My pants still fit me from college.
Well, they are sweatpants after all.
They were given to me by a friend of mine who is known as a “Datsunaholic”. He keeps a few old cars. A few of those models have been written up by Paul Niedermeyer who now keeps a lot of houses along with his new web site. He invariably finds ‘keeper folk’ from all walks of life. But most of the people he finds are not car enthusiasts at all.
Why do they keep these cars then? Are they perhaps hoarders? Do they suffer the afflictions of the wantless?
Or is this just another write-up inspired by Kevin Bacon?
In the olden days known as the late 20th century, an ancient artifact called a “newspaper” would be dropped by your front door.
Inside this mostly unrecycled piece of pulp was an automotive ”Classified” section. In better times, this magical list of thousands of vehicles would have offered car buyers an incurably acute case of acronymitis. “1994 Camry, ps, pw, a/c, auto, abs, 1 ownr! $5500 Ph#…”. A short three line list of minimalist communicado would have cost the seller about $50.00 and given them a secondary presence in a newspaper section that made millions for major publishers.
There was only one saving grace if you wanted to find cars for sale that offered big print, big pictures and big discounts. The new car advertising section… and there were two reasons for that.
Saturn? Civic? Neon? A diesel owned by this long-time TTAC commeter?
For the longest time I’ve been trying to figure out what penny pinching prodigy earns the most keep. I’ve spent years pondering this question.
Well, more like a few dull moments at the auctions.
During the next several weeks you are going to be exposed to a lot of pointless hysteria about used cars prices in the Northeast.
Journalists will point out the extremes and the outliers to a media audience that is always easily attracted to the extremes and outliers of our society.
But it won’t be the truth. The real bump in traffic related to Hurricane Sandy won’t be with used cars at all.
It will be with new cars.
As collateral damage of Super-Sandy, stories are making the rounds of water-logged cars dumped on unsuspecting buyers by criminal dealers. Like many fake pictures posted on Twitter and Facebook, these stories are mostly made up, or pushed by new car interests. The dangers lurk elsewhere: In your neighbor’s driveway, on eBay, in the classifieds. Read this story if you don’t want to become a belated victim of Sandy. (Read More…)
Wrestling fans and auto enthusiasts have a lot in common.
They can be sickeningly loyal to their favorites. Even when it’s obvious their one and only favorite is well past their prime.
They also have a bit of a dopamine problem.
Imagine you are driving down on a well traveled interstate on a family vacation.
Everything is good in your life. Traffic is minimal. The road is a never ending horizon of the straight and narrow. Just you and your family. When all of a sudden…
Hello again, Steven,
You may recall our email last March regarding our 1992 Lexus SC300 5-Speed. Thanks for the reply; guess the timing was bad for you with tax time coming up. As you may recall, the car is all original, black with gray interior, looks and runs great, and has slightly less than 25K miles. Here’s the backstory:
When it comes to buying a used car there are two basic negotiating mindsets. You can either be fair and decent or unfair and obnoxious. If you seek to chisel and deceive then chances are you will get a bad car. Only the desperate and deceitful are willing to put up with that type of BS.
Want a ‘great’ car? Then realize that many sellers respond extremely well to honesty and decency. Win – win is no sin. So, karma lovers, here’s some tips for negotiating the purchase of a used car by observing the Golden Rule.
[Ed: Part one of Steve Lang's updated used car buying guide is here, part two is here.]
You can rigorously apply the tests described by previous installments of this series without encountering a single setback. However when it comes to buying a used car, it pays to assume one simple salient fact: you don’t know the complete truth.
At least not yet.
First the guy called. Then his wife. Then the repo driver.
The truck had been out in front of their house for nearly a half hour. Lights flashing. Neighbors peeved, and humiliation aplenty.
“Steve, I can get both cars. What do you want me to do?”
I woke up bright and early on Monday morning, 7:00 AM. A wake-up time reserved for maniacs and those who have circadian rhythms that are the exact opposite of yours truly.
Just a 10 mile drive to a neighboring auto auction. A nice stroll to a back lot loaded with 91 cars for the 9:30 AM sale. The beauty of the day seemed to shine before me as I looked at what was supposed to be an immaculate 1987 BMW 524td that had all of 69,000 miles.
I drive about 200 hundred cars every year. Some go 0 to 60 in about 6 seconds flat… others take as long as 10 or 12 seconds. Even the slowest of these cars are amazingly fun to drive when you are in the right place and time. As for the fastest? Well they offer sport and convenience, and more opportunities to feel a Baruthian thrust.
But given how most people drive their cars these days… does it really matter?
There are vehicles at the auctions that are supposedly worth more dead than alive. Inop vehicles. Cars and trucks that are not running and a mere bid away from the crusher. It’s the hardest area of all to find a decent vehicle… and also the most fun.