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Old 12-13-2010, 12:48 AM   #1
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Default You've got $3000.

Alright, heres a real thread, asking a real question. A lot of times situations like this are hypothetical, this is actually happening to me. Some of you know the basic details of this, but I'm curious to get your opinions. I know I'm new, and probably most of you know nothing about me, but thats actually a good thing. It'll make you vote with your gut. These are my specs, this is what I'm working with, and I'm in this precise situation:

Your winter/daily driver car gets totaled.
You're given a little more than $3500 for it.
For that reason, you pretty much need to stick to a $3000 budget due to tax and title expenses. There isn't a penny extra anywhere for the new car over what you're being given for the totaled car. Of course, you can negotiate the price of any vehicle, but within reason.
You need a car that is going to last you for at least the next 3 years. That is, until 2014. Then you'll probably be trading it in on something newer, or starting to drive your other cars.
In the next 3 years, you will be commuting back and forth between a major city that is anywhere from 1-3 hours from your home. You won't make this commute all the time, but every now and again.
You will park in parking garages, on the street, and in spaces that would make you literally cry if you parked your "favorite" car there.
The car will amass door dings, general wear and tear, and will probably get hit once or twice.
It must start when you want it to start, and be reliable when you want it to be reliable, over the next 4 years.
It must power through the snow and ice when you need it to go there.
It must weave its way through city traffic and find its way into parallel parking spots when necessary.
It must give you enough joy when you're driving it that you don't feel like you're opening the door to your refrigerator every time you get in.
It must look decent. You're a car guy, this can't be some ugly shitbox.
You will live with this car for about the next 4 years, despite brief summer-only stints driving your own vehicles, which do bring you excessive joy and happiness.
Low mileage is a big plus.
The newer, the better.

You're not buying it, it must be approved by someone who is generous enough to take the money they are being given for their totaled car and buy you another one with it. This is a decently traditional 77 year old man who will be paying for the maintenance on what you buy. Therefore, that means nothing ridiculous, no sports cars, nothing super impractical or excessively expensive to maintain.

There you go. I've given you the budget, I've given you the specs.
Now tell me what you would do. What would you buy if you were car shopping?
Feel free to take my specs and run with them.
I'm pretty much allowed to buy what I want, but as I said, within reason...

This honestly should be a no-brainer for me. I'm such a Mopar/LH car fan that "Intrepid, Concorde, or 300M" are easy answers. However, I am in this conundrum because I'm not sure I could subject an LH to this kind of use and live with myself on a regular basis. Its no secret how much I love the cars, could I beat one up like this?
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:17 AM   #2
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Why don't you sell all your other junk + $3000 & buy something that will last you a few years..
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:31 AM   #3
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Because it isn't going to be my car, short of driving it, and my other stuff isn't "junk" thank you very much, they're my cars.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:42 AM   #4
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if it were me..id vote for a buick regal

they can be quite fun,sporty and good on gas..and if you look under the right rock you could find a good deal on one!

not to mention theres plenty of people around the forums that can help you fix it with out a problem

i think you could find a good buick regal for 3K

calling billboost!!
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:28 AM   #5
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^^^^ I'm with stupid I found a ls regal on cl that needed just a tune up and a little love for 2k that is perfect commuter car and will still pull down low 30s in mpg if you keep your foot out of it and is a fun ride with teh right suspension and work to the intake and exhaust
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:34 AM   #6
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I would get something like this. Practical, great motor, quick, comfortable for those long commutes, and can get ur money back out of it.
http://flint.craigslist.org/ctd/2062567192.html
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:51 PM   #7
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I'd say get a Corsica/Beretta with the 3100 and with as low as miles as you can find in your price range. I had a Corsica with almost 200K and it refused to give up. I wasn't gentle whatsoever on it either
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:31 PM   #8
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Lumina LTZ with a 3800!
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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I'd go for a park ave..as if an elderly man is paying for it he will like it sense its a buick lol..but its quick comfy and looks decent
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raptor660 View Post
I would get something like this. Practical, great motor, quick, comfortable for those long commutes, and can get ur money back out of it.
http://flint.craigslist.org/ctd/2062567192.html
I second this motion. Just about anything with a 3800 will fit the bill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gojo83 View Post
^^^^ I'm with stupid I found a ls regal on cl that needed just a tune up and a little love for 2k that is perfect commuter car and will still pull down low 30s in mpg if you keep your foot out of it and is a fun ride with teh right suspension and work to the intake and exhaust
This is actually the first thing that came to mind. A regal would fit the bill prefectly. I'd even push for a 94-95 Regal, a GS coupe if you can find one. It doesn't have the LIM or upper intake issues that the series 2 engine does, and its extremely easy to work on.

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Originally Posted by wakefieldl View Post
if it were me..id vote for a buick regal

they can be quite fun,sporty and good on gas..and if you look under the right rock you could find a good deal on one!

not to mention theres plenty of people around the forums that can help you fix it with out a problem

i think you could find a good buick regal for 3K

calling billboost!!
I regularly averaged 28-30mpg with my 95 Regal when the L27 was in it. The 1st gen w-bodies are universally excellent in snow traction as well due to the 70-30 front to rear weight distribution.

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Originally Posted by yutzybrian View Post
I'd say get a Corsica/Beretta with the 3100 and with as low as miles as you can find in your price range. I had a Corsica with almost 200K and it refused to give up. I wasn't gentle whatsoever on it either
The only thing about cars that old is being able to find them without rust though. I'm sure you could get one south, but from my experiences, their reliability (outside of drivetrain) is hit or miss.

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Originally Posted by raptor660 View Post
Lumina LTZ with a 3800!
x2 on this again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sseidriver97 View Post
I'd go for a park ave..as if an elderly man is paying for it he will like it sense its a buick lol..but its quick comfy and looks decent
x2 on this as well. Park avenues are also very good cars if you don't mind the size. Unfortunately, fuel economy and performance will suffer a bit due to size.
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