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You Are What You Drive?

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,959
    would something like a '71-76 Impala/Caprice be cumbersome to drive on a daily basis? I'm sure they would be for most people, but what about someone like me, who's accustomed to a '67 Catalina, '79 New Yorker, or '85 Silverado?

    I never really had a chance to drive a big GM car from that era, with the exception of a '75 LeSabre 4-door sedan that was for sale at a local car lot. Believe it or not, at the time I only had ONE car! A 1969 Dodge Dart GT that I had just repainted, and it looked really nice. So I wanted to get a "beater" to help preserve the Dart. Only problem was, they wanted more for this beater LeSabre than I had paid for the Dart!

    It didn't seem all that cumbersome back then, but that was also a long time ago.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    Ask the man who owned one. I had a 1975 Cadillac Sedan DeVille four door hardtop and this is about as big as a passenger car ever got. They can be cumbersome on a lot of curves, but the ride is extremely smooth and nothing beats the way these cars just g-l-i-d-e down the block. You don't just pull up to the curb, but e-a-s-e on up to it. They are excellent cars to be seen in and to see yourself in. I often hoped I'd get stopped somewhere where there were a lot of store windows just so I could see my reflection in this sleek classy ride, especially when I had all four windows down.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,326
    That was the motto of Packard Motor Co. until they folded. :)
  • Oh yeah!!...Can you say COPO?
  • People call me something similar...
  • carthellcarthell Posts: 124
    My first car was a 2001 Sentra. I guess that paints me as an everyman who occasionally wanted a cheap thrill on the interstate ramps while saving at the pumps.

    When I lost the car, I briefly considered the Altima in 2003, which had just changed its styling to its current form. Again, the hot rod and practical sides of me were at war. The compromise came in the form of a red Aerio SX: It had more power, haul things as needed, could be (and still does, except for the color) be distinguished from every other vehicle in a parking lot, and had better room and seating positions than most compacts at the time (my sister has a 2001 Cavalier which, to me, feels like getting into a very low bathtub).

    "Is that a truck?" some people would ask.
    "Nope." Not much of the local (personal) market had discovered that it was possible to haul stuff at more than 21 mpg overall.

    Now, custom usually demands that I immediately swap the car for another brutal assault on my wallet for the next three to five years. I like having money, so I'll hold onto the vehicle until something non-replaceable and/or down-payment expensive breaks, forcing me to consider a new vehicle.

    If I were to pick a vehicle today, I think I'd go for the Mazda5. Practical and zoom-zoomy at the same time. Curse my dual nature!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    I think many of us on Edmunds have a dual nature, if not a triple or quadruple one.
    There's not a car made that doesn't compromise some things, nor will there ever be one. That's one reason why many people have more than one vehicle, in addition to need.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I'm conflicted: I normally drive a Lexus for work because it's large, comfortable, will take clients in comfort, has navigation and bluetooth, very helpful tools in my trade. BUT, I just fell in love with, and acquired a Thunderbird (picture on Carspace) that I am really enjoying, in fact, haven't driven the Lexus since I got it. I know what it says about me, I'm nostalgic, ergo; old enough to remember the original Thunderbirds, and liked 'em, trying to capture my past in a car, and probably having a mid life (actually, it's too late for that) crisis.

    Do both cars together make me Schitzo-effective?
  • Just effective. The Lexus is about clients or friends or family. The T-Bird is all about you. Roll with it.
    Wow...and I don't have a psychiatry degree!! ;)
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    It would seem that in a good economy what you drive is more important than in a bad economy. When I see people driving anymore I just think, well at least they can afford to drive. ;)

    What my cars used to say about me is different than they would today. Today they say, "paid in full, got the pink." :shades:
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,326
    The 7/11 clerk said, "You must be rich." "Why do you say that?" "Because, you drive an old nice car."

    And he was talking about my wife's 95 T Bird!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,689
    That's a good one. Not to be too much of a profiler, but was the clerk a longtime resident of this country?

    When I had an 89 S-class people used to either think it was almost new, or a vintage car. I have met people who thought my fintail was worth 30-50K, due to the price of a new MB. The opinions of non-car people can be amusing.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You are so right, fintail. The fallacy of this thread's premise is that so many people are not "car folks", and have misconceptions about the value of certain cars. I became painfully aware of this when my wife once told me that some people she knew through our kids' school must "have bucks" because they drove a Mercedes. When I saw the car, it was about a 20 year old S Class, so I knew exactly how much "bucks" that car represented, but to her, it was a real wealth indicator...no matter how old or tired. So this topic is actually only accurate to those who know and understand the market. Otherwise, any Mercedes is an indicator of huge disposable income to many.

    This would make you a rich republican in our country, Fintail!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,959
    I became painfully aware of this when my wife once told me that some people she knew through our kids' school must "have bucks" because they drove a Mercedes. When I saw the car, it was about a 20 year old S Class, so I knew exactly how much "bucks" that car represented, but to her, it was a real wealth indicator...no matter how old or tired.

    I think another thing that Mercedes Benz has going for it, and to a lesser degree BMW, is that the styles just don't age, like most other cars do. So a well-kept 20 year old Benz just doesn't LOOK like a 20 year old car to the "unwashed masses".

    Back in 2000, a private elementary school got built just up the street from me. I see a lot of expensive vehicles come and go from there, but I must be jaded, because my first though is "leased" My second though is usually "maxed out HELOC"! :P
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,451
    Remember last year when Edmunds got a 1984 Ferrari 308 for $28,000 to road test for a year? Valets were always leaving it parked in front of restaurants instead of hiding it in the alley around back with the rest of the customer's rides.

    You do have to have big bucks to maintain one of those however, so maybe even an old one deserves that aura.

    Moderator
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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,689
    Properly maintaining an old MB might be a sign of healthy disposable income, anyway ;) :sick:

    My co-workers, most of whom have no knowledge of cars in any way, think my E55 is new...some have asked how I afford it, not knowing it cost the same as their Camry. As Andre says, the cars age well and the same basic styling cues can exist for 15-20 years, so if you keep the car shiny and tuned up, people can misread it. The W210 which came out for MY 1996 has many styling cues shared with a brand new E-class. Of course, then there are obsessives like me who can tell the year of a MB by the wheels or upholstery pattern or steering wheel, I probably am an enemy to the posers.

    Also on that note, when I tell people the fintail is worth maybe 5K on a good day, they don't believe me a bit. They look at me like I am dumb or crazy.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,689
    I live in the land of sparsely optioned 3ers, Cs and A4s - all of which scream "lease" to me. The official car of my zip code is any one of those, leased, owned by the under 35-crowd who needs it new, flashy-ish, and as cheap as possible.

    To me Escalades and overly blinged out Harleys driven by middle aged accountants scream "HELOC"
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,326
    I thought you lived outside of Bellevue. :blush:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,689
    I'm not just there, I am in the west side (west of 405), where a beater is a 4 year old Range Rover. :shades:
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    Ugh! I fear hiring any accountant who is reckless and self-destructive enough to drive a blinged-out Escalade, especially if it was purchased with a HELOC! I'd have far more respect for the guy in the well-kept Buick LeSabre. He's conservative and frugal with his money, so he should be with mine.

    The ex-boyfriend of a co-worker of mine just had his newish Jaguar repo'd. He's now driving his Mom's old Contour. So much for the flashy young executive!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,689
    Well, maybe not an accountant exactly...yeah, that wouldn't go well with financial responsibility. But the middle aged middle management suck who usually drives a beige Camry, but becomes a tough rebel in a big SUV or on a hog, and bought it on the inflated equity in the house he was lucky enough to be able to buy 20 years ago before the speculators priced so many out of the market (for now).

    I have respect for well kept older cars, too. And in my eyes, an old granny in a mint 20 year old MB says "money" a lot more than a 30 year old in a leased 3er.

    A guy in a cared for Contour is probably smarter than one in a used Jag financed at 9% for 84 months.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,959
    I'd have far more respect for the guy in the well-kept Buick LeSabre. He's conservative and frugal with his money, so he should be with mine.

    I remember reading years ago, that Buick was the car of choice for many investment bankers, particularly something like a LeSabre, Electra, or Riviera. While this may not be true anymore, at one time, evidently it sent just the right image, and tended to make the clients feel comfortable. A Ford, Chevy, or Plymouth just didn't come off as successful enough, while a Cadillac or Lincoln said that you were living too high off the hog, and perhaps taking advantage of people. I think a Chrysler indicated that you were either too much of a risk taker, or just behind the times. And a foreign luxury car just said that you weren't patriotic.

    I think Oldsmobile might have sent mixed images, with the Delta 88/Ninety Eight being deemed too conservative and the Toronado being considered too risky.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,668
    i seem to remember Buicks being referred to a 'doctors cars'.
    one of my bils is an md. he drives a passat 4motion wagon, a pretty practical choice. a doctor also live up the street. he drives a grey toyota carmy hybrid, a pretty unassuming choice.
  • HA!! Big Red Truck!!!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    I must have been living on some other planet, but this is a new accronym for me. Does it stand for "high end leased ? car" perhaps? Just guessing, but if by some wild chance that's close to correct, what does the "O" stand for?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,451
    Home Equity Line of Credit.

    High End Leased Other Car could work.

    Introducing the new Dodge SubPrime. Hey, does that thing have a Heloc? :)

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    Thanks for the answer.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    A Honda Natural Gas Vehicle (Civic) with FRTMOBL on the plate. But it's got nothing to do with his wealth, it's his political statement he's making. He wants to burn no foreign oil.....
  • Big red truck? I take it you DON'T drive a Mazda. :P
  • Or he's just a goofy proctologist....
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