Geezer Rama

Ok folks,I’m looking critically and pragmatically down the road for a vehicle with proper care, that will probaly last me out(25-30 years).

my criteria are

1.will buy new

2.must have adequate performance

3.easy to maintain able to at least transport 1500#

5.must be affordable

6.fairly economical to operate

Any suggestions?-Kevin

There is no car that will last that long if driven year around where I live.

There is not a vehicle I am aware of that fills your qualifications. I think you might be better off looking at used going back at least 25 years, if you can do stuff yourself.

Why don’t you name a few vehicles you’re thinking of, to give us a start. But 20+ years? Well, any can, given enough $$…

Most cars today start to become repair heavy after 10 years. Sensors begin to go and electrical gremlins begin to appear. Then, the leaks start, and the repair cycle really starts to accelerate. They can last 20-30 years, but by 15 years, will begin to need a lot of constant attention.

I agree with these posts. The last new vehicle I bought that lasted 25 years was a 1984 Jeep Cherokee. It had a 2.8 V6 (no real power) with an automatic transmission. The only repairs it had was a water pump and a timing chain. There were a few sets of tires, a few batteries and a few tuneups. My wife drove it back and forth to work mostly and we never took a long trip in it. The 4 wheel drive was used on rare occasions and the oil was changed every 2500-3000 miles along with the filter. I sold it a few months ago to my sister who needed something to drive in the snow. I don’t imagine I’ll ever have another vehicle like that. The electronics on today’s vehicles are way too complicated and somewhat fragile. They are more comfortable, safer and get far better gas mileage but longevity has gone out the window.

If you hurry, you might be able to snag one of the last Grand Marquis. Millions of Geezers can’t be wrong…

thanks folks,I suppose you are right.The complexity and organic consruction of new vehicles makes it sort of hard to do.The days of the 50 model Ford or 53 model Chevy are done.
I was sort of considering pickups, anyway what strategy do you car savy folks recommend to address the hassle factor as we get older?-Kevin(wonder how a newer model would hold up in Cuba?)

I hate to burst your bubble, but I think you’ll bee looking for another car about half way to your 30 year mark, even IF you can find ONE that meets all those requirements. Not that some good 30 year old cars aren’t still around, but most are driven by folks that consider them to be hobbys. Think about the late '70s to early '80s cars you see on the road. I see a lot of Camaros, some Mustangs, and the ocasional MG (but that’s because I’m in their club). Other than that, when was the last time you saw an '80 Volare? Oh wait, I have one… What I’m trying to say is good running thirty year old cars are very rare.

Cool,can we do 15 years then?

Why do you believe that gasoline will be available or affordable in 20 to 30 years? You’ll probably drive less, but the supply will probably decrease, and there will probably be fuly electric cars in 10 to 15 years that would be worth owning. Also, I just read an article about natural gas from shale in the USA. That could also change how we fuel our cars. Maybe you should shorten your time frame for these reasons, too.

Since you said you’re considering a pickup, try looking at a Ford Ranger.
Whatever you look at, the less complex it is, the more likely it’ll avoid an expensive repair(i.e. 4cyl stick shift 2wd Ranger)

If you drive a stick, right now would be a good time to buy a Toyota Tundra with the basic engine. Get AC if you need it but avoid as many options as possible. At least with a stick, if the gas pedal sticks, you can always push in the clutch.

I do think that engines are about to go to a new level. The new gas mileage rules dictated by our president will force manufacturers to go to some type of electronically controlled valve timing.

Nissan has a system on its 3.7L engines where the cam rides up and down as well as rotates relative to the crankshaft gives the computer some control over valve lift, duration and timing. It has more moving parts than I’m comfortable with.

Honda is rumored to take its V-tech technology to a new level. Ultimately, I think that computer controlled, solenoid actuated valves will provide the most control and will be the most reliable. After that will come the Hydrogen fuel cell engines will become the dominant power plant in vehicles of the future

For these reasons alone, you will probably want to plan on at least one new vehicle about the halfway point in your goal. But then there are quite a few mid 80’s vehicles on the road, but with carburetors and mechanical/vacuum controlled ignition timing.

Adding this. I am probably somewhat in your situation as well. I plan on retiring next year. I had thought I’d get the vehicle for the rest of my life right before retirement, but I have a 97 Nissan truck (160k miles, bought new) and 02 Saturn (210k miles, bought new) that both have a lot of life left and my wife has a 97 Accord (155k miles, bought new), again with plenty of serviceable life. My current plan is to hold out for the new technologies to become available and then dump/sell/trade all three for one new vehicle that meets all our needs.

Kevin, you need to approach this in a different way. We had another post on cars that suvived “forever” elswhere.

You need to start with the manufacturer, will he be around 20 years from now. Then buy a model that sells well, is not too complicated and ensures that parts are available, since every car needs repairs.

Your 1500 lb carrying capacity really screws up you choice, hovever. You can’t have that and great fuel economy at the same time. So, if you MUST carry 1500 lbs (since you believe in the future lumberyards will no longer DELIVER), you have 2 choices; a pickup truck, or a normal car and a utility trailer. We have another post on that!

For what it’s worth, a 2010 Toyota Corolla meets all your needs.

  1. Company will be in business in the future
  2. Car has one of the best repair records, and has TIMING CHAIN
  3. Parts will be readily available; so skip the Crown Victoria as it has no future.
  4. Car is easy and cheap to service, avoid 4 WD and AWD
  5. Car is easy on gas
  6. Is rated with a 1500 # trailer towing capacity

When you face retirement, it’s good to look at the big picture. I do a lot of home repairs and other projects. Three years ago I downsized from a full size geezermobile (Caprice) to a compact car. In those 3 years I encountered 2 situation where I had to pay for deliveries that only my Caprice would have been able to handle. Total cost about $100.

If you are in the same situation, in 30 years you would have to pay for 30/3x100=$1000 for deliveries. The differenc in gas mileage at about $5 per future gallon between a pickup truck and a Corolla will come to 200 gallons/year times 30 times $5=$30,000!!! Besides, I cannot see you load 4x8 sheets of plywood 25 years from now.

Things to get are power windows (most people get arthritis), large windows, 4 doors, and higher seats. A Toyota Matrix would be a good choice as well. With the seats down you have a large loading floor. Most bulky items you buy do not weigh anywhere near 1500 lbs.

Good luck.

It’s not the badge on the car that determines things; it’s maintenance/driving habits and how many miles a year are you looking at?

There’s a local gentleman here who is still driving his 1971 Buick Skylark that he purchased new in 1970. Last I saw he had a shade under 32k miles on it and the car was still immaculate (the interior still looks showroom new) with the only flaw being a faint blotchy quarter-sized rust fleck on the left rear bumper.

OK, you made a very important point. If the car is either not maintained properly or CANNOT be maintained and repaired due to no parts or very expensive parts, it’s game over.

Yesterday coming out of the supermarket I bumped into an older couple with an immaculate 1987 Caprice Classic in white, including the fake wire wheels and vinyl top. I asked him, and yes, this was bought new, and he did most of the maintenance himself. He had just turned 320,000 miles on the original engine, transmission, but had to replace the engine mounts.

Interesting that he advised me to avoid chain repair shops. The tire shop that changed his engine mounts, jacked the engine up by placing the hoist UNDER THE OIL PAN! He made them pay for the leaks that caused.

Her car? A 1982 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Classic. It is soldering on well also I gathered. The Rocket 88 350 was one of the better engines, I recall, and the 3 speed Hydramatic quite bulletproof.

There is something to keep an eye on in regards to that hoisting up by the oil pan thing. (an utterly stupid thing to do)

If the pan is buckled in it’s possible to restrict the flow of oil into the pickup screen or even crack the oil pickup tube. This can lead to lowered oil pressure or even loss of oil pressure if it becomes a catastrophic failure.

Here where I live an elderly farmer who lived around the corner from me passed away year before last. (in his 90s)
To look at this guy you would think he didn’t have a penny to his name but he was loaded, and then some.

He was always wearing old overalls and both of his daily driver vehicles were purchased brand new; a '65 Chevy Bel Air and a '68 GMC 1/2 ton pickup. Up to his death he was still driving those vehicles on a daily basis. (and he was a conscientious careful driver too)
The vehicles were taken over by family members and while the car is not around here anymore the pickup is still being used by a grandson.

A Corolla and a rental pickup would fit your needs. How often are you needing to ‘at least transport 1500#’?

I’d say if you want ecomomy as well as a very nice ride, all of your criteria can be met by a Buick Lucerne, except for low initial cost. At cruise they will make 30 MPG, have adequate performance, a large trunk, and should be very good for many years. I cite the track record of the Lucerne’s predecessor, the LeSabre/Park Avenue line.

My 1995 Avalon has only had one repair in 180,000 miles: The power window antenna. I’ve done routine maintenance myself (plugs and fluid changes, etc), with the exception of a timing belt, which I had done… Why the “No car will make it that long?” thinking? I have a 1979 Celica, and a 1982 Cressida also, and they’re going strong too.