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

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
ttac ama i own a catera and an x type

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.
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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.

    • See 2 previous
    • 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.

  • Alan I do believe that traffic infringements penalties based on income will affect those who are financial able to flout safety regulations.When I drive above the posted speed limit I assess my situation using probability. If I'm confronted with a situation where time is of more value to me than speed I will speed if I assess the probability of a fine to be quite low. I can afford the fine, what I can't afford is the loss of points on my drivers licence.In Australia (12 points in QLD and all States have a point system) we have a points system attached to your drivers licence. An open drivers licence is granted 12 points every 3 years. So, if you receive an infringement for exceeding the speed limit it takes 3 years for the points to be removed. I generally get caught once every 2 years.I think a points system would be a fairer system over a system based on income. Its about retaining your licence and safety, not financial gain by the government.As you can see below it wouldn't take long for many US drivers to lose their drivers licence.[h2]Current penalties for individuals caught speeding[/h2]InfringementPenalty amountDemerit pointsLess than 11km/h over the speed limit$287. 1 pointAt least 11km/h but not more than 20km/h over the speed limit$431. 3 pointsMore than 20km/h but not more than 30km/h over the speed limit$646. 4 pointsMore than 30km/h but not more than 40km/h over the speed limit$1,078. 6 pointsMore than 40km/h over the speed limit$1,653. 8 points and 6 month suspension
  • Wjtinfwb Instead of raising fines, why don't the authorities enforce the laws and write tickets, and have judges enforce the penalty or sentence of a crime. I live across the street from an Elementary School on a 4-lane divided state highway. every morning the cop sits in his car and when someone sails through the School Zone well above the 10 mph limit, he merely hits his siren to get their attention but that's it. I've never, in 5 years, seen them get out of the car and actually stop and driver and confront them about speeding. As a result, no one pays attention and when the School Zone light is not lit, traffic flies by at 50-60 mph in the 45 zone. Almost no enforcement occurs until the inevitable crash, last year some zoned out girl rolled her beater Elantra 3 times. On a dry, straight, 4 lane road with a 45 mph limit. I'm no Angel and have a heavy foot myself. I've received my share of speeding tickets, lots of them when younger. Traffic enforcement in most locales has become a joke these days, jacking prices because someone has a higher income in as asinine as our stupid tax policy and non-existent immigration enforcement.
  • Jeff S If AM went away I would listen to FM but since it is insignificant in the cost to the car and in an emergency broadcast it is good to have. I agree with some of the others its another way to collect money with a subscription. AM is most likely to go away in the future but I will use AM as long as its around.
  • BEPLA I think it's cool the way it is.If I had the money, time and space - I'd buy it, clean it up, and just do enough to get it running properly.Then take it to Cars and Coffee and park it next to all the newer Mustangs.
  • Dave M. I suppose Jethro’s farm report comes via AM, but there’s a ton of alternative ways to get that info. Move forward people. Progress is never easy.