Sunday, August 07, 2011

Who are you, and what have you done with Max?

I’ve often said that if it weren’t for cars, I’d be a rich man.  I just bought my 56th vehicle.  That’s not surprising, but my decision was.

You see, I’ve never been exactly practical in the purchase of my cars, and on Friday Mr. Gearhead headed me toward this 1977 Datsun (how many of you remember Datsun?) 280Z.  I went to look at it and fell in love with it.  It’s a 2 seater, rear wheel drive sports car, and it was in excellent shape body wise.  The engine sounded great, as long as you pinched off the gas line and until it ran out of gas.  It has a little flooding problem.  But with a price of $700,that would leave me about $800 to take care of the problem.

To be honest, if I could have driven it home that day I would have bought it, no doubt in my mind.  As it was I came this  || close to buying it.

But when I got home two things came to mind.  1. Rear wheel drive sports cars suck in the winter and 2. Rear wheel drive sports cars suck going up the 3½ miles of dirt road to the family property.  And those are two of the 3 reasons I was looking for another car.  The third was gas mileage, and even though it is a small car, sports cars don’t get as good mileage as a Ford Escort.

So Saturday I found this car on, a 1998 Ford Escort LX.  It’s blue, it’s small, it’s bland but it’s in great running condition, the interior is all but perfect, the body isn’t perfect but it has very little rust that is all surface issues, it only cost 1,549.95 (I found a nickel in the trunk), AND it’s a Ford.  That means there are now 6 Fords parked at my house (and only one of them is a parts car).

So far (knock on wood) I’m pretty happy with it.  It will get good gas mileage, it starts right up and the clutch feels tight.  I already have the safety inspection for it (he had it done) and I drove it all the way out to the Great Salt Lake and back, and it drives great on the freeway.  It won’t be as fun to drive (on dry pavement) as the Datsun and it won’t get the looks the Datsun would have.  But, that’s what I have the big old Fords for.

Click on “more” if you want to see some stats on the cars I’ve owned.

Somewhere around my 32nd car (August of 1991) I started keeping track of statistics, going back through my pictures and papers to get an approximate dates of purchase and sale of my vehicles.  And, of course, being the big math geek I am, I created a spreadsheet that calculates all the statistics from the data.

Since I bought my first car in 1976, there have been only four years that I haven’t bought any vehicle at all; 1977, 2000, 2005 and 2010.

I’ve averaged one purchase every 7.54 months since I got my driver’s license.

On average, I own a vehicle for 1 year 9½ months.  I’ve owned my 1970 Ford LTD convertible the longest, for 12 years 7 months, and counting.  A 1980 Ford Mustang I was using for parts was the shortest length of ownership, 2 months.

The average of the model years of my vehicles is 1979, oldest was a 1965 Ford Falcon and the most recent year was my 2004 Subaru Impreza.

48% of the vehicles I’ve owned were produced by the Ford Motor Company.

54% were 2 door vehicles – this includes pickup trucks.

4 cylindar and 8 cylindar engines are tied at 39%

39% were sedans, 27% were station wagons.  I’ve owned 3 convertibles and 8 hardtops.


The English Teacher said...

Wow. I'm impressed you resisted temptation and bought the practical car. The Henry Ford Clinic 12-Step Program has really been working for you lately, hasn't it?
You'll be proud that the first thing I thought when you said the Datsun had rear-wheel drive was "that'll suck in the snow." (The only rear-wheel drive car that was good in the snow was the original Beetle -- 'cause in that car the rear engine made rear wheel drive work like front wheel drive in a regular car.)
Hey, and if this little Ford looks dull, you know who will be happy to make it look more interesting for you.....

Pedro said...

Now you are buying cars two at a time? You need help!

Max said...

ET - Yeah, I'm on step 7: "Think with your wallet, not your adrenaline." The Beetle was great in the snow, which is funny because people think front wheel drive works better because it pulls instead of pushes the car. Which is not true, it has a lot more to do with whether or not the drive axle has the majority of the weight of the car on it.
Pedro - See how hard it is to beleive that I'd choose the practical car over the wicked awesome one? It's a lot easier to believe I'd buy them both instead of pass up on the Datsun. But I did and just bought the Escort.

Karen S. said...

Ford has the better idea (my opinion) they are great and I refused to rent anything but a Ford last trip to Vegas....for Red Rock Canyon and other areas.....even took a picture of the leather interior! Silly I know, but you bought wisely! Who really wants a rear wheel drive these days? Certianly not in Minnesota. My old Firebird got stuck on flat roads with barely any snow, until I loaded up the trunk for the color too!

Max said...

Yup, I've been a Ford man since my second car, which was a 1969 Ford LTD. Front wheel drive is definitely better as my daily driver, plus not being a sports car the Escort will get a lot better mileage and be able to make it up the dirt roads to the property.