1 2
AClockworkGarage HalfDork
11/17/18 9:09 p.m.

What happens when a Bro-dozer meets a lowered car? I have to buy a new car, that's what.

It doesn't look too bad but there is enough structural damage to make it a total loss. I got a check for $3400 and opted to keep the GP. now I'm looking for a replacement.

Thing is, in less than a month I am leaving my job and going to school for 2 years. Now is really not the time to be buying a new car. The obvious answer is to find another 2 door GP with a bad engine or trans and repair it with parts from mine, swapping over the wheels and suspension and using the rest to do all the preventative maintenance I can so it'll last until I'm working again.

But I want to hear the less obvious answers. So definitely-real hypothetical question. you have a complete-ish running and well optioned 2001 Grand Prix GT with a NA 3800 L36 and 4T65 4 speed  automatic, a strict budget of $3400, a handful of car guy friends, access to a lift and roughly one week to build a hopefully cool but reliable daily driver that has to last 2 years. 

Begin brainstorming.

spandak Reader
11/17/18 10:01 p.m.

Part out Grand Prix 

Buy Mazda 3 or other interesting/fun but economical car

Catch up on maintenance 


nutherjrfan UltraDork
11/17/18 10:07 p.m.

School for two years has me thinking spend the money on a good mattress so you get every bit of rest and hopefully sleep for that time then spend the rest on a floaty armchair like a reliable Toyota Avalon to reduce your commuting stress.  Bummer but school is a freaking big investment of time not to even mention money.  The kick back will come in two years with the higher salary and money for toys. yes

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
11/17/18 11:15 p.m.

Since when was a Mazda 3 interesting?

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
11/17/18 11:53 p.m.

In reply to AClockworkGarage :

Relative to a W-body.

nutherjrfan UltraDork
11/18/18 12:08 a.m.

source a supercharger large open field then when done reactive targets and some semi-auto mayhem?  As good a send off as any. wink

midniteson Reader
11/18/18 12:10 a.m.

If you want to stick with a Grand prix you could get a Pretty nice Grand Prix GTP and have money left over.

pull parts you might want to keep and then put the wrecked car on craigslist. 

you could wind up with a supercharged car and a lot of your money in your pocket left over for school 

thats what i would do anyways. 

Sorry for your loss. 

Vigo UltimaDork
11/18/18 1:40 a.m.

Since when was a Mazda 3 interesting?

Since 2004? They've been consistently good, sporty small cars even in the non-300hp variants. 

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
11/18/18 5:39 a.m.
Daylan C said:

In reply to AClockworkGarage :

Relative to a W-body.

I lol’d

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
11/18/18 5:48 a.m.

What about stuffingthe remains in a late 80s s10.bed for rear engine awesome?

Or, reality, finf another w body.

93gsxturbo SuperDork
11/18/18 8:00 a.m.

Since you know W bodies, I would get another one, stick yours in a field at the back yard of a friend's house (we all have that friend, right?) and use it for spares.  

ProDarwin PowerDork
11/18/18 8:39 a.m.
spandak said:

Part out Grand Prix 

Buy Mazda 3 or other interesting/fun but economical car

Catch up on maintenance 




Nothing you 'build' in the 2 weeks prior to school out of a scrap car/parts + $$  is going to be a better choice for school life than a reliable, economical car caught up on maintenance.  If you live on campus maybe you can get away with have a toy for a DD, if you are commuting just suck it up and live the appliance life for 2 years.

Curtis GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/18/18 9:14 a.m.

I just have to think with all of the millions of cars out there with the 3.8L (or the 3.8 was an option) you could find nearly any GM FWD with a bad engine/trans and swap over your goodies.  Careful selection will also let you swap over most of the suspension pieces.

What about a GTP with a fried trans?  That would get you the supercharger, you swap over your 4T65, and part out the rest of yours.  A little sweat equity and you have an upgrade.

Cousin_Eddie HalfDork
11/18/18 9:26 a.m.

A 3400 dollar insurance check will buy a Honda to carry you through school with reliability. Choose a Civic if you want something that can be fixed up cheaply if you feel the need to have some fun with it. Facebook marketplace is rife with used Civic hop-ups.

The other talk about the Mazda 3 is good too, but where I live, Mazda has little presence. I see 50:1 Civic/Mazda 3 ratio on the road. So, finding cool parts is surely more difficult.

vwcorvette GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/18/18 9:51 a.m.

Corolla 5speed. Pocket any money left over and put away for when school is over. You can autocross it when time allows and the money you save on fuel can go towards the reward car for completing school. 

That is my advice.

I would probably ignore me too. 

So,  Fiero in need of motor/trans for swap. It was marketed as a commuter car IIRC! laugh

frenchyd UltraDork
11/18/18 10:16 a.m.

In reply to AClockworkGarage :

Given your situation, assuming the car is drivable I’d be tempted to just drive it.  Put the $3400 towards your school funds and live with the damage.  You can pull the dents in the bumper out with a hair dryer    and it would look semi presentable.  

chaparral Dork
11/18/18 10:36 a.m.

In a few hours you can knock out enough of the damage to make the trunk functional again. In a day you can swap the rear subframe and bash the mounting points enough to make the thing go straight if it got bent. 

Failing that, do you live south/west of the salt areas? I could lease you my B-swapped CRX for a couple of years cheaply to get it out of Michigan. 

Ranger50 UltimaDork
11/18/18 10:41 a.m.

Trunk floor is buckled. BTDT.

Those cars at completely depreciated. Just surfing FB marketplace has running examples for under 2k that don’t require anything but deferred maintenance.

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
11/18/18 10:52 a.m.

I joke about w-bodies but if you had a place to store this one I'd definitely get another running one and keep this one for parts. The same logic behind me having so many 90s dodge trucks. I've also driven hideous junkers everyday so I'd look into beating this one back out enough to look ok ish and roll with it as long as possible too. 

Failing either of those, go searching for whatever pops up in good shape in your budget.  

Donebrokeit SuperDork
11/18/18 11:37 a.m.

I have seen a number of W body cars for pocket change needing transmissions. With that much cash on hand you could pick up a nice GTP car with money left over.

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
11/18/18 1:30 p.m.

I think I'd be hunting for a Park Ave Ultra.

Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/18/18 2:32 p.m.

Disappointed nobody has said Sawzall the current GP into a Grand Prixamino yet. Truck beds make everything better.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/18/18 3:43 p.m.

Its never fun having to shop for a car under duress.   If you "have to" buy a car there never seems to be any good deals around.  When your not looking, there seem to be deals everywhere.  

Good luck with the shopping but it may be wise to just take it slow and drive the rolling wreck as long as you can.  There may be a rubber plug in the floor of the spare tire well.  If there is, pull the plug so the water that will gather in the trunk can just drain out.  

Fitz New Reader
11/18/18 5:19 p.m.

Whatever Honda/Toyota on the local CL for 3400 has the most service records. 

AClockworkGarage HalfDork
11/18/18 6:40 p.m.

I will never drive another Toyota or Honda, they're always terrible.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners