QOTD: Your Best Buffet?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd your best buffet

Today’s question was not, in fact, sparked by your author’s recent visit to a decent but not terribly impressive half-price buffet, but by — go figure — a Bring a Trailer listing.

The model depicted was one of those things we didn’t think would ever return… until it did: a Jeep pickup, this one of the Comanche variety. The 4×4 straight-six ’87 model made yours truly wistful, as it was one of those vehicles that got away.

Sometimes when car-buying time comes around, the circumstances of your life dictate a more interesting than usual pool of choices. This was one of those times.

They’re low-rent choices, but never mind that.

As I’ve mentioned this story before, I’ll try not to bore you with needless detail. Still in university, and with my daily driver totalled by a geriatric Impala driver, I seriously considered three replacements. Practicality wasn’t the deciding factor here; low cost and amusement was.

The first candidate was a Comanche just like the one in the listing. Alas, underbody rust had taken hold in a big way. Too bad. The second, an ’85 Volvo 240, was similarly infected with the Brown Beast, and that disappointment was perhaps even greater than the first. So, it was left to a pristine ’89 Prelude Si to ferry me through part of the early 2000s.

Truly, being in one’s early 20s is something you don’t appreciate until it’s too late. After that, pure economic practicality took over. For others, a growing family kicks them out of their G37 coupe or whatever and into a never-ending procession of crossovers.

Depending on your age, responsibilities, cash flow, and a number of other variables, one car purchase in your life will bring together more diverse and interesting candidates than any other. Maybe it was as a teenager, maybe it was after retirement. Whenever it was, we’d like to hear about it.

What did this eclectic pool of runners-up look like, and what did you ultimately bring home?

[Images: Volvo, Honda]

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2 of 28 comments
  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Jan 23, 2020

    Every once in a while for several years I look longingly at F10 550is. The combination of big-sedan luxury, a V8, and a stick shift is irresistible. Then I come to my senses and realize that one of them would break me within two years of ownership.

  • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Jan 24, 2020

    Yeah I usually go in with a particular vehicle in mind though when I bought the MKZ I did think a little about a Mustang convertible, but never got beyond looking at a couple of listings, because I needed a comfortable commuter more than I needed another toy.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird The hideaway headlamps on these and other Ford vehicles of the era could have issues mostly vacuum related. Usually the vacuum hoses that ran to the actuators would deteriorate. The “coffee can” reservoir which was mounted in the front header was rarely an issue because it was protected from the elements. The other coffee can reservoir used for the HVAC controls and actuators and mounted under the passenger side wheel well had a tendency to rot away. I once replaced one on my 70 Mustang when I noticed that the vents were acting janky. Later model Fords like Fox bodies used a durable plastic globe shaped one. The radio on these 69-70 full-size Fords mounted on the left side of the aircraft style instrument cluster within the drivers touch probably disappointed many young people. “Mom will you change the station?” “Andy Williams is so square”.
  • MichaelBug For me, two issues in particular:1. It can be difficult for me to maintain my lane on a rainy night. Here in southeastern PA, PennDOT's lane markings aren't very reflective. They can be almost impossible to make out when wet.2. Backing out of a parking space in a lot with heavy pedestrian traffic. Oftentimes people will walk right into my blind spot even if I am creeping back with my 4-way flashers blinking. (No backup camera in my '11 Toyota Camry.)Michael B 🙂
  • Tagbert When you publish series like this, could you include links to the previous articles in the series so that we can follow through? Thank you. Edit: now I see a link embedded in the first paragraph that goes to the previous story. It wasn’t clear at first where that link went but now I understand.
  • DungBeetle62 When you're in one of these, you life in a state of constant low-level nervous about 90% of the time. But that other 10% kinda makes up for it.
  • Garrett Instead of foisting this problem on the car companies and the people who buy cars, make those who possess liquor licenses and those who purchase alcohol take on the economic cost of this problem.