GranTourismo dreams on a Elantra budget
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
The forthcoming Cameron "Camshaft" Crabtree, due in March has me looking for a daily commuter. This need is not exciting and the funds I plan to spend even less exciting. Figuring most of my cash will be going toward diapers, formula and Legos, I suspect older cars with higher miles should fit the bill. A car with about 100,000 miles should be adequately broken in.
I'm not suggest anything cliche' like selling my Porsche for a Chevy Volt. Selling the Carrera is out of the question because my wife wouldn't stand for it, which is why I married her.
So, with a $5-10,000 budget in mind and an awareness of high mileage car repair costs, I proceded to the mountain. My sacred ritual of obsessing over Craigslist ads begins again. Some peyote would help about now.
|Volvo's AWD V60R sedans have the heart of a sports car. Okay maybe not.|
They do have Brembo brakes and the spirit of a sports car. Which is enough.
w/high miles they're $10K but I'll need $4K for annual tranny replacements.
After painstaking reflection, I've clarified exactly what I need. An elite sports sedan or wagon priced like a pile of shit. It will need to be a super high mileage car, very reliable and also inexpensive to repair. Furthermore, it should currently need no repairs whatsoever and have perfect body and paint. Toss in modern safety, high performance, 4 doors, leather interior for easy child and dog vomit cleaning and good winter traction. No problem.
|2nd Generation M3 Sedans are affordable but I do have concerns.|
They are not good all weather machines with rear wheel drive.
BMW parts aren't too cheap and most I find are pretty damn tired.
The car must be big, I mean freaking huge! Well, actually just big enough to haul the baby or dog. I've said if before, the mutt has ruined my life. I can only say that because he can't read. Golden retrievers are very sensitive. I like vehicles that can do everything well. I hate logistical cluster f**ks. If you are dropping the dog off and then return to pick him up and you've got the "wrong car" thats a big pain in my ass. So yes, I want most of my cars to be compatible with my god damn dog. Sue me.
No classics, meaning no older than say 20 yrs. Carburetor tuning is quickly becoming a lost art so those are out. Then first generation EFI is pretty primitive too so early 80's cars are out too. Granted, cars like the 80's BMW 325ix AWD are interestingly cool to me but I know myself and don't want to get caught into any restoration vortex.
The car needs 4 doors. Access to the Recaro baby seat I've registered for on Amazon.com is best with 4 doors. 5 doors are okay, but sport wagons are kind of sad. Sad like my current sport SUV which I've donated to my wife. She'll be trading it in for the least sporty thing in the world, an Explorer. Another plus to 4 door sedans is the doors are smaller and open easier in tight places in Seattle.
The car must be cool enough for me to look in the mirror each morning. I am under no misconceptions here... my car will not be extremely cool. It may have to be old and tired, but it can still be somewhat cool. I know the list of exceptional sports sedans/wagons is quite short, especially when you have so little money budgeted. That said, I'm willing to accept a family sedan with even some feeble attempt at sportiness. I just need an R, S, SVT, SS, AMG or SRT etc. It's sad, but I need whatever initials are required to retain some semblance of the manhood I want my son to admire. It needs some small hint of a connection to a real sports car so I can lie to myself.
The car must not be cool. Yep, you're seeing the dichotomy. This is some heavy shit. I need it to be cool enough so I'm not a car guy sellout, but it can't be a distraction from the Carrera's coolness either. There just isn't enough money or time to put Brembo brake kits on my daily driver and the Carrera. Not with all the upcoming diaper changing anyway.
None of these cars keep me up at night. I do dream of finding a 2012 Golf R with a salvaged title and 350K miles on the odometer. My wife, on the other hand, has nightmares about me buying a Subaru or Taurus. I'd say any of these cars could be the next baby hauler for the Crabtree family provided the condition was right. Ideally a car with one owner and a convincing service history. Carfax be damned, even a fender bender might be just what the financial doctor ordered. It would probably be smart if I drove one or two before buying. Then again, maybe just a Kia and some Zoloft.