Would like your opinion on car purchase -- Thanks

I am considering a purchase of a second car for strictly weekend or recreational use – less than 5K a year in miles if that. I have always wanted a car from my youth – those bring back the good ole memories. My favorites are the 80’s Seville, Electra, 98, etc. I also like the Trans Am, but not sure if that would be a fit for me at my age now (mid 40’s). I can look for a clean model of one of these, or I can save my money and purchase something newer and more expensive for a second car - maybe a 2000+ Bonneville SSEi or a 2000+ Jaguar or Chrysler 300. The appeal for the 80’s cars is the nostalgia and the unique styling (not an everyday car anymore). The appeal of the newer cars is the more modern devices, technology, and probably improved ride/drive. What are your thoughts? Just like to hear other opinions --may be something I need to consider. Thanks again!

If you drive that little, gas mileage is unimportant, but cost of repairs and parts availablity is crucial.

The Electra 98 was a significantly better car than the Seville, and shared many other Buick parts so it will be easy to service. My late brother in law had one of those.

I would avoid the Jaguar, any Jaguar since it will be expensive and troublesome to service.

Thank you for your advice!

I had a 82 Seville for 11 years and put 195,000 miles on it. However, in order to keep it running like new, I went through several transmission rebuilds, 4 AC compressors and one engine rebuild.

I also had a 93 Seville with the 4.9L engine for 13 years which had 252,000 miles on it when I sold it. The only major problem was having the transmission rebuilt once. If you can find one with low miles that has been well maintained it would be a better car for you purpose.

The best car I ever owned was an Olds Delta 88. I sold it when premium unleaded became impossible to get. I wish I had it today.

I didn’t think Trans Am and Cadillac could go in the same question, but you did it. Uh yes, unless the Trans AM is from the late 1960’s you will be way out of place in it. Actually anyone over 25 is out of place in it haha.

A mid-life crisis car calls for something classy and interesting if it’s used. Maybe even something that’s potentially collectible. How about a 1991 Corvette ZR-1 or a 1982 Porsche 911 SC (Both are reliable believe it or not). Also consider the first of the BMW M5’s from the late 1980’s or early 90’s. There’s also the classic 1990 Acura NSX-a very comfy sports car. Just my opinion of course.

I’ve been day dreaming too… for the last 20 years or so… so take your time on this, it’ll come to you sooner or later. Here is one way to think of it:

I like the nostagia as well as any fat balding guy, but I don’t think I would ever feel totally comfortable driving a 60’s car up to the mountains for a long weekend.
I’d just be self nagging myself the whole way up and back over what was going to break in the most inopportune place, and at the most inconvenient time.

So, if it were me, I think I would go for a 3-5 year old Honda S2000. Solid, fun, and good looking. Drop the top and head on out.

Have fun.

I similarly had a 1980 Olds Delta 88 with the 350 Rocket engine. This car ran flawlessly for 4 years and 75,000 miles with only routine maintenance, when the company told me to get a newer car. Mine used regular gas.

And the best thing about buying a used S2000 is that you don’t have to pay the gas guzzler tax. Yes, you must pay it if th eS2000 is new.

Cars from the 80’s are probably the WORSE cars as far as reliability goes. If you get one from that era…make sure it’s been completely restored or expect to be wasting your time fixing it up every weekend as opposed to driving it every weekend.

This being a second car for weekend recreational use, you should get exactly what you like. Try to get one in as good a shape as you can afford and get it checked out thoroughly then enjoy it. That’s the goal here rather than a reliable daily driver.

In NH, anything over 25 years old and driven less that 5,000 miles a year can be registered as an “antique” with substantially reduced costs. Perhaps your state provides a similar break for “antiques”.

Buy a good example of whatever you like best. Since it is a toy, not a primary vehicle, the usual concerns about reliability, maintenance costs and fuel consumption are much less important.

One guy I know bought the biggest old Cadillac he could find as a retirement present to himself. My preference is for cars that are smaller, faster and handle better such as a mid 1960s Jaguar XKE coupe.

I can understand being too young for a particular car, but not too old. If you want a TransAm or a Corvette, go for it. I have always liked the looks of the front-wheel-drive Seville STS. The best ones have the NorthStar engine.

If you can swing the money, a car I would recommend (and love to have) is a 1996 Impala SS if you want a larger sedan type car. They look good, run great, and drive out very well. The only downside is that due to the rarity and desireability the price on them remains in the 5 figures.

From the 80s, a Buick Grand National is a REAL hoot! Like the 96 Impala though, it’s desireable, rare, and pricy.

The thing with those cars is that while they’re somewhat pricy they also won’t depreciate unless they’re beat into the pavement.

To heck with the age thing. Buy what you want and who cares what anyone thinks. I’m 58 going on 19 and don’t regret any of it.

I would go with whatever would be the most fun - remembering that the cars of our youth lack safety features. Many are deathmobiles compared to cars of the new millenium.

Bentley Mulsanne…Bentley Mulsanne…

I have a friend who has TWO 1976 Eldos, one a droptop, both in primo original condition complete with Coker tires. He loves 'em.

Life’s short. Enjoy it. Get what you like.