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  #31  
Old 12-24-2007, 04:52 AM
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Do what I did, for a winter beater/college beater..
Get yourself a Mustang GT. They are cheap, disposable, they can almost get out of their own way. They're great in the snow and ice with a few sand bags in the back, and you can still take a chick out in one, because chicks dig Mustangs, no matter what the situation.... The best part of the whole thing, is that you'll really piss of the Mustang lovers, every time they see you driving it in the weather.

The old saying "One man's junk, is another man's treasure" comes to mind..

Professor Truckinik
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  #32  
Old 04-27-2008, 02:41 PM
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Narrowing down beater list

More beaters to critique that I am considering buying:



1990 Mercury Marquis Woody Wagon 39,000 miles: $850
http://stlouis.craigslist.org/car/635866027.html

I like that wagon because it's super roomy, low miles, cheap, working A/C, "clean" Woody wagon, has an airbag, turbine wheels. 25mpg highway. AWESOME wood paneling. Cheap parts and easy to work on.

I rented a new Mercury Grand Marquis for a 300 mile trip; it was the best roadtrip car! I wasn't even tired or having hurting muscles after being in the leather bench seat for hours. Very smooth car on the highway, near-effortless power steering. And, with a v8 overdrive, it gave 26-28 mpg! Couldn't find a better car for roadtrips. My 300cd hurts my back after sitting for 45 min in it, the driver's seat springs are shot.

Another 300d!
http://stlouis.craigslist.org/car/657638356.html

1977 300d one family owned, garaged. Excellent interior, 300k miles, slipping transmission (I can get a diff. one cheaply) Needs various suspension parts, rust. Probably not a good idea at all to buy. I could do suspension work on it and keep it from becoming parts car. (Or use it through college and turn it into a parts car for my 300cd after!) Just from the interior at 300k miles it appears it's been taken care of.

1994 Saturn Sl2
http://stlouis.craigslist.org/car/630859890.html

120k miles, good mileage, 5-speed, power seatbelts. With higher gas prices the prices of these seem to go up. Cheap parts, no door dings because of plastic doors.

Typical Camry 1996 $2750 160k Miles
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=243527764&dealer_id=567506&car_year=1994&model=CAMRY&num_records=25&systime=&make2=&start_year=1981&keywordsfyc=&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&awsp=false&search_type=both&distance=100&marketZipError=false&search_lang=en&make=TOYOTA&keywords_display=&color=&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&min_price=0&drive=&default_sort=priceDESC&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=63105&advanced=&end_year=2009&doors=&transmission=&max_price=3000&cardist=19
Trouble-free for many miles to come.

The college I'm going to is four hours away from Stl. The only driving I would do would be driving highway miles, most everything is on campus or within walking distance. I would drain the gas tank 1-2 times per month probably. I'm leaning towards that awesome Marquis, because it's comfortable, roomy, has a "It'll destroy whatever hits me" feel like my 300cd, has an airbag, 25mpg highway, cheap parts, everyone can work on one. Plus I could spray-paint go-fast tape stripes on it and it would be awesome, it's already awesome because of the wood paneling. v8 prices seem to go down while i4 prices go up because of gas prices. Probably wouldn't be too bad to insure, it's a cheap beater with an airbag. I might go look at it and offer 500 because it's been on the market for a while.
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  #33  
Old 04-27-2008, 02:53 PM
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IMHO I'd go for the Marquis or Camry.

Since it doesn't sound like your going to be driving much, fuel mileage isn't a huge concern.

Those Fords are dirt cheap to fix and super simple.
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  #34  
Old 04-27-2008, 02:59 PM
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I'd go for the Grand Marquis since the Camry has no v8 option

Any gas-powered thing I drive needs to have personality such as that... an anemic diesel I can put up with, an anemic gasser is something I'll never be able to buy. Just too pointless.

Mileage isn't a huge concern. College use = lots of little short trips, very little actual commuting. Money is money but around town the difference isn't enough to be worth putting up with a crackerbox car for when you DO actually need to travel in it.
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~Michael S.~ -
1986 M-B 300SDL, retired due to rust and electrical problems. Donated engine to:
1987 M-B 300SDL, odo dead. New project.
1982 M-B 240D, odo stopped at 308,000
1982 M-B 300SD, 175,000
1989 Dodge Ramcharger, 87,000 - 4wd, 318
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  #35  
Old 04-27-2008, 03:06 PM
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I'd get the mercury too.
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  #36  
Old 04-27-2008, 03:30 PM
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Another vote for the woody wagon. Those things are cool!

I used to have a Lincoln Town Car, which is built on the same platform as the Crown Vic and Grand Marquis. I had it for five years and it was the cheapest car per mile that I've ever had despite averaging 18 mpg under my lead foot.
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Anyone who thinks a 300D is fast drives too slow.

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  #37  
Old 04-27-2008, 05:10 PM
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We have a 2004 Crown with the 4 point something V8, 4.6 maybe... my mom seems to be getting about 22 mpg, maybe a little more or less.

OTOH, have you ever thought about a Grand Cherokee? My grandparents have a 1999 Laredo that gives her about 18 mpg, almost as good as the Mercury would give you, and it is fun to drive too. Jeep is I think the 100% most popular or possibly the cheapest-to-maintain car around here. I see a grand cherokee or boxy cherokee at least one in every five cars, if not more than that, around the campus.
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"What could possibly go wrong?"

~Michael S.~ -
1986 M-B 300SDL, retired due to rust and electrical problems. Donated engine to:
1987 M-B 300SDL, odo dead. New project.
1982 M-B 240D, odo stopped at 308,000
1982 M-B 300SD, 175,000
1989 Dodge Ramcharger, 87,000 - 4wd, 318
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  #38  
Old 04-27-2008, 06:31 PM
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There are tons of Jeeps in saint louis, I could find a boxy one for cheap. I would mainly use a car in college for hauling/towing stuff and highway travel. Aren't the boxy jeeps one of the easiest cars to steal? I heard a story of someone's box Jeep getting broken into and driven somewhere and dumped three times... One box jeep got stolen from the school parking lot as well, only car stolen in many years. I might have to look into a Jeep, much more of a fun factor than a Mercury, but I think a woody wagon is just awesome, it can haul a ton of stuff and tow too.

A jeep is a possibility, I think I could get one of the box ones with a v6 and a 5-speed and get around the same mileage as a Mercury. Plus a Mercury can't go mud-boggin!

I would probably get something like this:
http://stlouis.craigslist.org/car/656986544.html

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  #39  
Old 04-27-2008, 06:40 PM
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Or, if an extra $1000 falls into your lap, http://stlouis.craigslist.org/car/656338250.html

Either of those generations is a great one. Any newer and it's really expensive. Any older and you're looking at more maintenance than you probably have time for, although the do keep going.

If you're taller than 6'0" stay away from the non-grand models. Plain cherokee is impossible for a tall person.
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"What could possibly go wrong?"

~Michael S.~ -
1986 M-B 300SDL, retired due to rust and electrical problems. Donated engine to:
1987 M-B 300SDL, odo dead. New project.
1982 M-B 240D, odo stopped at 308,000
1982 M-B 300SD, 175,000
1989 Dodge Ramcharger, 87,000 - 4wd, 318
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  #40  
Old 04-29-2008, 07:29 PM
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I actually drove an Audi 5000CS Turbo quattro earlier, and I'm still in college. I still have the car, but i would NOT recommend this as a college car if you're planning to spend more time studying than fixing everything. They handle good, have a nice turbo engine, super-reliable AWD, galvanized body that still shows no rust after 20 years and tons of weird stuff, like the climate control from an 80s Cadillac or the hydraulic assisted power brakes. Although, in the snowy winters, it makes me smile from ear to ear!

...but, I'd buy either something old-fashioned domestic (read: frame, V8, big) or some japanese car. The 2nd and 3rd generation Camry is actually a nice car, just watch out for rust on the 2nd gen cars..
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  #41  
Old 04-29-2008, 07:45 PM
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My daughter was driving the 250C....

.... Until she went to AZ for college.

I found a 98 Buick Century for her. Low miles, reasonable price, and nothing runs poorly longer than a GM car.

She managed to total that car this past January. Ran a red light and was t-boned at 45mph in the left doors.

Bummer.

But.... the car protected her, and she now has a 99 Century to replace the 98.

Not the car I want to drive, but she loves it. Cold air, good stereo, and a very robust body.

Decent mileage and low maintenance, and any monkey with a wrench knows how to work on it.

I'm happy with my choice. And so is my daughter. I'm not happy with having to buy essentially the same car twice, however.

Old farts bought these cars in droves when new. Easy to find very nice examples on the cheap.

Jim
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  #42  
Old 04-29-2008, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy View Post
Oh and don't get a VW they are just as bad as MB's. Some sort of Toyota, Honda or Subaru would be your most reliable option. Unless you really want to drive a grandpa car.
it depends on what sort of VW you run into... some are great, some others..well .. whatever.. but they are german, lol
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  #43  
Old 04-29-2008, 08:07 PM
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I will sell you my 94 Audi 100CS for $3500. Mechanically nothing wrong, interior still in good shape, exterior 6/10.

I drove VW's for 18 years and found them reliable and easy to fix. My college car was a 87 Jetta, bought it with 92K miles and sold it drivable with 230K miles. There are a lot of low milage Jetta II's out there for cheap. I haven't owned for any VW newer than 94.
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  #44  
Old 04-30-2008, 12:32 AM
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I vote for the Jeep Cherokee - boxy version.

I have 2 of them - both 1992 models, one a Laredo, the other a Limited.

The 4.0 liter INLINE 6 (it is not a V6) is one of the best gasser motors around. They routinely run 250k miles with no major repairs. and stock they make 200 HP and 240 ft lbs torque.

Get one with the automatic - the AW4 (Asin Warner 4 speed) is a near bullet-proof tranny. Even with an auto they will give you 17-18 mpg around town, and as high as 20-22 mpg on the highway.

They are cheap to buy, very reliable, easy to work on, and used parts are plentiful. You get all the advantages of a mid-sized station wagon, including a fold down rear seat = cargo space or a bed, they will seat 5, PLUS you get 4WD for winter weather and/or offroad fun. They are also reasonably roomy inside - I'm 6 foot tall and tip the scales at around 300 lbs, and I fit in one just fine.

I would advise AGAINST the Grand Cherokees myself - unless you happen to find one of the early 1993 models with the AW4 automatic. All of the other 6 cylinder ones have the LOUSY Chrysler 42RE tranny. My wife drives a 2001 Grand with the 4.0 and the 42RE. We just spent $2800 having the tranny rebuilt at 85k miles less than a year ago.

The V8 Grands have the 46RE tranny which is better than the 42RE, but still not half the tranny the AW4 is.

For all around versatility, capability, reliability, and economy the "regular" Cherokees are damned hard package to beat. Plus they look pretty cool.

FWIW, I am known in some "other" internet circles as Cheaper Jeeper.
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  #45  
Old 04-30-2008, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcounts View Post
I vote for the Jeep Cherokee - boxy version.

I have 2 of them - both 1992 models, one a Laredo, the other a Limited.

The 4.0 liter INLINE 6 (it is not a V6) is one of the best gasser motors around. They routinely run 250k miles with no major repairs. and stock they make 200 HP and 240 ft lbs torque.

Get one with the automatic - the AW4 (Asin Warner 4 speed) is a near bullet-proof tranny. Even with an auto they will give you 17-18 mpg around town, and as high as 20-22 mpg on the highway.

They are cheap to buy, very reliable, easy to work on, and used parts are plentiful. You get all the advantages of a mid-sized station wagon, including a fold down rear seat = cargo space or a bed, they will seat 5, PLUS you get 4WD for winter weather and/or offroad fun. They are also reasonably roomy inside - I'm 6 foot tall and tip the scales at around 300 lbs, and I fit in one just fine.

I would advise AGAINST the Grand Cherokees myself - unless you happen to find one of the early 1993 models with the AW4 automatic. All of the other 6 cylinder ones have the LOUSY Chrysler 42RE tranny. My wife drives a 2001 Grand with the 4.0 and the 42RE. We just spent $2800 having the tranny rebuilt at 85k miles less than a year ago.

The V8 Grands have the 46RE tranny which is better than the 42RE, but still not half the tranny the AW4 is.

For all around versatility, capability, reliability, and economy the "regular" Cherokees are damned hard package to beat. Plus they look pretty cool.

FWIW, I am known in some "other" internet circles as Cheaper Jeeper.
My aunt and grandparents have put 130k between them on a 1999 with no transmission problems at all. That's not just astonishing mileage... but it's not exactly an early death either, since it's not even hinting at problems.

I'm 6'3 or 6'4, similar size, and have been uncomfortable in every Cherokee I've ridden in or especially driven. Just not enough leg room no matter what you do. Friends of the family love them, have three or four of them, drive them around as beaters and haven't managed to kill one yet - but I have run errands in them a time or two and thought I'd never get back to my w126's knee room fast enough.

Just the other side of the coin, for my $.02
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"What could possibly go wrong?"

~Michael S.~ -
1986 M-B 300SDL, retired due to rust and electrical problems. Donated engine to:
1987 M-B 300SDL, odo dead. New project.
1982 M-B 240D, odo stopped at 308,000
1982 M-B 300SD, 175,000
1989 Dodge Ramcharger, 87,000 - 4wd, 318
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