By on October 8, 2015

1958_Chevrolet_Bel_Air_hardtop_sedan_(14986636993)

A quarter of a century can yield an amazing level of improvements to a modern day car — but this isn’t always the case.

Take for example a 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air and compare it with the 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. Even back in 1983, a 1958 Bel Air could offer the keepers among us the enduring joy of a long-term relationship. That big block Chevy V8, even in the early Reagan era, could give you a fiendish ear-to-ear grin behind the wheel. The Cutlass Ciera on the other hand was a rental car from birth with the vapid empty soul of a parts bin beater. It would take a special masochist of an owner to make that a long-term keeper.

Modern day cars have similar parallels.

Lexus-LS400

On the luxury side, we can compare a 1990 Lexus LS400 with a 2015 Hyundai Genesis. Yes, the Genesis is a tour de force of modern day affordable luxury. Yet, the LS400 could out-diesel a diesel when it comes to longevity. Given the documented wear and tear issues on the Genesis, the Lexus may arguably still be the car worth keeping while the Hyundai, despite its technical achievements, could be a risky proposition.

A 25-year-old keeper in our business is a rare and splendid thing when you think about it. Interior quality in particular has to be mated with an enduring love for the model in question.

Let’s revisit the days of MC Hammer and Metallica to see which cars — then and now — play the right music for you.

1990-mazda-mx-5-miata-11

The Mazda Miata: a car that needs no introduction unless you happened to own a mint 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider in a non-rust climate and have a mechanic on your payroll who speaks Italian cuss words more often than proper English. Unlike the Fiat, thousands of first-generation NA Miatas are still alive and kicking after all these years. But let’s say you have to deal with one unique ingredient in this ‘keeper’ recipe.

Your keeper has to be a daily driver.

Miatas have taut suspensions which are decent for smooth roads, but pothole laced roads are brutal on you and the car as you both get older together. If you’re looking to avoid a few thousand fewer kidney punches in your middle age and beyond, why not opt for a little luxury?

Why not choose this?

Mercedes-Benz-300TE-wagon

Were you expecting that first-generation Lexus? Naahh!!! I have owned several that have all come and gone through my dealership, and they all have one thing in common: They all drive like a softer third-generation Camry; a dead-bone boring supersized Camrys that can easily eat up the highway miles and leave you in a barcalounger of a driver seat.

As an enthusiast, you need fun for your daily drive. A 1990 Mercedes 300 TE wagon is a better rolling embodiment of that need. Even if the roads are a bit icey, the Mercedes was available with optional all-wheel drive. Plus, this trim wagon with optional MB Tex seats offers you classic Mercedes handling with a healthy level of versatility. It comes with optional seating for seven, 3200+ pounds of Germanic gravitas, tons of cargo space with fold down seats, and the coveted Mercedes driving experience that disappeared once Daimler decided to decontent the next generation E-Class into a classic LS400 stupor of boredom.

The W124 is widely seen as the last true hurrah before Mercedes lost their quality-driven ways.

But maybe you want something that combines sport and luxury with a bit more of a personal ‘grand touring’ touch. GT models were all the rage back in 1990, which brings us to car #3.

It took Toyota hundreds of millions of dollars to develop the stamping tools needed to transition luxury coupes from their historical ’80s era, brick-style angles to the elliptical curves that would come to define the 90s-era sports coupe.

SC400 The SC300 was it. In fact, it was ‘it’ with a stick. Upon its release, you were given an interior that enveloped you in the best level of luxury of any coupe that wasn’t a glitchy piece of Eurotrash. Or a cheaped out American cruiser whose interior couldn’t come remotely close to that in the SC. Even today, this Lexus can make non-enthusiasts turn heads if you keep it in clean condition.

All three of these cars had time on their side. Somehow I doubt any high end car of today can approach what these cars achieved when it comes to the real-world ownership experience.

Am I wrong? Let me know by picking your top choices for a 25-year-long marriage between man and machine. Let’s say one for the last 25 years in the form of a 1990 model (or before), and one for the next 25 years in model year 2015. You can spend up to $60,000 then, and $80,000 now.

[Photo credit: 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop sedan by sv1ambo [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons; Mercedes-Benz 300TE by IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; Lexus LS400 by IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

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154 Comments on “Hammer Time: What Car Would You Keep for 25 Years?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Lex LS4xx, Lex SC3xx, or Volvo 200/700/900 are the only three that I want and I would trust for a twenty five year period.

  • avatar

    I need new technology. I demand new technology. I can’t see keeping anything for 25 years.

    10 years?

    S-class
    P90D
    Jeep SRT
    HELLCAT

    • 0 avatar
      Freddie

      “New technology” is reaching the point of diminishing returns – gimmicks and gadgets that are increasingly peripheral to the driving experience.

      • 0 avatar

        When I first leased a W221, it had cooled/heated seats with massagers and an integrated nav system along with distronic and multicontour seats.

        That was 2007. Many new cars offer a lot of that equipment.

        YES – I do use it regularly. My SRT’s turn on heated/cooled seats with auto-start and I don’t drive without them.

        Yes I did use distronic every now and then.

        I do use ACC now and then when I do long drives.

        I do use the heated/cooled cupholders.

        I actually use 100% of the extra tech.

    • 0 avatar
      carveman

      My 2015 TDI Wagon. Pulls like bull sips fuel and its not a Prius

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        As the disappointed former owner of a Jetta TDI, I’d like to hear back about how it’s going with your 2015 once the warranty runs out.

        My TDI had great torque and fuel economy, and was very nice to drive — when it ran…

        • 0 avatar
          spamvw

          242K TDI manual wagon (not brown) just brought me to work, 13 1/2 years old, only 11 1/2 years to go. So at least the ALH meets the reliability factor.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            Yes, but how many times have you had to replace your window regulators (which is the entire fracking inner metal door panel – I have done this job twice now, on the same car)?

            As for me, I would have kept my 1988 Buick Electra T-Type. As it was, I owned it for 16 years and it had 221K miles on the original drivetrain when I sold it. I saw it again, still driving, a few years after that. The low-mileage 2001 Lesabre that I bought to replace it has proven to be much less reliable, with just about everything electrical on the car having failed at +/- 100K miles.

          • 0 avatar
            spamvw

            Never, and I’m surprised too.

  • avatar

    I didn’t own it for all it’s years but my ’89 325is is still a solid, reliable car and past the 25 year mark. I used it for a few years as my daily driver before the new job, now it’s a garage queen driven 2-3 times a week, including in the winter. I’ll gladly stick with it for a lot more.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    24 years left to go with our LS430. I’ve been looking for a car like this for the last 25. The longest I kept any car was a ’96 Crown Vic, 12 years, bought when a year old. The last 6 years with that car were merely something to be endured.

    But my brother has me beat, he has a ’78 Toyota longbed pickup he bought new, just turned over 515,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

      I passed 280,000km on my LS430 last month. Having moved to the suburbs this year, I’m back to putting over 20,000km a year on it again. I had a stay-or-go moment last year when I needed brakes, tires, and had issues with my VVT-i, traction control, stability control, tilt steering, and nav.

      $3500 later, and got most of it fixed/replaced except the nav and steering. As it turns out, the engine issue triggered the disabling of the TC/ESP system. The thing drives like the day I bought it. To fix the other stuff and replace my cracked windshield, I’ll have put in what the car’s worth right now. An easy decision for me.

      I figure I’ll get rid of the car in 2022 once it’s 20 years old and close to 400,000km. I would only trust a Camry, Accord, Corolla, LS, ES, SC, GX, LX or Prius to make it 25 years. Maybe I’ll be open to a 2019 LS250tL.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Looking forward to a test drive of the LS500h, apparently coming shortly after the 2017 LS500, once it’s here. One of my few niggles with my LS460 is that the torque curve is more fitting to an IS F than to a big luxury sedan. The 1UR-FSE is an amazing engine but happiest above 4000 rpm. I’m thinking a super-quiet V6 with a big fat electric motor could suit the cause of silent luxury motoring a bit better.

    • 0 avatar
      greaseyknight

      515k, thats alot of miles spent in a ‘yota, I’m not that surprised at the miles. But those things are small not all comfy. I’m not talking about modern day comforts, but a crummy bench seat, small cramped cab etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love a ‘yota, but your brother is seriously into that truck.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Any pickup truck, except maybe the 3rd-gen Ram.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      That’s the 2000s version?

      • 0 avatar
        GermanReliabilityMyth

        Yep, the ’02-08 models. I have an ’07 and find it to be quite serviceable and a very good used value. As of now, it has over 150,000 miles and runs very well.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          There’s nothing really wrong with them mechanically–it’s a truck. But I find that of all the early-00s plastic interiors in pickups, Dodge’s is the most depressing.

          • 0 avatar
            GermanReliabilityMyth

            Oh, absolutely. Whenever I commute to work cosseted in an interior awash with gray plastics, I get a short term episode of SADs. But man, that Playskool interior sure has held up well!

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            Drzhivago138 – – –

            Absolutely. My Car-to-Keep is actually also a Truck-to-Keep.

            In this case, my 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 Club Cab. It’s already 20 model-years old, and has only 180,000 miles. Has a 318 V-8, 5-speed manual, and ALL of the drive line components (engine included) have been Mobil1-lubricated since it had 5,000 miles on it. Factory specs on cylinder compression.
            Just put $3K into a replacement cycle; and put $4K into body work and restoration from rust. Well worth it: it’s like anew truck! (Aftermarket support and parts availability are superb!)

            Tried looking for a new one. Not impressed. Too many gadgets and gizmo’s, electronic do-dad’s and complexity. Stuff that will become obsolete in 5 years and break down in 10. Don’t need this crap. Want a basic, nice, functional truck. And to get a full-size with a manual, I’d have to spend ~$60K for a Ram 2500 with a Cummins Diesel, which I need like a hole in my head.

            Had a 1974 Dodge D100 Club Cab, slant-six, 4-speed manual, with 225,000 miles and 22 years old. Still don’t know why I gave it to a monk to care for his goats. But how many commenters on TTAC got rid of a vehicle, and then said they wish they hadn’t?

            Can’t think of ANY sedan-like vehicles that are worth keeping nowadays. Now, a 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ: that’s different.

            ==========================

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            I’d be more concerned about who owned the truck.

            The first generation Rams (Like my 1986) seem to be in good shape. The survivors have been cared for.

            The 1994-styled ones are on the same track, but there are a few beat ones. You find some junk ones, and some great ones, but most are in the middle.

            The mid-2000s Rams seem to be absolutely hammered. Out here, almost all of the 1500s have been off-roaded frequently, and have some body or mechanical issues.

            I really like my 1986 RAM- it was a county truck, so it was well maintained and runs excellently. I want to like the newer ones, but I just can’t. It’s not the trucks fault, but they were ridden hard and then put away wet.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      My ’94 RAM2500 Cummins has 420,000km (260,000mi) on it. It’s been very reliable, when something does break I can fix it myself, and I still enjoy driving it. I could continue to drive it pretty much indefinitely, though truthfully I won’t be; I recently bought a newer vehicle and am selling the ’94 to my brother.

      If I had to choose one vehicle as a daily driver for 25 years though, it would have to be a 1966 Chrysler.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    I’m 13 years into my Chevy Tahoe so why stop now? It does the job and is kind of like an old buddy at this point.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Yes, a daily driver is like a spouse. A measure of fun is important, but that takes a second place to capability and reliability. I’m halfway to Steve’s mark with my 2002 Sable wagon, and it meets my needs very well. Sure, it’s built for comfort, not for speed (not unlike my wife at this point), but both get me through life as best as I can hope for.

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        Have about four years to go on my Taurus wagon; it turned 200K last month. Still DD it; though would like to get another car and relegate it to backup/pet/weekend car status; since my late Mom and Dad owned it first for four years, and was in the family after that.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Honda CRX.

    Maybe an Acura Integra with the right options.

    F-150.

    Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      I miss my ’93 Integra (last of the 2nd gen) to this day, even more than the RSX I recently sold. It was insanely reliable, dead simple to work on, plenty quick, and just a total pleasure to drive.

  • avatar
    Marcus36

    My college driver 1997 VW bug, the last year they made them was 2003 so I plan on keeping it for the rest of my life.

  • avatar
    April S

    Taking my budget in account I would probably go with either a Volkswagen Beetle 1.8 TSI for my sporty car or maybe a nice Toyota Camry for a “normal” car.

    Plus I will have the advantage of probably only living another few years. I won’t get sick of either of them.

  • avatar

    Funny you should post a ’58 Chevy.

    ‘Cause it was the ’55-’56-’57 that were known for build quality and durability in their day.

    The ’58 was a total POS. A heavier, more rust-prone body with the same brakes and front suspension as the lighter Tri-Fives. Plus if you got a Turboglide or that regrettable air suspension…fail. Look it up.

    Considering that EIGHT of the Top 20 longest-lasting vehicles are some form or another of the GMT800/900…that’s where I’d start. Gimme a Tahoe or Silverado LTZ.

    If it has to be a car, then I’ll take some Aussie goodness in the form of a Caprice PPV.

    If I get to BUILD my 25-year car, then it’s the ’57 Chevy Handyman I have in the garage with LS power and discs.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      The 58 Chevy had one huge improvement…it rode like a dream. As a child I spent many miles in the back seat of one. It waddled all over the road, but it was one smooth operator.

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      I bought my 94 Silverado Ext Cab new with 5 miles showing. It now has 193,000. I don’t drive it everyday and keep it garaged. It still does everything I need a truck to do. I’m sure I’ll keep it 25 years and more.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    As much as I like W124s I’d only keep one thats had its biodegradable wiring sorted out, not a cheap fix.

    Otherwise I’d learn more toward a decent truck or a Volvo 940 wagon as a second-car, something that can endure terrible roads and deal with salt without rusting in 5 years.

  • avatar
    spudenater

    I fully expect to have my 1980 Toyota Corolla wagon for at LEAST ten years, and I would be in no way surprised if I keep it for 25. It just checks all the boxes for me. It’s smaller than a Ford Fiesta (outwardly) making it easy to parallel park in urban San Antonio, but I can still haul four friends and two mattresses (which I have done). It’s simple enough that I can change the head gasket in a parking lot with my road tool kit, but refined enough to grace me with cold A/C and a nice stereo, which is all I really need. It’s 5sp and light weight which makes it great fun, but has enough ‘family man’ cred as a wagon, that I can justify keeping it into the next stages of my life (beyond college). Basically, it’s the perfect balance in pretty much all areas for me! The ONLY vehicle I would EVER consider giving up my wagon for (and spending 25 years with)is a 1984-89 Toyota Van LE, 4×4 5sp.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      In (roughly) the same mold, my mother has kept her dutiful 1996 Ford Escort LX wagon for nearly 20 years now, and I honestly don’t see her replacing it in the next 6.

      Wagon owners are a loyal bunch.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    GT350.

    For me to keep a car 25 years there would need to be something really unique, compelling and charismatic about it that I would lose by selling. Most new cars are just better than their predecessors, even if the predecessors are durable–for example, I’d probably replace a Lexus LS with a newer Lexus LS at some point. (More than academic for me; I bought a 2008 LS460 this year, and based on my past history I’ll get bored with it around 2021 or 2022.)

    I think it’s safe to say the Voodoo will be the only flat-crank V8 ever made by a domestic automaker, and that sound would be impossible to give up, even if newer Mustangs are faster and handle better.

  • avatar
    ajla

    F*ck it. I want a 1990 Toronado Trofeo and a 2015 Chevy SS.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Lol, you wanna DD a Trofeo with CRT for 25 years? Naw naw. You complain about Charger build quality but are OK with 1990 GM build quality!?!?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Lol. Right now I own the ’14 Charger, an ’89 Electra, and a ’94 Seville.

        And, I’ve owned many other GM vehicles built between 1988 and 1992. I love those things.

        1990 GM build quality TROUNCES 2014 FCA build quality.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          What are you, as a 29 year old man, doing with a 94 SLS Northstar?! It’s gonna break.

          89 Electra, I notice you didn’t say Estate. So that’s one of me least favorite Buicks. However the contemporary Ninety-Eight Touring, is win.

          It’s sad that FCA sucks so badly, and yet unsurprising.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Electra in that period is the C-body LN3 Park Avenue Corey, so it rocks. I hope the Seville was free or near free because then it becomes somewhat OK.

            Oh and FTR I would DD an MY90 Olds Toro Trofeo for 25 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      ’90 Toronado? Those were neat cars but they’re not the easiest thing to come by where I live. I see more Reattas than Oldsmobile’s of that time period.

  • avatar
    clivesl

    Tesla Model S, lightly used of course to fit in the budget. Then it’s nothing but upgrades and tires for the next two and a half decades.

    As a bonus I get sub 4 seconds to 60.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    1990 Land Cruiser 80 Series. 25 and still looks great, still worth money, still has taste. Conveys distinction without being gaudy, since Steve took the LS.

    http://www.carwallpapers.ru/wp/toyota/land-cruiser/1990-80/Toyota-Land-Cruiser-80-1990-1440×900-007.jpg

    2015 911 Targa 4. Classic in design and name, will appreciate in value, at least somewhat reliable, probably. Tasteful in a 1985 cocaine sort of way. Practical enough for a single person in all weather with AWD.

    http://www.theversatilegent.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Porsche-Targa-911-20151.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I was at the Porsche dealer yesterday. They had two 4S Targas in the showroom. Base price is $117K, but they were both optioned to over $170K. They each had a single spaced, page long list of factory options that amounted to trim changes. Nuts. They also had a bright orange 918 in the showroom for $1,030,000. Options included ‘custom tailoring’ for $22,600. How is a car bought on spec custom tailored?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Oh $170k, good value!

        EDIT: Crap I forgot the upper $ amount limit for the modern vehicle. Rethinking.

        E400 4MATIC coupe, with many options. Nice and stylish pillarless(!) PLC, medium reliable, not outlandish in gaudy department. And Mercedes coupes do well with resale.

        http://assets.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/DigitalAssets/Vehicles/ClassLanding/2014/E/Coupe/Overview/2014-E-CLASS-COUPE-CH03-D.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        If you really wanted the Benz, I would tell you to get a CPO 2011 OR older E550 coupe with the old naturally aspirated 273 5.5l V8. Those are pretty much bulletproof.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I’d love a FJ80, but I’d have to get one with the cool 4.5 liter DOHC I6.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I kept a BMW for 19 years. Eventually its body lost its starch, so it didn’t drive sharply enough anymore. My 2007 Civic Si sedan seems to have a much better structure, so maybe it will make it to 25 years. I have other cars to use, so it only averages about 5,000 miles a year. It seems unlikely that any of the quality manufacturers will ever make another naturally aspirated, 8,000 RPM, manual transmission, elemental sports sedan; so I just assume keep it indefinitely for the sheer fun of driving it compared to a two+ ton sled like my company car.

  • avatar
    Rday

    Honda Ridgeline, 11 years old and still doing great. Can’t imagine life without it.

  • avatar
    Prado

    Well, I’d need something to last 400k+ miles, so new…2015 4runner. Old 1990 Accord EX manual sedan.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I just bought a 1990 Acura Integra (DB) sedan. It was a 1-owner car for 24 years and 11 months. It only has 114k.

    How the PO drove this for 25 years without dying of boredom is beyond my comprehension. I’ve owned it for 6 weeks and it already makes me want to take a nap.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Thank you for saying the very words I have uttered for decades. That generation Integra was brutally boring. Especially so if you got the automatic.

      • 0 avatar
        eggsalad

        Well, fortunately, this one has a proper 5-speed. Good thing, too, because there isn’t a speck of power in this engine below 4000 RPM.

        I’m guessing the automatic never gets in to the power band unless you thrash the crap out of the “go” pedal.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        People had a lot of unrealistic expectations built up around it. It’s a Civic with a stiffer suspension and quite a bit more power. Nothing more, nothing less. If you go in thinking “Civic plus” you won’t be disappointed.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I will only think of the Integra as M3 Lite, and I will not change said expectation!

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I never knew “fun” was an unrealistic expectation for a fancy Civic, especially for the light double wishbone era.

          In other places Ive seen people compare them to Porsches!

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            It’s a certain type of fun. Not every owner finds revving to the moon and avoiding understeer fun, and the ones who don’t tend to find enthusiast Hondas, in general, boring.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I get ya, and for the record I find revving under-powered engines and FF understeer a nuisance myself.

          I’d just buy one for the fuel economy

        • 0 avatar
          redmondjp

          Yup. My sister owned this same car, bought new in 1990. It was a daily driver until it got wrecked just a few years ago, so it did make it 25 years in their family. Even the original A/C system was functional at the end, with most of the original R12 charge still in it.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Sarcasm on
      A BORING Integra?!! Egads! Silence ye fowl skeptic!
      Sarcasm off

      Perhaps thats why it only has 114k on it, the owner couldnt bear driving it beyond little city sprints, that combined with the awkward seatbelts and as you noted the gutless engine.

      I’ve been in that situation before myself, ’92 Honda Accord, so boring and short on practicality/durability I couldnt even keep it for a year.

      Hondas arent 25 year cars imo, not without much pampering and a good garage.The engine will last forever, but the car around it will rot away.

      Did you buy the car from THE original owner? Or some dude selling it for the original owner?

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    I’d keep what pretty much every one would keep if they were thinking of keeping a car for 25 years: A toyota pick-up. I’m about halfway there, myself.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Mine lasted 18 before I dumped it.

      Didn’t want to pay $1800 for a new timing chain tensioner. (I looked at the process, and I’d rather pay $1200 in labor than even *think* about a DIY on that nightmare on the 22RE), and the rear bearings were failing – in fact, losing one and being stranded in Grant’s Pass (OR) overnight was what catalyzed “yes, it’s time for a full size truck with a V8″…

      280kmi was a good run; no regrets.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Most are too shortsighted think beyond the “new car” smell, let alone 25 years ahead. But I always say, spend a little more for something you love indefinitely , with “no payments” as a bonus.

    $60,000+ for an SS, Raptor, GT350, Hellcat, etc, is nothing when spread out over 25+ years of enjoyment.

    So what’s the point of 0.9% interest if you’re no longer interested after 2 years?

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I’m still trying to figure out what car I will keep for three years…
    It probably can’t be just a practical everyday car.
    I did drive a bunch of different Ford Sierras with some other cars in between for about 6-7 years, and I owned a 2nd gen Cr-V for over two years before it was totalled. After a break with 4 other cars, (in less than two years) I’ve now bought another on of those, but I really can’t see myself needing that much car when the kids grow up, and there are still so many old cars I would love trying, and owning, and modifying.
    The only car I think I could have lived with that long, and that I would have a hard time letting go of would be a Mad Max Pursuit special replica. Preferably with a functional supercharger unlike the one used in the film, but it wouldn’t matter because I would love just being allowed to look at it every day.
    Owning any completely stock production car for two whole years or more without modifying it would probably kill me…

  • avatar
    jkross22

    2004 VW Phaeton with the W12 engine. What could go wrong?

  • avatar
    tonycd

    My candidates are all Japanese and all old-school.

    •Lexus GX. An indestructible 4Runner with a nicer interior. (I stole this one from Kyree.)

    •Acura TSX. Fun, economical, stylish, and you should have a good chance to reach age 25 with no major repairs except a new slushbox. But this car is considered much more desirable with manual anyway.

    •Previous-decade Civics. My sister’s is over halfway there, and she still loves it.

    •CR-V. I’ve got a friend with a Gen 1, and had a spouse for whom I bought a Gen 2. Both soldier on and look like they’ll continue indefinitely. Not luxurious or a highway cruiser, but versatile, reasonable on the pocketbook, and remarkably able to swallow stuff. If that’s what you need, they provide it damn near forever.

    •My Acura RL, pre-beak. Much reviled, I know, but I’ve gotta say it because the 25-year role is exactly what I bought it for. The build quality has been referred to in the same breath with the LS430 as “the last of the great Japanese tanks.” Yet its toys were ahead of its time and still satisfy (Bluetooth, nav, surround, window shades, touchless entry, noise cancellation, torque vectoring AWD). And it’s comfy as hell with terrific materials, great seats and a quiet ride to make the monogamy painless. There was a reason why Baruth noticed “The Mega-Mileage RL’s of eBay.” They’re built for the marathon.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Love the RL and its predecessors. If I had had the scratch to buy a ’92 Legend new as my first car it would probably have been my choice and I would probably still have it 23 years later.

      Your comment actually inspired me to go look around Craigslist at Legends. Most of them are totally used up, but the good ones with under 150k are getting well over $5000 — amazing for what amounts to a 20+-year-old weird longitudinal FWD Honda.

      Then there’s this “barn find” (LOVE the cloth seats):
      http://houston.craigslist.org/cto/5256545387.html

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Damn, dal, that Craigslist Legend is great.

        I think back to when I scraped together the money for my first “nice” sedan. I ended up choosing the 4DSC Maxima twin-cam over this Legend (seemed a bit sedate for a young guy) and the very first ES300 (based on the ’92 Camry; you still see tons of them around today. I had to disqualify it for a lack of front headroom). What a remarkable crop of cars the Golden Age of Japanese sedans gave us!

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I already have mine. For the old car, my Triumph Spitfire. I’ve owned it just shy of 20 years, 5 more is a gimme. For the modern, well, I’m cheating a little because it is a 2011 – my BMW 328i 6spd RWD wagon. Will not surprise me in the slightest if I still have it in 21 more years, God willing and the creek don’t rise. Others will come and go, this pair is pretty much eternal. At my current annual mileage it will have <150K on it by then. Just nicely broken in.

  • avatar
    MeJ

    For the old car I’d take an E30 Bmw. And from here on for 25 years?…Maybe the new Tacoma.

  • avatar
    jetcal1

    Having owned the vehicles and having the benefit of hindsight;
    ’83 GTI
    ’93 G20
    Currently own and think it might make the grade:
    ’14 Focus ST.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      ’83 GTI: I had an ’81 Rabbit (same gen) with suspension mods. Really pleasant car to drive, but even in my 5 years of ownership it sprang several annoying little problems, including an annoying serial problem with the horn either not honking at all or spontaneously going off continuously without warning. After two incidents of having to crawl right into the face of its blare to yank the wire off the horn trumpet behind the grille, this got old. As in “I don’t think I want 25 years of this” old.

      Not to mention the premature valvetrain deterioration that was already making it almost impossible to restart when warmed up, the fabric upholstery that already had a hole worn in the left bolster, the lug bolt rusted in so solidly that I had to call a tow truck for a simple flat tire (I was neither old nor small, and I couldn’t budge it)… The real mystery was why I replaced it with a new ’86 GTI. Even better drive, even worse move.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I restored my ’67 Impala (the Land Ark) in 1994 and I’ve had it ever since – not counting the 15 years my step dad owned it before I got it and the 7 years his brother had it before that.

    So I have no reason to think I won’t have it for 25 years.

    That said, it is no longer a daily driver (hasn’t been since I graduated high school in ’97). I love it but I would not want to have to rely on it to get me to work on time every day.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Old: Last of the Boxes, preferably as a wagon.
    New: Besides the obvious (Chally Hellcat, Plum, MT), maybe an SS in generic silver with a stick.

  • avatar
    wristtwist

    ED (88-91) Civic SI hatch, in white please.
    As late model of an NSX as I’m allowed

    now that my fanboidom is out of the way…

    I’ve got to believe the Grosser 600 Pullman was somewhere in the neighborhood of 60K used at some point in the last 34 years…

    60/61 Lincoln Conti sedan

    Either a first gen Alfa Romeo spider, or a late third gen Spider Quadrifoglio Verde. (or an early 4th gen with the body changes, if they imported a 91 in 90)

    Land Cruiser (FJ80, but i’ll take an earlier one)

    E-type (coupe or convertible) Series 1 please

    So that’s the early stuff.
    Modern? Steve, you’re killing me with the 2015 cutoff. How about a 2016 sold today?

    2016 white Miata, club, with the BBS/Brembo pack. I finally fit in a Miata!

    2015 F-type S (manual coupe, the convertible with the S engine is over the 80K mark)

    hmmmm
    There is not a lot of modern stuff I’d really want to keep that long under 80k. To many compromises with pedestrian safety and rollover protection.

  • avatar
    319583076

    XJ Cherokee – Airy cabin, great visibility, ground clearance, torquey I6, lightweight, commanding driving position, real 4WD, cheap to own and run, parts available everywhere, ubiquitous internet support. It gets out of it’s own way, corners without roll, and walks the walk. However, the brakes are undersized, 15-20 mpg, it rides like a truck, and worst of all – Chrysler build quality. I wish I still had mine.

    Toyota Pickup – 2WD, 5MT stripper with sliding rear glass. Airy cabin, great visibility, torquey I4, lightweight, cheap to own and run, parts avilalbe everywhere, ubiquitous internet support. It eventually gets out of everyone else’s way, corners gradually, and the heater could roast Thanksgiving turkey. However, everyone on the road will pull out in front of you and no one likes it, until they’ve ridden in it. I wish I still had mine.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I had the auto trans version of that pickup (extended cab, ’94).

      It wasn’t all that slow *empty*, but (over)loaded it was a pig; a transmission cooler and overload springs kept mine alive for over a decade of 1,000 pound plus payloads on long road trips.

      Didn’t like going up hills like that, though. Not at all.

  • avatar

    I’ve always had a soft spot for full-size, 3-door SUV’s, so probably a Ramcharger or Bronco for the old one. Probably a gently used Land Cruiser or Lexus LX570 for the new one.

    But honestly, it’s amazing how much cars change in 25 years. My ’89 LaForza was 50k new, almost 100k in today’s dollars. My ’12 Pathfinder was $34k. The Pathfinder has a ton of safety and tech stuff that couldn’t be bought at any price in 1989 – traction control, tons of airbags, ABS. The LaForza has real wood, though.

  • avatar
    S1L1SC

    I have a 1991 Buick Roadmaster that is pretty much used up at this point.
    However, my 1993 E32 BMW 740iL still runs great, doesn’t rattle and looks nice. So that’s my keeper.
    Still lusting after an 8 series BMW to add to the fleet though

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Easy! My 2004 GMC Sierra 2500HD. It’s reliable, comfortable, capable and cheap/easy to keep running. It tows, it hauls stuff, it hauls people, 4WD means it goes anywhere I need it to. There isn’t much you can’t do with it as long as you can afford to put gas through it. It’s just soo damn useful to have around. But I’ll sell it in the next year and then spend the next 5-10 kicking myself for getting rid of it.

  • avatar
    MBella

    I would imagine I’ll still have my 2013 Miata in 25 years. I’m not putting that many miles on it. My 2000 Mercedes 210 wagon will be interesting. I hope I’ll have most of its previous owner issues ironed out by the spring. We’ll see though.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Old: First-gen Trooper

    New: 2015 Pilot (not the cravenly conformist 2016)

  • avatar
    WhiskeyRiver

    If I had to buy a modern vehicle and drive it for 25 years, I’d buy a 2013 Avalanche Black Diamond Edition with a L76 or a 2013 Escalade EXT Premium Edition.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    A lot can change in a person’s life in 25 years. 25 years ago I was still a newly-minted dad. Minivans and sedans were my ride of choice and necessity. Now I’m an empty-nester and have taken a shine to CUVs.

    But, to play along, starting with 1990: Let’s say 1990-ish. I choose a 1988 AMC Eagle Wagon with a roof rack. It may not have been the sportiest thing, but it was pretty much debugged by then. Simple, rugged construction of just about every part of that car and a size that’s not too big or too small. Although when the kids get to be teenagers it’s a tight squeeze.

    For 2015 and beyond: 2016 Chevy Volt. One of my favorite body styles (4dr. hatchback) with a nice sized car that has some special capabilities. I feel I would never be stranded in one of those as long as the gasoline holds out. As of next week, I will be within the 25 year window of the average American male’s likely life expectancy (78). I could see myself driving a car like this into my dotage..

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      A pretty good argument can be made for the AMC Eagle Wagon being one of the most important cars of the late 20th century. Before it, who knew that suburban parents would pay extra to have a vehicle with all-wheel or 4wd and raised road clearance?

      I remember that it was the preferred drive for Mila Mulroney when her husband was the PM of Canada.

  • avatar
    GTL

    I kept a ’95 BMW 525i for 19 years and 270k miles. Replaced it with a ’13 Passat TDI*. If it goes for 10 years and 170k miles I’ll be happy.

    Although the driving experience is very different, performance-wise the two are very similar. The Passat handles better, the BMW more refined.

    *Note; this model is not one of the (soon to be) recalled for emission scandal.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I”m planning to keep the G8 into ripe old age.

  • avatar
    hgrunt

    I’d happily keep my former 2003 330i ZHP sedan for 25 years. The maintenance wasn’t too out of reach for a general DIYer and I have a very clear understanding of it’s issues, etc. Plus, it’s a fantastic daily driver and road tripper, that’s just sporty enough when called upon, but out of the way when not needed.

  • avatar
    Hamilton Guy

    While its not my daily Driver. I just bought a 2001 Mazda Miata Special Edition (bought in Florida) and plan to keep it indefinitely. Two reasons it can’t be a DD, I live in Canada and will not put it through the salt and crap of an Ontario winter and I have 2 large dogs that won’t fit in the car!!

  • avatar
    matador

    For trucks, I’d have a 1990 Dodge Dakota 4×4 with the 3.9 and a 5-Speed. Today, I’d take the gamble on a 2015 GMC Canyon.

    For sedans, I’d have the Lexus LS400 back then, and a Lexus LS today.

    For wagons/crossovers, I’d have a 1990 Audi Avant back then, and either a 2015 Allroad or a Buick Enclave today.

    For vans, I’d have a 1990 Ram Van, and a modern Ford Transit today.

  • avatar

    for a 1990 model, I’d choose a Jaguar XJ12 (I’m not sure about its price back then). it still had the Pininfarina-styled Series 3 design, a V12, lots of wood and leather, and most of the British Leyland-era issues were sorted out. this Jag was a direct survivor of the first XJ, it was obsolete but nice in 1990 and it is even nicer today. you can DD them, as long as you don’t mind the terrible fuel economy.

    as for a 2015 model year car, I’d go German: MB E550 coupe. 400hp, classy, comfortable, not terribly unreliable. plus, there are not so many of them on the road, the seats are amazing and it returns decent mileage. but I could also pick an oddball: MB SLK 55 AMG. you can insert your hairdresser jokes here, but the idea of a small roadster with a handcrafted engine that is among the last of the naturally aspirated V8s is enough appealing to me. I suppose the SLK ride is less on the harsh side than a Miata’s, so it might be a surprisingly good DD.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    I had my beloved 1995 Mazda MX-6 for twelve, until the car rusted out and the engine all but blew (a quart of oil every 50 miles). If I couldn’t have another, I would go for that Mercedes wagon, only with a gas engine instead of a diesel.

  • avatar
    mbardeen

    I’ve got two right now that I’d keep for 25 years.. my 1996 Jeep Cherokee XJ (I’ve already had it 10 years), and my 1993 Porsche 968 Cabriolet.

    I know this falls outside the rules, but both check the right buttons for me. Manual gearboxes, available parts, fairly desirable, and serve the needs/wants that I have.

    My daily driver will always be something fuel efficent. Currently, it’s a 2015 Mazda3.

  • avatar
    NavyBrat

    25 years? Easy. My 2001 Nissan Frontier 4×2 regular cab with the 5sp stick, which I bought new in Sept 2000. That is, so long as I keep it on a U-haul trailer-free regimen (pulled 5 trailers each 400 miles, trashed three transmissions), it could run forever. I have 278,000 and for the most part trouble-free. And I get to treat it like a truck–load stuff and move it around. Drives a little tired on the interstate, but no leaks anywhere. Paid for, and low insurance. I switch off with my 2010 Venza, which I have had for one year and can’t see keeping past 2020.

    My dad had a 1978 Datsun 810 sedan for almost 24 years. In the end it looked its age. It got demoted after he got the Lexus and I looked after it for the last 3 years as my DD. Still had less than 200,000 miles on it when he donated it.

  • avatar
    Tom_M

    How about a PT Cruiser? Continualcar is doing a blog about driving a pt forever using the Maxcare lifetime warranty. He’s very thorough and has breakdowns of all the breakdowns.

  • avatar
    WhiskeyRiver

    Now that I’ve had dinner and thought about it… The Bel Air shown in the picture has amber turn signal lenses. Those are not original. The car had clear lenses and clear bulbs in the turn signals. Maybe in Europe where this car is tagged requires them but I don’t know for sure.

    Memory has to serve here because Chevrolet quit providing sales statistics on anything besides body style after 1957 but my recollection is that most of the 1958 Bel Airs were 6 cylinder cars and most of the Impalas were 8 cylinder cars.

    My dad had a used car lot in early to mid 60’s. He used to say that a 1958 anything was Satan hisself on a used car lot. 1958 was the year of the ugliest cars ever made he used to say. He thought the 57’s were pretty, the 59’s were better but not great and he absolutely loved a most of 1960 models. Reselling a ’58 anything in the early 60’s… Satan. His only exception to the rule was the ’58 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner retractable hardtop, of which he bought every one he could find and they didn’t waste any time sitting on his lot. He used to say “neato trumps ugly” and retractable hardtops were “neato.”

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      I was fond of the 1958 Pontiacs that both my parents and grandparents had. This particular year must have been poorly built because all of them seemed to vanish from the earth by the mid-1960’s.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    First…no old cars. If I am going to keep a car 25 years I need to have enjoyed the good years as well as the “just a classic” years.

    Any convertible.
    Any sport two seater.
    Only a car with the best yet simple, necessary techs like back up camera and blind spot monitoring. NOT nav and other gadgets that simply and glaringly show age really quickly…like a cassette player.

    I think today the car I would start off with is the Miata. A car that would start off cheaply.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    Ford F-150. As a utility vehicle rather than daily driver, though. I’ve owned one and didn’t enjoy driving it, but I respect the utility and repairability. Also, it’s popular, so they’ll still be turning up in junkyards in 25 years.

    Tesla Model X for the daily driver. It might even be paid off by the end of tho 25 years.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    My NSX is 24.6yrs old already and meets the $60k limit by $0, so there’s that. I dunno what new <$80k car you could actually drive, as opposed to lock up, for 25yrs and still reasonably be able to drive… Pickups? Miata? Will a W212 hold up?

  • avatar
    MMaier - Audi S4

    My daily driver is a 2001 Audi S4 Avant with 263K miles. As long as I can keep it between $2 to 3K in annual maintenance it may see 25 years, Audi won’t be selling manual wagons again anytime soon. (Caveat – I’m only 10 years in, bought it in 2005 with 85K miles from my father-in-law – but aside from the sagging headliner and a couple of minor scratches it is mint and drives better than a lot of other i’ve had the chance to sample).

    The weekend ’99 Miata will also probably make 25 years, it’s only at 86K and is just dirt cheap to maintain and run.

    The “should have been” 25 year car was the ’91 Sentra Se-R I stupidly traded on a Pathfinder in 1994. One of my few regrets. The 2nd (’92) Se-R I drove from 1999 thru 2003 was also great aside from a few age issues, but after it developed the fifth gear popup problem I succumbed to the lust for a Mini Cooper S which was also a lot of fun.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Which engine was in that Avant? I have an 01 A6 Avant with the 2.8- it’s the boring, but reliable choice. I’m guessing yours is either the 2.8 or the 1.8T?

  • avatar
    gosteelerz

    I think this is more about the owner than the car.
    It takes a special kind of owner not to get bored of their ride.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Yes, and you either have to have a good mechanic or do the wrenching yourself. The key, I find, is to keep on top of the little things that go wrong, keeping the car in as close to ‘like new’ condition as possible.

      If you let too many deferred repairs pile up, it can seem monumental and it’s easier to start perusing CL on your lunchbreak to find another car than it is to deal with your existing one (mentally and physically). Especially if your paint goes bad – you can get another used car with good paint for what it costs for a decent paint job these days!

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    My 1991 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL is almost 25. Still looks great. Still drives smooth. Built like a tank. My only complaint is…it’s as high maintenance as a Jewish American Princess. Always wanting something…however, the parts aren’t as expensive as everyone thinks. It’s labor that can get pricey, if it’s something I can’t do.
    No matter what…she’s a beauty that will last for years.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    My 99 Chevy S-10 extended cab with an I-4 and 5 speed manual is still going strong after almost 17 years of ownership. I might just decide to keep it for another 8 years. It has been reliable and not too bad on the mpgs.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Then weekender: NSX. Then daily driver: LS400. Now weekender: GT350 or Raptor. Now daily: Lexus GS350 FSport.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    Although I’m on the ‘ten-year plan’ to replace my vehicle, I wouldn’t complain if I were stuck with any of these vehicles for 25 years:

    -My current car, a 2013 Chrysler 200 Limited, 2.4L I4
    -Dodge Ram 2500/3500, 5.9L I6 Cummins turbodiesel (preferably years 1994-1997 or 2006-2007.5)
    -W204 C-Class 2.1L I4 diesel, (which is sadly not available in the US, so I’d have to go with the 3.0L V6)
    -W211 Mercedes E320, 3.2L I6 CDI
    -2nd-gen Jeep Grand Cherokee, 4.0L I6
    -9th-gen Honda Accord, 4cyl auto

    However, I’d have to have one of these to complement the daily driver:

    -2nd-gen Dodge Intrepid ES 3.5L V6
    -1st-gen Chrysler Concorde/Eagle Vision 3.3L pushrod V6
    -1988-93 Chrysler LeBaron convertible, 3.0L V6

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “1988-93 Chrysler LeBaron convertible, 3.0L V6”

      Had one for awhile, 3.0L forest green/tan roof & leather (with lumbar) and a Pac Man (digital) dash. I miss it.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Damn if that isn’t a David Byrne, “True Stories”, large Texan cowboy-hat-wearing kind of a vehicle.

        I can picture it now, being driven out to a high tech chip fabrication plant out on the interstate bypass.

        Would yours be the one with the fake woody (vehicle, for those of you with a dirty mind) side panels?

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I have only had my Taurus for a few years, but I plan to never part with it. I like the first gen (25+ y/o), but I liked the original dash instead of the later squared off version. That means like ’88 or older. If I bought a new (daily driver) car in 1990, I suppose itd be a not-white Bronco with an Inline 6 and a manual.
    I wouldnt mind an Explorer with manual everything (including transfer case), but those came out in 91. The Bronco II had the terrible 2.9L and so did most 4wd Rangers until the 4.0 replaced it in 91, so not them. I might would go in the opposite direction of the Bronco and get a CRX Si in red of course, or a Tempo GLS coupe w/5spd (loved my 91).

    For a new car, Id have to choose between F-150 XL SuperCrew 4wd, a Transit 250 or 350 chassis cab (with an aftermarket Ute bed) with the PowerStroke I-5, a manual Honda CRZ or a 3 cyl EcoBoost Fiesta, either car in green, either truck in any color but white or silver. I would also consider a new 0 options Accord coupe 6MT.

  • avatar
    bultaco

    Any BMW E36 or E46 with the M50/52/54 6 and a manual tranny. Great driving, reliable, safe, attractive, cheap parts and easy to work on yourself. I get compliments every time I drive my black 99 M3 5-speed vert. My 01 Cherokee xj is also a keeper. Bulletproof winter car that’s dirt cheap to maintain, lots of them in junkyards so cheap parts are everywhere.

    New? Maybe a V8 stick Mustang or a Jag Ftype with a 100000 mile warranty. Can you buy a Cayman for $80k? Maybe one of those …..

  • avatar
    Monty

    I have 15 year old Ranger with over 300K – I will probably keep it for another 10 years unless something catastrophic occurs. It has required regular repairs and maintenance, but nothing close to the cost of monthly payments for a new Ridgeline (my preferred replacement).

    If I was buying anything from 25 – 35 years ago, it would be a Dodge D150 with the 6 and a 4 spd. Around these parts (frozen prairie in Canada) they seem to have resisted the rust much better than the Ford and GM equivalents, and based on my dad’s ownership of a ’79, easy to DIY and ridiculously good on gas if you don’t drive like an idiot. My dad’s was the base model, and other than a radio, carpet and cloth seats, was about as unadorned as they came. He bought it with over 100K and put nearly another 100K of inexpensive miles on it before selling it for a 2001 Mazda MPV van.

  • avatar
    duffman13

    Well, My S2000 turned 11 this year and I’m planning on at least another decade. The fact that I track it and put in a rollbar isn’t going to help my resale at all if I decide to unload it, so I might as well drive it into the ground.

    Plus it is super cheap to run. Oil changes cost me $30 for synthetic. Dual duty rake pads are $100 for all 4 corners. Same with rotors. Yearly transmission and diff flushes cost me $20. Doing coolant, valve adjustment and plugs this year is going to be my one large maintenance expense and that should only run me around $300 all said and done, plus it makes the car good for another 60k.

    It’s paid off and I don’t daily it. It barely costs me anything in running costs, but i still have a fun car for when I want to hoon. I see no problems there.

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    Old car- for only a quarter of your limit, an 88 Thunderbird with the 302/AOD combo. Had one, had to part with it for personal reasons I have mentioned before.

    Runners up, both of which I have owned – XJ Cherokee with the inline 6 or a Trooper, preferably stick (had both), and maybe a six cylinder this time. Or an original, old school Land Rover, before they went to hell with the newer versions. A long-body Defender.

    New – not sure of the cost, but the GT350 sounds tremendous. But I would be willing to take a chance on a long body Wrangler, with two rows of seats and a storage area behind that. Or maybe a tricked out F-150, perhaps a Raptor or Lightning. A King Ranch with the large cab seems pretty sweet also. The new Vettes seem like perhaps the best Vettes in a long-time, also. Or a hi-po Tesla, bowing to my 21 year old son’s preference for new technology. Any would be fun. Some would be better choices than others, but none would lose their charm after two decades, just like a good marriage. If you start out with a good foundation, the problems are secondary.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    The old list is easier than the the new. By no means complete, these are the ones that come to mind immediately (all manual versions):

    1) NSX
    2) S2000
    3) miata
    4) Elise
    5) RX-8
    6) last of the manual ferraris (Scuderia)
    7) Porsche 911 997 GT3

    Going forward, I think the 4C will be wanted 25 years from now. Apart from that car, I think we are entering the final years of manual, “analogue” cars and the very best of that dying breed will be every bit as desireable as they are now.
    On that list, I’d put the Audi R8 V10 manual, the Cayman GT4, and probably some version of the Lotus Evora

  • avatar
    otter

    Well, I’ve had my Fiat Spider for 25 years and my Sentra SE-R for 22, so I’d say those.

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    I honestly can’t think of any new car today that I would want to keep for 25 years. I just don’t think the time will be as kind to them.

    I had a new LS400 in ’91. That would have been a good car to keep for 25 years as far as reliability, etc., but while it was amazing how quiet and smooth it was, it really wasn’t much fun which is why I only kept it for a few years. In retrospect, it certainly would have been a great car to own for 25 years as an appliance.

    I’m on year 10 on two of my cars, and year 8 on one. I enjoy them all enough that I would have no problem driving any of them for 25 years, but I think the G35 is the only one that might last that long. The BMW I think I would wake up in cold sweats starting around year 15 (although to be honest, our E60 has been very low maintenance up to this point – I just expect epic failure at some point due to the internets).

    A new car today for $80K or less (or really for any price)? I just can’t think of anything that isn’t a full-size truck that I would expect to last 25 years.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    A friend of mine has a 1986 Chrysler Fifth Avenue. RWD, 318 V8, Torqueflite. He started making trips to junkyards in the early ’90s to get and store stuff he knew would go bad, so everything works. The only upgrades were AC and rear discs. I’d say a 25-year keeper is a RWD with a bulletproof drivetrain, but some upgrades, like the AC, are periodically required.

  • avatar
    spamvw

    The question should be, “What car would you use as a DD for 25 years?”

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Hmmm… I wonder how long I can keep my 2012 W-body Impala?

    You know what I see LOTS of? 1996-2001 Camrys! Most are beige, but they seem to be everywhere. Those appear to be the greatest survivors thus far.

    I don’t believe I would WANT to drive the same car for 25 years. After all, variety is the spice of life!

    • 0 avatar
      Waftable Torque

      Our 98 Camry LE is still going strong, with just a bit of rust on the rear fender. Despite its reputation as a decontented car compared to the previous generation, it’s still a comfortable, quiet car with good fuel economy. It’s certainly in better shape than our 91 Sable was at the same age. I’m always amazed about hearing stories of people wanting to get rid of their 4 year cars before repairs bankrupt them, whereas my 17 year old car just won’t break.

  • avatar
    Varryl

    I’m going to keep my goddamned NSX until it outlives me.

  • avatar
    madman2k

    Old: I’d have to echo the LS400 supporters there.

    New: A GMC pickup with the 6.2 and a fair amount of options, but probably not the Denali because I’d want capability but no bling. Or possibly a Suburban, more room for future offspring. But 25 years of family-hauler duty will ruin any interior, yikes. I think the Land Cruiser is a bit over budget.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Oh boy ~

    I’m so far afield here I can’t believe it .

    Interesting choices though and very informative .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    AJ

    I think part of keeping a car for 25 years is for one being well maintained and two that it has limited miles on it. It’s not a daily driver that subjects it to a lot of miles, driven in high traffic/possibly being wrecked, day-to-day living in it, and weather and road conditions (including road salt).

    I was just having a conversation with a guy that manages the inspection and service process for vehicles that are traded in at a large dealer. A good number of the vehicles that are traded are because of miles, the owner didn’t take care or had stopped taking care of it, or simply mechanical failures. He said that it’s rare to find the gems that are clean and need little done to them (like an old guy owned it).

    Two of my three vechiles mostly fit keeping them 25 years (as they’re both 10+ years old now). And as much as I dislike dealerships, I may just keep them both for 25 years.

  • avatar
    415s30

    Well my W123 and my 240Z, not selling.

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