should I go to the beige side?
davidpertuz at mindspring.com
Wed Feb 2 21:49:36 CST 2011
I have an opportunity to replace my G20 and just for curiosity's sake I
thought I'd see what some of y'all had to say about the choice. This is,
I suppose, OT, but since the list is a bit of an old-timer's club with
very low traffic I figure we'd enjoy the traffic spike. Besides, if
Larry wanted to I'm close enough to chastise in person.
My primary car is my P10 G20t, a '96 which is up to 160k by now. It has
a 10:1 engine from SOKO that I installed (light refresh with rod
bearings, etc.) at about 105k; it is cosmetically OK (no rust, since
it's a Texas car, but bad paint on the roof and a dent on the RF
fender); mechanically good, but needs a few things (fix wipers, front
struts, probably a wheel bearing) done that I've been putting off. I've
thought of replacing it this year, with another less-old car with (as
far under as practicable) under 100k miles that I can drive for some
years without too many things starting to wear out - the G is getting up
to that mileage.
Option 1: keep the G20t. I enjoy it a lot, it's a good size, it's fun to
drive, fast enough (I don't need a fast car to enjoy it), gets pretty
good mileage, I'm very familiar with it, etc. I don't drive very much -
less than 10k per year, and virtually all of that is out-of-town trips -
so the mileage isn't as big an issue as it would be if I drove tons. If
I could get a brand-new P10t, I'd do that. This is a cheap option, since
I don't have to spend a lot on maintenance, even with stuff wearing out,
compared to a car payment, which I'll never have.
Option 2: Buy something less old, with a lot fewer miles, that I can
easily pay cash for. Cost would have to be $7k tops, $6k would be nicer.
Ideally $4k cash plus whatever I get for the G20 (I'm a big saver.) I
bought the G20 for $4k in 2004 and spent about $1k on putting the new
engine in it a year later, so I've got my money's worth in
fun/cheap/reliable transportation before; I'd be happy to do it again.
Requirements are that the car be not-large, practical (hatchback is
preferred, folding seatback is mandatory if a sedan so I can fit a bike
inside), easy to maintain myself, reliable, fun to drive, manual
transmission, 30mpg+ on the highway First thing that comes to mind here
is a Mazda Protege5 wagon. VW GTIs or Golfs or Jetta wagons also come to
mind, but I'm suspicious of their reliability. Mazda 3 hatch. Maybe an
old 3-series or 5-series, but the ones within my budget would be
high-mileage. Not sure what else. I've never driven a P11 G20, but it's
never really excited me. Historically I've always known what I've liked,
but my taste in cars seems to have suspended itself in the mid-1990s and
earlier. Also I tend to find something I like and stick with it - I've
had my SE-R for 18 years and my Fiat for 20. And my goal is to get a
Option 3: buy my grandfather's 2004 Honda Accord. It's a 4cyl/auto sedan
with an absurdly low 16k miles. It's pretty nice to drive, isn't too big
for me, has a folding seat, gets good mileage, etc. Also it is a lot
more refined than I'm used to what with being newer. If I go by KBB the
low mileage puts it out of my budget but since this is a family deal and
it's not too far off I could buy it within my budget. Only major
downside is the automatic. I hate automatics, and have never owned an
auto-trans car. It's just that the car is in very good shape (save for a
strong right pull) except for a bit of cosmetic stuff I don't care too
much about, and has a billion years of life left in it, esp. at the rate
It would make sense if I drove tons or was certain to keep it for a
decade, but while it would be a no-brainer with a 5MT, I'm not sure I
can live with an auto for years and years. Granted, I do have my Fiat
Spider for fun stuff in warm weather and if I ever replace the rod
bearings and the 8 other things I can drive my SE-R again for fun if I'm
motivated enough. I reflexively want cars that are nice to drive, and
this one is nice enough, but I live in flatland and the large majority
of my driving is highway trips, with a bit of city driving, and I live
in flatland where there really aren't any fun roads.
What do y'all think? Are the benefits (super-low mileage, bargain price)
of the Accord worth it? Do you have any other suggestions for the price?
More information about the se-r