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Classic Daily Driver Delimna

I have a 1956 Clipper 4 door sedan that I use for my daily driver; however, I don’t drive that much (like 20 miles per week). Really! I commute to/from work via bicycle or bus, and my Clipper is basically for grocery shopping trips. Here’s my delimna…

The Clipper gets 7-10 miles per gallon, but it is in really great running conditions (with only 56,000 original miles). Should I sell this car and get something newer, or should I keep it?

Sounds like a keeper. If you drive about 20 miles a week, gas conservation wouldn’t seem like a big issue. Drive it around and be different, but I don’t know the market for such a car. If you could sell it and make a bundle off a “classic” then do so, but if it doesn’t have that kind of resale value and works great, I would keep it.

Such an odd question! If all the car is to you is daily transportation and nothing more, I suggest you sell it and get the benefits of a modern, economical vehicle.

This is a true classic and it is worth a small fortune! It ought to be continually garaged and never touch the road except for display at car shows. I shudder to think what a loss you would incur if it were hit by a bus. Don’t expect the insurance company to reimburse you for anything close to its true worth.

If you still believe you need a daily driver for local errands, etc, get yourself a used beater or even a scooter for such menial tasks. Don’t demote this treasure to such a menial role.

From a financial stand point it’ll take you till the Clipper is 100 years old(year 2056) to really make up for the cost of a newer, more efficient car. You are already doing good things for the environment as it is, why not indulge yourself in a little pleasure. It’s also unlikely that any newer car will feel the same and you’ll probably wind up regretting selling it.

I can’t think of any good reason to sell your car and get something newer based on what you have said. Yes, it’s a classic, but so what? It’s going to be rust in 50 or 100 years no matter what you do. So drive it, enjoy it, and at 20 miles per week you are never going to save enough gas with a new car to even come close to paying for the new car, so why bother.

Now, if you have gotten tired of it and want to get rid of it, that’s different, but otherwise keep it.

Wow. We had a thread recently on the subject of what’s the oldest car that can be reliably used as a daily driver. I think you’ve won the prize.

Keep driving it. Your needs do not justify the outlandish price of a new car.

When you’re done with it, call me…

Oh my, looked up a photo of the model of your car and it’s a beauty!

It’s probably worth about $10,000 or so. Check them out at If you like it, keep it. This car is not likely to be extremely valuable, except to you since you like it so much. And that’s all that counts.

I would also add that part of the reason why your Clipper gets such extremely poor mileage is that you’re apparently driving it very short trips. Under those conditions, even a modern car isn’t going to do too much better.

However, I think SteveF has the right idea that it might not be practical to use as a daily driver simply because of the intrinsic value the car has as a collector’s item.

Cars are meant to be driven, just be careful not to bend it.

I’d say keep it because the bad fuel mileage is a cheap trade-off for a neat old car with low miles on it and especially considering the limited number of miles you put on it per week.

Sell it and you’ll probably be kicking yourself the next week for doing so. I’m still agonizing over cars I sold over 30 years ago.

I suggest you sell it and get the benefits of a modern, economical vehicle.

That might take a long time to cover the cost of a replacement modern car considering he is talking 20 miles a week.

How much is this car worth right now???

If it’s not worth much…then it doesn’t make any financial sense to sell it and buy something new. It’ll take you the rest of your life and then some to break even.

By reading your post I conclube you are concerned with how to reduce your impact on the inviroment,which is your right and very comendable.You can advance your goal in saving the inviroment by not operating this gross polluter.

Keep it. I’ll bet that it’s a heck of an eye catcher. If your State has annual safety inspections and it continues to pass, why change it out? Parts may be difficult to come by, but for about 1,040 miles per year, how many replacement parts do you need? Keep it well maintained and enjoy. Think of it this way. It’s paid for. It meets your needs. What might be your ‘carbon footprint’ for running this car for about 1K miles per year compared to even a V-Twin motorcycle? Now look at the financials. It’ll take you forever and a day to re-coup the costs of a newer vehicle including much more expensive parts.
Those busses that you ride probably leave a much larger carbon footprint in one day than your Clipper will leave in 10, 15 or 20 years. You use a bicycle. You use public transportation. A 1956 vehicle is exempt from emissions inspections. So you don’t even incur those related costs. Get an antique plate and continue to watch all of those heads turn. Keep it and enjoy it.

Gross Polluter? Twenty miles a week? Hee, hee. Funny! IF everyone in the US went to a gross polluter like this, and drove only twenty miles a week, things in the environment would be dramatically changed overnight, and not for the worse. Think before writing.

I guess my attempt at humor was not well recived

It’s probably worth much more than $10,000. A few months ago I tried to sell a mint, loaded 1954 Chrysler Saratoga with only 45,00 original miles, for a friend. The average price googled was about $14,000. The Clipper is a much classier car and a lot rarer.

Having said that, I would still use it as a daily driver, since fuel mileage is not important when you drive very little. No modern car will turn heads like the Clipper, and parking it will be your only challenge as spaces get smaller.

I agree, I’d probably have made my Chevelle my (fair weather)daily driver if I hadn’t sold it back in January.