TTAC AMA: I Own A Catera And An X-Type

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

This week’s AMA is a double-header, courtesy of reader Mark, who might be the only person who will cop to owning both a Cadillac Catera and a Jaguar X-Type.

Hello there! Many among us would question a man’s motive for buying a 1997 Cadillac Catera. Internet lore speaks of the horrors wrought upon aspirational Boomers by the Catera’s forebear, the Cimarron. Dancing cartoon ducks and Cindy Crawford couldn’t draw attention away from the lowly badge-engineered, Lumina doppelgänger, awful-in-a-dealer-install-Landau-top profile. No amount of praise for road manners and “initial quality” could mask the Catera’s premature tensioner failures and long list of gremlins that no doubt put serious miles on tow trucks well into the early 2000s. What, then, do we think when this man doubles down and puts his hard-earned cash toward a 2004 Jaguar X-Type? Surely he must be bereft of his faculties! One Pokemon short of catching them all. Maybe it was those sensual British curves wrapped over Ford Mondeo hard points that captivated him. Perhaps he dismissed all those “ten worst” lists featuring both of his cars as so much haterade poured over all the near-luxury those low-information plebs would never attain in their lifetime. Maybe he’s a cat person and couldn’t do without a Leaper on his hood. Be it a case of one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, or one man’s quest to prove the Greater Fool theory has a terminal threshold, this is my story and it only ends when the cars stop moving under their own power. Ask me anything.
Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Mjz Mjz on Oct 14, 2014

    Made the mistake of leasing a Catera. (Remember when ER jumped the shark by introducing a character named Lisa Catera?). Was on a first name basis with the service manager, let's just put it that way. Good looking car though. Mine was a Sage color, with Ivory leather, chrome wheels. The experience I liken to dating a very pretty girl who has a truly serious personality disorder.

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    • Mjz Mjz on Oct 14, 2014

      @DeadWeight I stand corrected, sir! It was a long time ago, and I have tried to blot out my experience with my Craptera from my memory banks as much as humanly possible...shudder, I just remembered when the interior footwells filled with water because of a plugged drain at the base of the windshield and the service manager blamed ME for having parked under a tree at some point during the lease!

  • Robc123 Robc123 on Oct 14, 2014

    What I am doing is getting it and immediately replacing, motor, trans, wiring, exhaust (maybe), brakes, power steering, shocks. These cars are so cheap because even when you do that you still need to refresh, seats, foam, headliner (if southern), carpet. That cost is pretty big for a $3-12k starting out car- you gotta really like it, and its kind of a sleeper with a LT1 under the hood. As I am looking at a series 3 xj6, don't think I will ever get my money back- but for a sedan, but I think the looks are just great. If I wanted to get some money back or maybe par, then a conversion on an old RR would be more sound.

  • El scotto The days of "Be American, buy America" are long gone. Then there's the mental gymnastics of "is a Subaru made in Lafayette, IN more American than something from gm or Ford made in Mexico?" Lastly, it gets down to people's wallets; something cheap on Amazon or Temu will outsell its costlier American-made item. Price not Patriotism sells most items. One caveat: any US candidate should have all of his/her goods made in the USA.
  • FreedMike Well, here's my roster of car purchases since 1981: Three VWsTwo Mazdas (one being a Mercury Tracer, full disclosure)One AudiOne FordOne BuickOne HondaOne Volvo I think I hear Lee Greenwood in the background... In all seriousness, I'd have bought more American cars had they made more of the kinds of cars I like (smaller, performance-oriented).
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X I'll gladly support the least "woke" and the most Japanese auto company out there.
  • Jmo2 I just got an email from the dealership where I bought my car and it looks like everything has $5k on the hood.
  • Lou_BC I suspect that since the global pandemic, dealerships have preferred to stay with the "if you want it, we will order it" business model. They just need some demo models on hand and some shiny bits to catch the impulse buyer. Profits are higher and risks lower this way.
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