mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Maybe I'll buy an old man car...

So I've been thinking about cars lately, as I often tend to do. I currently drive a two-year-old Ford Ranger. I think I'll probably hang onto it for a few more years - it's been fine reliability-wise, it's paid off, and it's already taken most of the hit depreciation-wise. Gas mileage has been around 16-20 depending on how much city vs. local driving I do, which isn't great, but isn't Hummer bad either.

But I'm a bit of a car guy. I'm always thinking about what my next car is going to be, even though - because I'm also cheap - I can't really bring myself to buy a new car unless the old one is getting expensive enough to keep running to justify it's replacement.

My original thought on cars was to keep the Ranger, but to buy a used, second, smaller, sportier car - probably a convertible - to use most of the time, and use the Ranger for snow or when I need to haul stuff, like Hamfests.

But of late, I've had another idea - trade in the Ranger for a gently-used, old-man car. You know, like a Grand Marquis, Town Car, or DeVille.

Looking at some used car websites, these cars go cheap used - they depreciate heavily, because evidently there isn't a huge resale market for old-man cars. They usually have low mileage and have been taken care of and driven slowly, probably with their left turn signal on the whole time. They have comfy leather seats, and one of my favorite features - automatic climate control. One of my pet peeves in the winter is fiddling with the heat while I'm driving - it seems like it only has two settings, on and boiling hot or off and freezing cold. Gas mileage is about the same as the Ranger, and while I probably couldn't fit quite as much as I can in the Ranger, between the giant back seat and the trunk I could probably haul quite a bit in a Town Car or Grand Marquis. Sure, I'd lose 4wd, but how often do I really need it - my workplace generally closes when the weather's bad, and traction control would be good enough for most driving anyway. Plus, I'd get a bumper that's normal height, so I wouldn't do nearly as much damage when backing into elderly women.

The one disadvantage of an old-man car over, say, a yellow truck or a flashy sports car is the lack of wow! factor - nobody ever says "hey, nice Grand Marquis!". Of course, if I'm trying to keep from being pulled over on the freeway, that could be a plus. And if I really wanted to, I could probably throw some blinged-out rims on it. In fact, I think a black DeVille or Town Car with a set of black 20" rims would look pretty flippin' sweet, if I could find one without the stupid carriage roof that old people seem to love as much as Matlock and bingo.


At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the leather seats and ACC, space for hauling stuff and space for friends - at a decent price and not too shabby looking, try the new Mazda 5. We got one, fully loaded - DVD entertainment center in back, and up front large and oh so helpful GPS, heated leather seats, automatic wipers, auto lights, power everything including sunroof,
etc, under $25K. Gets about 20 MPG, too. Zippy, too. But can't beat the flexibility, high-end options and economical price and mpg. I call it a "mini mini van" or "junior SUV".


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