QOTD: When Did You Lay 'em Down and Smack 'em Yack 'em?
Last week I asked the B&B about the worst L they ever took on a car or bike deal. To my surprise, a lot of readers were forthcoming about not always being steely-eyed cash-purchase Vanguard Funds billionaires who always make salespeople cry and who get loans that are so good the bank actually pays them interest. To those of you who responded with a story or a description: THANK YOU for putting just a tiny little pebble in the way of the Internet Tough Guy steamroller.
This week we’re going to let the braggarts and the Dave Ramsey disciples and the Rich-Dad-Poor-Dad types have a word. Of course, it would also be nice to hear real things from real people. The subject is: What’s the best deal you ever made on a car (or motorcycle, or both)? I’ll kick it off.
I’ve done a reasonable number of solid deals on cars, I think. Probably the best new car deal I ever made, excepting my 2006 Phaeton where I knocked 12 grand off the sticker because there’s no such thing as a good deal on a Phaeton, was my 2014 Accord Coupe. I was able to get all of the holdback on it, which is rare at a Honda dealer.
The best used car deal I ever made? That would probably be my 1995 Porsche 911, which I bought in 2002 for $29,900 but which is now worth maybe twice that. (I turned down a ’96 Turbo at $56,000 that would be worth $160k now, so I’m not too cocky.)
The best new bike deal I ever made was paying $6,999 plus nothing but sales tax and a $40 title fee for my 2014 Honda CB1100. Used examples of a 2014 can fetch that much or a little more, so if I sold it now it would have been pretty much free. Not that I’m going to sell it.
What about you? When was the last or best time you “sharpened your pencil,” as they used to say?
My best deal will make many laugh, because it wasn't that well regarded of a car, at the time. When Ford quit selling the Merkur Scorpio over here, they made their executives turn them in immediately.........and I ended up getting one with 6,900 miles and a 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty for 50% of MSRP ($16k). And they gave me $2,500 for my Saab 900 that had 148,000 miles on it (and needed brakes and CVs). I loved that car. Down on power a bit, for sure, but for a kid my age, holy crap, it was a dream. RWD, four door hatchback, leather, killer H-K stereo, limited slip diff, quiet as a tomb. Parts became an issue eventually, but even when waiting two weeks for a simple window switch, the dealership always cheerfully provided a nice loaner.
Bought a wrecked Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet for $15000 spent 5K repairing it and sold for $35000. Bought an unrestored hemi roadrunner for $19000, cleaned it up and sold for $70000
Actually got what I hope to be my best deal a week ago. Picked up a new ‘17 GTI SE DSG for $8k off MSRP (plus TTL). Best deal in the past was a ‘99 i30 we bought with 104k miles for $4500 in 2008 and sold it 3 years later with ~135k miles for $3800.
Best deal: in 1994, I went to an auction looking to buy a Diamond-Star car (Talon TSi AWD or Eclipse GSX). There was none available that day, and instead I won the bidding on a Cirrusblau 1989 325i 5-speed with Houndstooth cloth interior. Paying $7200 for a nearly mint BMW that was worth over $16K retail at the time, then driving it until 250K miles was the best used car deal I ever made. I sold it in still running/driving well condition to a friend for a song and he drove it even longer. Biggest missed opportunity: a neighbor down the street had two Plymouth Roadrunner Superbirds in the early 80's. One was a orange Hemi car that he would not sell. The other was a yellow 440 car with a 727 Torqueflite auto. I recall that the oft-broken rear wing inside adjustment was functional. He wanted $10K, which was just too rich at the time. Today, Hagerty says: Concours $389,000 Excellent $311,000 Good $222,000 Fair $183,000 Ouch!