Not sure if anyone else is interested in this, but I'd love to share and hear what life wisdom has been garnered as a result of four wheeled buddhas.
Brief car history:
In last 5 years, my wife and I have owned:
2001? CPO Lexus IS, loved it, my first luxury car, but started having offspring, so traded for:
2005 New Ford Expedition- bot new, drove for 5 years + 100K miles traded in for:
2008 CPO Mercedes GL450
2003 CPO Volvo S60- sucked beyond belief, hated it. Started taking Geritol at 30 y/o because I felt so old driving it. One weekend I test drove my buddy's Porsche 911, grinned the entire time and went out next weekend and bought:
2005 CPO BMW 645 Coupe- This was my first true work of mechanical art that I owned and still own. Currently selling.
1999 Used Wrangler TJ just bot this year. Been saying I wanted one for 10 years since I got rid of my POS 1986 CJ that was still my favorite vehicle ever owned. Friend had a heart attack at 40 y/o on a Thursday, I owned the vehicle by Sunday.
What I've learned from each of my cars:
The Lexus: Don't EVER take home leftover fish and leave it on the backseat floor where a moron can accidentally step on it and ruin the smell of a car forever.
The Ford: Hands down, most reliable and best running vehicle I've owned. Felt really proud driving American and knowing there are no skeletons in the closet if you buy new.
Mercedes CPO GL 450: German vehicles are truly the best handling vehicles. But you'll need a doctorate in engineering to figure out all the electronics and a trust fund dedicated to servicing them. In 6 weeks of ownership, battery has died twice, replaced once and leaking either oil or diff fluid. Can't imagine cost if outside of warranty.
Volvo: If you can avoid it, don't ever buy the practical choice if it bores you. Always find a car that moves you inside. It makes going to work a whole lot more motivating.
Jeep: If you have a relatively inexpensive dream, go get it now. Timing is never perfect. I love my Jeep. It is the coolest vehicle ever made, a great legacy, so many cool configurations, goes any where. Does not get better than a Wrangler! And, it's American original. Oh, did I mention I have an incurable Jeep addiction now?
BMW: Ahh, I have learned the most from this vehicle. 1. Sometimes you need to pull the trigger and buy more than you should if you are truly in love with a vehicle. 2. There's something special about having a car that when you see it, you get butterflies in your stomach knowing it is yours 3. Owning a panty dropper is way cooler if you aren't married. I however am. 4. Aside from the Ford, I have always bought used. This car changed that for me. I will only buy new going forward. My service adviser and I speak very often and I have him on speed dial. When people ask me what I drive, I tell them only the finest BMW Loaners available. 5. Owning a very nice luxury car changes how some people treat you. Generally speaking, those people that treat you better or worse as a result of your sweet ride are probably d-bags not worth having in your life. 6. Become a person that impresses business relationships with your skills and knowledge; and your personal relationships with your character and integrity. Leave the flash and plastic trappings of wealth and success for the shallow and the posers.
In summary, what my cars have taught me- Don't own German outside of warranty; drive what you love and can afford; to hell with what others will think about your ride; and always, always own at least one Jeep.
Sorry for the rant, just thought I'd like to hear what others have to say. BTW, should be getting 2011 GC Overland soon, after BMW sells.
1980 Plymouth: How to drive by conserving momentum.
1991 GMC Jimmy: Taught me never to rely on OEM or Factory 4WD.
1992 Pontiac Gran Prix: Bought for $200 Drove for 6 Months, Sold for $500.
1991 Jeep Wrangler: TBD
1995 Ford Taurus 3.8L - Grocery getters can have some power. Until the trannys start to go. Then I traded for the next in line. As the guy was bringing it to auction the motor blew. I dodged a bullet on that one.
1991 GMC Suburban 4x4 - Got horrible gas mileage. Don't cut the exhaust off when there is a rust hole in the back of the floor, makes long drives dangerous. Really got me in to the off road thing when I was 16. And try to syphon as much fuel out of the 46 gal tank as possible before dropping the tank to do a fuel pump in one.
1996 Chrysler Sebring - Never buy from a ****ty used car dealer in Wisconsin. Third time washing the car and the clear coat peeled off. If you get these going fast enough you can jump them just off of the road crown in Minnesota streets. Probably had the most fun in this car and put it through the most hell but learned I need to check timing belts. Especially on interference engines.
1990 VW Golf 1.8l - Never buy someone elses project, even if it is a friend. Electrical nightmare as mentioned above for German cars. Drive through the car wash and it would barely run. Fun car when it ran right. I would get one again just for a project/ pisser car. Oh and make sure the title gets transfered when you sell a car. That way you dont have to deal with parking tickets and toll tickets that would be physically impossible for you to have got.
1991 Plymouth Laser RS - Just cause its Turbo AWD doesn't mean its cool. Want something that breaks every time you drive it? Buy a DSM. Again like the VW was a fin car when it ran right. If I had a ton of money I wanted to waste I would buy one. At the time I didn't have a lot of money though so it sucked even more.
1996 Buick Skylark - This baby was sweet. She really taught me when you only have one car they are more a mode of transportation then toys. It was super reliable. You want a comfy car and dont have a lot of money. Buy and old Buick.
2001 Dodge Stratus R/T - Just because its and R/T doesn't mean its fast. Liked the car for the most part but it was a money pit. Don't buy Chrysler vehicles with Mitsubishi guts. Probably will be the last two door daily driver I ever own. Was a fun car and didn't want to really get rid of it but it was horrible in the winter time and living in rural MN was not good for me.
2002 Jeep Liberty - Current vehicle. Just because its a Jeep doesn't mean it has the aftermarket as most Jeeps. Was more practical vehicle for me. I definitely want another Jeep now. Got me back in to the off road kick. Girlfreind hates Jeep forums.
1996 Ford F-150 - Taught me that I love trucks, as do the ladies. I miss it.
2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser - There is no replacement for a favorite vehicle and 150hp is not enough for a vehicle that weighs 3500lbs
2005 Ford F-150 - I love trucks, but commuting 80 miles a day at 16mpg and $3/gallon gas doesn't end well.
2003 Honda Accord Coupe - Honda makes a nice car and that is one crazy powerful 4cyl engine. I finally got everything fixed on it (new tires, brakes, etc.). Then I learned that these things don't fare well when you slam into a Ford Ranger at 40mph. RIP.
2007 Scion tC - Nice car again, but it just wasn't my thing.
2009 Jeep Wrangler - Best purchase ever! This taught me that should have started at and Jeep rather than going through all of the others first.
1995 Honda Accord - The college car. Live cheap, pay off your debts, you'll thank yourself later
2000 Honda Prelude SH - Highly modded DD and track warrior, blew the motor over-revving into third; swapped in a JDM Type-S engine. Enjoyed blowing away many higher-powered cars on the track, just by learning to drive.
2009 Honda Accord - Never buy anything nice. Your kids are just going to ruin it.
1998 TJ - Well, I can't take my 16-month old to a track day by myself, so I better find a vehicle we can enjoy together. Hence the transition from track to trail. Now we can go camping on the beach, trail riding (which he LOVES), and road tripping.
Once he's about 7 or 8 though, you bet your *** we'll be back in a racecar.
Mercury Topez, first car in high school that was a hand me down. - Learned to never buy anything else related to ford! That thing was driven over 200K but had TONS of problems constantly. My work car is a ford crown vic, ive had three ill talk about later.
1991 Z28 Camaro- Learned how cool camaros are. Never should have sold this one. But did sale it to get my 1998.
1998 Z28- Added nitrous and learned how to completely dismantle this thing and put it back together. In the end it was a 408 stroker built for nitrous, th400 transmission, 12 bolt rear, ect. But I also learned its not a great idea to put so much money in to mods. I dumped like 16K of mods in the car and ended up selling it for 12K.
2008 Wrangler- glad I bought it new, not dumping tons of money in it, and will drive it till the wheels fall off.
Ive had 3 Ford Crown Vic work vehicles and this just backs up my opinion that Fords suck. They are nice when you first get them. But in short time the interior is going to start falling apart and rattling. The ride gets crappy. They have a steady flow of problems. Thank god they are work cars and I dont have to pay for repair bills. We started useing Dodge Chargers to and they are even worse then the crown vics. Sure they are a little cooler and more fun to drive, a little faster. But they are in the shop A LOT. But I guess cars that are fleet vehicles usually arent going to be the best made vehicles.
2008 Wrangler Unlimited-X 4x4
Steel Blue Metallic
1997 Chevy Silverado 2wd- This was tagged as my vehicle when I first started to learn how to drive. Originally my mom had owned a 2000 GMC van but while we went on vacation it just had way too many problems so we swapped vehicles with my uncle and got the Chevy.
I love this truck, it's never had any serious mechanical issues with 230,000 miles on the original engine.
Guys would usually think that girls love the trucks, but I think it's the other way around. First time I brought the Chevy in to high school automotive class, all the guys were drooling over it. Never made sense to me since it's a truck with a lot of miles and is a little old.
The truck has been in two deer accidents, and no it wasn't my fault since I wasn't driving it when the accidents occurred. Although the repairs after it cost more then what the truck is worth, it's amazing how well they run when taken care of. Never has this truck failed to do work, I'd think of buying a newer Chevy Silverado if it weren't for the terrible gas prices right now. They're meant for work, not DD's for girls.
1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo- Although the Chevy was nice, I was already in love with Jeeps.
I was first looking at getting a Wrangler but saw it impossible with how much those things cost, in good condition or not. No one was selling a Wrangler.
I came across the WJ, took it for a test drive and knew instantly that I had to have it. Almost owned it for 3 years, put 40,000 miles on it already. Good vehicle to have if you're into the whole automotive thing.
No matter what, if I fix one problem another one appears. It doesn't bother me too much since it's fun learning how to fix new things.
I get 19.4, so filling up on gas isn't too bad until it gets over $3.00. Last time I filled up all the way I got 375 miles total.
If I could, I would buy a twin of my vehicle and have the newer one become the off-road vehicle. But as of now, I'm just trying to get my WJ to 300,000 miles.
Overall, the Jeep is great. Even if it is only my second vehicle, I wouldn't trade/sell it for anything.
Next Jeep I would look at getting is either a WK or a JK, not sure which one would live longer though.
1999 Ford Contour Sport V6: Loved this car more than anything..modded it as much as I could to replicate an SVT...from bumpers to intakes to exhausts to tints...fun to drive but had many problems with engine towards the end of her life...my mom wound up getting it and trading in for a VW
1996 Jeep GC Limited: first Jeep I owned and despite being 9 years old(bought it in 2005) when I got it, I was very impressed...the 6 cylinder was great...got me from point a to b with no problem...was a blast to drive and got me officially hooked on Jeeps....
2006 Jeep GC Limited w/Hemi: All I can say is WOW...only reason I was able to afford this monster was due to my father getting the family discount...when Mercedes was allowing this...payment was very low and I leased for 2 years...can not say anything bad about this vehicle..loved it till the day I had to give it back...modded it with tints...flowmaster exhaust with a straight pipe running into it...sounded amazing...tinted the rear lights...the HEMI was insane....I had to give it back when lease was over because it was too much to buy...very sad day
2008 VW Rabbit: for the price and payment each month it served its purpose..great on gas...lots of fun to drive..I love german engineering...I took turns in that car that were incredible...handled well for being a rabbit and not a GTI...would have gotten another VW if it werent for the fact that I was hooked after test driving the new Jeep..
2011 Jeep GC Laredo V6: very happy with my new Jeep...regretted getting rid of last one and I now finally have it back...minus the HEMI...I am in a dream right now...haha..no one can understand me unless you are a Jeep owner....
1991 Mazda 626 Coupe: Straight out of boot camp as an 18 year old, this was a painful lesson in what financing actually was. Totaling this thing was the best thing that could have ever happened to me financially at that point.
1985 Toyota Celica GT Notice I went back in years? All I could afford due to the 626. Taught me about preventative maintenance and lasted just long enough until I made my first 6 month deployment. Electrical fire about a week before shipping out ended this one. Really fun drive though!!
1997 Mitsubishi Galant Saved money from the deployment to splurge on this one. Drinking and driving is a no-no. I wasn't trashed but I should have known better. Rolled the car off an embankment one night because I misjudged the curve.
1999 Isuzu Rodeo That I could still have fun being the designated driver.
2007 Hyundai Tiburon You can fit 6 people in there if you really needed to.
2009 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon AZ is a beautiful place.
1985 chevy el camino- this was my first car i bought when i was 15.learned that 305 chevys are dogs, 200c transmissions are junk, but no matter how faded that burgandy paint got or how slow that car really was, it always got attention. people that said they could stand it just didnt understand it, and really loved it. i also learned that at 17 it is not a good idea to try a frame off resto with no money,no garage, no time, etc. thank god my little brother got into cars and started workin at a resto shop. the car still lives and looks better than ever, just not mine anymore.
1993 grand prix- learned that even at 295k 3.1 gm motors are indestructable, it can be fun to thrash a 4 door family car in the mud and show up at school and have more mud on it than the mall crawlers that were there. also learned that buying spinng hubcaps as joke is even funnier when they come apart at high speed and look like frisbies flying through traffic. felt bad after i realized the damge it could have done. this one needless to say got junked
1994 cutlass ciera- owned a few months, had a cheap system in it, through some wheels on it that came off a ford ranger, little 14 inch chrome ones, that on the car stuck out past the fenders cause of the back spacing, looked horrible but was more of a joke than anything. learned harmonic ballancers on those 3.3s like to seperate, the transmissions on them do some pretty cool things when slam the gas and wait for it to shift then lat off and slam it again, rolling burnouts all day haha. i also learned that if a dude steals your girl, its really fun to steal his pride by beating his riced out jetta with a grandma car in front of a crowd of people.
1985 camaro z28- learned tpi 305s are fun, not to buy rotted unibody vehicles, especially t tops. paid 700 for the pile from a "friend" who failed to give the paper work on it, but left his plate on it toget it home, never could get a hold of him again, so with no other choice i drove it, had to get to work somehow, needed to help my mom with bills. i made a mistake one night, and played into a ricers game, and clipped the idiots car as he came to a dead stop in the middle of the road for no reason. at that point i learned hit runs, matter how long it takes for them to find you is no joke. some how with 100 dollar fine i walked out. lesson learned, dont drive like an a hole, dont run unregistered, dont trust friends when buying vehicles.
1989 f250- i loved this truck, put way to much work into it after paying only 300 dollars for it. frame rotted out on it after 2 years, fun times in it though
1984 cutlass- what a basket case, got cocky again, yanked the heat out, wanted to go overbored with no money, had 283 chevy in it, which was whooped so i put a less whooped 305 in it, body was shot. this car got me, my brother, girlfriend and mother around for 2 years, it served me well. major lesson learned, no matter what you think, it is never a good i dea to remove the heat, if you have to drive it in the winter at all it SUCKS.
84 grand prix- 1800 bucks for rotted out pile that wasnt worth 200, they just covered everything real well, learned be more thorough in the pre buying inspection
88 f150- learned if it dont run dont pay 800 bucks for it, was a nice truck, got it running with parts from the 250 mentioned earlier, gave it away almost completed when my son was on the way
93 tracker- learned its not a jeep, but is still fun,if you get 2 big dudes to stand on the back and dump the clutch, wheelies all day
87 chevy monte carlo ls- haven learned much from this car, other than i love it, it was what i really wanted when i bought that elcamino. not a great family car but it did the job when i needed it to, still have it, still workin on it
97 grand cherokee- this is a great family vehicle, has pontentiol to be built into decent weekend warrior, and i learn somthin bout jeeps all the time since i bought it cause i got all kinds of jeep friends now haha
1979 RX-7....This was my first car, and man was it a fun one. I loved going through on ramps at a 100+ mph.
1982 S-10....Bought this one my senior year of HS when the mini truck craze really got going. It was fun for awhile, but 3 motors and a tranny ruined that.
1990 Escort GT....Bought that one from my sis, was tired of spending all my time and money working on the POS S-10.
1981 F-150....That one was a tank, had a modded 302 and 4 speed, and 7-8 mpg no matter how I drove it.
1985 Toyota SR-5....That was a fun little truck that could take some serious abuse, was even more fun after I modded the 22 RE.
1994 Explorer Sport....Was a great vehicle until the ex wife let her retarded cousin and her husband take it one nite to pull their trailblazer out, she spun the bearings in the motor and tried to tell me it was fine when she brought it back, even though the front bumper and fenders were mangled, I had no oil pressure and the motor was making all kinds of bad noises.
1999 Durango....Gas hog, but I miss her
1984 Toyota truck....Loved the mpg, blew a head gasket and killed that one.
1998 GC Laredo....I'll drive this one until it turns into a pile of rust!!!!! Should have started here first.