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Buying Luxury used cars

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  • kamazaskamazas Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    Classic cars for sale - this one covers all of the states
    Classic for sale
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    too bad there are no listings.

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  • gouthrogouthro Posts: 2
    Hello,
    I am beginning to think that it might be a worthwhile purchase to get a luxury car, say about 2 years old at about twenty five or thirty thousand dollars. I looked over your forum, hoping that I could find some recommendations. I didn"t see anything that qualified, however. I would be looking for reliability. In this regard I noticed your discussions on German cars and electrical problems. My preference would be a station wagon, but I would look at others, if there was a better deal. I wonder if anyone could make recommendations.
    thanks Joe
  • berriberri Posts: 4,159
    Personally, I've always thought that luxury cars are generally best off either leased or purchased used.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,587
    If you have a solid warranty, a used one is the way to go. Initial depreciation on most higher end makes is just insane.
  • gouthrogouthro Posts: 2
    one of the reasons i am looking at 2 years old is becauses of the depreciation and the warranty. I am wondering, though, which type would be a good bet. I would like a station wagon, although it is not necessary. For that reason I was looking at A volvo Xc 70 or a Passat. I dont know if they would qualify as luxury cars. But, from the discussions on this thread I would be alittle afraid of a bmw or a mercedes because of electrical problems. dont know if i am right on that.

    thanaks Joe
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,536
    I'd put Volvo, VW, Audi, BMW, and MB in the same boat, reliability-wise. If you're wanting something significantly more reliable a Lexus RX350 would work.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,587
    edited June 2011
    For anything European, you need some kind of warranty, or a willingness to spend. Older Volvos VWs and Audis can be especially troublesome.

    At 2 or 3 years old, a nice used E or 5er wagon would be appealing to me - late in their model runs so a lot of kinks have been ironed out and they are genuinely nice cars, but you won't get it for 20K just yet.

    If you like wagons, Acura TSX is interesting too - resale will be good so it won't be as cheap, but it will have less dramatic maintenance.
  • martianmartian Posts: 220
    I also believe that cars from 1985-on will be next to impossible to restore-the electronic modules are not repairable, and most of the components (even if you were able to take one apart) are simply not available. For example, the Alfa-Romeo 164 has 5 Z-80 microprocessor chips inside-where would you get these today?
    Second: young people are increasingly disinterested in cars-they are beginning to think that automobiles (and their emissions) are becoming a problem for the environment.
    So, outside of big collectors, you won't see many old car hobbyists in 30-40 years.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    For example, the Alfa-Romeo 164 has 5 Z-80 microprocessor chips inside-where would you get these today?

    Could probably find a Z-80 core that would easily fit into an Altera FPGA or something similar. What's the gate count on a Z-80, couple of thousand?

    Not saying how cost effective this would be :shades: .
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    There's already an aftermarket in engine management systems, like for running a fuel-injected V8 crate engine in a '55 Chevy---but I don't know as they would design one for an old Benz or Lexus.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,192
    Detroit defined luxury in the first three decades after WWII. With few exceptions, mega size, big engine displacement, convenience features such as PS, PB, AC, power seats and windows first appeared on high end GMs, Chryslers and Lincolns. Vinyl tops and abundant chrome trim dressed up the exterior. Soft velour seats and rich carpeting did the same for the interior. Of course, a soft, floaty ride was generally prized over better control, and brakes were marginal. The '52-'54 Lincolns firmed up the suspension some, in an effort to provide better road holding. Chrysler/Imperial took the balance of ride and stability a step further with the introduction of the torsion suspension in '57. For example, these cars leaned a lot less than the competition on curves, and the steering was quicker, though very light. It wasn't long, though, before Chrysler softened the ride. Most Americans still valued soft, quiet isolation.

    The main exception to American luxury in the late '40s-late '50s that stands out in my mind were the Jaguar sedans and XK sportscars. The dimensions were trimmer, as were firmer suspensions. No vinyl tops. The interiors featured bucket seats covered in leather and beautiful wood dashes. Power was supplied by DOHC I-6s of moderate displacement instead of big block OHV V8s. Many Jags were equipped with 4-on-the-floor, with or without overdrive rather than column shifted automatics. Rollers and Bentleys were always factors in high end luxury, but limited due to cost of ownership. They always turned heads.

    By the '60s Mercedes and and BMWs appeared in greater numbers, and by the '70s these Germans, and to a much lesser extent Audi, became the cool ones to own. Understated luxury rose in popularity as large, nouveau riche receded. Volvo, Saab and other Euro brands were near luxury outliers. Lexus, Infiniti and Acura were a variation on the German business model, but with greater emphasis on value.

    Cadillac and Buick, Lincoln and Chrysler are still trying to define themselves in the luxury segment.

    What comes next?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,192
    I forgot Packard. Packard was a factor in the near-luxury and luxury market from '46 through the early '50s. It deserves to be remembered.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,192
    Fashions tend to come, go and, sometimes, return. Will vinyl roofs, velour seats and opera windows ever be considered upscale again? As odd as it may seem now, I wouldn't rule one or more of them out forever. At some point people may tire of leather and restraint, and will want a new look and feel. Today's luxury will look very yesterday.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,587
    I don't know - maybe as some kind of hipster driven fad, and then it might be more on mainstream cars than luxury. I think today, high end design comes out of Europe first - and they won't want to replicate a 74 Lincoln anytime soon.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    It's going to be difficult to combine advanced electronics with someone's vision of Cleopatra's boudoir. I suspect cars will continue to look more and more like 4-wheel iPads.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,192
    edited February 2013
    The applications would be different, and wouldn't resemble a '74 Lincoln because the shapes of the cars would be very different from those of the '70s. For example, leather might be discreetly applied as external trim pieces. The velour colors and patterns would be subdued, or combined with leather. For example, leather on the outer portions of the seat and velour inserts. No gauche bordello reds. The German exterior and interior styling model has been updated over the years, but hasn't really changed. At some point I'm thinking it will, because nothing remains constant forever. The new styling language may come from anywhere, including German design studios. Also, the applications will look new and exciting to buyers who are way too young to remember the cars of the '60s and '70s.

    It's easier to use a variation of something from the past than to create something totally new. That said, the changes could incorporate new metal textures and colors.

    One thing that won't come back is bench front seating.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,587
    I guess I would need to see examples. Exterior leather and velour seating sounds like something that would come from Mansory or maybe somewhere in Russia.

    With the dumbed down economic devolution taking place, there will also not be as large a target market for showy yet relatively affordable luxury cars, so it might not be cost effective.

    I wonder if the new Impala will have a bench.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,192
    I've read that the new Impala won't offer a bench.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,576
    Not even in cop cars?

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,587
    I don't know if the upcoming Impala is intended for police use - there's a better model for that now.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,192
    I don't know about cop cars, spcifically, but the information I read said no bench will be offered on the new Impala.
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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,906
    edited February 2013
    Even police cars these days use bucket seats. However, often they do strip out the center console, and put the shifter on the column.

    Even the Crown Vic police package could be had with buckets. Flat and poorly contoured, and probably pushing the limits of the definition of "bucket seat". But definitely NOT a bench!

    I think with a lot of these cars, they just take the smaller portion of what used to be a 60/40 or 55/45 split bench seat, and give you one 40 or 45 section for the driver, one for the passenger.
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