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Author Topic: What car to buy?  (Read 3195 times)
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« on: November 10, 2006, 03:51:51 PM »

I'm going to purchase my last car in about a year.  Perhaps I'm starting too far in advance but I like to know where I'm going.  Here are my issues...
1. I want a car that will hold 3 big men plus driver easily.  My Forester was inadequate to the task in a recent run through of the Old Dominion.
2. Recently I asked Subaru to sell me a special tool.  They refused. Accordingly, I want a car that can be serviced by an experienced and intelligent home mechanic using commonly available tools.
3. I want a car that will easily achieve 200,000 miles.  I'm carefult about changing oil and coolants, and I use the very best synthetic, Mobil 1.
4. I want a car with a bumper to which I can attach real driving lights.

Are there any such cars?

Thanks for your help,
Chuck Edwards

Chuck Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2006, 08:49:28 AM »

Sounds like you need a diesel, crew cab pickup...or a Crown Victoria.  I owned a 2000 Crown Vic that I bought with 100k on it from the California Highway Patrol in 2004.  I sold it in early 2006 with 170k on it and it ran fine, I never needed to do anything except change the fluids and I replaced the shocks.  I just wanted a car that got more than 20mpg.

The car will do all 4 things that you listed.  The interior is very spacious, 4 large adults would not be a problem.  You do not need any special tools, the car is very simple and easy to work on.  It is good, old-fashioned Body-On-Frame, front engine, RWD technology.  There is plenty of room to get to everything.  Parts are also easy to come by, and dealers are generally easy to deal with.  I bought 4 new Police Package shocks from the dealer for under $100 total when I first got my car.  Good junkyard parts are also easy to find if you ever crack the car up, because so many police cars end up in the junkyard after only a couple of years from being in accidents.  Attaching driving lights to the front bumper should be no problem, either fog lights, or rally lights.  Mounting rally lights should be a piece of cake, considering the CHP can mount a full push bumper in a manner where they don't even have to drill into the bumper cover.

These cars are indestructible.  The police drive them hard for 100k-150k then they usually end up in the hands of cabbies who beat the snot out of them to well over 200k.  I put mine through a 9" diameter tree that was about 15-20ft tall at 70mph and I uprooted the tree and split it into a bunch of pieces.  I drove the car to my friend's garage and got all the parts I needed the next day at a junkyard.  I replaced the driver's side fender, door, and suspension.  Even after having it aligned and painted, I spent under $600.

If you are looking to buy a new car, you can find new Police Package cars for $23k-$25k and Civilian LX Sports for slightly more.  The police package cars get some extra fluid coolers, a beefed up suspension, different torque converter and transmission shift behavior, and at least the 2000 that I had came with a shorter rear-end gear ratio than its civilian counterparts.  The only thing I didn't like about the car was the gas mileage.  I got about 18-19mpg city and 20-21mpg highway, civilian cars are slightly better.  Some people may complain about size too.  Because you can comfortably carry 4 large males and the trunk is enormous, the car is HUGE.  They weigh in right around 2 tons and are 9" longer and 4" wider than an S-class Mercedes.  The police package cars handle remarkably well for their size though, I autocrossed mine and was competitive with Subaru Legacy and Outback wagons.  If you want to know any more information, just ask me.

[Edited on 11-25-2006 by blue06civic]

2000 Honda Insight - Daily Driver (in the process of engine swapping now)
1995 Honda Civic CX - Street Mod/HPDE beater
1991 Mazda Miata (plus parts cars) - LeMons racecar
250whp, 1300lb Birkin S3 (track day car in the works)
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2006, 07:32:54 PM »

Hi Chuck,
I have a '95 Lexus ES300 that has been an excellent car and can seat 4 adults comfortably, decent trunk, handles decent, and when you do work on it is not really too difficult to wrench.  Just put new struts and drive axles (boots torn) in. Brakes are simple and very good. Engine had a leaking rear valve cover I just fixed. Has driving lights already.  Strong engine and tranny with Toyota reliability.  Not a rattle anywhere, and gets 28-30 on the highway.

Personally, I think Mobil 1 is second-best after Amsoil <grin>

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