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Old 08-04-2011, 11:32 PM
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Buying first car

So I got my license three weeks ago and the giant cloud of irony finally lifted off my shoulders. Now this brings me to the obvious question of the first car. What should I get?

Frankly, I'm not too picky so as long as it has a manual (because I need to prove my masculinity). The main obstacle is not so much price but rather insurance. I've heard that it's often astronomical, but so far my quotes for 6-mo. policies are less than 500 for the '09 Camry I've done most of my driving in. Not chump change, but not exactly the $1000s I've been hearing about. I live in a bike-dominated town and live across the street from a grocery store, so I won't be able to/need a car so often and that cuts down my mileage to about 1000 a year. That, and I've chosen the bare minimum under California law.

I've got a few choices lined up, but keep in mind that it's probably not going to be for another year at least, so it's an ever changing list. It's going to be living outside as I don't have a heated garage or even a car port, so cheaper is better. <$5k USD perhaps.

Recommendations/advice would be nice.

But enough about my problems. What was your first car and how was it? Still have it - or why'd you sell it? More importantly, what crazy sh*t did you do with it?
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Last edited by kingofthering; 08-05-2011 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:20 AM
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My advice is that unless you find the car of your life, stay away from cars that in their day were expensive to buy, because while they may be going cheap these days, they'll still cost you a fortune to run.
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Originally Posted by kingofthering View Post
But enough about my problems. What was your first car and how was it? Still have it - or why'd you sell it? More importantly, what crazy sh*t did you do with it?
1994 Audi 80 2.8E. Pretty much everyone here knows how was it. I had to get rid of it because the clutch, flywheel, battery and (possibly) alternator needed replacing, as well as new tyres, servicing. Too much expense... it's now been scrapped. Crazy things? Well completing a four day 2,700km journey in it, including a one-day 1,700km blast at speeds above 110mph. Racing (sort of) an Aston Martin DB9 in it.
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:40 AM
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Best advice is something sturdy and easy to mend. Also, if it's going to be sitting a lot, something simple - the more fancy doodads on it, the worse it is to leave it sitting about.

My first car was a Rover SD1 V8... it functioned a glorious 80% of the time.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:45 AM
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Also if you are buying new(financing/lease), the debt holder/car company will require more than basic insurance. When I went from my 98 Camry, which had basic liability insurance to comply for MI law, to my financed GTI, I had to get full insurance with comprehensive and collision. And the price per 6 month went from $400 to $800, and then I switch insurance company and got it down to $600....

My first was as beige as they get, the aforementioned 98 Camry, a pass-me-down car from my parents. Despite the obvious lack of excitement, I actually kinda like it. Never any problem, just put gas in it and drive, and change oil every 10k km. Got me through latter part of high school, through college, and 3 years of work. Went to most places I went, haul FSAE stuff, do sponsor visits. It gets great gas mileage(85mph on highway all day, 30MPG), can carry 5 people, and comfy ride. Craziest thing I've done in it was drafting the rental Ryder truck that we used to go to Formula SAE, I basically was tucked under the rear bumper of the truck, not unlike the Mythbuster episode when they were testing the drafting claim...until I got pulled over....he let me off with a warning.... Most of the time the car is next to invisible to cops....

I sold it for dirt cheap to a co-worker who is looking for a cheap DD, and got my current car. Main thing was just to get out of it....needed something fun and mine.

If you can find a 4 cylinder Camry(2.2) in manual(they do exist), if even in the mythical wagon or coupe form, they are good commuter....
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:53 AM
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My best advice is to go out and find the best deal for the cheapest and most reliable car, it's a giant headache when the first automobile you own always needs something fixed. But most importantly, pick whatever you want, my parents pretty much forced me into the car i have now, luckily i'm happy with it.

First car is the one i still own, '90 Ford LTD Crown Victoria. As i've said, it's had it's headaches but i recently tightened the valve cover bolts and it's running as good as it has in a long time. It's starting to gain a lot of popularity around here now because the county fair just ended and everyone wants it to enter into the demolition derby. it's lived a pretty mundane life and it's biggest moment was when i was in a town i was unfamiliar with and accidentally turned down the wrong way down a divided street, so i drove up over the curb, through the grass on the divider and between 2 small trees that were also on the divider to get on the right side of the road
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:27 PM
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Yeesh so that essentially writes off the E30. Most I've seen have high mileage, no service history, and appear ready for the scrap heap.

Aside from the usual Camry/Accord I'm thinking about a first-gen Subaru Legacy turbo. WRX parts interchangeability plus insurance is within reason (basic is a dollar more than a Corolla of the same era) which works in its favor, but it's AWD turbo so it drinks like a fish. What scares me most is not the parts support (dealer in the next two towns), but rather how if things go kablooey, I might be screwed.

How do the old Volvo 740/240 turbos hold up? They go for pretty cheap and the wagon is nice for mountain biking.

I kinda don't want an Integra GS-R or Civic Si because people want a piece of you figuratively and literally as I'm not twelve so I don't want to street race nor do I want to have to worry about theft. Still, they can be had unmolested for cheap...

So am I being realistic here?
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:35 PM
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Toyota Celica may be nice, although finding one not rusted out would be hard.

I haven't gotten my first car yet, I'll let you know when I do.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
1994 Audi 80 2.8E. Pretty much everyone here knows how was it. I had to get rid of it because the clutch, flywheel, battery and (possibly) alternator needed replacing, as well as new tyres, servicing. Too much expense... it's now been scrapped. Crazy things? Well completing a four day 2,700km journey in it, including a one-day 1,700km blast at speeds above 110mph. Racing (sort of) an Aston Martin DB9 in it.
When did your Audi die?!

What are you driving now?
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:34 PM
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I'd stay away from E30 unless you somehow find one that is in decent shape. Pretty much everyone in my circle in college wanted an E30, a few of them got one, and all of them are constantly fixing them....
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:36 AM
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What was your first car and how was it? Still have it - or why'd you sell it? More importantly, what crazy sh*t did you do with it?
a 1979 R4GTL, just as this one but in dark blue. We needed a practical car, (a refrigerator could be put in the rear compartment) and it was was economical too.
Problems were the non electronic ignition and the fact that water entered the pedal bay on a regular basis. We kept it for less than two years and then my buying spree of Citroens started.

I doubt however that you will find one of these where you live, although I have seen one in 2002 at Elkhardt Lake...
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofthering View Post
How do the old Volvo 740/240 turbos hold up? They go for pretty cheap and the wagon is nice for mountain biking.
Probably pretty good it it's been looked after, I still see a few around. The 850s are great too if you can find in in budget.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
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When did your Audi die?!
A couple of weeks ago.
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Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
What are you driving now?
The Hundei. And yesterday an Audi A2. In a couple of minutes back to the Mini.

Anything I can lay my hands on, really.
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Last edited by Ferrer; 08-06-2011 at 11:11 AM.
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2011, 02:55 PM
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Hey, does anyone know any car that's good for learning 'stick in? My father has a pristine '85 Toyota HiLux and I don't want to do any damage to his beloved truck so I'm not too keen on using that.
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:00 PM
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Diesels are usually less prone to stalling, altough I've seen petrols with similar behaviour (like the Mini).
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2011, 03:14 PM
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So far the Bimmers are the easiest one to drive(I am not that experienced with sticks neither), and that includes Mini....

Strangely, I had a lot of trouble with Golf TDI....their clutch travel is long and kinda hard to get a gauge on the bite point...
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