1 2 3
eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
12/3/21 10:31 a.m.

I'm going to generally agree with a lot of the above posters.  I have found that with new cars, I am just paranoid about keeping them "new", so don't enjoy them as much as I could otherwise.  The ratty Miata is a bit farther gone than I'd like, but it was cheap.  My 2012 Mazda5 was bought with some dents and scratches, and I'm not afraid to park it almost anywhere, or haul almost anything in it.  I don't intentionally beat it up, but I just don't worry as much as I would with something brand new.

The biggest conflict in my head with this is buying almost new performance cars.  I'm afraid the original owner beat on it, and I'm likely buying someone else's problem.  Probably why I bought my WRX and my Abarth new.  Not as much of a worry when I am buying something older and much more depreciated, as I expect I'll be fixing problems anyway.

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
12/3/21 10:33 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
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. 

It is in most people's eyes

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/3/21 10:37 a.m.

I'm in the middle of the curve on this.  In my teens and 20's I drove true actual junk because I couldn't afford anything else.  I didn't enjoy worrying about whether my main form of transportation was going to get me to work every day.  In my 30's and early 40's I had some more disposable cash and ran through the gamut of newer and nicer cars,  culminating with a black 981 Cayman S.  I bought it in 2019 and enjoyed it for a few months.  Quickly realized that using even 20% of its capability on the streets was dangerous and irresponsible.  Also realized that using 100% of what it could offer on the track was very expensive and was slowly destroying the car.  Went to a few PCA events, quickly got tired of hanging with the wine and cheese crowd and debating which random orbital polisher to use on their GT3.  Sold the Cayman this year for 10% more than I paid and never looked back.  Checked that box, don't need to do it again.

These days I drive a 9 year old F-150 and have a purpose-built race car on a nice trailer.  That's the sweet spot for me.  Sometimes I'm tempted to pick up a project car but I don't miss having an extra car parked in the driveway getting full of mice and squirrels, or having 2 tons of dirty parts all over my house.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/3/21 10:44 a.m.

I feel that, with the exception of safety, vehicle design peaked with the BG chassis. 

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
12/3/21 10:56 a.m.

In reply to Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

I would say 2005-2006 as long as you stayed away from the German stuff and the high-end cars.

You got the best of the safety gear without getting all the useless fluff. The HP was really starting to climb without getting stupid. No 52-speed transmissions. Just good, reasonably simple vehicles. 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
12/3/21 10:57 a.m.

Yes I do (to the original question) though it stops being fun when I need to get to work or pick up a kid or it strands my wife.

 

Also I read the thread title as "who else enjoys driving drunk" too many times.

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/3/21 10:58 a.m.

Right now, I'm in the driving junk camp.  Both my POVs are 30 years old, but i make sure they are as reliable as a 30 year old vehicle can be.  Everything works in both of them (well, except the tach and sunroof in the G20),  and luckily for one of them parts are cheap and readily available (GMT 400).  Having said that, i know that I'm going to have to replace at least one of them probably in the next couple of years, partly because lowered 90's subcompacts and the current trend towards plus-size vehicles and mile-high SUV's and Pickups just don't safely mix.  Not sure what i'll be replacing the G20 with, but i may get a full-sized big-motor sedan while I still can, as they will soon all go the way of the dodo, except for high-end stuff.

I'll probably keep the GMT 400 till it rusts out from under me, I know the newer generation trucks are better in every metric, but damn they are expensive.  I can't bring myself to spend 50K on a pickup, no matter how much leather or touchscreen or horsepower it has.  As far as the G20, it's just really fun to drive.  Even with the autotragic, it's a fun little car and I can see out of it which is nice because I have to dodge all the brodozers in lifted pickups who can't be bothered to look down at traffic every now and then.  

 

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
12/3/21 11:35 a.m.
tuna55 said:

Also I read the thread title as "who else enjoys driving drunk" too many times.

Same

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
12/3/21 11:51 a.m.

I had a ~20 year string of "interesting" cars that I used for daily duty: 87 Mazda 626, 92 GTI, 84 GTI, 80 Scirocco, 90 Prism, 00 S4, 95 Disco, 02 GTI, 03 325i ... and after that last one the "little things" got old when something unexpected happened. Sure they are a little more fun than what I have now (15 Jetta) but there's something to be said for a semi-applicance that just works most of the time. Now mostly WFH it's a different story but I have to wait till one of the kids steals the Jetta and I can get another crapcan bc I don't have anywhere to be really and I can drive my truck in a pinch.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
12/3/21 12:12 p.m.

There is a great deal of freedom in driving junk.  One of the reasons I think I've kept the Datsun for so long is becuase it's a bit scruffy...................I like being able to flog a car on track without worrying about it.

Up until about 20 years ago I drove a succession of beaters; there were some decent cars in the mix now and then but I really loved the beaters. 

My wife asked me if I could start buying a nicer level of car; which has merit as well. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/3/21 12:36 p.m.
Toyman! said:

In reply to Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

I would say 2005-2006 as long as you stayed away from the German stuff and the high-end cars.

You got the best of the safety gear without getting all the useless fluff. The HP was really starting to climb without getting stupid. No 52-speed transmissions. Just good, reasonably simple vehicles. 

The peak of vehicle design was always 15 years ago. 

I failed to properly define my loving definition of "junk" in the original post.  I don't drive anything that is dangerous, and I love upgrading cosmetics as time and budget allow (meaning the investment has to make sense for the price point of the vehicle).  The Volvo may merit up to $1000 of additional investment, whereas I spent thousands on my Grand National as an example.

My 1999 Volvo V70 non-turbo has 174k miles.  When I bought it the rear brakes were dangerous (which were done before I drove a mile in it), but aside from that the maintenance history was good.  It has had 2 owners prior to me, with one owning it for 7 years and the other having it for 14.  Maintenance and lengths of ownership are important to me as they indicate the likelihood of decent reliability vs a nightmare.

However, it's got its share of bumps and bruises to be sure.  The front bumper has peeling paint all over it (which I will repaint myself) and it has minor scratches and dings all over it.  I will touch those up.  By classing it as "junk",  I work on cosmetics personally and look for crazy deals on things I need.  However, I'm not scared of parking lots as another ding or scratch will not be catastrophic.

The are many small scratches inside the hatch area indicating that a wagon was used as a....wagon.  When I go shopping or have my Boxer ride back there, I feel no concern for the addition of a scratch or two.  I will never willfully damage a car, but I'm not going to panic when it gains another beauty mark.

My driver's seat has some tears that will need to be addressed, but I may well buy a replacement matching seat from another car rather than spending money to have it recovered by a professional.

All of the above being said, it makes my heart happy to walk out the door and see it waiting for me.  We own many other cars ranging from the early 90's to two 2021s, but the car speaks to me in many ways and I choose it over the others for the above reasons.  That is my example of happily driving "junk".

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
12/3/21 12:38 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Toyman! said:

In reply to Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

I would say 2005-2006 as long as you stayed away from the German stuff and the high-end cars.

You got the best of the safety gear without getting all the useless fluff. The HP was really starting to climb without getting stupid. No 52-speed transmissions. Just good, reasonably simple vehicles. 

The peak of vehicle design was always 15 years ago. 

That does seem to be the age where all the quirks/problems of a model are figured out, and it's known whether or not the fixes for them are cost effective.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
12/3/21 1:12 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Toyman! said:

In reply to Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

I would say 2005-2006 as long as you stayed away from the German stuff and the high-end cars.

The peak of vehicle design was always 15 years ago. 

Just like the peak of music was whatever random year you happened to graduate from high school.

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
12/3/21 1:32 p.m.

In reply to Loweguy5 (I'm not that fat, I'm big-boned) :

That's how I define it as well

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
12/3/21 2:16 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

I'm going to generally agree with a lot of the above posters.  I have found that with new cars, I am just paranoid about keeping them "new", so don't enjoy them as much as I could otherwise.  The ratty Miata is a bit farther gone than I'd like, but it was cheap.  My 2012 Mazda5 was bought with some dents and scratches, and I'm not afraid to park it almost anywhere, or haul almost anything in it.  I don't intentionally beat it up, but I just don't worry as much as I would with something brand new.

The biggest conflict in my head with this is buying almost new performance cars.  I'm afraid the original owner beat on it, and I'm likely buying someone else's problem.  Probably why I bought my WRX and my Abarth new.  Not as much of a worry when I am buying something older and much more depreciated, as I expect I'll be fixing problems anyway.

I've gotten to feeling like this about new cars as well. I managed to find some freedom in trying to equate a car to my body... they both deteriorate with use as well as with time, and all I can do about it is keep up with the proper maintenance (mechanically & cosmetically) and try to slow the degradation as much as possible.

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
12/3/21 2:39 p.m.

I live in SW Ohio where traffic is full of idiots and the roads aren't any good when there's nobody on them. I'd hate driving a Rolls or an Aventador around here. I find wrenching to be a lot more satisfying than driving, and I'm too cheap to buy anything new or nice, so I've made peace with crap cars.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
12/3/21 2:59 p.m.

I had a low financial spot in my life and I drove a $100 POS Cutlass.   

A guy at work went off the deep end and went out and keyed striped a dudes brand new Pontiac Grand Am.  Both sides from front to back - nice and deep.   The whole afternoon was totally crazy with this guy. 

Me? Key away dude, I don't give a E36 M3.  

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
12/3/21 6:11 p.m.

I've been trying to figure out why I was starting to hate the car I previously liked so much. The car didn't change in that time, and the only conclusion I could come up with was that I didn't like having money tied up in a nice car that I was slowly ruining and getting tired of, and didn't see an easy way to get out from under it.

I've always driven junk because I didn't have a choice. I couldn't afford nice cars then, but I can now, and it turns out that I don't like it. It was nice having something you don't have to worry about. Door dings, scratches, paint chips? Who cares? And if something else catches my eye, dump it for (hopefully) what I paid for it, or close, and move on.

And it seems like I'm not the only one with the problem.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/3/21 6:24 p.m.
Cactus said:

I live in SW Ohio where traffic is full of idiots and the roads aren't any good when there's nobody on them. 

Just to be fair, EVERYONE says where they drive is full of idiots and crappy roads. I can't attest to the accuracy or method.

https://www.fltlaw.com/worst-drivers-in-america-by-state-ranking/

 

Snrub
Snrub Dork
12/3/21 6:30 p.m.

There's something to be said about a car that is both a bit raw and that you don't have to worry about every little thing with. That said, I don't want to regularly drive junk. Less expensive, sure.

It was also kind of fun having a low budget endurance racer where a sawzall was an appropriate tool to improve the car.

I do seem to get a kick out of hauling more stuff in my subcompact than the overcompensating drones in their brodozers.

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy Dork
12/3/21 8:55 p.m.

Like others have said, there is a lot of freedom in driving a car that looks like junk. This came up in a conversation with my 12 year old son the other day. We had just rode in a friend's really nice diesel 1 ton pickup, and got back into my beat up and ugly 2004 Nissan Titan. He asked me why I don't buy a new truck. I told him because my old truck does everything I need it to and doesn't ask for anything in return. I don't feel bad putting it to work. I don't worry about scratching it. I park it where I want. My dogs can ride in it. And I can see out of it a whole lot better because I'm sitting on the fat stack of cash that I saved not buying a new truck. 
 

Just a thought- buying a new car can be like buying new carpet for the house. It's nice and looks better, but isn't as comfortable. You have to take off your shoes, no pets allowed, and freak out about spills. 

That said, I like nice cars. I really like having both. I definitely think having a sacrificial beater helps keep the nice cars nice. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) UberDork
12/3/21 10:08 p.m.

As someone who only owns clapped junk. I love every one of them. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
12/3/21 10:24 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:
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. 

^Fair point. 

barefootskater5000
barefootskater5000 PowerDork
12/3/21 10:41 p.m.

The best cars are the ones you can truly abuse with a clear conscience. Part of what I loved about all of my favorite cars was the lack of good paint or easily sourced and cheap replacement parts. The Mustang was great, the S10 was great, the VW was great, the Horizon was epic, the $300 K10 was great, the $500 Toyota pickup was probably the best of all. The newest in that group was 25 years and 200k old at time of purchase. I like modern comfort and convenience, AC, BT, Heated seats, all that. But I love a vehicle that I can disrespect and beat on. Don't get me wrong, I'll take care of things. Basic maintenance, and I generally like things to be un-bodged, but I'm not a garage-parking, Saturday morning detailing, extended warranty type of guy. 

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners
hXcyC8iH7tMR0y23iFdWkpKowHMPsR43Er89G89HRCKquzUQRrIdrb6GGtRgi9CD