I'll second that. I've never bought a new car in over 45 years of
driving. Currently, I only buy domestic luxury cars that are 5-7 years
old and usually keep them for another 10-12 years. I try to stay with
proven, trailing edge technology, like V8 powered, rear wheel drive,
body on frame vehicles, like Town Cars. These cars suffer an exaggerated
reputation for poor reliability and low panache, and thus, are under
priced in the used market. I can get these cars, sometimes in pristine
condition and loaded with extras, for 15-20 cents on the dollar and then
put another 150k miles on them with a modest investment in parts and
service time. I especially avoid European and all front wheel drive cars
due to serviceability issues and/or very expensive parts cost. Japanese
cars are particularly poor choices as used cars. They enjoy a favorable
reputation for initial reliability and thus have higher than normal used
prices. When they age, they can be expensive and difficult to live with.
I do ALL the maintenance on my cars (except mounting tires).
On Fri, 1 Oct 2004 23:28:42 +0100, "Dori A Schmetterling"
In North America.. Yet..........
In Europe Try looking at the Mercedes A series if you want a FWD
Mercedes. (looks like a 4 door SMART car).
Can't recall a BMW that is FWD off the top of my head but perhaps
someone else here knows of one.
They're European... enough to nix that... prices are too high and prices
for parts are even worse. I drove my daughter's '04 Mercedes E320 and
thought that it was merely OK but too small, too much road noise and
waaaaayyyyyy too expensive. Over $50K and didn't even have a built in
compass or HID headlamps standard. Also, I couldn't find an aftermarket
trailer hitch for a Mercedes. Not sure it could handle a modest boat
trailer anyway with the tiny engine.
My experience with Japanese cars was a 1984 Honda Accord that I drove for 19
years. All I ever bought was brakes, tires, muffler and one fuel pump. I
junked it because of rust. It still had original starter, alternator,
radiator, struts, CV joints and boots. It was a truly amazing little car.
My 97 Cavalier so far has been very good. After four years I've only fixed
brakes and control arm bushing.
My 95 Windstar needed lots of little electrical repairs. I traded it on a
Chev Venture because the Windstar had a history of head gasket failures.
The Venture immediately needed an intake manifold gasket. Since then its
been ok but everything in it seems so darned fragile. It seems to strain to
pull the same 2500 pound boat that the Windstar towed with ease.
Both the Windstar and Venture vans are a sheer pleasure to drive and and I
can't imagine life without the versatility.
D. Roy Woodcraft
Cassette players are easy to get. My '86 VW Cabriolet, '89 Dodge
Caravan, '00 Mercury Grand Marquis, and '04 VW Jetta Wagon all have
cassette players in their OEM radios. The '04 VW also has an in-dash
single CD player and the '00 Mercury has a trunk mounted CD changer.
To be slightly more serious, it appears that European car companies are
more inclined to still install cassette players in new cars, as my '04
VW has one as do some (or most) BMW's and MB's.
Given a few years, might not be an issue. After all how many small
hardware stores are left in your hometown?
VW, Audi, GM & I think BMW are building cars in China. My Dad never
wanted a VW built in Mexico, yet................
Unfortunately, it's only a matter of time..
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