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jr02518 HalfDork
11/14/20 10:02 a.m.

When I was a very broke senior in college that had to sell everything to finish my last semester of school, I had one of those events that leave's a mark.

The weather was turning to cold and wet, I sold my car for rent money ,then came the rain.  It was just such a day that I got the call from the student loan office that my last check needed to be picked up. You know, the one they said you might never qualify for but they will "try".  On my ride to the office, in the wet, I found my first Datsun 510.  A very humble 4 door, 4 speed car that served me well, for years.  Post college.  

I needed transportation, it did it's job. But if, it had....

Not quite 15 years ago, things were again a little tight.  I was in need of basic transportation and other than having to have A/C,  I was open to what ever.   A friend of a friend, contact had a car with working A/C and I went to take a look.

It is a 1994, 2WD Auto V-6 with as of today just a few miles under 300,000 on the clock.  I always said a 510 with a 6 and A/C would be a perfect car.  This car sits unused for months with the battery disconnected and with little fan fair it starts up when needed to provide basic transportation as required.  Yesterday is again passed it's mandatory smog test and will live again for another two years.

Funny thing about the pile of 2x4's, the long'ish valve stem's do get cooked by the O-zone on these chrome rims.  Just in case you have yours sitting in the rising sun.

barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) UberDork
11/14/20 10:04 a.m.

When we found out #1 was on the way we decided we needed a car with four doors. So I went out and bought a 1993 Accord. Brown. Auto. Just a standard appliance. Fell in love. 

docwyte UberDork
11/14/20 10:05 a.m.

My 996 Turbo has been a joy to own.  I've always wanted a 911 turbo and this one has met/exceeded all my expectations.  Crazy fast, awesome track car out of the gate and uncannily reliable.


dps214 HalfDork
11/14/20 10:12 a.m.

986 boxster. I only had it for a year, but it was so much better than I expected that it led to me replacing it with a Cayman S and it was the final straw that led a friend of mine to splurge on a 997 GT3 versus the various corvettes/camaros he was shopping.

...oh, and I've been casually shopping for another one.

Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter)
Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/14/20 10:22 a.m.

I like where your head is here...great idea to flip the question!

You'll all think I'm crazy, but for work I was provided a new company car.  I got a new Chevrolet Impala with the 3.6.  That car was roomy, quiet and had a ton of power.  I put 3000 miles a month on that car and was genuinely sad to give it back.

02Pilot UltraDork
11/14/20 10:32 a.m.

My Saab 900S. Never owned or driven one before. Bought on a whim dirt cheap a year and a half ago as a winter project to keep me from descending further into madness, broken in several ways (some of which I was aware of, some of which I discovered in short order). A beat, pre-broken car from a long-dead manufacturer - my expectations were low. It's taken a bunch of work (thus serving its purpose as a project) and is now pretty reliable and reasonably sound.

I expected it to be practical - that was a large part of the appeal of the two-door hatch - but I did not think it would be nearly as entertaining to drive as it is. It cruises pretty well, and being the non-turbo model can be thrashed around without too much risk of getting in trouble (with the law or physics). It's great fun on dirt, gravel, or snow. It's hauled my bike, building supplies, furniture, largish power tools, and junk headed to the dump without difficulty. On a cost-to-fun basis I have absolutely no complaints.

untchabl Reader
11/14/20 10:38 a.m.

Our 2000 Mazda Protege LX 1.6 automatic. Bought one years ago for the wife to drive to nursing school, she put about 40k miles on it in 2 years then totaled it pulling out in front of someone. I actually drove it after the wreck for almost a year before I found another one with engine issues and swapped the drivetrain from the wrecked one to the clean one. Still have it and absolutely will not part with it. Reliability wise it has been an anvil and it's comfortable for me to drive even at 6'3".  I'm always on the lookout for another clean one for cheap just because I like it so much.

1998 Trans Am LS1/T56 that I bought in college. Between the car payment and insurance, I couldn't afford many upgrades but I LOVED the car. Was able to afford a Magnaflow catback, a Pro 5.0 shifter, air lid and filter. I would pull off the t-tops and just go drive.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/14/20 10:39 a.m.

The first new car I ever bought was a Sidekick JX. It took me and my new wife on many adventures, and was my single-dad car for a few years as well. I still love the angular lines and the box flares. It was simple, rugged and reliable. Rust started taking it's toll and I traded her in, but wish I could have kept her.

parker Reader
11/14/20 10:46 a.m.

1998 Neon R/T.  My 83 RX-7 crapped it's apex seals.  Since I had to use my personal car for work, I needed a car TODAY.  Dodge was paying good contingency money for autocross so I went to the Dodge dealership and bought my first new car.  It was also my first FWD car and I didn't expect to like it very  much.  I drove it to 450,000 miles and won an SCCA Rallycross National Championship in it with 390,000 miles on the clock.  I loved that little car.

Datsun310Guy MegaDork
11/14/20 10:47 a.m.

My 2011 Accord 5-speed LX - work supplied me with six salesmen cars over 11 years and then pulled the plug and gave us an allowance.  

Due to the low allowance I decided to buy the cheapest, most reliable car.  I shifted gears like a madman and my wife after 4 GM cars bought a Honda Pilot cause of my Accord.  I loved the car and miss hauling around in it.


Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/14/20 11:31 a.m.

2007 Hyundai Accent. I beat that berkeleyer like it owed me money for 5-years & over 100k. Not once did it leave me stranded & it would plow right through snow. I miss that adorable little E36 M3box. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/14/20 11:56 a.m.

I got it because I've always liked them, but every time I drive it I'm amazed at how MUCH I love to drive it. I don't drive it enough.

frenchyd PowerDork
11/14/20 12:13 p.m.

In 1962 my dad owed  me some money that I had been saving to buy a sports car. ( I was 14 ) To pay me back he bought me a MGTD 

54 miles later a connecting rod decided it wanted a vacation from the confines of the engine block and dug a tunnel through the wall of the block to make its escape. I fixed that problem and enjoyed it ever since.  Driven across country from San Diego back home to Minnesota  following my restoration. Raced  at 30+ vintage races, regular tours etc.  still have it but probably should freshen it a bit. Absolutely perfect for driving around the lake on the winding twisty roads.  

The Suzukis, all of them.

A girlfriend had a Sprint. Competent, tough, great mileage E36 M3 box.

I was so impressed, I had a Tracker, a Metro 3 cylinder, and even a Swift GTi. All excellent, cheaply built cars. Pretty damn fun, too.


Appleseed MegaDork
11/14/20 12:40 p.m.

The FR-S. 5 years later and I still get excited to drive it. I still just sit and look at it. It hasn't diminished. Not one bit. I think it might be a forever car.

buzzboy Dork
11/14/20 1:17 p.m.

3 years ago I freaked out, quit my job and moved across the country. I had 2 weeks to buy a car that would work well for both driving across the country and driving in snow. My only requirements were cheapish, manual, 4x4, not a subaru, decent highway fuel economy. My friend knew somebody selling a Cherokee for cheap because it wouldn't rev above 3000rpm. I've always heard that they're thirsty and break a lot and don't like highway driving and.. and.. and... It is smooth and quiet on the highway, returning 22-25mpg except going 80mph across Kansas. Drives incredibly in the snow. Handles the corners surprisingly well(did the Tail of the Dragon). 40000 miles in 3 years but has also spent plenty of time in the shop. Still love it


NorseDave Reader
11/14/20 1:30 p.m.

'92 Nissan Sentra.  XE I think.  Bought it when gas prices were above $4/gal, creeping towards $5, and the daily driver was a Cummins Ram 2500.  

Paid $750 for it.  Kept it 4 years, put about 30k miles on it.  Total repair costs in that 4 years was like $100 - 1 injector, 1 coil, new front brakes.  AC still blew cold, on one particularly empty road I was on for like 3 hours heading to a work meeting, I got something like 42mpg.  

Eventually the drivers door sagged so much that it wouldn't latch, which I figured was probably unsafe.  Still miss "putt-putt" as my next door neighbor dubbed it.

thedoc Reader
11/14/20 3:37 p.m.

I cannot remember the year.  I had  a bug eyed sprite that I loved and almost destroyed.  The engine blew up in and around providence ri.  I needed a car for work and at the time honda accords were the rage.  You had to put down a deposit and wait for your car, not haggling on price.  I went to check out honda's as they were so popular.  There was this odd looking two seat honda that to me at first glance was funny looking.  Shortly thereafter I bought a crx that looks like the one already on this thread.  I bought it for gas mileage and the fact that I needed a car the next day for work.  What an awesome car it turned out to be.  Sadly, later on I could not afford the insurance on it and had to sell it.  Should have kept it.

I have an 06 mustang gt that I love more now than I did the day I bought it.  I can wax lyrical about that car.  The mods I have done have only made it better.

My last focus svt had a power werks superchager, that car exceeded all my expectations and we still mourn it's loss in an accident.

Fiesta st is as great as people say.  Although my wife isn't crazy about the recarro seats.  I think those seats are the first or second complaint about that car.

Thankfully I have owned more cars that I have loved than hated.

thedoc Reader
11/14/20 3:38 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

That Sir, is a beautiful story and relationship.

Mndsm MegaDork
11/14/20 3:47 p.m.

The 500$ liberty. I bought it a- expecting to hate it and b- expecting to flip it, both literally and financially. A year later it's still my dd. The ac blows cold and the radio is pretty good. And because it's a liberty, I absolutely do not care if it lives or dies. It's very zen. 

Mr_Asa SuperDork
11/14/20 3:51 p.m.

Back in '04 I was looking for something to replace the crappy El Camino I was driving.  I was a Ford guy, I liked inline sixes, I had heard a lot of good things about the 300ci truck motor, so I put Dad on finding me a truck back home.  He found me a two owner truck that was really a one family truck as the first owner "sold" it to his daughter.

Only option was AC and an auto.  165k miles on it and everything was solid.

Drove down from DC, picked it up, drove back to DC after my leave was over.  Drove up and down the eastern seaboard two or three times a year for the next couple years.  Drove to Cali and back.  Only let me down in twice in the 225k miles I have put on her, and one of those times was cause I berkeleyed up.

No clue what Curtis is talkin about with 70s reliability.   She's been as reliable as a sunrise.


Daeldalus Reader
11/14/20 3:53 p.m.

First, my old 1993 Nissan Altima. I did a hpde event in it and it didn't skip a beat. And that was with 350k on the clock. It would do at least 123 mph, I got too scared to keep going at that point. Thinking back I probably should have been scared at anything over 100...... but you know.... young and dumb.


The other was my 88 RX7 gxl. It was slow but so much fun to drive. I still have never owned a better handling car than that one.

parker Reader
11/14/20 6:36 p.m.
Appleseed said:

The FR-S. 5 years later and I still get excited to drive it. I still just sit and look at it. It hasn't diminished. Not one bit. I think it might be a forever car.

My FR-S is by far my favorite of the 20+ cars that I've owned.  But it's not a surprise, I expected to like it.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
11/14/20 6:56 p.m.

Weirdly, I love my Accord. I thought it would just be a tool to do track stuff with, but going on three years and it's one of my favorite cars ever. I don't get it either. 

Sidewayze Reader
11/14/20 6:56 p.m.

A bunch, really, but a few stand out.

My present Mazda 2 GS has been making me giggle for 5 years.  It's silly fun, and it'll haul a couple bikes in the back and gear for a couple people.  It pulls a utility trailer with kayaks or loads of lumber, and has been almost trouble free with the only repair being a leaking clutch master cylinder.

2001 Impreza Brighton wagon.  Zero options.  Power nothing.  No ABS.  My only new car.  Had it for 15 years and 280k kms.  It pulled a trailer loaded with dirt bikes many many times.  Hauled lots of bikes and camping gear.   White line springs and rear bar combined with AGX shocks made it a super fun autocrosser.  Snow tires and stock springs made it a fantastic rallycrosser.  Every time I got in that car, it felt right.

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