Well I spent Saturday lookin at cars, test driving them, checking them in and out. The only bonneville I found even worth mentioning is a 95 se with 102xxx miles. The exterior is alright, a few dents and dings. The interior is alright, the carpet is worn a little and stained in a few places. All the electrical seems to work although the radio is aftermarket and I dont think it was installed correctly as sometimes the sound cuts out a bit and there is some static on several of the local stations. The engine bay was CLEAN!!! Alittle too clean I think considering the rest of the car. The first thing I did was check the fluids and all were at the correct levels for a cold engine. Turned it on and let it sit for a few minutes and there was some engine ticking and alot more vibration than Im used to with mine. Turns out that one of the mounts is broken which isnt that big a deal. Took it for a spin and it was REALLY sluggish. My guess is that its in need of a good tune up as well as an alignment as the tires werent worn evenly. The tranny shifted well. Got back to the guys house and checked the fluids again and the trans oil is a little darker than I would have liked it to be but otherwise ok. The lim/uim were done about a year ago by a local shop that has a good rep. All in all an alright car.
The other car I checked out thats under consideration was a 95 t-bird lx with 86xxx miles. The exterior is next to perfect, a few dents and dings but nothing really that bad. All 4 tires are new and hardly used. Under the hood....can you say cramped??? There is next to no room in there compared to the bonnevilles. Fluid levels were all about right for a cold car and looked/smelled to be somewhat new except for the coolant. The coolant was green and clear from anything strange but it smelled kinda old and sour. The car drove very nicely, shifted firm and braked very well. Took it back to this guys house and checked the fluids and everything was just about perfect. The owner has recipts goin back to 98 when he got the car and it has had regular fluid changes and routine maintenance and all that other stuff. The valve seals were changed about 8 months ago as several people have already mentioned was a normal thing for these engines.
The bonneville price tag is $3000 which is a little high I think. And the guy wants it all up front.
The t-bird is $2700 and he will allow me to make payments and Ive known the guys daughter since highschool and live about 2 minutes away from him.
I really really really like the bonneville alot more than the bird, but I dont have 3K right now and I already have a loan out from the bank to pay for college. The bird is a nice car and the payment part is a definate plus so that is what Im really looking at doing. Im gonna go out tomorrow and do some more hunting for cars that appeal to me. What Im hoping is that the b-ville guy will either lower his price a few hundred and I borrow money from my parents and take out another small loan or if he will let me pay in payments.
Again thanks for yalls comments and everything especially to Doug (mylittle blackbird). Your advice helped alot when lookin at the bird.