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Shifty Needs Your Help in Buying a Car



  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    I'd settle for panoramic sunroof or large SR. Northern California is not exactly tropical, so a drop top at speed, if you're lucky, is something you can do comfortably maybe 10-20 days a year (during the day).
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Well, if California has only 10-20 days per year of comfortable drop-top driving then, here in Indiana, we must have a total of one! LOL! If I lived in sunny California, I'm guessing I'd be able to drop the top of a convertible (at least for a portion of) around 100 days a year, no? However, if we're talking extreme northern California, I suspect your estimate is correct.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    I guess it depends on your tolerance. If you are NEAR the ocean, it doesn't get hot very often--inland in northern CAL of course it gets godawful hot. But near the sea, there's usually fog in the mornings, then burn off, then really cool ocean breezes and more fog around 4 PM. I just don't see that many convertible in San Francisco unless you go inland.

    Of course you can do the "heater on, windscreen installed, windows up" routine on modern convertibles and stay reasonably comfortable except for your head.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    Maybe 10 years ago I was in San Francisco and rented a Sebring convertible for a day and just headed down the coast. Must have been one of those ten days...

    I will admit that by evening time we were doing the heat on and windows up trick and eventually had to yield to the inevitable and put the top up...
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    I've been out of the loop here for a while (apparently, buying a new house will do that). Perhaps this thread was meant for discussion purposes only. But, if not, how has your search gone?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    I guess the last time I was seriously looking, I wanted to check out a hot-rod Miata, but alas, I cannot fit in the freakin' things!! I was all ready to sign a check for a '95 M edition but after a 15 minute ride, and then crawling behind and under the car thinking of ways to modify the seating, I came to the conclusion that modifications that I needed would be fairly complicated (cutting into the rear bulkhead). I needed at least 4 inches, maybe 6. That's a lot, and a thin seat isn't going to give me that.

    Someone offered me a really good deal on a BMW M3 coupe, which was fun to drive, but the thing is so ugly I just couldn't imagine myself in it.

    In the past, when I buy a classic car, it usually sort of "hops into my arms", like at the Pet Rescue Center. If I push and convince myself to buy something using all kinds of thinking, rationalizing, etc., I usually end up regretting the purchase.

    Usually, my classic car purchases are a done deal in 10 minutes---at least the commitment I mean.
  • garv214garv214 Posts: 162
    Too bad about the Miata Shifty, they are a hoot to drive. Now if you are interested in a 240Z, boy do I have a car for you! LOL :shades:
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    That's a nice car but I'm too young for an automatic right now....maybe after my left foot gets caught in the thresher... :P
  • garv214garv214 Posts: 162
    Of course if you get both caught in the thresher, you might be able to fit into the miata more comfortably... :P
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    Gee, you always see the positive side of everything! :P
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    Shifty, how's your MINI doing? Is it living up to your expectations? Any issues?
  • Thanks for asking! It's going great. What a fun car! As you know, I added some little gizmos to it (armrests, sunroof wind deflector, strut tower re-inforcers, cooling fan protector, new CD with USB and MP3 ports (so I can play podcasts or stream Pandora into it) rear bumper protector, seat-pulls, rallye lights on the bumper and, of course, a reduction supercharger pulley, gives definitely boosts power noticeably.

    Issues? Pretty hard riding with the sport package and 17" wheels, (but not as bad or noisy as the old run-flats) a few more squeaks and rattles than I'd like (I'm working on that) and, when it's cold outside, I do hear the beginnings of a throw-out bearing that's not happy. But that could last years.

    Put about 10K on it already, no problems.

    The car is really quick. I wasted some doofus on a Harley yesterday. All I saw was him screaming (well his mouth was open, I couldn't hear anything) and giving me the finger as he disappeared in the rear view mirror. Entirely his fault for trying to pass on the right, in a breakdown lane, on a bridge. That's not going to happen.

    I'm lovin' it.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    edited December 2010

    It'll be interesting to see how the FIAT 500 fares in the U.S. I predict it'll sell reasonably well, especially after the convertible and Abarth are introduced. It'll also be interesting to see whether the 500 will cut into MINI sales, or expand the market for B class cars.

    I understand that there will also be an electric version, but that doesn't interest me. The small 500 based SUV that will follow should be interesting, though.
  • Yeah I agree. I think electric cars, as they are right now, will be a pretty big flop--after all the hype and smoke and mirrors and GEE WHIZ factor fades away. Too expensive for what you get.

    MINI could stand some competition. Right now there's really nothing much that competes with it directly.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,621
    edited December 2010
    What year is your Mini shifty?

    A neighbor down the street just got a new Clubman. Nice car. It's kinda the update of what the BMW 2002 was back in 1970 or so--a beautifully performing, sporty, and yet economical BMW 4 cylinder.

    They have fairly loaded Clubman (two sun/moonroofs??? on one small car??) for just 22k at the local Louisville Mini dealer. They are blowing the 2010s out the door. It even has a manual, which I much prefer.

    Since I got a Mazda5 manual 6 months ago, however, which was a much cheaper and more practical car for my family needs, I'm plum out of luck on ever getting that...
  • That's a good price!

    Those "two" roofs.....I think only one actually opens.

    Mine is a 2003. In 2006 they went "turbo" and I don't like turbo cars much.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    edited December 2010
    Were the issues/weaknesses to watch out for that you mentioned, at the time you were shopping for a MINI, resolved in the second generation cars?

    Also, how do prices for parts and general cost of ownership between a naturally aspirated MINI and, say, a Civic or Scion Tc?
  • I think MINIs were pretty squared away by 2006. Of course, they are German, so they will have electrical problems.

    I'd say that during warranty of course, there wouldn't be much difference in maintenance costs between a MINI and a Scion, but after warranty---put it this way, these are two very very different automobiles. My Scion xA was almost the same size as a MINI, but felt light and cheap in comparison. Also cost a lot less, so fair is fair.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,621
    How many miles do you have on it now? And what kind of mpg are you getting?

    They still are available without turbo, I think?
  • You can buy them without a turbo, yes, but they aren't all that much fun as a base car---they're okay for most people I guess. I recently drove a base MINI with paddle shifters, and it was just fine for everyday driving.

    I have 72,000 miles on it now. My worst possible mileage is 26 mpg, with my foot deep into the Boschware, and on the highway I have achieved up to 33 mpg. I think this is optimum with a SC Mini, unless you get into hypermiler silliness.

    You know, for a used car with lots of options and perhaps 1/3 the cost of a brand new one all decked out, I'm pretty happy.

    I rather like the "liberation" of a car with some paint chips, a few rattles, etc---I don't have to worry about it anymore.
This discussion has been closed.