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Drove the 986S about an hour today with the kiddo.  It's the single best car I've ever bought for less than $10k.  The drive has me thinking I need to get the OEM aero kit installed and painted.  I also need to get the wheels refinished.  Since they are 2 piece, I may do a color center.

My 996 (2000 911) is good too but at $18k, it's not 80% better than a Boxster S.  And I didn't start looking for a Boxster until after I bought my 911.  I figure a first year Speed Yellow S might even be worth a few pennies someday.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/14/20 8:22 p.m.

My Porsche 924S has been even better than I expected. I figured it would by a typical 80s sportscar with 80s sportscar quirks, but especially in terms of ride quality, handling, and roadholding it's really exemplary. It's turned into (far and away) my favorite car to drive on any kinds of roads, in any weather. I had never driven a 924/944 before and figured it would be pretty good, but it's a lot better than I expected, including the more than sufficient torque from the big Four. 

Oddly, unlike my XJ project from the other thread that I thought I'd love and actually hated, my Raider project I expected I wouldn't enjoy driving it other than offroad, but I've found that it's actually a lot of fun to drive on the road as well and has some unexpectedly good attributes. I do think that a lot of the bad talk about the early Montero/Raider 2-doors was because they had rear leaf springs and really funky handling. My 89 was the only year the Raider got rear coil springs, which is a night and day difference. 

spitfirebill MegaDork
11/14/20 9:02 p.m.
barefootskater (Shaun) said:

When we found out #1 was on the way we decided we needed a car with four doors. So I went out and bought a 1993 Accord. Brown. Auto. Just a standard appliance. Fell in love. 

We did the same thing except a 79 Accord.  I was amazed how good that car drove.  We sold it when #2 arrived and we had to travel AL to SC a lot.  

bigdaddylee82 UberDork
11/14/20 9:29 p.m.

Dad bought it used to replace his Intrepid commuter, put a bunch of miles on it.  Then gave it to my little sister as her first car, she put a bunch of miles on it.  Then my Grand Prix died, and little sis got a new car, so I got the family hand-me-down, Volvo 850.

I made fun of it when my folks told me they were going to buy it.

My sister named it Lola, and I have a soft spot in my heart for Lola.

spandak HalfDork
11/14/20 9:55 p.m.

Our 2018 Crosstrek.

We bought it for the wife as a daily/commuter/whatever. It's slow and a CVT and a SUV. It's the anti enthusiast machine and I love it. Smooth, comfortable, efficient, reliable, spacious, endearing. 

Run_Away [FS]
Run_Away [FS] Dork
11/14/20 10:20 p.m.

My '98 K1500 was bought simply because it was cheap. I love the thing, it's not great at anything but faithfully does everything I need it to without complaint and it's so confortable.



Also my first Civic, a '90 DX hatch. First car I modified, first car I auto-x'd. I learned so much from this car, and it was the perfect beater. Also amazingly practical.

Picture from 2007, the faces say it all

Rodan Dork
11/14/20 11:52 p.m.

Our NA Miata.

Traded a motorcycle for it, totally on a whim, and fell in love.  My wife and I have enjoyed innumerable fun and memorable times because of our NA.  It took us on many road trips when it was a street car, got me back on the track, and is still keeping us entertained as a mostly track car almost 10 years later.

When I bought it, totally stock in 2011...

Last weekend...

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/15/20 12:15 a.m.

Not too much here, as I generally have a very realistically and accurately optimistic view of what to expect. 


The minivan, Sedona, is phenomenal, but it is not much more than I expected. My wife did not expect to love it as much as she does, I had to talk her into a minivan and now she’d never be without one (although she loves the look of the Telluride)


We bought an ‘04 Tribute from my uncle for CHEAP. I was shocked at how good that vehicle was as well. We loved it. No, not the best at anything, but for the price it was a great vehicle. 


ddavidv PowerDork
11/15/20 7:28 a.m.

My '86 Audi GT was a far better car than I expected. It was actually near bullet proof reliable. It was my DD for about a decade...and I'd bought it with around 100,000 on it.

My wife's '96 Impreza 2.2 was also amazing. We put over 200,000 on the odometer before calling it quits and selling it to a college student. I gave it the RS treatment because we liked it so much.

My absolute favorite was the '78 Fiesta I paid $35 for and slowly turned it into a neat do-everything car for less than two grand.

2006 V6 Mustang. Though maybe not better than expected, I am thrilled that it hasn't been a disappointment. It's a great DD and I'll probably keep it into retirement. Newer cars do nothing for me.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/15/20 7:32 a.m.

NEDCAR Volvo S40.  When I acquired it from the loaner fleet where I worked, it was a vehicle of necessity and I was kind of bothered that I wasn't able to (allowed to) buy the Forester we had instead, because a first generation Forester is a 2.5RS wagon with a tall roof.


Turns out it was a damned decent car.  I could squeak up to 42-43mpg if I was serious about it.  All my RX-7 wheels bolted on.  I cut down some GM A-body rear springs for the front and got a stock ride height with roughly 200lb rate, which transformed the handling.   Replaced the failed wastegate solenoid with a Turbosmart manual controller so I could run 9ish PSI boost, stuck a Magnaflow downpipe on it and replaced the failed front muffler (of three total) with a length of 2.5" tube.  Rear shocks from Generic Mitsubishi FWD Chassis bolted in, but sat lower, so I used V40 rear springs to get the ride height back to normal.  I towed trailers all over the place, towed an RX-7 once, wrecked Prepared FWD locally and divisionally and was a serious threat at Nationals until it stopped raining.  (The RX-7 wheels fit, remember?)  The ABS was stellar on loose surfaces and the automatic transmission drove like a manual with your right hand and left foot tied behind your back - you could easily command a downshift by blipping the throttle, and it would hold the gear instead of upshifting right back again.

Sadly, it was starting to rust heavily, since Volvo did not apply their super awesome rustproofing to that chassis.  And it wouldn't pass emissions without me spending a good chunk of money at it, so I bought the S60R while I still had good credit.


I still think the S40 handles better and has much better brakes.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/15/20 8:57 a.m.

96 SS (now Team LoPrep's whip).  Torque, looks, stoopid reliability, not common, highway hero, better than expected handling.  You think it's just a Caprice, and it is... but it isn't.

95 F250 Powerstroke.  Stripped down, radio delete, rubber floors.  I bought it with 40k, put 100k completely trouble-free miles on it, collected three insurance checks on it from fender benders but never fixed the dents, towed 10k lbs for easily 75% of my use, never had to replace even a brake pad.  The A/C would fog up the outside of the windows on a 100 degree day.  I sold it for more than I paid.

Already posted about my 87 Cutlass Salon in the other thread.  140hp of marshmallow, but it was reliable, easy to work on, and looked like a million bucks.  Little old lady car.  I found this one on the back lot of a dealer ready to be auctioned off, so I saved them the transport costs and gave them what they would have got at the auction and drove away.  I think I bought it with 36,000 miles.

83 Baja 190SS.  This boat was so bad when I bought it, it had grass growing out of the motor stringers.  It was one of those "trailer $1000, must take boat."  I built a Vortec 350 for it expecting they typical heavy, 1978 Cadillac feeling you get from most I/Os.  I didn't get that.  That thing was wicked fun.  65mph with four people, open exhaust, and just enough weight to keep handling fun.

73 Impala S/W.  Bought it sight-unseen from 1400 miles away and did a rent-and-drive.  Ran when parked on it's nylon bias-ply tires.  454, A/C and no other options.  Built a 468 for it and drove it cross country four times gettting 9mpg.  I towed 10k lbs with it a few times, and once filled the cargo area with concrete parking curbs.  It was the "truck" that replaced the F250.  It was like driving a couch.

Scion xB.  What it lacked in power it made up for in off-the-wall usefulness.  Great MPG, zero repairs in 200k except for a hatch latch that broke, and just fun to drive.  The only reason it isn't on the road still is because my ex couldn't afford a radiator so she sold it to a college kid.


buzzboy Dork
11/15/20 9:30 a.m.

I get a feeling Curtis and I have similar or complimentary taste in vehicles. That Impala looks amazing

Streetwiseguy MegaDork
11/15/20 10:00 a.m.

In about 2002 I needed an ice racer, because my rwd 200sx was just not doing the job.  I went to insurance salvage and bought an extremely low option Neon.  It was such a stripper I had to check the vin to know it was officially a Plymouth.

Swapped a twincam in when I needed a bit more speed, took my road race licencing school in it, bought another Neon to build into a proper IT car, original became a Ministock.  Died a glorious death into the front wall.

I used to buy, fix and sell Neons, and they paid for quite a bit of my racing.  Daughters both drove them for years.  

Wonderful little buckets of crap.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/15/20 11:11 a.m.

Outside the bounds of this thread's intent perhaps, but I friggin' LOVE my Mid-70's Leri Mirella. Passed down from my older brother when his MS got bad enough that he could no longer ride, around 2003. Since then I've used it to cover thousands of miles and raise thousands of dollars for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and to build a special bond with AK1.

twowheeled New Reader
11/15/20 11:54 a.m.

2nd gen prius. Bought it as a joke for $1700 because it used oil, from the original owner. Drove it for 4 years and took it from 186k to 260k, only repairs were a wheel bearing and a broken coil spring. Regularly slept it in, towed 1500lb on a trailer across the country multiple times,  bombed it down a gravel road for work for a year. Finally the head gasket let go. I put in a junkyard motor for $400 after selling the factory cat for 300. We sold it last spring for what we paid, just because we ran out of parking space.


dxman92 Dork
11/15/20 2:43 p.m.

The 15 Nissan Versa Note that I just got rid of. My CX-5 had been totaled in a wreck (at the time) and I needed a car. The dealer I worked at had the Note on the lot as a certified unit. It was a hatch, stick and stripped (only had bluetooth and power door mirrors). Numbers worked out and I drove it for three years and 57k miles and nothing more than oil, tires, brakes and a CV boot. Carried a many Lyft passengers, and cargo (20 cases of vinyl flooring among other things). Got decent gas mileage as well. I missed having a Honda Fit and one came up locally so I pulled the trigger. 

Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter)
Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/15/20 4:13 p.m.

A few months back I took advantage of a hot used car market and sold my 2019 RAM 1500 Classic (that I bought new a little over a year ago) back to the dealer for a big number.  We own a travel trailer and the 1500 was struggling with the camper a bit.

I found this 2 owner 2005 RAM 2500 SLT diesel with zero rust and 129k miles on it as a replacement.  The truck hasn't worked a day in its life, and it literally looks 3 years old instead of 15. 

Anyway, I really bought it to run to Lowes and to tow the camper.  What I didn't realize was just how much I would like driving it.  While it requires more effort than my 1500 to drive it, I'm so happy with the power delivery and very comfortable seats that we often travel in it even though we also have a 2020 Honda Passport which is excellent in its own right.  I routinely see 20+ mpg on the highway too, which is crazy for a nearly 6000 lb truck that can tow up to 14k more.

In short, I expected it to be a reliable appliance with strong resale value.  It untimely is becoming one of my favorite drivers!

Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter)
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/15/20 5:06 p.m.

I'll share two, both of which are long gone by now (sadness).

First up, my 2009 BMW 128i. Six-speed manual with sport, premium, and cold weather packages. Coral red interior and that dark gray wood trim. It was my first (and only) newer BMW and power to weight was basically an E36 M3. So, not slow. I loved that it was basically an E36 M3 with an interior that didn't fall apart. Good highway MPG, great seats, great Logic7 sound system. Last N/A inline-six manual-transmission RWD BMW they'll ever make. I sold it to buy a tow pig for my actual E36 M3 track car and miss it to this day.


Second one. 2010 Range Rover "L322" Supercharged. I was moving closer/in to "the city" aka right outside Washington DC proper, the land of parking garages. I figured my 2011 F-150 would be too unwieldy and limit where I could live, so I sold it in favor of this L322. I looked at other "big SUVs" but none of them spoke to me like the Range Rover did. I figured it was a horrible idea and bought it from a Maserati dealership with 90k miles on the odometer.  Cream seats, navy blue piping and carpets, and beautiful wood trim.

I. Loved. That. Range. Rover. It was THE quietest thing to drive with the windows up. The ride was fantastic. The sound system (another Logic7) was amazing. And with 510 supercharged horses, it moved with a legit quickness, even with the aerodynamics of a pole barn. Never mind the 10 MPG in city driving. I towed my racecar to Sebring, Florida and back on my open trailer and it did very well in that scenario.

Issue was, part of moving meant buying an enclosed trailer to act as a garage on wheels. The Range didn't handle the aerodynamic effects of the enclosed very well. That comfy suspension was too soft for the trailer and I got blown all over the place if it was a windy day and I was towing. Not safe enough, to me, so I went back to a half-ton pickup truck and found an apartment complex with a tall-enough underground garage.

I sold the Range Rover with 105k miles and nothing had gone wrong or was in need of being fixed. It was basically a big E39 Touring with really good AWD, a Jaguar V8 and air suspension. All Bosch electronics and a host of random Ford parts, too, as it was first designed in BMW's ownership of Rover Group and refined under Ford's Premier Automotive Group days. 

I took it off-roading a few times and it was, of course, very good at that. I'd have another in a heartbeat.

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/15/20 9:48 p.m.

93 RX7

bought one after giving up on BMW’s idea of reliability. Far more reliable than my e36, e30 or r53 mcs. Tons more fun to drive, look at and wrench on

dropstep UberDork
11/15/20 10:11 p.m.

I had my rodeo tore apart for a front locker, my marquis on bald tires and my Capri on drag radials and it started snowing. I went too a local shady lot I had dealt with plenty and asked what the cheapest thing on the lot was. 93 caravan with a 3.0, it just needed a water pump. I had never dealt with a timing system driven water pump and felt like an idiot but a new pump and belt gave me one of the best 400 dollar winter beaters I've ever owned. Daily drove it, jumped snow piles, did E-brake burnouts and loved it. 11k miles later it broke the cheapo timing belt and died. An 18 year old kid enjoyed a minivan! 

spandak HalfDork
11/16/20 12:01 a.m.

In reply to amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) :

I don't think I've ever heard of someone calling a rotary reliable. That's kind of the opposite of my E36 experience where the drivetrain was solid but everything else failed around it. 
But hey, I'm glad that's the case! Those FDs are lovely

Ranger50 UltimaDork
11/16/20 6:14 a.m.

All my gmt800/900's. Outside of a transmission that died at 205k in the suburban recently, all of them have been as reliable as gravity.

ddavidv PowerDork
11/16/20 6:31 a.m.

Just slightly OT, I bought this 2007 Royal Enfield Bullet with the engine apart as a cheap project.

1955 technology and riding experience still made into the 2000s. Which means it's both awful and buckets of fun. Owning this makes exactly no sense but it's the bike I will grab for a quick after-work jaunt around the local back roads.  I've become so enamored of it and the brand I wrote a book about this one and just bought a 1964 Interceptor.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/16/20 6:52 a.m.

My 2003 VW Jetta TDI wagon.  Bought new with the expectation t would spend a lot of time at the dealer for warranty work. After 10.5 years and 329K miles later, it never went to a dealer for anything. I really need to fix the worn out turbo and get it back on the road, although I'm interested to see if I can live without some of the "modern car" features on my '17 GC that I've grown accustomed to.  I will say a modern head unit with Bluetooth and a back-up camera will be on the list of upgrades.

The 2008 and 2017 Dodge Grand Caravans.  I bought the '08 with 75K miles on it in 2013 to be a temporary vehicle while I fixed the TDI and continued searching for my "ultimate" camper van base.  Instead, I drove it for 5 years and over 150K miles until 2018 when it started needing too many frequent repairs. So I bought an even more optioned 2017 version with 25K miles.  I was on pace to put well over 30K per year on it until 2020 happened.  But as a bicycle hauler and occasional camper, it's been hard to beat.

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/16/20 6:56 a.m.

88 Mercury Tracer three door hatchback. My sister crunched the passenger rocker so there was a 1inch gap you could see out of under the door and her now x was going to junk it. I stepped in and took it for scrap value. The car was otherwise mint condition low mile car. I took the interior out and took it to my friends shop and we pulled it back out in a Saturday. Put it back together Sunday and was back on the road Monday. I know it was basically a gussied up 323 but it was a happy peppy fun car to drive that always seemed to deliver way above expectations. I kept it for a couple years. It was the car that just was always the best for the job.  I sold it to a family in town that desperately needed a car and they drove it for another 5 years and then there daughter drove it around town at least another 4-5 years. I was told it went with her to school in South Carolina and she and the car ended up staying there in South Carolina. 

A great little car. Other than normal maintenance and ware items the car never had any needs. It would be cool if it was still on the road

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