By on August 21, 2017

used car sales, Image: alptraum/Bigstock

The average transaction price of a new car in America has long since blown past $30,000 and currently sits at $31,400 – after incentives, naturally – in the first quarter of 2017.

But who wants to buy just one car? Everyone here has a short list of what they’d buy given an unlimited budget. For today’s QOTD, let’s imagine – just like that Community Chest card in Monopoly – you’ve received a bank error in your favor. The amount? You guessed it: $31,400.

Trucks and large SUVs are the major reason for the steady march of average car prices. Thing is, though, there are plenty of great new cars on lots today with a Monroney less than that average transaction price. The Focus ST is a great example. The Toyota 86 is well under the limbo bar, too.

So here’s the challenge: using the average transaction price given above, choose a new car for yourself and then spend the rest on used wheels to eat up the rest of your budget. Forget about maintenance and insurance and all that drudgery; this is strictly a fantasy exercise.

Me? I would indeed take that Focus ST, in Triple Yellow naturally, for $23,245 after incentives. With the remaining $8,155, I’d select a mid-‘90s C4 Corvette, plenty of which are available for around five grand. Rounding out my fictional fleet would be a 4×4 GMT400 truck … doubtless to be in atrocious condition given my remaining pittance. Still, it’d get me through tortuous Canadian winters.

You also have our blessing to imagine there is an empty parking lot in which to store all your metal. You too can choose a $23,245 FoST and then spend your remaining $8,155 on a dozen $679 beaters for all I care. Our only stipulation is you make some sort of half-hearted attempt to explain your choice. Don’t limit yourself to four wheels, either. Bikes are fair game here.

That sound you hear in the distance? It’s the IT departments of all the major OEMs wondering why their Build & Price tools are seeing record traffic today. What will sit in your fantasy garage to the tune of $31,400?

[Image: alptraum/Bigstock]

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74 Comments on “QOTD: A Garage Full of Speed...”


  • avatar
    chaparral

    New car: Ford Fiesta 1.0/5M, $11-12k at Imperial Ford in Mendon, MA.
    Used car: Pontiac Firebird LS1, $4k-6k almost anywhere.
    Used truck: ’04-07 GM 1/2 ton, 5.3/5M, $5k-7k almost anywhere.
    Motorcycle: Aprilia RSV Mille or RSV1000R, $3500-$5000.
    Kart: Recent TonyKart chassis with Vortex DVS engine, $4000.

  • avatar
    Chris Tonn

    First instinct is a properly fun daily driver as the new car. GTI Sport, 4 door, manual trans.

    $28,815. Ooof. That leaves $2585 in cash so I can get mugged via Craigslist.

    https://columbus.craigslist.org/cto/d/1972-datsun-240-project-car/6260429569.html

    $2k for a rusty Z. $585 for tetanus boosters.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      …with the quilted transmission tunnel upholstery. nice.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I paid $23K for that very GTI in January. So you can get a less rusty Z than you think. And even some left over for the inevitable stitches.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        Or something to tow the Z home. Again and again.

        I used to own an X1/9, I speak from experience. Did you know you can bumper push them with a friend and a running 80’s Pontiac?

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      In 1975 I was driving an Opel Manta Rally, which I liked very much. My father said it “had no class”, so he took it to use in his business and bought me a ’72 240Z. Out of all the cars I’ve had a long term relationship with, it’s the one I’d least like to have back. It was a OK car, but kind of came up short on the build quality. After only 40,000 miles and three years, it had some tears in the upholstery, the spring had sagged and the rack bushings were so soggy that the car shook under braking. The drivability of the engine was indifferent at best, it was very hard to start in cold weather (and I lived in Tennessee at the time, and the throttle linkage had this hair trigger point where once you hit it the car almost jumped forward. From my standpoint, it wasn’t a car worth getting a tetanus shot over.

      I had a ’81 Mazda RX-7, which I think was a much better car, if you’re looking for something of the type and age.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Dealers are advertising the Mirage or Versa at $9999.

    $15k for a used crew cab truck, to take care of human or material hauling needs.

    $7k worth of Miata, whatever that buys.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I can’t think of any new vehicle worth buying at that ATP which remotely interests me.

    Maybe if there is some kind of Ford, GMC, or Toyota 4×4 which can be had for this measly sum for ATP (that’s *not* Colorado/Canyon)?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Yeah my next vehicle purchase will likely be <$40K out the door but at $31K the choices are much more limited.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Theoretically, the Tacoma can come in for this price, in base trim with manual, but good luck finding any on the ground in this spec:

      https://tinyurl.com/y8j6w6rd

      Ford and GMC have you covered, however, with nicely-discounted naturally-aspirated White Trucks aplenty:

      https://tinyurl.com/ya4ghha5
      https://tinyurl.com/yb8ltlf6

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Either a heavily discounted Sedona/Grand Caravan in the realm of $20k, or a Camry LE/Accord LX/Optima/Sonata in the $18k range, the rest of the money for basically my current fleet: clean and reliable-enough-for-road trips ’96 4Runner (street value of $7k-ish), and my cheap $1700 Ranger (call it $2500 once brought up to par in terms of neglected maintenance and repairs).

    If I could though, I’d throw the “one new car” requirement right out the window and end up with the following: some sort of newer-than my-’96 used BOF SUV (fullsize GM, GX470, or gen 1 Sequoia for $10-12k), lightly used and decently depreciated midsize sedan in the $14-15k range, and maybe a cheap old truck ($1-2k) (or a trailer for the SUV for $1kish).

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Thats the problem with 95% of us… we AREN’T buying the new cars.

      When I see this number I boggles my mind. I don’t feel like I could afford a $31,400 DD car myself, and I’m in the top 5% of incomes. How the hell do people “afford” a $31,400 car?

      It seriously boggles my mind.

      I get people can “Make” it work, but why?

      I thought I “splurged” when I paid $21,500 on a CPO’d car with 7k miles. “Living the dream” I thought to myself.

      I even had to rationalize it- “Sure its 21,500 for a car and it would be cheaper to buy an older one, but nice warranty, I know its not going to break down, etc. etc”.

      I get spending more if your a true enthusiast, buying a race car or even an exotic, but thats only a fraction of the population. I’ve spent more than 31,400 for “special” cars before, but I can’t imagine spending that much for DD duty.

      I wish I could find out how much the $31400 number is skewed by outliers. My guess is its hugely skewed. One $350,000 lamborghini influences the average by as many as 80 $27,400 Fords.

      If most people spend about $23-28k on cars and 5% of the population spends 50-80k on cars, and 1% spend over 100k, you’d have a 31,400 avg.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        If nobody bought new cars where would your used cars come from? The Used Car Fairy?

        • 0 avatar
          arach

          95% of the people on a sight like TTAC, not 95% of people period.

          And I have no factual basis on that- just a shot in the dark.

          Factually, more than 75% of annual car purchases each year are used though.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        If you are in the top 5% of income you should easily be able to afford a $40,000 car. Personally, I like to buy a new car and keep it from a minimum of 8 years. My last two cars I kept for 10 and 12 years. You can spend money on depreciation, or you can spend money on repairs and maintenance, but you will have to spend it on something, and provided you aren’t buying some expensive premium car, the difference between buying a new car and keeping it 8-10 years and buying an older car is no more than $1000 per year, and that’s money well spent in my opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “I don’t feel like I could afford a $31,400 DD car myself, and I’m in the top 5% of incomes. ”

        A quick Google tells me “[t]he top 5% of households earn an annual income of $214,462 or higher, according to the Census Bureau.” At that income you’re netting probably $10-12k/mo. $31,400 at 60 months and near 0% is a little over $500 with nothing down. You must have some pretty serious other expenses where you can’t spend 5% of you monthly nut.

        Keep in mind too, most people have something to trade in. If you have a car that’s in serviceable condition, you should be able to get probably $4-5k at least on it, so you really only need to spend $26k now.

        • 0 avatar
          quaquaqua

          Yeah, there’s no way he’s in the top 5% of incomes. And yes, cars are $31k on AVERAGE, which means $90k luxury cars are skewing that average. I remember sitting in a class in 1994 that said cars cost an average of $20k for the first time ever (while thinking to myself “my dad’s new Cavalier just cost him $11k”). Considering inflation, $31k 23 years later isn’t out of line at all. It only is in the sense that actual wages haven’t kept pace. But since you make over $200k, that’s not a concern of yours.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “I’ve spent more than 31,400 for “special” cars before, but I can’t imagine spending that much for DD duty”

        Oh geez. I was with you until that humblebrag. Most of us don’t get to spend that much on toys, and we don’t have “special cars” and a “DD duty” car. We have *our car*.

      • 0 avatar
        notwhoithink

        “I don’t feel like I could afford a $31,400 DD car myself, and I’m in the top 5% of incomes”

        According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_in_the_United_States) to be in the top 5% of household incomes in the United States you’d have to be at $167,000/year (based on 2005 numbers). Unless you are supporting a huge family or have a massive debt load, I have a hard time believing that someone with that sort of income couldn’t afford a $31k car. My household income is in the top 5% and we have a pair of cars in that price range, plus a mortgage, kids in school, etc.

        “I thought I “splurged” when I paid $21,500 on a CPO’d car with 7k miles. “Living the dream” I thought to myself.”

        Where do you think that CPO car came from? There’s probably a 90% chance that it was leased to someone, at a transaction price well over $31k. That’s the big reason why transaction prices are creeping up, people are leasing to get more care than they could afford if they are buying.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “I get spending more if your a true enthusiast,”

        In my own rationalization, I attribute my “enthusiast” status as what allows me to get away with driving such old vehicles without excessive apprehension of a break down or expensive repair. I also don’t have children in the vehicle. For a few years I was doing the “normal” thing of driving an almost new Civic as a commuter that I had purchased 1 year old with 11k miles for $15k plus tax. Totally trouble free for 53k miles, just a set of tires and oil/filters/wipers. Sold privately for $11k after 4 years of use, my total running costs excluding fuel were about $15 cents per mile. Since then the goal in my “grand beater experiment” has been to see if I can at least match or beat that cost per mile operating cost with a cheap craigslist find. I’d do much better on the beater cost per mile if I didn’t also treat this spot in my garage as a revolving door to satisfy my automotive ADD (I’ve put less than 5k miles on any one of them). Even with flipping cars about every 6 months, having made not-insignificant investments in repairs and maintenance (this is where my OCD kills me), the running cost per mile have been lower (but not by a lot) than the totally trouble free and slow-depreciating Civic.

        There’s a number of nice new vehicles that I think I’d really enjoy and would serve my needs very well, but for now I get to save some money and enjoy a hobby. I have a spouse’s medical school debt to repay, I’d feel uneasy picking up another payment or dumping in a ton of cash for a thing that I don’t absolutely need (a new/newer vehicle) when I have that other thing still hanging over my head, even if the “numbers” look perfectly manageable.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          “In my own rationalization, I attribute my “enthusiast” status as what allows me to get away with driving such old vehicles without excessive apprehension of a break down or expensive repair. I also don’t have children in the vehicle.”

          This fits me exactly. Even if my financial situation allowed me to never have to drive a car older than 5 years again, I most certainly would still have older vehicles. The only difference would be that they’d be in better shape. LOL

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        I’m getting attacked here, so I’ll keep it short.

        The OP suggested Used cars. I suggested a lot of TTAC users align more with Used car buyers than new car buyers.

        To me, $31,400 is a lot of money.

        If I had to rationally think about it, I’d imagine that people who love cars- are real car enthusiasts- would spend a lot more than a “typical person” who could care less about their car. So I would never shame someone for spending as much as they want on the car.

        But that doesn’t take away my idea that $31,400 is a lot of money for a car. You get a REALLY GOOD CAR for $31,400.

        I don’t feel like I can afford $31,400 on a daily driver to get from point A to point B. I know I technically could, it wasn’t a comment about “wealth”, but we all technically could buy a lot more than we do. Life is all about trade offs and priorities.

        What percentage of people actually care about cars? I have no data to back it up, but 15%? 20%? if that?

        I’m not trying to “humblebrag” or whatever term your suggesting I’m using. I’m just saying $31,400 seems like a whole lot of money to me if you hate cars. I believe the data, I believe it is true, but why would someone who doesn’t care about cars and just wants to get to work spend $31,400 when there are so many great car offerings less than that… Hyundai, Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Honda, all make great cars in the high teens and low 20s. Its amazing how good some of the cars in the high teens and low 20s are.

        I’m not judging people for spending more when they want to, my point was simply curiously wondering about the impact of outliers. There’s so many great cars cheaper than that, that spending 31,400 seems high unless you want a special car. If you hate cars – which to me most people I know could care less about cars- and are just trying to get work cheaply and reliably, there are amazing cars out there for way under 31,400.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          “…so I’ll keep it short.”

          And an excellent job at that.

          ” I’m just saying $31,400 seems like a whole lot of money to me if you hate cars.”

          So, either you’re an enthusiast who spends too much, or you HATE cars. No middle ground?

          My mom is *not* a car enthusiast. She still wanted a nice car to drive, and she spent around $30k +/- to get it. She’s had it 5 years and it just hit 100k, there are no plans whatsoever to replace it.

          People don’t have to be head-over-heels passionate about automobiles to want to drive something nicer than a $9,000 Versa.

          “…that spending 31,400 seems high unless you want a special car.”

          Or maybe just not an Altima S? There are “special cars” under $31k, and many, many, MANY not-special cars over it.

          So, a housewife with a husband who has a decent job would NEVER buy anything other than a base Caravan? Or some old beater? $31k might still be a lot of money for them, but only if having to come up with it *all at once*.

          No, someone (or some family) with an average income more than likely *cannot* go write a $31,400.00 check with no worries. But, they can write out a check for several hundred dollars very easily, month after month. Why is that so hard to understand?

          What world do you live in where people pay cash for everything, else they buy nothing at all? And, do they know the difference between “your” and “you’re” in that world?

        • 0 avatar
          scott25

          A lot of people don’t like cars and still spend hundreds of thousands or a few million on them since they’re either an investment or a way to impress people.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            That’s a great point.

            People who don’t like or care whatsoever about cars still know the difference between driving a Toyota Corolla LE and driving a Lexus LS.

            People say expensive cars “skew” the results, but so do not-expensive cars.

            Also, when companies buy work trucks, unless its a basic half-ton regular cab 6 cylinder, its probably way over $30k each. You can’t carry 4-6 workers, a 250 gal tank of off-road (equipment) fuel, big loaded tool box, chainsaws, etc in an single-cab V-6 Silverado/F-150/Ram 1500. It doesn’t work that way.

    • 0 avatar
      ACCvsBig10

      Pretty much any 2.0t or v6 midsize car will get you there easily for dd duty. And I’m guessing that 31400 is before tax so tack on another 2-3 grand for most places.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I don’t even need to think about it..That sort of money buys me a 2017 W.T Chevy, 4X4 reg cab, 8 ft box. Manual 4X4 lever on the rubber floor. Painted wheels, trailer package and AC.

    With any cash left over, a trip to Krown Rust proofing. I could make that truck last for the rest of my life.

    I doubt I would put 5,000 miles a year on this fantasy truck. That goes a long ways to explaining my reasons for not buying such a vehicle for real.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Higher mileage F30 335i 8AT- $23K
    255mmx19″ non-run flat wheel/tire package- $2K
    Quaife LSD installed- $3K
    Suspension upgrades (coilovers + solid subframe bushings + assorted solid control arm bushings)- $3K
    Pads + rotors- whatever is left

    Or just sink an inordinate irrational sum of money into my G37… twin turbo kit, built transmission, Quaife LSD, Volk wheels

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      How do you get a NEW high mileage F30?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Oof, reading owns me.

      Well, it looks like they are playing softball with GTIs… I can get a new Sport for $24K. If that’s the one that comes with the mechanical LSD that’s what I would get, along with some new tires, chompier pads and coilovers… I’d guess with change to spare.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well…anyone who knows me knows choice #1 would be a GTI. Around here, a manual is going for $23,000, give or take. Make mine Tornado Red.

    For the second ride, I’d take the Tim Cain approach and buy a nice used Miata for eight grand or so. Always wanted one of those.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Can I say a Toyota Sienna even though their MSRP is over $33k? So maybe a demo?

    Just can’t beat a minivan for utility.
    And the Sienna’s reliability scores are near the top.

  • avatar
    arach

    Hyundai Sonata with an option or 2: $20,400
    Corvette C5: $11,000

    Hyundai makes a great DD, and I learned I don’t need a fun DD if I’m really just driving in traffic to or from work.

    I think the C5 is one of the best value buys right now in the sports car world.

    I bought my Sonata for $21,500 with some options, and I sold my corvette for $13,400 a few years ago but it was a z06. I checked craigslist on the vette and you can get them as low as about 9k, so 11k should be fair game

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    2017 Mustang Fastback Ecoboost with performance pack. Lightening Blue, no stripes, ceramic colored interior to lighten it up a little. Comes in just a little under $28,000 – I’m sure I could get a catback system for around $3K.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d actually rather have the V-6 with a manual…at least it kinda sorta sounds like a V-8. The Ecoboost just sounds…sad to me.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Remember I’m not really happy with the premise of this QOTD anyway. Give me $40K and I’ll be happy with a Sierra 1500 SLE 4×4 Double Cab – towing package. With negotiations and trade in I’d be able to tint the windows, Rhino Line the bed, and slap a toneau on it. Still likely have enough left for the local exhaust shop to do some work.

        Or a Hemi 300 S and while I’m driving it I could pretend that I’m in an alternate universe where Oldsmobile still exists.

        Or I violate the spirit of the question and spend the whole $30K on my 1967 Mustang. It’s in the shop getting the top replaced this week.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        You know, I wouldn’t have agreed with you before that sound is a deal-breaker (as I love the idea of the Eco-4) but I was standing in my employers parking lot yesterday while an Ecoboost F-150 started up and drove off. I’ve seen it many times, it’s lifted, has expensive wheels, lots of chrome, gorgeous. It sounded like a CR-V with a bad muffler.

        Just…no.

  • avatar
    sensiblebuyer

    2018 Chevy Impala FWD LT, comin’ in red hot at $31,095

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    There aren’t really any DDs for under $30k that are better than the TSX I already own, so I’d just keep that as a DD and buy something else interesting. I’ve always wanted a Wrangler, and I bet I could get a pretty interesting one for around $24k.

    With the remaining, I’ve always wanted a Porsche…

    https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/cto/d/1986-porsche-944-turbo-951/6257309941.html

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Crap. I want a fun car and a reasonably competent off roader and $31,400 doesn’t stretch very far there. A new 4×4 would suck all of that up, so it has to be the fun car that is purchased new.

    I’m seeing new GTIs for firesale $22K pricing here. That’s good value! Done.

    That leaves 9 grand for the 4×4 which puts you in the unenviable market of 120K mile 9-year old basic Xterras and Grand Cherokees. That’s bad value, but I’d have little choice. Done.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      30 mile, $9k is actually not too bad as far as a good SUV goes IMO. With a bit of hunting around that gets you a clean earlier 4th gen 4Runner or even a GX470 (with 150k miles or more, I personally am not scared by that), like you mention a 2nd gen Xterra in good condition with a bit over 100k miles, R51 Pathfinder with somewhat over 100k miles, a really clean WJ Grand Cherokee with a big cash cushion to address any sorts of issues (I personally dislike WK1s), likewise a REALLY nice GMT800 Tahoe or Suburban with money left over for maintenance/repairs, a really clean Mitsubishi Montero Limited. In any one of those cases, I’d hop on a plane a fly out of salt country to get a rust free example.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I don’t shop new cars so I can’t answer the question.

    I think a better QOTD or one for another day would be:
    You have 50k to spend & unlimited garage space. What do you buy?

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Thats tricky, but I think to really answer you you have to address maintenance.

      Whats the maintenance budget? Does the 50k have to include maintenance? repairs? if so for how long?

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I think I have this one in real life. Paid ~$23K for a ’17 GTI Sport in January. Bought a $6K Land Rover Disco I last summer. The remainder won’t buy MY Triumph Spitfire, but it will buy one that runs and is a decent rolling restoration project.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    Oh, wow.
    Mustang and Evo = dent in their respective restored and modded boxes.
    300M = finally drivable again!
    F-150 = a couple of rainy day payments.

    “Don’t limit yourself to four wheels, either. Bikes are fair game here.”

    Can I DD a snowmobile? I really only need a 250cc!

  • avatar

    I’d get a new 2017 Sonic configured here –

    https://goo.gl/UDD4Du

    That’d eat up 20,210 of the 31,400.

    I’d then splurge and reclaim my high school sweetheart, a 77 Pontiac SJ –

    https://cargur.us/hw3Kp

    That’d swallow another $7k leaving me $4190

    I’d spend 2 grand of that to rebuild and restore the SJ…

    With the remaining $2100 I’d buy a used bike. No idea what kind.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    “You too can choose a $23,245 FoST and then spend your remaining $8,155 on a dozen $679 beaters for all I care.”

    Done.

    Nah, not really. It’d be either that FoST or a manual GTI, plus a 15-year-old Outback from down South with new head gaskets, and new snow tires for said Outback. The change would go into the “Fuzzy’s Stupid Volvo Project Ought to Have a V8” fund, and ought to get that project going just fine.

  • avatar
    raph

    A nice car trailer and something to tow it with. Preferably an older truck with an small block so I can indulge my wanna be Jim Feuling fantasy and build a really really big cube small block and cap it with the smallest set of aftermarket heads I can find.

    30k should get me there just nicely.

  • avatar
    scott25

    31,400 USD = 39,500 CAD

    If I have money for fun cars I’m perfectly content with my base Mazda 3 hatch (21k CAD)

    5k for clean-ish Dodge Rampage (people always fall into the “rare means valuable” camp with them though and overprice them)

    Since this is imaginary, I’m going to imagine away the cost of importing vehicles from Japan, so 7k will buy me a nice Caldina GT-Four.

    The other 5k? Hell I’ll just import a Fiat Multipla and sell the sides of it to businesses for advertising since that thing would be a “real eye turner” as they say on Kijiji.

    Alternately instead of JDM vehicles I’d spend that 13k on a nice late 50s/early 60s 6cyl American compact wagon or sedan for my girlfriend.

    • 0 avatar
      Mn12Fanatic

      Somebody has a cleanish Rampage for sale in Wichita KS right now for 1k.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        I have seen respectable ones for $2k/under, but out west, so you’d be looking at a trip to go get it or shipping after buying sight-unseen. I would choose the former. Always up for a road trip, make it part of the fun. Stop by some national parks or, take the spouce/significant other/secretary/personal trainer to Vegas (lol).

        • 0 avatar
          scott25

          I sometimes browse Craigslist for them in US (it’s really inconvenient to use compared to Kijiji since you can’t search Nationwide or even over a particular wide area) but I’ve mostly stuck to the east, where it seems like they’re even more overpriced than in Ontario. Either that or they’re both hand painted an obnoxious colour and winter driven, even if they are mechanically fine.

          The thing is with Rampages, even though I love them, I’ve never sat in one, and I’m 6’4″ and am worried I’m going to have my dreams shattered if I do.

          I’m all into the road trip idea, other than the fact I usually like cars which seem unlikely to survive the journey. When I import something from Japan I plan on driving it from Vancouver back to Ontario.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Use google to search all of craigslist.

            Just type “site:craigslist.org cto” and then add “Dodge Rampage” or “Grand National” or whatever you’re looking for into the same google search bar.

            A Rampage isn’t heavy, you should be able to tow it with a car dolly.

      • 0 avatar
        scott25

        Also the one in Wichita is exactly what I’m looking for. Just slightly unfeasible at this point.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    The numbers you guys are throwing around are incredibly low. Are you including all taxes, fees and charges??

    30 odd k gets you little more than a Civic round here once you pay the taxes, PDI, delivery, eco fees and paperwork charges.

    So just checked, an absolute base mustang with zero options is listed at a little over $29K all in so yeah, maybe get that with an option or two and be done with it.

    • 0 avatar
      Alfisti

      Just checked honda and the Civic 2nd from the bottom of 6 nets out at just under 29K all in.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      In my case, yes, other than registering it. But I traded in a car worth a whole bunch more than the GTI so no sales tax.

      Assuming you are Canadian, you guys get the shaft on cars. For me, it would have been 6% sales tax on top of the $23K. $23K already included all the BS fees, the actual price I negotiated was about $22400 plus about $600 in fees. Just about $6K off MSRP.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      No, but does the 31,400 include all that?

      I thought the 31,400 didn’t include all that, but if it does that could shift some numbers.

      Also depends on where you live, since a lot of places have very few taxes and fees and others have really high taxes and fees.

      I’ve read that some states even tax you for how valuable your car is when you register it!

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Uh, I don’t daily drive anymore. VPN to my office is painless. If I did get a daily driver, it would be a 2018 Camry SE. My wife likes her 2015. I assume that would set me back about $22-23K. So, $8.4k burning a hole in my pocket. Some repairs to an ’04 A4 – window regulator and weak AC primarily. Put on a good set of -1 sized snow tires for winter driving. Then preventative maintenance to an 07 Cayman S – complete flush of cooling system, new plugs and any coil packs that looked sketchy, replace oil pan with one that’s baffled, maybe add a spacer to take even more oil, 911 oil swirl pots, strengthened shifter cables for the MT, maybe a water pump (no leaks yet), replace the shifter boot with one with contrast stitching, maybe replace the tires which with 1/2 their tread left have become noisy as hell.
    Pretty unimaginative, but I’m done, don’t want any more cars, need to unload two of the four I have now that kids are on their own. Anybody interested in an 02 A6 2.7T?

  • avatar
    Syke

    The first part is easy, as I just did it two months ago:

    New Honda Gold Wing, $23,400 out the door.

    with the remaining $8,000 I’d probably go for:

    C4 Corvette
    Something in a late 90’s/early 2000’s sport bike. Preferably Ducati, but another Honda Super Hawk would be nice.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “…but another Honda Super Hawk would be nice.”

      Rumors are swirling concerning Honda and a V4 Superbike for the everyman. I have my fingers and toes crossed that it’ll be revealed at EICMA this year. I also hope that the V4 will be inserted into a modern SuperHawk.

      If not, Ducati’s CEO has already stated that their upcoming V4 will do duty in various platforms. I’m guessing a V4 StreetFighter is right around the corner.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Recently I’ve thought about getting AWD if driving in the snow and ice here proves to be more of a hassle than I want. Don’t know if I could swing it at that price, but I’d get a TLX mostly just to get the haters here excited. And, frankly I don’t think it’s as bad as they make it out to be.

    In reality, I’ll probably end up with a Imprezza 5 door, which should leave me enough for a MG TD project.

    • 0 avatar
      Alfisti

      Or just get snow tyres, will never understand this AWD obsession. I have a FWD vehicle and have never had any issues with snow, ice, anything so long as Blizzacks or X-Ice III’s were on the vehicle. Only extra ride height would do any good if we got inundated but that’s got nothing to do with AWD.

  • avatar
    Mn12Fanatic

    First 16k would go to a Honda Fit. Roomy car for it’s class, good mpgs, and decent reliability. The rest would be spent on the trifecta of US brand truck cars: 82 Rampage, 68-72 El Camino, and 74ish Ranchero.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    1. First choice would be a Miata RF but that takes the entire budget.

    2. So, maybe a GTI Sport, a KTM 390 Duke, and as much YZF250 that the remaining will purchase.

  • avatar
    cicero1

    How did this site let the entire day go by with no story/poll, etc regarding the Mitsubishi Eclipse??????

  • avatar
    manu06

    Mazda RF is really tempting but Miata’s are a good car to buy used since low mileage examples
    are easy to find.
    Maybe a Wrangler to haul the dog around in

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    With no consideration for my situation or future, lol, first choice is a 2017 Accord Coupe 6MT I-4, probably a Sport in blue, which would eat up all but a few grand, and I have plenty of options to spend that on. Probably an old pickup just for non-car duty, like towing or moving lots of stuff.

    However, since my situation is what it is, a more sensible choice would be something I could use for Uber/Lyft in order to provide myself an income. And, I did NOT want something new for that.

    However, I did locate a new Kia Soul base model 6MT, which should work, for about $13k. Its either that or something worse, like a Mirage.

    Mark Stevens, our former managing editor, told me subcompact cars don’t qualify, but I found people on forums using a Mirage, Fiesta, Versa etc for ridesharing. Also, when I looked went in their respective websites, it just specified how new it must be, must be 4 door, and it cannot be an ex-cop/taxi car or a full sized van. Manual transmission is okay. Even a 4 door pickup would technically work, however I’m not going that route.

    So, lets say $15k max on a new Soul or other small car suitable for rideshare duty. That’s about $19k leftover.

    2nd gen Intetra, all stock.
    https://okaloosa.craigslist.org/cto/d/1991-acura-integra-gs/6231325612.html
    -$2k = $17k

    A beater work truck, 1995 T-100
    https://dothan.craigslist.org/cto/d/toyota-t100/6268003450.html
    Offer him a grand, so that’s $16k left over

    1985 Ford Tempo 5spd/EFI sedan in surprisingly good shape for its age
    https://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/cto/d/1985-ford-tempo/6264331837.html
    Offer a grand for it, down to $15k now

    1985 Olds Delta 88 coupe (b body)
    https://ocala.craigslist.org/cto/d/1985-oldsmobile-delta-88-2-dr/6257248649.html
    -$1,900 so that’s $13,100 left

    2006 Honda Element 4wd/manual
    https://charlotte.craigslist.org/cto/d/2006-honda-element-ex/6249555946.html
    -$3500, -500 for different wheels =$9,100 leftover

    1St gen Olds Aurora, needs engine (likely)
    https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/cto/d/1998-oldsmobile-aurora/6229165893.html
    -$475 purchase price, -$3,000 for a 5.3L/LS4 (FWD) engine upgrade =$6,125 left

    2002 Kia Sportage 4wd 5spd soft top/2 door
    https://panamacity.craigslist.org/cto/d/2002-kia-sportage-1000-obo/6250998694.html
    -$800 to buy it, -$895 for a hardtop @ rallytops.com =$4,430 left

    Olds Tornado Trofeo
    https://orlando.craigslist.org/cto/d/1990-oldsmobile-toronado/6213755167.html
    -$750 asking price, -$800 for this wrecked Regal GS w/the Supercharged 3800 to be swapped into the Tornodo, or use parts to retrofit to the existing engine. =$2880

    The last money would go to upgrade some cars (such as a 350 Olds for the Delta 88, modern Fiesta 16″ alloys for the Tempo, etc) and put them in good mechanical condition. I know the Sportage and that very old Tempo and such would probably need some level of reconditioning due to their age/use.

    Most of these are subject to change, but I generally look for cars in their price range, so say for instance any car turns out to be rusted to hell, or have other major issues when I go look at it, there’s always something else on my list. A good alternative to some would be a G body Olds Cutlass Supreme to put the Delta 88’s 307 in.

    Speaking of the Delta, I’d much rather have an early 1980s Ninety-Eight coupe, but a Delta would do (I have several on my list, but that one is in the best condition). If I found a 5 speed 2 door Achieva, Alero or Tempo, they’d get swapped into the list. A 1986-1988 3.0L-powered Taurus sedan would as well. I also wanted a late 90s/00s F-150 with a broken V-6 (common) to do a Cummins BT4 swap into.

    These are just by picks from this region I live in now, so this list would be quite different if I took examples from the west coast instead. Probably more imports like Datsuns and such.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yes, I know its Toronado (and other mistakes), but tbh, the window for editing was gone before I noticed autocorrect had made a fool of me with that one, LOL

      That window for editing doesn’t need to be as long as before, but somewhere in between what it was and what it is now would be appreciated by many, I’m sure.

  • avatar
    cdrmike

    2002 Z3
    2002 M3
    Continue to rewrite misspent youth…leftover cash towards “two girls at the same time.”

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