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Monday, March 26, 2007

My Name is Lewis and I'm a Car-aholic

So, what car do you drive? Ours is above. I say ours because we just have one. It's perfect. But we've gone through cars like water, I must say. I think it's an addiction. Maybe we should look for a CA (Cars Anonymous) meeting. Or would it be more appropriate to say SUVA? Nonetheless, we love what we have now. Great size, hauls plenty, 4x4 for those occasionally icy roads here in Portland, nice stereo, leathered out, moon/sun roof (what is the difference??), and....one our favorite features....heated seats. Do you remember the days when a heater installed in a car was an option and would cost you dearly? You could by a new bright yellow Datsun Honey Bee for around $2,995 but it had nothing on it. Here's what I've owned in my life (some of the details escape me):

1970 Plymouth Gold Duster (complete with 8 track and black plastic seats)
1977 Datsun 200SX (this is the one that I outran the cops in)
1986 Honda Accord
1990 Pontiac Grand Am--white 4-door (for the family that never was)
1995 Toyota Tacoma Pickup (loved this thing, gave it up in the divorce)
1992 Pontiac Grand Am--2 door (said I'd never buy US-made after this one)
1999 Kia Sephia (terrible, horrible choice)
2000 Kia Sportage 4x4
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe (this one was great)
2006 Kia Sportage (very nifty except for the noises in it's engine)
2006 Kia Sorento--the one we have now...it's loaded and perfect.

As you can see, there's a terrible trend. And it's not good unless you're on the car salesperson end of the deal. I always try to drive a hard bargain with the trade-in value, cost of the new one, interest rate, and all of that. I never accept the first deal. Sometimes, usually on Saturdays when the newspaper publishes those special car buying sections, I find myself gravitating toward them...just to look. But I've stopped. I had to. Maybe I should take up drinking.


dbv said...

Quitting smoking paid for my SUV!! I've had 3 autos in my life.

1. 1968 Mercedes ??? convertible
2. 1982 Mercedes 300SD, the A/C went out and it was going to cost more to replace than the car was worth, it had 462,000 miles on it.
3. 2000 Mercedes ML320

I bought them all used, the first 2 very used, #2 was a diesel and had 165,000 miles when I bought it.
I bought the SUV 3 years ago and I hate it, but I'll drive it till it dies or I kill it or wreck it!! I do love the new Range Rovers though and I may possibly trade up soon!!!

LSL said...

Hmm - dbv has great taste! And I've never heard of a car with 400k miles!

You have gone through a lot of cars, Lewis. I've owned:

1. 1982 Honda Accord - very used, gold, very ugly, sunroof leaked
2. 1985 Honda Accord - very used, got totaled in a car wreck a week after I bought it
3. 1999 Honda Accord - new, I loved that car!
4. 2002 Toyota Mark II - new, Japanese specs (in Japan); it's kind of like a Camry or an Avalon
5. 2006 Honda CRV - new, with heated seats! Love how it keeps my buns warm :)

Christopher said...

"I always try to drive a hard bargain..."

hmm...I'd like to see you in action!...if you know what I mean, mkay!

Matt said...

Wow, that IS an addiction ...

I've had five cars in my life:

1. 1977 Buick Century - gold with a black vinyl roof - it was a boat, but a great college car
2. 1985 Buick Skyhawk - also gold. Actually a nice car
3. 1977 Dodge Aspen - dark green. The interior was all cracked up. I bought it from a co-worker for $200 when I first moved to Seattle
4. 1983 Chrysler New Yorker. Dark red with a red "leather" interior. In its day, it was quite the luxury car. In the late 1990's, sitting in front of the house in our then-iffy neighborhood, Scott dubbed it "The Pimpmobile". The license plate was 888-LUV. Sounds like a phone sex line
5. 2006 VW Jetta (Joe). Dark blue with a light grey interior. I absotively LOVE this car.

eric p. said...

No no, bad idea. Don't Drink and Car-shop. (Insert obligatory $87-worth-of-margaritas reference here.)

dbv: I aspire to have a German car ... perhaps in my next life.

So far for me, it's been:
1987 - a 1971 Datsun 510
1989 - a 1988-1/2 (really!) Ford Escort
1994 - Nissan Sentra
2000 - Saturn SL2 my first new car; my first car with A/C (and I moved to Florida in fall 1994!)
2006 - a 2007 Scion tC - my first car bought in the year before its model year

Of them, I love the tC the most. I still owe Musings Northwest a review, I believe.

Steven said...

You definitely have gone through an inventory of cars. Some only a year or less apart. Datsun sure is a blast from the past. My inventory of cars only includes a Chevy Malibu, Chevy Blazer and lastly, a Honda CR-V. I never imagined going with an import, but eventually conceded. Although I've noticed the Honda was made in Ohio. The biggest mistake was buying the Blazer without 4-wheel drive. I said to myself, "When am I planning on driving off road?" Little did I realize a 2-inch snow storm in Chicagoland would cripple the Blazer. Like LSL, I have a 2006 CR-V SE. The all-wheel drive and heated seating is nice, but the leather seating isn't holding up well against cracking, despite regular conditioning.

joey said...

Naw - you don't have to take up drinking. Extra sex. That'll work. ;)

Wayne said...

We have a 2001 Ford Ranger,(my butch hauling truck!)
a 1998 Honda Accord, (Craig's favorite!)
and a 2003 PT Cruiser.(a great all around car!)

K-A said...

Hmm, let's see. .

1984 Chrysler K car
1986 Toyota Cressida
1987 Chrysler Sundance
1972 Volkswagen Bus
1982 Volkswagen Transporter
1987 Volvo 240 Wagon
1992 Geo Tracker (soft top)
2003 Chevrolet Tracker (current)

SlyD said...

Dang, I'm only 20 and already on my 3rd car! None wrecked though... knock on wood!!

1. 1985 Chevrolet C10 - Light blue with thick white stripe down the side and all blue interior. Got it as my high school ride but I still have this puppy.
2. 2005 Ford Focus ST - black on black and hot as hell!! Bought new as my college car. Had it a little over a year before things started messing up (wouldn't crank), traded it in before it got worse. Very fun to drive... learned how to row gears and work with 3 pedals in this car... hmm, what's that burning smell?? =)
3. 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix - bleen with black interior. Absolutely love this car!!

Steve said...

I hold on to cars forever. My first car was from my parents and it was passed on to my brother:
1. 1972 Super Beetle (orange then white)

Bought from my first boyfriend for $400:
2. 1982 Toyota Corolla
The car lasted much longer than he did.

There was a long, long dry spell while I lived in the city and didn't need a car, then I got this from my sister who was trading up:
3. 1992 Chevy Blazer

Acquired by marriage to my current beau:
4. 1998 GM Prism

And now I'm looking at:
5. 1998 Jeep Wrangler
because I've always wanted one.

Billy said...

Ok, here is my list, but as I'm not in the US, some of these might seem a bit unfamiliar:

1972 Chev Chevair - 1st Car. Was my mothers and I used it when I was a student in '87. Drove this thing till it fell apart, and sold it (in '91) for more than my mom paid for it new. Then had over 500,000 km on the clock, that stopped working a few years before...

1991 Toyota Corolla - Brand New. Drove it for 3 years and put just over 300,000 km on the clock, then sold it for:

1994 Toyota Conquest 2.0 RSI - My boy racer phase - went like the clappers and did Joburg Durban (630km) in less than 4 and a half hours! Sold this for a:

1996 VW Microbus - loved my Gus Bus, but fueling this monster was a nightmare, so sold it for:

1997 VW Golf GTI - worst car I've ever owned! Put me of VW for the rest of my life! Sold this and bought;

1999 Nissan Almera - nice, comfortable middle of the road car. But got really board with it, so sold it bought;

2001 BMW 318i - first beemer, will drive beemer for the rest of my life! What a great car. Then traded in on;

2003 BMW330d - fast, fun, great looking, oh, did I mention fun! Traded in on;

2005 BMW330d - still standing in the garage in SA, but here in Kenya drive a;

2006 Isuzu 3.0 TDI 4X4 double Cab Pick Up - really butch... Love my truck! Lewis, see why you loved your pick up so...

Also own a 2007 Ford Bantam Pick Up that hubby uses in SA. Bought this when I was at home in January this year. His VW Polo is being used by my mom.

Hell, Lewis, shopping is just soooo much more rewarding than drinking! Shop, shop, shop!

Sorted said...

WOW!! quite an eclectic selection here.

1980 Datsun B-210 hatchback
1985 Buick Somerset - new
1988 Mazda 626 - new. I kept this car until 1996.
1994 Mitubishi Galant - new great car! Wished I did not trade it in for the next selection.
1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee - new and worse car more troubles.
2001 Honda Civic - new and loved that car. Was driving 30 miles one way to work at the time. Needed something good on gas.
2007 Volvo S40 -- new LOOOVVEEE IT!

Not bad, 7 cars in the 26 years of driving.

Michael Guy said...

Don't drive. No license. Never will. It's a long story.

Brad said...

I'll bet you miss that Toyota Tacoma a hell of a lot more than you miss the wife!

I've had way too many cars to sit here and try to remember the years and such.

I used to drive what I termed "disposable" cars. I'd pay five hundred bucks for one, drive it until I could no longer afford to fix it myself, then I would call the junkyard.

My favorites were the '68 Pontiac Catalina convertible and the '73 Dodge Charger.

She got the Toyota and you got the shaft! Bwahahaha! :)

tornwordo said...

68 Chrysler Newport
83 Toyota pickup
78 Triumph Spitfire convertible
86 Toyota Pickup
99 Ford Explorer
Carless since 2000.

Ryan said...

well ive only had 3 cars since i started driving first was a old nissan path finder i think it was a 1990 dad made me drive 4 the first couple years i had my dl then for highschool grad gift he got me a 02 pontiac trans am that he has a fit if i drive it stays in the barn with all his cars so when mom got a new suv she gave me her old 1 so now i drive a an 05 escalade with lots of miles on it but i love it and dont want 2 get rid of it.

TigerYogi said...

My first car was a Duster too! God what a bomb it was, but, I loved it! :)

Doug said...

Chris and I also share a single car right now. A VW Golf TDI (diesel). Love the 40+ mpg! We're looking forward to a proposed biodiesel plant in our area.

Jimmi said...

This is great, I love thinking back to my old cars and when I had them what I did. Its fun to think back so here they are:

1977 Mercury Cougar - It was my first car and it was a total party machine. It was in 1990 and I had just graduated high school.

1988 Ford Tempo - In 1991 my Cougar died, sad but true so I needed something a little more reliable and practical (gas wise) since since I was still in school and paid for my own gas. My grandfather worked for Ford Motor company in Chicago so the dealer gave us a good discount.

1992 Ford Probe - I LOVED this car. I was in the air force and it was 1994. My Tempo lasted for awhile but it was time to let go since it was 6 years old and always needed work. I was in the Air Force at the time and got a sweet deal on this probe, it only had 7,000 miles on it and it was in mint condition and I think I only paid $9,000 for it. Unfortunatly on my way from North Dakota (where I was stationed) to Phoenix (Where I live now) I got into a little unexpected off road action (due to the icey weather) and kind of messed the car up a bit.

1999 Honda Civic - After a few more years with the probe I decided it was time to get a brand new car. I went for the Honda Civic because I knew it was a reliable company and car.

2003 Honda Accord - My Civic was great but I wanted something with a little more meat so I traded it up for my current car. Ironically I am going shopping for a new car this week. I think it will be the 2007 Honda Accord again. I really like my car and I have been with Honda for 8 years now so I think I want to stay loyal. It also depends on what kind of deal they give me too! LOL

Thanks Lewis for the trip down my own memory lane!

Robert said...

(Year??) Chevrolet Sprint [Stick shift busted after 1 year?!?]
(Year??) Nissan Pickup [ex sold it for drug money]
1991 Jeep Wranger [Stolen in front my own apt. Waaaaa!]
2000 Jeep Cherokee [Current; I love my Jeeps]

I see that you're a die-hard Kia lover! Theirs and Hyundai's are looking better every year!!

Happy Tuesday Lewis!

DavidC said...

Pshaw!!! I have owned 31 cars in the last 14 years. You don't want me to post that list, but suffice it to say you could say "most kinds."

I'm curious, why the Kia bent? I'd rather have a 10-year-old Lexus than a new Kia. And it would probably be cheaper. (Actually, from experience, I know it would be.) I'm not trying to be mean, I am really just curious..

The Thunderbird said...

tricked out 2003 black honda account V6. befor ethat a 1996 silver V6, then a 1990 black EX, the an gray 1983 SE.

cary said...

i couldn't resist getting in on this- here we go
1990 hyundai excel
199? mazda 121 (english ford fiesta)
1995 saturn sedan
1997 saturn sedan
1998 saturn coupe
1999 vw jetta
2000 subaru outback
2001 vw jetta
2003 honda element
2005 mercedes c230
2007 audi a3 (current)
(all new except for the mazda)
when you find that ca group, let me know

digital t-square said...

I buy and sell frequently, as shown below:
1979 Renault Le Car
1884 Dodge Colt
1991 Mazda Miata
1974 BMW 2002tii
1998 Honda Civic EX
1999 Mazda Miata
2000 Lexus
1999 Corvette
2003 Infiniti FX45
1990 Mazda Miata
2004 Audi S4
2005 Volvo V70R*
2005 BMW M3*
2001 Mercedes ML55 AMG*
(* current)

James said...

11 cars and you're 45? That's not a lot and no where near an addiction. I'd say that's normal, maybe a little above normal, but not excessive.

dbv said...

oops, i forgot about a 78 triumph spitfire that i got for not telling my mom about my dad having an affair... i told her anyway and wrecked the car shortly thereafter.... very long story, i'll fill you in on it some snowy night by the fire....

Tom said...

1979 Pontiac Grand LeMans (a great first car)
1967 Chevy Camaro (My #1 Fave - what a car!)
1982 Ford EXP (Total hunk of junk)
1980 Honda Civic (got me to college for two years till it blew up)
1979 Subaru Brat (one fun little truck. jump seats were awesome!)
1985 Toyota MR2 (2nd Fave - a total blast to drive)
1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel (biggest POS ever)
1993 Chevy S-10 (my only brand new car. it was OK.)
1993 Dodge Shadow (the only car I've ever totalled. it was a spectacular crash. Airbag saved my life.)
1997 Ford Contour (most reliable car I've ever owned. Hated every second of driving it)
1999 Ford Taurus SHO (3rd Fave - wife totalled it - grr)
1993 Toyota 4Runner (current)
1995 Mazda Millenia (current, but in the shop)

Yes, that's 14 cars in 19 years of driving. I think this post was written for me.

somewhere joe said...

99 Mustang. When it dies I'll get another - ride it like a Ford!

Shaney said...

I dont own a vehicle, can't afford one & not sure I really want to be on the roads with all the maniacs...It is those very maniacs that are responsible for my attitude towards driving these days and well yeah, also the reason the only car I ever owned was written off....

seth (on the left) said...

In college I had and old BMW 528E that I wrecked and then had given to me once it was fixed. Fabulous driving machine, if the lights stayed on...

Subaru GL10 station wagon that was too small for me so I gave it to my dad.

1988 Jeep Cherokee Larado that I drove for 10 years and was very well built

1994 Jeep Cherokee Sport that I drove for 10 years

2002 Chevy Trailblazer that I hated

2006 Saab 9-3 turbo sport combi that I just love...it has heated seats too

Steven said...

When I bought my car, I went to the dealership and told the CSR, "This is what I want, with these options, and I don't need anything else, so don't bother selling me something else."

To the point because I also drive a hard bargain.