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Thread: George's Garage

  1. #41
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    The '94 not be a smart buy. They're aren't especially reliable (certainly not Honda reliable), they get piss-poor gas mileage and most important for a family man they are death traps. Poor safety for front passengers and death sentences for rear passengers. In the '90s you had an excuse, but today I wouldn't put anyone I loved in something like that. And, no, you don't want to be seen in that. At best people will think you sold ambition on ebay, but more likely they'll think it's all your capable of. I don't think you wanna be that guy.

    If you like the concept, look at a newer one. The 3rd gens had a lot of improvements including a second sliding door an AWD on some models - and they look reasonably modern instead of an '80s artifact.

    WRT to the smell, try this stuff:

    http://www.amazon.com/Chemical-Guys-...ical+guys+odor

    It's amazing, no joke. Got what I think was cat pee smell out of the Santa Fe with ease, and subsequently mildew out of a coworker's Focus (she left the window down in the rain). Best stuff I have ever used.
    Last edited by thesameguy; April 29th, 2015 at 11:19 AM.

  2. #42
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    ...they'll think it's all your capable of.
    I'd be lying if I said that didn't bother me, and it's a consideration for any vehicle. I love saving money, sure, but I don't want to look like a bum or the poorest Dad in the neighborhood. That's why quietly replacing the '99 Accord in our garage with something like an '05 model is a good option. Few are likely to notice, and if they do, they'll just think we're economy-minded Honda fans, which of course is true. It's sort of the opposite of a roommate I had it college. His father was a small town lawyer and state senator who apparently bought a new top-of-the-line Cadillac every year, but always in a light blue metallic color so his constituents wouldn't notice. That's how my roomate told the tale, anyway.

    I don't obsess over what the neighbors/co-workers/future employers would think if I brought home a funky old Something Else, but I admit I consider it. It's one thing to OWN an old car, and have owned it for years, but it's another thing to BUY an old run-of-the-mill car that's not a classic or a special-purpose vehicle.

    It's funny that I, a guy who consistently tell the year of VW Beetles within a year or two - which wasn't all that simple - can't tell what looks new or old these days. For example, this looks perfectly modern to me, despite being fourteen years old. I like it.

    2001 Toyota Sienna, Super Clean, 3.0L V6, 2 Owner! - $4999





    The interior looks great, too.



    Frankly, I don't find mini-vans any less exciting than Accords. They're both boring as hell, just like me.

  3. #43
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    I don't mind minivans, either. I'd personally rather have a wagon of some type, but minivans certainly have value. I'm always irked when someone goes out and buys an SUV as their family hauler when a minivan would be more economical and probably safer to boot. If you live in a place where an SUV makes sense, or do things where an SUV makes sense, sure that's fine - but for every person I know who bought an SUV because they are routinely up in Tahoe are four people who bought an SUV because they simply refuse to buy a minivan. I don't really get it (says the guy who was admiring his XR4Ti, Fiero, and Saab just this very AM).

    I don't know anything about Ford or Toyota minivans. I've always considered them second fiddle to Chrysler and Honda - with the sole exception of the Toyota Previa, which I adore. Could be because the Ford Aerostar and Toyota Spacevan were *so bad* they put me off for life, dunno. But the Sienna shares mechanicals with the Camry, and for that reason I'd be cautious - those 3.0 V6s were subject to the same sludge issues that plagued the Camry (and other brands). Chances are if it's made it this far it's fine, but be cautious. I have never even touched a Sienna, though, so I've got nothing other than Beware Sludge.

    Not that you necessarily should, but have you considered a Mazda MPV or Mazda5? A friend had a c2003 MPV and I thought it was great.

    eg: http://denver.craigslist.org/cto/5000599558.html

    or http://denver.craigslist.org/cto/4995945208.html (plus, it's a manual!)

    Edit: Just saw the sliding door on that last one... ick. But that general idea.

  4. #44
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    Whoa...that Mazda MPV looks great, has relatively low mileage, the wheels aren't dinged up, the body looks fine, interior's great, and it looks as new as anything else (to me). Wow. A+. Will view ad again! I just emailed a link to my wife, too. I sent her the '94 Voyager earlier and she replied, "fine with me." Tee hee.

    I've seen a couple of those Mazda5 cars/vans on the road, but not many. They seem to be pretty rare around here. I like the concept, and the size, and the manual trans, but they just look strange to me, somehow. The rubber band tires are part of that, I think. They look like they'd tip over in a strong wind from a styling standpoint. However, I wouldn't rule them out, except maybe for this user agreement. I am not clicking on AGREE every time I want to start my car.



    I need to get ready to pounce on something like that MPV, instead of just talking about it, which probably starts with me cleaning up my Accord and getting ready to sell it instead of just sitting here and dreaming about my next vehicle.

    TSG, if I'm not driving you and everyone else reading this insane with constant questions, am I correct in thinking replacing a cracked windshield for $200-ish and a $40 detail job won't give me a good ROI on a '99 vehicle with 215K miles? I'm thinking I shouldn't try to polish a turd here, but as you know I tend to let two presidential elections go by between vehicle replacement so I'm out of practice.
    Last edited by George; April 29th, 2015 at 12:44 PM.

  5. #45
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    I'm surprised.

    Book value on my car, self-rated as Fair conditon even though it probably qualifies for Good, is $1954! Rated as Good, www.kbb.com says $2198. I thought I had a $1000 car, at best.

    Of course, I might, if some guy is standing in front of me peeling hundred dollar bills off his roll. Now I'm thinking I should get a windshield and break out the Shop-Vac and Armor-All this weekend like I used to do as a young punk with lots of free time and an enjoyment of detailing cars. Truly the car is a reliable vehicle and it would do fine for someone "as is" with just a new windshield and a cleaning. And it comes with all-season tires that are like new and snow tires that have only seen one season.

    I'm officially smitten with that Mazda MPV. My wife likes it too, but then again she liked the V8 Impala as well. Her agreeability is probably payback from me saying Not One Word the last times she has bought cars. As she has driven Hondas exclusively since 1988, it's probably not surprising that she has replaced her car only twice in over seventeen years of marriage, and the second time was to get a larger vehicle after having kids, not because her Accord was worn out. I said nothing because I wanted the freedom to get something with a manual or a big engine or otherwise enjoyable to me without worry about whether or not she would approve (much).

    The timing probably isn't right for me to grab that specific MPV, but I figure if you can go find one with that condition, mileage, and price on any random day on craigslist, there must be others out there that are similar.

  6. #46
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    2006 Mazda MPV LX-SV 4dr - $5995 with 99,000 miles

    2005 Mazda MPV Minivan - $8000 with 80,000 miles

    I still like the one TSG posted with the Michelins the best. Dang. $4600?!!

  7. #47
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    I don't think I'd spent eight grand on an '05 MPV, but those are definitely in the right vein. I suspect that there are so few MPVs out there that people don't feel pressured to a certain pricepoint - with 1,000 Caravans for sale you know what your price has to look like, but with five MPVs for sale you can always justify your ridiculous high price with imaginary reasons.

    In any case, I'd definitely go test drive before getting too emotionally invested - in my limited experience there is wild variation on minivan tuning. The Mazda is probably the most way out there. It appeals to me, but it may not appeal to everyone.

    IME, cleaning up a car is absolutely worth the effect, but I'd think twice about replacing the windshield. If you can call up a glass shop and get it done for two bills, so can anyone. I think you're better off acknowledging the flaw and taking two hundred bucks off the price rather than fronting the money. Maybe have an estimate on hand to show a potential buyer. Some people would rather save the money - for some it could be the difference between being able to afford the car and not. I would get it as clean as possible. People like clean cars, people assume a clean car is owned by a responsible person. I'd round up the fams and make them help. I don't know CO, but I think your window is probably $1600 to $2500. $1600 you could sell it this afternoon, $2500 will take several months and require a lot of cleaning.

    On the same note, unless you absolutely cannot financially swing it, I'd buy the new car with cash and plan on hanging onto the old one for a few weeks. You never fully know what needs a new used car will have and not putting yourself in a position where you might have to get a rental is a good idea. It also prevents new car buying pressure (I sold the old one, need a new one stat!) which can result in very bad decisions being made.

    P.S. The Impala will probably get better gas mileage than an MPV.

  8. #48
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Here's one at a Nissan dealer that I could easily visit after work on day when I drive my car to work instead of the bicycle.

    2005 Mazda MPV - dealer asking $6990 with 125,000 miles

    I drove a Toyota Sienna once a couple years back but can't say I remember it one way or another. I suppose my wife's Pilot is close enough to a minivan, too. I can't imagine what "way out there" means with regard to mini-van driving, but I look forward to finding out. Tire-boiling acceleration, maybe? Oh, wait, there I go again with the Impala SS.

    Maybe I'll decide MPVs suck and move on. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow morning and decide I want something else. Maybe the $4600 MPV won't sell for several days and he'll lower the price. Well, it could happen.

    What's the deal with test-driving cars at car dealerships these days? Lemme guess...it's the same as ever:

    1. Hand over drivers license and insurance card to be Xeroxed...or probably in this day, be scanned into Act! or similar sales prospect software

    2. Go on test drive while salesman who smells of cigarettes runs his mouth the whole time to try to establish rapport prior to closing the deal

    3. Return to dealership and re-enact Cornel Wilde's role in "The Naked Prey" movie to exit the property without buying anything

    4. Walk back to car carefully parked off the lot to avoid having it blocked in place by other salesmen while we're driving, to give their buddy more time to close the deal while he "sends someone out to find the person with the keys to that unfortunately parked car"

    5. Enjoy a lifetime of sales calls from dealership since they now have my contact information (we're in the phone book )

    Oh well, gotta play the game if I want the test drive, I guess.

    For what it's worth, apparently CarMax has not one MPV at any of their locations.

    And, yes, I'd take $1600 for my car this afternoon. Just don't tell the Denver craigslist that when I list it at $1995 after a quaility detail job of the kind seldom seen from me in recent decades this weekend
    Last edited by George; April 29th, 2015 at 03:02 PM.

  9. #49
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    IME, it really depends on the dealership. Pressure on sales people is so high these days it seems most don't want to waste their time with someone who isn't going to be a big sale. I'd expect to walk in, tell someone you want a minivan to drive into the ground - but you've got a killer deal on something else somewhere else and are just looking at the MPV because you like to be thorough. I'd expect a quick license photocopy (never had anyone ask for insurance!) and some keys. Regardless of what you think tell them you liked another car elsewhere better and thank them for their time. Easy peasy.

  10. #50
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Actual Mazda MPV sightings in the wild since last posting here - and I'm been on the lookout for 'em, too: zero.

    Man, car shopping for real just plain sucks, especially in my price range. Was it Groucho Marx who said he wouldn't belong to any club that would have him as a member? Well, my version of that is I don't want anything I can afford. I guess I need to save up another couple grand before I get serious.

    Or I could just buy an Impala SS and be done with it, like this one from (where else?) TSG Auto.

    2006 Chevrolet Impala SS 5.3L V8 W/Leather SunRoof - $7499

    A leather sunroof, eh?


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