best car you ever owned?


Old 11-20-03, 03:49 PM
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Lightbulb best car you ever owned?

I would like to know everyones opinon. what is the absolute best car or truck you have ever owned and why. I am new here so hi to all. I like to fix cars and trucks from the 80's and back, before they got harder to work on for the shade tree mechanic.I am thinking of selling cars on a small-very small scale. Cars I can work on and ones that are very dependable. foriegn or domestic- what's your opinion?
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Old 11-20-03, 04:30 PM
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I would have to say the BMW 2002 (and 1600) circa 1968-1973. These were the predecessor of the BMW 320, most overrated (and yuppie purchased POS ever to come out of Germany, until they made the 525.

These cars exuded class and power, front drive, high revving, tall gears, excellent gas mileage. I owned about tenof them from 1971 when I first went to Germany until 1976 when I came back to the US and brought 2 2002s with me, one of them a Tii. I bought 3 more after returning to the States. Every one that I bought I sold for more than I had paid for it, some of them substantially more.

When new these cost a more than a VW Beetle, but far outclassed the Beetle with real acceleration, a big trunk, comfortable ride etc, etc. IIRC a new 2002 (1972/73 model year) cost in the neighborhood of a Peugot 505 (S**tbox), a Volvo 144, (overrated yuppiemobile) or a Saab 99, (great car despite it's Triumph engine). I'd bet if you could find a running model of any of the latter today it could be had for a fraction of what the Bimmer would bring.

Unfortunately I later owned a 530I and it completely turned me off the Marque.

Other good cars I've owned, 1968 Mini Innocenti, 1992 Mazda Miata, (all the good stuff of British sporst cars, without the, starting/driving/carburetor and falling off parts bad stuff of same), 1965 Chevy Chevelle, 283 cu in, 220 HP, 1966 Mercedes 200D- Zero to 60 in an afternoon, 4 speed on the column, bulletproof engine, it's probably still on the road in the Kaiserslautern vicinity,

Last but not least, 1979 Olds, Cutlass, 260 cu inch V8, one of just like a million others on the road but this one saved my wife's life when an 18 wheeler ran a red light, T-boned the Olds at the driver's door, the impact pulled 3 of the 4 seat anchoring bolts out, my wife unbelted herself and was chewing the cops and the truck driver out when I arrived, wanted the driver arrested on the spot. She was sore and bruised but nothing broken, sprained or bleeding.

Sorry for being so windy, but as my wife says, "there are no short stories if Frank is telling them".

Old 11-20-03, 05:05 PM
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1966 Austin-Healey Sprite; my first car. Blast to drive and I only paid $550 for it in 1970.
Old 11-22-03, 06:21 AM
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Thanks guys Saabs could be interesting austin-Healys would be great but hard to come by in Middwest. Any other suggestions?
What cars can go 300.000 miles with the least maint.?How are Saabs to work on? Any American models you think are good?
Old 11-22-03, 07:39 AM
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the best?

1967 Volvo 122s- classy car and it ran great! Still regret the day I sold it.
Old 11-22-03, 12:32 PM
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My W-4 has 367,000 miles on it, but probably not sporty enough for you, 'bird. LOL

If you're looking for longevity with least maintenance cost, Toyota camry, hands down. My wife's '95 has 160,000+ miles on it and still going strong.

Wouldn't touch a Saab with a ten-foot pole (or even an eight-foot Swede).
Old 11-23-03, 04:19 PM
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My `94 Taurus SHO was the best car I ever had. I bought it used in 1996 with 55,000 miles on it. The car drove and handled like a race car. The engines in these cars are virtually indestructable. The rest of the car is, well... A taurus. Nonetheless, I maintained it by the book over the years myself, except for the clutch I had Ford install.
The car had over 160,000 miles on it when I used it for a trade in last year on my new Mustang GT.
My GT has already pissed me off more in the last 18 months than the SHO did in the 7 years I drove it.
Old 11-23-03, 04:25 PM
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CFC, you must have had the 3.0 V6 right? Plus you had a manual tranny so it would have been a good car
Old 11-23-03, 08:42 PM
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I love small block chevy. 300,000 miles is possible with these, but it's usually a stretch. I put about 230,000 miles on the 305 in my truck, and it was still running very well when I pulled it. I replaced it because it was leaking all over and started burning a little oil (I drove it for 2 years with no air filter...wonder why it was burning oil?). Long story as to why it had no air filter. I think there's already something like 150,000 miles on the engine I have in there now. Still runs strong and uses maybe 1 qt of oil between changes if I change it when I should, lol. That's with a leaking valve cover gasket and oil sending unit. This truck is my service truck, and it has pulled a fairly heavy trailer with tool box and compressor for 6 or 7 years. The trailer almost never gets unhooked, and the miles are mostly in- town.
Old 11-23-03, 09:05 PM
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Chevys are leakers I have heard. But other than that they seem to be pretty good, generally. Ford did make both the 3.0 and 3.8 right? If not who? We had a windstar with the 3.8, what a heap! On top of the usual head gasket problems, we had computer problems, we had ignition problems plus who knows what else I don't remember much, I was too young. I do remember the check engine light liked to go on every month or two. Good thing that piece of garbage was leased
Old 11-23-03, 09:33 PM
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Best car?
I hate to say it but my 88 Corrolla, bought 5 years ago, has been unstopable
Most problems, (very few), have been easy to work on
I bought it for a beater daily driver and it just won't die
The biggest problems have been access to certain bolts for a timing belt change and I can't find the reverse light switch on the tranny
Favorite car and easy to work on...
I miss my 72 Olds Cutlass w/350
Air go in here, fuel go in here, exhaust come out here
You, me, a couple of friends, a pizza and a six-pack hop into the engine bay, and fix the problem (and have room to close the hood of it's raining)
Favorite car...
86 Mustang GT
I would have prefered an 85 or 87 but I love tinkering so there is no lack of parts or info for these guys
Old 11-25-03, 10:49 AM
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thanks for all the input so far. I may be more confused than ever now! I thought there would be more consensus oon one car over another. Wow! this is cool though and I am still looking for opionions.If you were going to fix and repair just one kind of car what would it be hands down! Sorry If I am confusing everyone and I hope I don't get the boot! have a good day------FIRE
Old 11-25-03, 02:17 PM
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favorite car

I remember with fondness my 1970 chevy impala coupe custom. i had it in the mid 80's and it was the first cool car I owned. i got it when i was a sophmore in HS with 150k on it. it had a 350 small block and ran fast and reliable till some jobless looser stole it from the parking lot at school. but the most reliable car i have owned in a long time is my 1990 honda accord. drives great handles well has lots of pep and not to hard to work on. people love hondas they have a great reputation and retain excelent value. some times it is hard to start in the very hot summer but that is common with those cars that is my only complaint.
Old 11-25-03, 02:44 PM
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86 Nova

Not a hot rod and not much style but a great get from point A to point B car my 86 Nova would just keep on running.It has a Toyota rebadged.
Had over 200 thousand miles when I got rid of her and everything still worked outstanding.
But the seats were worn paint was dull and headliner was history.I could jump in it and do a cross country no problem.
I got a new Toyota now with shiney paint and not worn out seats but I will drive it till it gets 200 thousand miles also.
Old 11-26-03, 04:25 AM
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If you're looking to sell on a small scale and don't have the tools for modern tech go anything pre 80's. Depending on your area a small muscle car lot may do well.
Old 11-26-03, 05:21 AM
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the car

Hey I have owned a few chevy trucks too, and they have been pretty darn dependable. I also have had a 84 ram charger that just won't die and I love it. plain jane for sure but it has been a very good truck. But I am thinking about cars right now.I am thinking 4or 6 cyll, really good milage, a dream to work on , run foreever,and if it is a looker, even better. Some of the foriegn cars mentioned sound cool but I would have tough time with here in middwest. So far I am thinking Honda, toyota, and maybe saab. Are Saab's really that bad? AS far as Honda and Toy's what models would be best? Were some years way better than others?

Old 11-26-03, 03:46 PM
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Toyota. Easy keepers, can get any parts you need from the local parts store or Toyota dealer, and run forever. Camry or Corolla, depending on your budget and space requirements. My wife's '95 Camry still has original alternator, starter, engine, tranny, exhaust system, and power steering components. It has the 2.2L-4, which is more than enough engine, at least here in relatively flat SW Florida. If we had more hills to climb, I might opt for the V-6, but we drove to the midwest a couple of summers ago and had no trouble with the hills of TN & KY, even with the extra load from luggage, etc. Gets 25-26 mpg around town, 32-33 on the highway, and uses "no" oil even at 160,000+ miles. If you have plenty of $$$ and/or want the additional size, an Avalon. Not sure if the newer model Corollas are as good as the model used to be, but Camrys are pretty much bullet-proof.

There's a reason why they say the Camry is the best selling car in America.
Old 11-27-03, 06:22 AM
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thanks tow guy I think toys are a strong caniddate and the camry sounds like a winner. How many miles can you get on these 2.2 engines. How many miles can you get on these guys and do the bodys hold up well? Are there good years and bad years? I know I am asking alot of questions and I appreciate everybody's help. It really has helped! Anybody else want's to throw in thier pick feel free!

MEASURE TWICE------------------------CUT ONCE
Old 11-28-03, 04:40 AM
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LOL, if I ever wear mine out I'll give you the mileage. At 160,000 it uses no oil and is about as quiet as you would expect an engine to be right off the showroom floor. It has some minor external oil seepage, but not nearly enough to start worrying about.

I checked out what Consumer Reports says about the various model years. They refer to the earlier 2.2L engine as "sluggish"; I would have to disagree on that. Re-design years were apparently 1997 and 2002. The redesign in 1997 was noted as marginally improved (marginally over a VERY good car, IMHO, LOL). The 3.0-liter V6 noted as "smooth and energetic". The 2002 redesign is said to have included "more room and a much better four-cylinder".

In their reliability chart there are only two low marks - suspension in model years 1997-98 - for the late model years. Oddly enough there are several lower marks in the earlier years, '95-96, which is what he have and have been very happy with. Everything else is very good to excellent across the board.

Quote: Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.
Old 11-29-03, 07:58 AM
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80's and earlier Ford trucks w/ inline 6 and manual trans. They'll run forever and when the box rots off just put a flatbed on it.
Old 11-29-03, 08:36 PM
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Favorite car??? My siggy says it all. I have owned 7 in the last 20 years including a 67 Malibu. I have always liked Chevy small blocks and big old Chevy cars and trucks.
drace600.... I had one of those when I was in High School in the late 80's. Loved that car. I still have the 400 small block that came in it. Built it HIPO 10 years ago for my 66 Chevy PU and its still going strong. It is sitting in the shop right now waiting on its 4th home since I have owned it. It is going into my 69 Malibu as soon as I get time to do it.
Saabs of the pre 90's were JUNK and hard as crap to work on. I worked in a European shop previously and everytime one came in on the hook..... I ALWAYS ended up working on it. They leak from everywhere, and have alot of egocentricies. Plus they are UGLY as crap. In the mid 90's they got better and looks certainly improved.
As far as dependable: Take your pick.... Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans.... Unfortunately they have something figured out about longevity that the Domestic OEM's havent yet. My wifes 96 Nissan Sentra has 283,000+ miles and has the original clutch, engine, trans, etc....... In the last 6 years I have replaced the alternator and battery (on the way to vacation in Florida, on a long stretch of I-95 between Jacksonville and St. Augustine) The thermostat housing (cause I broke it replacing the thermostat) and 1 strut.
I just replaced the original Cap and Rotor 2 weeks ago at 283k miles. She drives it over 1000 miles a week and it has never let her down. The check engine light came on for the first time at 230k miles and all it was was the vacuum hose on the EGR Valve got soft and collapsed.

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