Tag: beaters

By on July 10, 2018

Image: David B. Gleason/Flickr

Old, beloved cars can easily consume every last minute of our spare time while draining every last cent from our wallets, but not everyone is as fastidious as you might be. Often when a little thing goes wrong, we just let it slide. Sometimes the vehicle’s age, mileage, and accumulated repair costs mean our intervention’s no longer worthwhile. It’s time to throw our hands up in the air and say, “Screw it, I’ll just live with it.”

Yes, it wouldn’t take much to pull that dent or buff out those scuffs, but it there really any point anymore?

Usually, when car/owner relationships reach this point, the vehicle in question is not long for this world. Like a horse that’s run its last race, the glue factory beckons. And yet a friend of mind once spend countless hours applying endless layers of filler and primer and paint and clearcoat to his ’03 Altima’s bumpers to eliminate a number of stubborn scratches. Meanwhile, the sedan’s undercarriage resembled the Titanic (circa 2017) and the engine and transmission had clearly used up their borrowed time. For some, the quest for outward perfection never ends.

What’s the biggest nuisance you let slide? (Read More…)

By on May 10, 2018

1974 Chevrolet El Camino in California junkyard, grille, © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars

Forgive us for the gratuitous use of the R-word, but stereotypes loom so large that it’s the easiest way to describe this automotive subsegment. Unfair, perhaps, and potentially offensive to some, but that’s the way it is. Decades of conditioning — helped by our friends in Hollywood — have led us to associate certain vehicles with a certain socio-economic group of rural land owners.

Frankly, who doesn’t want to own a patch of God’s green earth and tear it up on lonely dirt roads in a rear-drive American car? Let’s see a show of hands.

Anyway, we’re not here to cast judgement on anyone, nor are we here to talk about any tweet-worthy social issues. We’re definitely steering clear of that. It’s the cars we’re interested in. (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2014

cou2

An unsellable car comes in many forms.

The three-door minivan. The stickshift attached to a non-sporty wagon. The Daewoo. The conversion van with design graphics rooted in sexual fantasy.

Then there is this car. A car designed in the Reagan era with a cheap plastic grille, an even cheaper plasticized interior, and a luggage rack on the trunk that would do Lee Iacocca proud.

God I love this thing. What the hell is wrong with me?

(Read More…)

By on December 27, 2013


20131212_103035

“You know, I always wanted a…”

Those words are about as common as kudzu at my Georgia car lot.

They aren’t usually reserved for the late model vehicles though. When it comes to the primary drivers, customers are always willing to fork out the money for their dream car.

It’s the second older dream car, or third-string beater dream car that slides down the scale from want to nothingness.

You know what the most popular ‘almost’ car is these days?

(Read More…)

By on September 4, 2013
Look closely, and you can see your humble author spewing the coolant that forced us into a head gasket swap that night

Look closely, and you can see your humble author spewing the coolant that forced us into a head gasket swap that night

 

Remember that guy who built a Subaru powered race car from a VW floor plan and a Wartburg? Sure you do. He won the car with an essay, beating a future TTAC contributor in the process. Still no? Well too bad, his name is Jim Thwaite and you should get to know him. He knows a thing or two about having fun with beaters, and he wants you to join him.

(Read More…)

By on August 9, 2012

Picture Courtesy of Gameguru.in

[Editor’s note: Part One of Steve Lang’s updated guide to used car buying can be found here]

Schedule the test drive for a time when there’s no rush. If it’s bad weather, reschedule.

Take a little notebook, write a quick check list based on this article, and make notes.

(Read More…)

By on April 12, 2012

After taking a look at product planning and marketing for new cars, it’s time to take a step back into the supposed domain of Generation Why; used cars. And not just any old CPO Audi or two year old Civic either. We’re talking beaters.

(Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • -Nate: Very interesting . Looks like they’re going to try to be like GM was long long ago . If they can make...
  • Arthur Dailey: Have to agree that the instrument panel on those Grand Prix’s was excellent. Far better than the...
  • Arthur Dailey: An old saying is that ‘a fish rots from the head down’. It is the same with a corporation....
  • 285exp: My father bought a 22 ft I/O fishing boat in 1971, so for his company car that year he ordered a Plymouth...
  • Arthur Dailey: So 1 billion people many born and raised under a communist regime, educated under the auspices of the...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber