By on May 6, 2013

Picture Courtesy of Adesa.com

Sometimes the cheapest vehicle you can buy is one that strongly discourages you from ever becoming a life-long auto enthusiast.

Few cars do a better job with this than the Dodge Dynasty.

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By on April 29, 2013

Last week there was a 2003 Toyota Tacoma with 430,000 miles on it.

I thought to myself, “Well this isn’t news. The quartet of GM/Ford trucks, Honda Cars, and Toyota everything is still cleaning up the charts. I won’t write about it this time”. So I waited…

This week the mileage champion out of 6,945 vehicles was a 1999 Toyota 4Runner with 344,400 miles. The enthusiasts among us are probably a bit Toyonda Chevorded out at this point. So this time, let’s focus on longevity.

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By on April 15, 2013

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The 420,000 mile Ford truck. The 420,000 mile Chevy truck. The 420,000 mile Camry. The 420,000 mile Accord.

I have covered all of these brands and models to the point now where I just hope, wish and dream of a different vehicle to highlight.

A few months ago I finally had a pair of Saturns make it to the top. A little before that there was a 90’s Altima that handily beat nearly 7000 other cars and trucks.  This week…

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By on April 1, 2013

Take a look at this piece of…

272,522 miles. No fooling. This 1996 Volkswagen Passat 5-speed sedan has traveled a distance nearly equal to 11 times the circumference of planet Earth.

It also visited the dealership well over 50 times during that time period as well. Which is just barely good enough for…

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By on March 18, 2013
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Forbes recently published an article titled “Cars That Can Last 250,000 Miles (Or More).”

Unfortunately for the author and Forbes, measuring long-term quality of any new or late model is nearly impossible.

Most defects and cost cutting compromises don’t become glaringly obvious until well after the vehicle becomes a common site at the wholesale auto auctions I frequent. That dependable car of yesterday can easily become a rolling pit of the modern day regardless of what seemed to be the reality. 

So, I won’t pretend to know the crystal ball of reliability when it comes to any new car. However older used cars are a panacea of good data from actual owners, and to me that’s the only yardstick that truly matters. 

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By on March 11, 2013

Some things in life are just plain goofy when you start thinking about them a good bit.

Consider the lyrics to the Lynyrd Skynyrd anthem”Sweet Home Alabama”, coupled with Forrest Gump dancing with his childhood love.

Or Born In The USA as a song frequently used to further political candidates. When the lyrics point straight at the constant screwing of the common man by the powers that be.

Finally we have the Honda Accord. A car renowned for quality, and yet, enthusiasts bitch about it more and more with every succeeding generation.

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By on March 4, 2013

I haven’t recommended a new Lincoln in well over 20 years now.

With rare exception, the brand never lives up to the hype of whatever a Lincoln was supposed to represent at various times in recent history. The ultimate luxury coupe that was the Mark VIII. The import fighting LS. The Lexus/Mercedes wanna-be that was the Lincoln Zephyr.  All of them were flops in the new car marketplace for a long list of good reasons.

Even the Lincoln SUV’s, then and now, seem to be little more than overpriced Fords with razor thin chrome accents. While the current alphabet soup of names makes it nearly impossible to recommend any new Lincoln without delving into a smartphone for confirmation that the MK-whatever is indeed an MK-whatever.

There is only one Lincoln truly worth it. The Town Car.  An old one. A well used one. But maybe not as used as this one. (Read More…)

By on February 25, 2013

My grandma was a bit of a card shark. You name the game, she played it.

You would think that she would show a teeny bit of mercy to a six year old kid like me back in the day. Nope. Not a chance. Whenever she was about to beat me… yet again… grandma would flash an ear to ear grin on her face and bellow out her trademarked version of checkmate.

“Stevie? Do you want the old news? Or the bad news?”

I would flash my own waning innocence in these matters and say, “What about no news?”

No news, indeed. If you are looking to find yet another new name to take on pole position in our weekly mileage race, think again.

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By on February 18, 2013

I told you that I would report back to the TTAC faithful when something new came up.

Well, for quite a few weeks there has been the usual distribution of dominance when it comes to high mileage cars that are curbed by their owners. 70% to 80% of the vehicles in the Top 25 of trade-ins mileage wise (out of 6000+ a week) were either Ford and Chevy trucks, Honda cars, or Toyota anything.

This week the streak is broken. Thanks to two Saturns which managed to cross the 400k mark.

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By on January 15, 2013

Lawdy! Lawdy! Guess who’s 40!

Well, it happened. After a weekend where my daughter scores the game winning basket and the trade-ins numbered 6432, I hit the golden age of middle age.

As for the 1983 Jeep Grand Wagoneer in the picture, would you believe 403,224 miles? That little factoid was just the very tip of a long data drilldown.

Not to mention a few unusual future contests between the automakers in what will now be called the Trade-In Quality Index… or TIQI for short!

(Read More…)

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