Jump to content

Daily driver thoughts?


Ken_P
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ok - so this post isn’t based on poor @Matt Harwood’s experience, but...

 

I’ll be moving to northern Florida in about a year, and I’m thinking of buying a cheap used (or classic) car to daily drive. I’ll have about a 40 minute commute each way, and driving the tow rig every day gets to be a bit of a drag. I’m leaning towards an E36 BMW, but thought I would throw it out here for consideration.

 

General criteria:

1. AC (north Florida)

2. Roughly 10k or less

3. convertible and manual are both ideal, but not required

4. some panache (I don’t want a 91 Ford Taurus! 🤣 )

5. Reasonably reliable. I can do all my own work, but I don’t want something that is notoriously unreliable (here’s looking at ya ‘80s vintage Rolls and Jaguars)

 

Also, I’m 6’4”, so miatas, etc are probably out.

 

Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Edited by Ken_P (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  The Wifey has owned her '93 Honda DelSol since '96 and is still her DD. Cold A/C, Stone reliable, 30+ mpg, top comes off, rear window rolls down, enough power to be fun, even decent trunk space. Not sure about the 6'-4" fitment though. Might be tight.

  If I were 6'-4" I'd consider a mid 80's Pontiac Firebird or Camaro/IROC-Z or Buick Regal T-Type turbo.

DelSol.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are A Lot of rust free low milage cars in central Florida. Check out a nearby zip code on Craigslist, Facebook Motors, Autotrader, and CarGurus. Helps to have an idea of what you want. Are many under $10k. Post 2k Eldorados, and Rivieras (with spoiler) are good choices if tall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the thoughts. Trying to find a car I haven’t heard of, not a recent car on marketplace, lots of 15 year bimmers in my price bracket.

 

What got me thinking about posting this was a Mercedes 450SLC that @Matt Harwood has for sale. I’m not very familiar with that model. It got me thinking - what other AACA eligible cars would be easy to get into that have the panache (and comfort) of a vintage Mercedes?

 

Again - the car I’m most likely to buy right now would be a ‘94 or ‘95 BMW 328ic with a manual; that’s the general idea. Just looking for some other options to compare it to.

 

(since I don’t think signature lines are posting, my “normal” AACA car is a HPOF 37 Packard 120)

 

 

Edited by Ken_P (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, padgett said:

When I was looking for a DD, I wanted an American Sport Coupe like a Grand Prix. Found three that all started with "C", have previously had two so bought the third.

 

Haha - Chevette, Cruz, and Cobalt???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Bryan G said:

If I had to rely on a used BMW to get me to work tomorrow...I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight. Many good suggestions here; I think I could find something among Toyota, Honda & the domestics that was reliable without putting me to sleep.


I’ve had two E36 BMWs with zero reliability issues. Zero. 4 years combined driving time, so I think pretty highly of them. Trying to get some sporty or grand touring, and while I know I like the E36 3 series, trying to branch out.

 

What are some interesting Mercedes or BMWs or... ? ... in my price bracket? I drove a late model Cadillac CTS that was a ball, but I’m leaning more toward something that is, or about to be, AACA eligible.

 

After all, I have my truck to get me to work if my toy breaks down.

Edited by Ken_P (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, John348 said:

What about an old pick-up truck? Most had A/C by the 90's


Ha! I have an old pickup! (Ok, it’s an ‘04 Duramax, so not that old) :)

 

good idea, but looking for more grand touring type of ideas. Something with a little panache 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Ken_P said:


Ha! I have an old pickup! (Ok, it’s an ‘04 Duramax, so not that old) :)

 

good idea, but looking for more grand touring type of ideas. Something with a little panache 

 

Sometimes commuting to work and grand touring don't mix all that well. I am helping my friend out with his 1978 366CSI the wiring harness is far from impressive or even an indication that it was built to last a long time. This is a 40K mile car that he had owned for the past 30 years and stored in his heated facility. Great looking car, just one I would not feel comfortable using every day

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mercedes SLK320 (retractable) is in your price range and has a very active forum (something I look for with any car). OTOH has limited luggage space with top down. 350s within a known serial number range have an issue with a very expensive timing gear.

 

Buick Reatta coupes have a very reliable 3800 drivetrain, strong forum, inexpensive parts, and a lot of luggage space. Sunroof is not common in 88s. Personally think nice low mileage examples are undervalued

 

Pickups can have very limited seat adjustment.

 

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would think anything pre-electronic!!  I would love to have a later model 500SL, but not sure of the maint. issues. I have an 01 ML320. It was my wifes car for the last 20 yrs. Great vehicle, ice cold air and plenty of heat for our winters. AWD was great. THEN, about a year ago the electrics starting acting wonking and throwing the computer into a tailspin. Regrettably it is now parked in the barn😔

Pop drove Audis for awhile. For the first 3 years great cars, THEN............. I would love to find a nice late model E class but once bitten twice shy.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can understand, there are a few well known weakspots in the millenia MBs. Siemans computer is proprietary and you need a STAR system to really talk to it. SKREEM can be an issue. Good news it is before the really complex electronics (computer cars began in 1981 (GM) but were simple and well documented before OBD-II (1995 in US). Not too bad until ESS (2015) and disposable after that unless you have a very long warranty.

 

That said, I like Buicks in general, particularly the 3800s, ok NA but really quick when boosted (L67). Always liked the Rivieras and the later ones with the ducktail are great.

 

Are lots of good choices out there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, padgett said:

Why I said "can" (something to check) rather than "do". Was thinking more about ones when pickups were loss leaders and not living rooms on wheels. ( 3100 or C10s and not resort or disaster names)

 

I have owned extended cab and crew cab pick-ups for the past 20 years, all I can I can say is that you must have a small living room....

The man said he is 6'5" I think there just might be a tad more head room then some 90's European technology night mare to depend on to get to work every day, just my thought having had to commute to NYC for 35 years

 

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree, American cars have always been designed for American sized people (and for most of the last century for people with hats).

OTOH my SLKs are pretty much for people around 5' 7". Had to take a die grinder and sawzall to my Crossfire coupe to get seat back far enough when reclined.

 

Of course my issue is mainly because for long distances I need to carry the weight of my back on my shoulders and not my spine. Anyone else like that ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have an image of the car you really want in your mind and you buy something else you will get is second best or someones else's choice.

 

Find the local BMW indy who has coffee on Saturday mornings and use the group to buy the best one you can.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't want to depend on a "vintage" car for commuting but if I did, I would look for a rear drive Lincoln Town Car or Ford Crown Vic or big Mercury. Find one with low miles, many racked up hundreds of thousands of mile as limousines, taxis and police cruisers, and are still in use. But low mileage, one owner examples still turn up and they are not expensive.

Next choice Chev Impala, big rear drive Buick or Cadillac with the Chev 350 under the hood, not the Cadillac 368 or Northstar.

Or, a Chrysler Fifth Avenue with the bulletproof 318, a nice car and probably the most economical of the lot.

I wouldn't turn down a front drive, large Buick with the 3.8 V6 if it was in good shape.

All cars that are durable, well proven, not too hard to work on and parts are available cheap everywhere.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

I wouldn't want to depend on a "vintage" car for commuting but if I did, I would look for a rear drive Lincoln Town Car or Ford Crown Vic or big Mercury. Find one with low miles, many racked up hundreds of thousands of mile as limousines, taxis and police cruisers, and are still in use. But low mileage, one owner examples still turn up and they are not expensive.

Next choice Chev Impala, big rear drive Buick or Cadillac with the Chev 350 under the hood, not the Cadillac 368 or Northstar.

Or, a Chrysler Fifth Avenue with the bulletproof 318, a nice car and probably the most economical of the lot.

I wouldn't turn down a front drive, large Buick with the 3.8 V6 if it was in good shape.

All cars that are durable, well proven, not too hard to work on and parts are available cheap everywhere.

 

Great advice from Rusty_OToole,

 

Our 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis

and our 1995 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham could easily be used as daily drivers,

but in today's traffic, size really matters we prefer to have even more mass surrounding us,

so we pay a bit more in fuel costs and daily drive our 

2500 series Suburban

2500 series Avalanche 4WD, and 

7.3L Excursion 4WD

 

When someone else in another big pickup makes a poor decision, as happened when our Sebring convertible was T-Boned by an SUV which crossed the median on an Interstate, we hope to fare better than last time - size (mass) matters !

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/19/2021 at 9:21 PM, Bryan G said:

If I had to rely on a used BMW to get me to work tomorrow...I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight. Many good suggestions here; I think I could find something among Toyota, Honda & the domestics that was reliable without putting me to sleep.

 

 

Our neighbor is a car guy who is very hands on and restored an old '30's Ford. He got rid of the used BMW convertible he'd bought (and used as a daily driver) after a year or two. He discovered through careful accounting that the cost per mile of owning, operating and maintaining his BMW was multiples of any other car he'd owned. 

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, pkhammer said:

...big boring 80's or 90's 4 door sedans might not have quite enough (any!) panache. 😁

 

I suppose appeal is in the eye of the beholder.

I'd take a comfortable velour-lined luxury car

for daily use before a sports car any day!

But I'd be very careful with it and preserve it,

not wear it out.

 

1978 approx Cadillac Seville--turquoise.jpg

1982 Lincoln Cont-Givenchy-1.jpg

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, pkhammer said:

The OP did say he wanted something with some Panache.........................big boring 80's or 90's 4 door sedans might not have quite enough (any!) panache. 😁

If you want panache buy an Avanti. Later model with the Chevy drive train, from the seventies  eighties or nineties. A quick search turned up 10 from $12,500 to $37,000. For prices like that I am tempted myself.

https://classiccars.com/listings/find/all-years/avanti

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the Avanti is a little avante garde how about a Corvette? There are some good buys in older Corvettes especially the 84 models with crossfire injection. They don't have enough power to hurt themselves and are about the cheapest Vette you can buy. What you can do about the crossfire I don't know but I bet there are lots of good ol' boys in Florida who could have it running on a carburetor over the weekend.

Here are 25 Corvettes in Florida for $1800 to $14000

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used-Chevrolet-Corvette-Florida-d1_L4866

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had thought of a corvette. prices on C5s are dropping fast too!

 

lots of good thoughts, but I’d rather keep daily driving my current pickup (‘04 Silverado 2500 diesel) than a crown vic or similar. 😂

 

I too had thought about reliability, but I have a backup, so wiling to risk a little there.

 

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My '94 Impala SS would be fine for everyday.

016a.thumb.jpg.918f9ae84a502d3459f5c76d60838982.jpg

 

I drive it every two or three weeks now, bought it in '10 as a keeper. My wife has a back condition that won't let her ride in it. The factory put 3" lowering springs in it. I have thought of putting regular insurance on it but it is nice to keep it special.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...