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Thread: George's Garage

  1. #111
    Quarter mil - not bad at all! Can't say I've had a car of my own with more than 200, although I'm sure I'll get there with the MR2 in 5 or 10 years.

  2. #112
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    speedpimp is the true Road Warrior.

    I never planned to keep this car more than a couple years before getting something larger, more comfortable, better for a growing family, etc., but it just won't die. It helps that we have kids and therefore little extra money to buy cars with. There's always something more important, and that's okay.

    I actually went shopping for cars in the last couple weeks for the first time since 2007. Sure, I watch craigslist all the time, but that's more for fun when it's slow in the office and I look for classics and fun cars that I wouldn't actually buy in my current situation.

    Had some weekdays off around Christmas and actually visited a few Honda and Toyota and larger used-car dealers (CarMax and a couple independents) to see what they had for used cars.

    That wasn't any more fun than it ever is, except cars are now unbelievably expensive and full of standard features that I don't want (and don't want to pay extra for). I decided I don't like any car/truck/van enough to get excited about buying anything else at this time, except maybe a first-generation Honda Ridgeline or cars that aren't more practical family cars (old cars, mostly, or sedans similar to what I already have.)

    I've never even sat in a Ridgeline, so I find them interesting based only on photos, specs, and Honda's reputation for building long-lasting vehicles. In all my driving around I only found two of them for sale, and they were at the same Honda dealership. They were way in the back and when an employee came by in a golf cart, he said those had just been taken in on trade and weren't ready to test drive yet. He wouldn't even let me sit in one of them to get an idea of the interior size, driving position, etc. in case I'd like to come back after they had been prepped for sale.

    What I learned is that many dealers show a Ridgeline in stock on their website and/or the various site like autotrader, edmunds, cars dot com, craigslist, etc. but when you arrive and ask to see it, they claim to have "just sold it!" (or them, in the case of one place who claimed to have two of them for sale).

    That's probably the oldest trick in the book, but I've just never been a victim of it before.

    I also noticed autotrader magazines are no longer in the racks of free magazines you see near the doors in grocery and convenience stores. Makes sense, I suppose. I guess one still has to pound the pavement in person to find out what's really for sale and what is simply bait on a hook.

  3. #113
    Dead Brand Ambassador dodint's Avatar
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    My Dad is on his second Ridgeline and he really likes it. Big enough cab to carry around four people and a carseat for the grandkid. But it's small enough to actually use in city traffic. We went to the salvage yard the other day and bought a motor for my brother's Jeep, was super easy to just drop it in the bed and drive home. I've moved some reasonable sized of furniture in it as well.
    The under the bed locking storage is neat, too.

  4. #114
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    Having worked at a dealership in the get ready area, you didn't want to look at the vehicles in question until they had been gone through. Trust me.

    People are fucking gross.

  5. #115
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Yeah, I get it. I didn't argue with the guy or anything, just asked, "Any chance I could just sit in one of these? I've never been inside one" or something like that.

    I worked a pretty big Oldsmobile/AMC/Jeep/Renault dealership one summer in high school moving customer cars from the service entrance around back to where they waited to be worked on and then ran to get them when customers came to pick them up. You're right - people are gross.

    It was summer in the North Carolina, a major tobacco-growing state where smoking was so common and accepted that even students were allowed to use tobacco on campus in high school.

    I remember customers' Oldsmobiles, especially, with their overstuffed cloth seats, velour headliners, and thick carpet that absorbed all that smoke. Smoke-saturated cars that had been sitting in the sun in July with the windows up smelled horrible inside. Sometimes ashtrays would be overflowing. But then I'd switch the glorious air conditioning to high and forget my troubles for the time it took me to move the car.

    I also washed the new and used cars for sale and moved them around as necessary. Every car for sale had the keys in a lockbox on the driver's window and I had a key that opened them all.

    The worst part about this job was emptying the trash in the service departments. There were two - one for Oldsmobile and a newer building on the AMC/Jeep/Renault side of the property. Every mechanic had a steel 55-gallon drum, into which they threw all their trash, discarded auto parts oozing oil and goo, and dumped the cat litter-type stuff we'd spread over spills and then sweep up.

    The "trash truck" was a decrepit blue 1973 Chevy C-10 with a straight six and a missing rear window. It had a three-on-the-tree in better days but had been converted to forward (one gear only) and reverse with a hole cut in the floor of the cab and a lever bolted or welded into place below. Shifting was done by pushing or kicking the lever forward or back when the truck was stopped.

    I'd drive the beast into the service bay and go down the line, hoisting the filthy, heavy barrels into the bed of the truck. Then I'd rattle around to a big dumpster in the back of the lot that had a raised platform to stand on that was about the same height as the top of the bed. I'd lift the barrels to the platform and tip the contents of each over the side into the dumpster, before making the return trip with the empties.

    That was a pretty cool job to have at 17 years old. I got to drive all kinds of cars and for the most part got to work by myself without being micro-managed. And, the guys who weren't much older than me who worked in the detail shop prepping cars for sale would buy me beer.

  6. #116
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dodint View Post
    But it's small enough to actually use in city traffic.
    And fit in my garage.

    The under the bed locking storage is neat, too.
    Yeah. That is very cool, from the pictures I've seen. I read that they come with a mini-spare but a full-size spare will fit in there. The wikipedia page for Ridgelines is incredibly detailed and even has animated gifs!


  7. #117
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    I'm over 255K miles (410K kilometres) on the Accord now but starting to look around again. I'd still like a first-generation Honda Ridgeline but they're so rare and relatively expensive that I'm weary of waiting and watching.

    I just stumbled upon a local place called Japanese Car Connection from a craigslist ad and, for once, I'm actually impressed with what I see at their site - sensible cars for sensible prices and 3-month/3000-mile warranties. A short warranty isn't that important to me, but the fact that they offer them on all cars says something...or am I being naive?

    Scrolling through their inventory makes me think I could do okay for $10K or less, which would make me happy.

    I might go over there on Saturday. It could be fun to check out several cars I'd consider and could afford all in one place instead of one here and one way across town...and who knows if those cars are actually for sale anyway, or just online sucker bait?

  8. #118
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    Ummm, if they don't offer a basic warranty, they don't have even basically decent cars.

  9. #119
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Posted this earlier, asking if anyone had personal experience with Elements, and then deleted it because I figured my wife would hate it, so why bother. I sent her a link and she says she kind of likes it.

    Any experience with these, anyone? I can read reviews all day but it's always nice to hear from people I sort of know...

    This one looks about as nice as any I've seen, but I'm thinking it might be too wimpy to drive in the mountains, from what I've read.

    https://www.japanesecarconnection.co...ement/55176742

    Only 126K miles, which to me is practically new.



    It's surely not my dream car, nor do I need her permission for everything I do, but it's nice to have a consensus for big purchases. You guys who've stayed married a while know what I mean.

  10. #120
    THE KING IN THE NORTH! TheBenior's Avatar
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    AFAIK, it's basically a heavier, boxier CR-V. The KA24 that made a manual Civic Si hatch or a base model RSX sort of quick for that era (0-60 in mid to high 7s) doesn't let an AWD automatic, 800-1000 lb heavier Element be anything close to quick (0-60 in high 9s). Boxiness also makes it more susceptible to strong cross breezes. Those two things may make it less than ideal for Colorado.

    The suicide doors have an inherent issue that suicide doors have in general: they're a pain in parking lots if you use the back seats regularly.

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