mad anthony

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

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Car Talk

I'm in the middle of a major #firstworldproblem right now - namely, I want to buy a new car. Despite the fact that I don't actually need a new car. And I've got too many to choose from.

Right now, I drive a 2006 Ford Ranger - purchased new, now with about 88,000 miles on it. It also happens to be bright yellow. Aside from an annoying tendency to attract cops, it's been a great vehicle - the only non-wear item I've had to replace was a temperature sensor It's gone through plenty of tires and brakes, but this may have more to do with the fact that I drive like a cross between a crazy taxi driver and the Duke boys.

The Ranger has it's minor annoyances, though - it's a bit lacking in creature comforts - cloth seats, a stereo that still sports a tape deck, and the squeaks and wear that a vehicle that's approaching 100k tends to show. The other thing about a pickup is that it is awesome for hauling big stuff or large loads of stuff - but not particularly well suited to the smaller stuff, like taking a couple bags of groceries and 12 packs of Diet Mountain Dew back from Target.

I've always been a bit of a car nut, ever since I was ramming Matchbox cars into the base of the glass-topped kidney-bean shaped coffee table in my parent's living room. So I've been looking at new cars ever since I bought this one. In that time, I've gone through a ton of possibilities - everything from used Range Rovers and Lincoln Navigators to new Toyota 4Runners or Nissan Frontiers. I've also toyed with the idea of keeping the Ranger for hauling duties and buying a sports car - an early 2000's MR2 or a Porche Boxter or an Infiniti G37. Or maybe something vintage, like an early-90's Bentley.

My current thought has been a 2006 or newer Audi A6 Avant wagon. It would be fun to drive, comfortable, and unique. Sure, I couldn't haul some of the big loads I've hauled in the truck, but I could probably count the number of times I've hauled more than I could fit in a wagon on one hand - especially if I equip said wagon with a roof rack and a turtle top. And they are 4 wheel drive.

The Audi has one thing that is both a feature and a bug - they are pretty rare. From a quick look at Auto Trader, there appear to be exactly 3 low milage examples in my price range within 300 miles of me, and one is at a very sketchy dealer. I do know a guy who knows a guy who might be able to find me one at a dealer's only auction, but I don't know what the odds of that actually happening are.

From a financial perspective, this is probably a good thing, because it makes it really difficult to actually buy one, and the longer i drive my current paid-off and heavily depreciated truck, the more I'm basically riding for free. Of course, one of the advantages of looking for a car before you actually need one is that you hope to get rid of your current ride before it develops some expensive problem, and I'm hoping that i don't wait too long.

But there's a pretty good chance I will. If I had to choose one thing about myself, I'm really not sure what it would be, but it might be that i'm indecisive, but maybe not. I tend to be reluctant to make big decisions, and tend to overanalyze them. In the grand scheme of life, buying this car will be pretty minor - but I'll still flog the decision to death. The odd thing is that some of the decisions I've agonized the most over or planned for years have turned out the worst, while some of the ones I've made impulsively have been the best.


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