribery works, but you have to be able to afford both a car and something pricey that she wants in return. My Camaro also cost me a $300 Kitchen- Aid stand mixer and a $250 iPod.

    Buying a heavily modified used car would make me extremely nervous. Mods tend to either have been done exactly right by someone who knows what he was doing, creating a car that’s better than the one that left the assembly line, or they’re done exactly wrong and will cause catastrophic failure twenty minutes after you drive away.

    The owner of the Dodge sounds like he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the modifications he’s done, but what do I know? He might have reinstalled his MAF sensor with a rubber mallet like some kind of crazed barbarian…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You’re probably dead on but such an arrangement is not selling marriage to me pal. I don’t see a point if I can’t spend my money on something I want.

      • 0 avatar
        David Hester

        I must admit, there are times when I catch myself thinking that the radical feminists might be onto something with the view that marriage is just a sanctioned form of prostitution.

        (I’m kidding, honey.)

        • 0 avatar

          Marry a Japanese girl who really doesn’t speak English and you can write all sorts of crazy crap about your relationship on the internet…

          (No apologies needed.)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I wouldn’t go that far but if I play devil’s advocate and say my gf and I were to be married, I would treat things financially as a partnership. So if rent were $712 (which it is) she coughs up half or doesn’t live there. For smaller items (such as dinner out) I cover it and she contributes what she can. This is pretty much how we are now (although we do not live together).

          Call me harsh if you will, but poor finances can lead to divorce which is something few couples really want to happen. Evidently poor communication, infidelity, and unrealistic expectations make the list as well.

          http://drjamesdobson DOT org/Solid-Answers/Answers?a=8e4128d4-fd4d-4d43-8bf6-e78e34697b87

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Call me harsh if you will, but poor finances can lead to divorce which is something few couples really want to happen.”

            It’s not harsh at all, it’s just plain a good idea. We run our family finances like a business. The family has a joint account where bills are paid from. Every month we compile all our expenses and contribute to them from our personal accounts.

            We compare month over month, year over year and plan out our goals. I’ve come to realize this is far more work than most people are willing to put into such things, but I guess that’s why we’re in better financial shape than most.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This is intriguing.

          • 0 avatar

            I have a potential prenuptual agreement already written. If I make 1200 a month and my wife makes 800 a month, I will pay 60% of the house payment/rent, utilities, etc, and she will be responsible for 40%.

            It’s fair, whoever makes more, pays more. With open finances and cooperative planning for our goals, and allowances made for saving independently for gifts or vacations/trips.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            @SexCpotatoes – “If I make 1200 a month and my wife makes 800 a month, I will pay 60% of the house payment/rent, utilities, etc, and she will be responsible for 40%.”

            I don’t like this approach because it doesn’t address consumption or productivity, it just taxes the producer more. I pick up most of the expenses when the wife is off of work child rearing because that’s a valuable service that we would otherwise pay a sitter and nanny for. When she’s at work and the kids are with a sitter, all shared expenses are 50/50.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            You guys are making me feel old fashion…
            I make about 150% more than my wife, but we both deposit all of our money into one account.

            She pays all the bills from this one account. There is not “her” money and “his” money…there is only “our” money.

            I must have been stupid an married someone I trust and don’t look at it as a business arrangment but as a family.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Buy an IRA. Not a neo-malaise era nurse mobile.

    In 20-25 years, cash out in your retirement years. By then, further recessions aside, you’ll have enough cash to buy a proper do-want car, one that isn’t embarrassing.

    You’re welcome.

    • 0 avatar
      MK

      Boo! Mr K is talking inexpensive hobby cars here, something like $6000 in 15 years time isn’t going to make the difference between eating catfood or caviar.

      I dunno, save for the future but you’ve gotta enjoy your time now as well.

      Life’s too short to drive boring cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You can drive boring cars in an un-boring manner. Just get a police scanner and radar detector and check all your mirrors frequently. Add a child seat in the back and practice your “there was a bee in the car, officer” delivery until it sounds reasonably sincere, just in case.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    The sun roof doesn’t leak because it wasn’t raining when he wrote the advert ~ you _KNOW_ this .

    Neither car rings my bell and I’m a Bowtie Guy but the Dodge looks the better deal to me .

    She’ll get over it eventually , remind her she never has to hunt you down in a puddle of beer at a bar nor do floozies call you late at night , that oughta cut you some slack .

    Either way you go , I smell another good article coming either about your new toy or….

    -Nate

  • avatar
    mankyman

    Mr. Kreutzer, you have Car Fever. I have fallen victim to it many times, as well as its related cousin Boat Fever. The only cure that works for me is to hold back from purchasing until the urge passes. Why not put that cash into a 529 or some other investment?

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Make an offer on the Daytona for $2900. Yes you are buying someone else’s problem, but you probably already have the solution, if not the resources to find the solution.

    Here’s some perspective: you could spend $3000 these days on a mountain bike that won’t even attract any attention at the local trail. A bike!

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Excellent point. He’s looking at dropping 3 grand, not 30. If a clean Turbo Dodge turns a guy’s crank for what equals beer money, I say go for it.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    I have a rule against buying someone else’s hotrod project. Too many opportunities for disaster. Anybody can talk a good game and sound like they know what they’re talking about, or he could just be reading items off his stack of receipts. I would go with the GP.

    I guess it’s too late to get the 300 back..

    • 0 avatar

      The truth is, as much as I loved it, I don’t want the 300 back. It was a really, really nice car and when you own something like that you don’t want to take it out in the rain, you don’t want to get it scummy, you don’t want to do anything risky with it.

      • 0 avatar
        True_Blue

        Has the new owner talked to you since he purchased your Special? I know you said he had some plans for it, I wonder if he got started!

        • 0 avatar

          We’ve exchanged emails a few times since he got it, but mostly those were because I didn’t know I was supposed to turn in the plates – Most states print that kind of thing on the back of the title, y’know? That’s all taken care of now so I haven’t bothered him since. I don’t even think he knows I write for TTAC.

          Based on our last couple of emails I think he is enjoyng it as much as I did. His other car went to his son so I am guessinghe is using the Special as his daily driver during the summer. That’s good, I think, it really needed to get used more.

  • avatar
    RaptorConner

    Is there any particular reason you are looking at only FWD GMs and Chryslers? Why not something rear wheel drive with a chassis to back up the good looks? This doesn’t say whether its a 5 speed, but the 5 speed ones will demolish any Daytona or Grand Prix…

    http://youngstown.craigslist.org/cto/3832930057.html

  • avatar

    Thomas, just comparing the two cars on “factory” merits, I’d pick the Turbo Dodge – the W-body Grand Prixs back then were nice looking, and that’s about it. A turbo dodge will be much more fun to drive as a toy.

    Comparing these used ones, GO BUY THAT DODGE NOW MAN. If you’re looking for a nice one, you’re not going to find a better one (with a better previous owner) than that! It’s so right, all the work’s already been done. The Grand Prix will never be that nice.

  • avatar
    DIYer

    Here’s an article by your colleague, I’d ask him for an expert opinion:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/junkyard-find-1987-dodge-daytona-shelby-z/

    A buddy had a 1984 Omni GLH with a Shelby chip, in the Detroit area. He sold it with only 80K on it in 1995, because the engine cradle was rusting out, lots of rust in general. Today he drives a turbo PT Cruiser, in order to satisfy his need for Mopar speed.

    If this Daytona was garaged during Akron winters and hasn’t been hit, it might be OK, if you can do the maintenance yourself or know a reasonable mechanic who will work on modified vehicles. Othewise, it can get expensive in a hurry. You don’t see many of these still on the road after 25 years.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Thomas, just as a reality check, I’d be asking a few questions before you pull the trigger on your choice.

    1) What passive residual income stream are you building for yourself? It could be a business, a 401K, a rental property, or some book with ongoing royalties. I doesn’t matter, but poor and middle class people stay where they are because they think of what money can get for them rather than what money will do for them.

    2) If you weren’t allowed to own anything but you could borrow anything you wanted, what is your ideal lifestyle? Is it driving the hot rod hard, being seen in it, tinkering with it, or just another thing in your bucket list? You’ll save yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars in your lifetime by just digging deep in this exercise.

    3) This is clearly a discretionary purchase, from your other posts about your existing vehicles. So if money is burning a hole in your wallet, it’s because you probably don’t like money, and have an urge to get rid of it. It just shows up in big ticket purchases. What else could you do with the money? Maybe it’s a dream trip, or going back to school, or maybe just a home closer to work.

    I could go on, but you’re not my client, and to be honest, I can’t stand your taste in cars!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Very wise suggestions.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      All good points one should reflect on if they haven’t. Regarding Tom’s question, I just made an assumption that his financial house is in order and he’s got 3k to burn on some turbo goodness.

      • 0 avatar

        You probably give me more credit than I am due. Money is important to me, especially since I was raised without much of it flying around. I have some now, but could always use more.

        The downside is that I spend so little time stateside these days that I seldom get a chance to indulge my desire to waste what little I have on cars. If things go true to plan, this time next year it’ll all be swept away no matter what and we’ll pack everything that fits in a container and move overseas again.

        Just writing about this is helping me calm down a little, so from that standpoint everyone’s words are helping soothe the savage beast.

        • 0 avatar
          phreshone

          if you write about working on the Daytona, can you write off the repairs as a business expense?

          • 0 avatar

            That’s a nice idea, but the Future Writer gig is not compensated. Honestly, it’s for the best I think. Although the greedy part of me would love some extra money coming in, the logical part of me knows it would make writing for TTAC less fun.

            I’d just end up writing “sellable” articles, not sharing my crazy inner fantasies.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m sure there’s an accountant floating around in TTAC, is there any way to deduct a non-paying gig as a loss or something to this effect?

        • 0 avatar
          WaftableTorque

          The problem with asking enthusiasts for advice is that you’re surrounded by enablers. If you want to use your brain instead of your glands, always ask “What am I not seeing in this scenario.” Stupid in the small stuff means stupid in the big stuff.

        • 0 avatar
          WaftableTorque

          Recommended reading: “Happy Money: the Science of Smarter Spending” by Dunn and Norton. If you can’t pick it up, in a nut shell it says that most material purchases are victim to habituation and boredom, leading to a perpetual treadmill for your next $$$ fix. You get a far higher happiness rate of return if you spend your money on experiences, other people, or saving time. You can also make material purchases more enjoyable by delaying your purchases or by making it a rare treat.

          In other words, you’re too fast to scratch your itch.

      • 0 avatar
        gessvt

        Seconded. Now I feel guilty for recommending that he scratch his itch.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Schedule C and E activities are hardly sure-fire money makers.

    • 0 avatar

      I have some of these things going already and should be OK when the times comes to retire. Naturally I don’t want to squander what I have, your point about how poor people think about what money can buy vs thinking about what money will do for them, hits me really close to home. I struggle with this every day.

      I had crossed that threshold when the current economic downturn hit and stripped away a lot of the money I had been accumulating. I have battled back, but my penchant for risk is greatly diminished these days. I’d almost rather waste the money on my stupid toys than put it into more investments and watch it all taken away the next time the market goes south.

      • 0 avatar
        MK

        These guys mean well but they’re total buzzkills. lol

        From what I gather you spend a large part of your time moving around and possibly on ships away from your family and dry land. there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your last year in the US on terra firma with a hobby car to tool around in.

        Worst case you sell it for half of what you put in it and lose $1500. Dang, if that’s all that rescues you from living under an overpass in 20 years then we’re all screwed.

        I’m with you, (and I can’t believe I’m about to say this because I hated these 2.2 turbo chryco’s back in the day =) but I’d rather piss it away on old clunker that I fart around with on weekends than watch a number ticker in my SEP-IRA go down (or even up) by the same amount.

        Lord knows I haven’t felt so “thrifty” watching tens of thousands of hard earned dollars disappear in a matter of days to who-knows-where but ymmv.

        life’s for living. live within your means but I certainly don’t regret buying the Porsche and driving/fixing it for the past decade…. hell for that matter I don’t regret buying ANY of the various hoopties I’ve had over the course of my life.

        (But between the two i’d pick the…….gah….this hurts……….the Chrysler.)

        ;)

  • avatar
    MR2turbo4evr

    If you must chose between the 2 cars, please pick the Chrysler. I have no words to describe how ugly the grand prix looks in my eyes. Definitelly on the same level as the Aztek. I’m sure it’d be easier to sell the Chrysler when you’re in a pinch.

  • avatar
    ChiefPontiaxe

    You should do what I did to satisfy your 1980’s car craving- buy a Chrysler Conquest or Mitsubishi Starion (they are selling in $3-4K range in driver condition). Oh, and also buy a Members Only jacket.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I actually drove an ’86 Conquest for a brief time in 2005 (dealer car). Tough car to find clean then and now due to their disposable nature.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Yea, I had a Grand Prix Coupe of that vintage. It looked cool, but was otherwise pretty trashy.

    A Lesabre T-type or a low option Toronado (one with no screwy ABS system) would be a noticeble bit nicer.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      If it’s going to be a toy why not search out a 80’s 5.0 Mustang or one of the F-bodys (I choose Firebird Formula…but I’m biased)?
      Both can be found cheap…easy to work on, fun and you can do donuts in them.

      • 0 avatar

        Believe it or not, I find the F bodies to be a little cramped, especially the late 90s ones. I’m not sure why. I don’t like to be layed back when I drive, I like to be bolt upright and the interior space and seats in the Dodges just fit me better for whatever reason.

        I would think about a Fox Mustang but I am not a Ford guy at heart and it would have to be just the right car.

        The other thing is that the F bodies and the Mustangs are really dime a dozen even today, but the turbo Dodges are a little more quirky and less of them have survivied through the years. Yes, I know that should tell me somethng, but I loved these cars when I was young and part of the allure is being able to step back in time.

        • 0 avatar
          phreshone

          Chrysler did a great job on making its mid-80’s cars comfortable for taller drivers

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          I can respect that.

          I think the Daytona is cool and definitely not something you run into everyday. I just think a fwd turbo isn’t as much fun as something rwd and with torque. This is coming from a former Spirit R/T driver…

          May I make one more suggestion for a cool toy? Fiero

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Oh, another car I would LOVE to have is the last of the longitudinal FWD Buick Rivieras. 1978 to 1985, I think?

    Always thought those cars looked beautiful for some reason.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    If you are going to buy a toy that will sit a while, do it right and get a Z3 or SLK.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Skip the Daytona and get Grand Prix sedan, to me Daytonas of that time were just K-Cars trying to masquerade as imports, but I’d skip the Daytona mostly based on it being modified and overpriced, way overpriced.

    I think a Silvia might be up your alley if you can find one that wasn’t owned by a drifter-wannabe, you can find decent S14s in the $3k range if you’re patient.

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    Go with the Daytona all the way. Those Chrysler turbos are great, cheap fun, especially when hooked up to a 5spd—relatively cheap to repair as well. You also will be keeping the Chrysler K car heritage alive. The fact that you’re buying from a knowledgeable owner (on the surface) is a big plus.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Go with the Daytona, and don’t worry about what to do with it down the road when you decide you need to get rid of it, I have a friend in Buffalo who lives and breaths these old Daytona’s and would gladly take it off your hands… he may just beat you to this one

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I only wish even one of my dream cars could be had for such a small amount of money. Buy either of them, you shouldn’t even really have to get permission from the wife for a $3k toy that is still so practical and enjoy it. At those prices you will most likely be able to recoup the entire “investment” in a year to some other 80’s dreamer.

    And my choice would be the turbo Dodge too. You clearly like fwd Chrysler products, and that Daytona is very rare, has relevant performance, and enough of a fan club that you will be able to sell it when the time comes. Though I always liked that style of Pontiac GP, there are not many out there that would actually pay for one.


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