QOTD: First in Line at the Going Out of Business Sale?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd first in line at the going out of business sale

Like faces in the community, the passing of each year bring the appearances of new car models and the disappearance of old, familiar ones. Product changeover is constant. Picking up a just-released model ensures you’ll be seen driving a “new” car until refresh time rolls around, or, if you’re something of an oddball, until the unpopular vehicle that tickled your automotive fancy gets prematurely chopped from the lineup.

It’s nice getting into a model that’s destined to look relatively fresh for three or four years, but it’s also nice getting a deal and saving yourself some coin when dealers want that old (and possibly executed) model gone. Would it bother you to find yourself in the second camp?

These days, it’s unlikely you’d need to worry about parts drying up a handful of years down the road, but it does happen. That’s assuming you even planned to drive it long-term. More than likely, a new car with an acceptable amount of power and content, going for the right price (as the dealer desperately wishes to free up a more lucrative spot), is all a buyer desires. The most car for the money, never mind the car.

If you could live with the transmission, an all-wheel drive, Pentastar-powered Chrysler 200S might have been the unwanted gem of your dreams last year. The same might be said of a nicely equipped mid-level Ford Fusion in a year or two.

Neither of these two examples have any collector potential, so you’d be staring down the barrel of a car that’ll be dated and “old” the moment you drive it off the lot. “Its parent didn’t want it around anymore,” the locals will say. “It was a problem child.” Then again, assuming it does have a replacement, you might be making the right choice. You’ll know how your model shakes out, quality-wise. Americans who purchased a new ’75 Dart instead of its ’76 Aspen successor likely soon realized they made the right choice.

So, does the prospect of buying a swan song of a vehicle give you a moment’s pause? How come?

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Haroldhill Haroldhill on Oct 10, 2018

    I had the chance to drive a 50’s eggshell for a week, and I admit to getting off on all the looks as I drove through town. But on a day-to-day basis I’m quite happy without the attention. My best ever was a 92 Dodge Spirit, not quite at the end of the model run but getting close. K car perfected. Reliable, comfortable, responsive. Seriously my best ever. Close second is my 08 Matrix which trails only the Aztec and the 70’s F10 Datsun as the ugliest car in the history of “civilization”. And it’s gray, too. But it’s comfortable, reliable, and responsive. And it’s a station wagon to boot.

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Oct 10, 2018

    One of my best friends in HS somehow found a Merkur Scorpio used in SW MO. What a comfortable cruiser, we could fit the starting 5 of our HS bball team in it. Parts availability was the end of it ,but the body, interior and paint wore very well.He ended up driving a Pontiac Parisienne Bonny through college.

  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).