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Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter)
Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/2/21 8:39 p.m.

I was thinking about this topic as I was driving the old V70 back from the new house to the old house today.

In the past 18 months, I've had a 2020 Mustang GT and then a 2021 Kia Stinger GT prior to the current 1999 Volvo V70 fwd non-turbo.

While I yearned to buy a Coyote Mustang, once I had it frankly it didn't bring me joy.  The Stinger was in many ways brilliant, but while I liked it I didn't fully love it.

However, driving the old 168hp (on a good day) Volvo back tonight while listening to its various squeaks and rattles brought me to a conclusion:  I like to drive junk (I use this term affectionately).  I feel at home in that car.  When I go to Lowes or Home Depot, I have zero fear of door dings.  I carry building materials in it and have possibly overloaded it a time or two lately while my RAM 2500 sits at home.

Don't get me wrong, I'm planning to buy a newer performance-oriented car (thinking an Audi this time) and I love late-model high performance cars.  But there's something special about buying a ride for a few grand and shaping it into something.  Barring something catastrophic happening, I believe the Volvo will achieve semi-permanent residency with my family.

Am I alone on this?  I don't think so in this group, but I'm interested to hear your thoughts.  Do you like to drive "junk"?

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
12/2/21 8:50 p.m.

I have some nice cars, but crap cars make me happy.

COUGAR PowerDork
12/2/21 8:52 p.m.

I daily a K car.


BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
12/2/21 8:52 p.m.


Definitely junk. Makes one heck of a dirt road bomber.

But yeah I think daily driving a k car wins :P

untchabl Reader
12/2/21 9:18 p.m.

I <3 junk cars.

My new DD is a 21 Mazda3 and I do really like it but I miss my 2000 Protege sometimes. It's nice to be able to park anywhere, toss anything in the trunk, drive anywhere and not have a care in the world about something happening to the car.

SWMBO has taken over my Protege since we are selling her Jeep, so I'm buying a Geo Metro to use as a beater car. 

j_tso HalfDork
12/2/21 9:18 p.m.

Last car I had like that was a Volvo 940 sedan, it was cheap, leaked oil, but ran well and the AC worked. Had dents on all sides so I didn't care where parked it.

The next couple of dailies were as cheap but had good body and paint.  Since they were old survivors I wanted to keep them nice.

WillG80 Reader
12/2/21 9:21 p.m.

My daily Marketplace car search is set at $2000 max. Not because that's all I can afford, but because those are the cars I like. They have character. They have stories. They've been around the block a few times.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
12/2/21 9:24 p.m.

$1800 is my Happy Place. 

02Pilot UberDork
12/2/21 9:33 p.m.

My C900 definitely fits the bill: some rust, a few dents, tired paint, and underpowered, but consistently entertaining to drive. It tries my patience at times with various failures, but I persist because I enjoy it for its practicality as a do-all, carry-all, go-anywhere (within reason) beater.

gumby Dork
12/2/21 9:35 p.m.
COUGAR said:

I daily a K car.



I handed the "nice" truck down to my teenagers, and daily a 1990 Country Squire. I enjoy driving junk.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
12/2/21 9:38 p.m.

Lucky for me that I do. With the exception of my 99 Miata (bought when the values were at their ebb), I can't afford to own nice cars. 

That said, since I depend on them they have to be reliable.

If I can afford it, I'm planning to replace the GMT400 next year, not due to reliability but concerns about safety in a crash. I'll be looking for something from the early 2000s. 

z31maniac MegaDork
12/2/21 9:42 p.m.

I avoid the "door ding" problem by parking at the back of the lot and walking. Or if it's groceries, I'll likely just have them delivered. laugh


But I grew up driving a lot of junk, so if I don't have to, that's what I'd prefer. 

CatDaddy New Reader
12/3/21 12:02 a.m.

I like to drive cars I can crash, dent, scratch and literally not mind at all. 


I can't tolerate rattles and worn out suspension stuff either. So it's got to be fresh and junk simultaneously for maximum enjoyment.  And preferably on good 200tw or better or some nice snows.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/3/21 12:11 a.m.

Not really. I mean, they don't have to be showroom fresh. But they should be cared for. Willful neglect is not to my taste.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/3/21 6:29 a.m.

I'm a big fan of disposable E36 M3boxes. Not necessarily unreliable, but not valuable enough to have to worry about keeping them nice, and cheap enough to fix or replace when something breaks. 

I find it very freeing to no have to worry about scrapes/dents/dirt/etc., and since I'm lazy I tend to keep any nice(or even just clean) cars in the garage so I don't have to wash them very often. 

daeman Dork
12/3/21 7:19 a.m.

I daily a land Rover disco.

Before that it was an 85 mazda b2000.

I enjoy junk hahaha

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
12/3/21 7:34 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Neglecting cars is something completely different. 

I like to buy crappy neglected cars and make them look and work they way that they were supposed to. 

Oldboy Speedwell
Oldboy Speedwell New Reader
12/3/21 7:40 a.m.
02Pilot said:

My C900 definitely fits the bill: some rust, a few dents, tired paint, and underpowered, but consistently entertaining to drive. It tries my patience at times with various failures, but I persist because I enjoy it for its practicality as a do-all, carry-all, go-anywhere (within reason) beater.

I can totally relate. Loved the incredible utilitarianism of my C900 as well as just how fun it was to cruise around in. It was pretty dang ratty at the end of my ownership, and gave it up after gearbox failure. Really miss a C900 in my life because it's just such a unique quirkmobile.

Toyman! MegaDork
12/3/21 7:56 a.m.

Give me old and simple any day of the week. 


ddavidv UltimaDork
12/3/21 7:58 a.m.

When I was a high schooler, I had a $300 Fiat 124 Spider. I drove that Bondo-laden thing everywhere. When it rusted apart (again) I replaced it with another that I restored. The restored version was pretty, but a giant PITA. I worried about it constantly.

My favorite car was a Mk1 Fiesta I paid $65 for and drove for years.

While I can't find 'modern' cars at prices like that I do prefer stuff on the 'five-footer' spectrum for stress-free living. My wife's Jetta wagon is a scratch and dent special. Since she doesn't keep her cars clean I love it for what it is. I paid little for it, it's worth next to nothing, but is a reliable (hey, 2.5) and reasonably fun to drive appliance.

Though I have a really nice Mustang for a DD, the rest of my cars have paint on them only to keep them from rusting. The Mustang is the only car that sees Maguire's products. Everything else just gets an occasional bath. And my ownership experience is enjoyable as a result.

02Pilot UberDork
12/3/21 8:50 a.m.

In reply to Oldboy Speedwell :

"Quirkmobile" is apt. Mine was a weird mix of well-maintained and total pile when I got it. The previous previous owner had it for a long time, and put lots of money into it, including professional welding repair on the front suspension mounting area, before eventually moving it on. The college kid I bought it from drove it into the ground, so there was lots of deferred maintenance and such to do, but once I did it it's been pretty good (by 30-year old beater standards). I've thought about selling it more than once, but it's still here.

rslifkin UberDork
12/3/21 9:08 a.m.

I don't necessarily like driving junk, but I do like driving a car with some character and soul.  Age doesn't really factor into whether a car has that or not.  There are perfectly boring 30 year old cars and interesting 10 year old ones.  Basically, I buy cars I like, not cars other people think are good.  If it's a DD, there's some minimum level of comfort and practicality I aim for, especially if it'll be driven in the winter. 

Honestly, I'd say the E38 has been the best car choice I've made.  It's a bit maintenance hungry, but reliable.  It's just all around pleasant to drive and arguably more useful / practical than something like a Camry (the rear seats don't fold, but it's got the ski hatch, a huge trunk, a trailer hitch and as much payload capacity as my Jeep).  And compared to a lot of cars, it's quite durable. 

Over Thanksgiving I had no qualms about driving it up a mile of wet, muddy dirt road.  And the last 1/4 mile gains about 180 feet of elevation, not to mention the 200 foot long, 6 inch deep flooded bit before the climb.  No way would I have tried that in SWMBO's Prius in conditions that wet (I've done it in dry conditions), but the E38 (surprisingly) has more ground clearance, and the manual says it can go through a foot of water safely.  And I'd put the snow tires on a few days earlier.  So I (carefully) gave it a shot.  No trouble at all, never touched any of the underbody plastics and it kept the rear wheels planted enough that I had no traction issues climbing the hill, even in light snow.  Just got the car a bit dirty. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/3/21 9:15 a.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Neglecting cars is something completely different. 

I like to buy crappy neglected cars and make them look and work they way that they were supposed to. 

But that's not junk, you're actively working in the opposite direction. 

MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
12/3/21 10:01 a.m.

There is a certain freedom that comes with not feeling like you need to keep the paint or interior in pristine condition, or repair it with only correct parts. This especially comes into play with trucks; I would not want to feel that a truck is too nice to chuck a bunch of greasy engine parts in the bed. There was one time I remember getting some weird looks for hauling a load of trash to the dump in a C4 Corvette. Why not? It fit in the hatchback just fine.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
12/3/21 10:22 a.m.

I like buying depreciated but well taken care of cars.  

I can't suffer crap breaking on me constantly. 

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