Date: Sat, 09 Aug 2003 15:29:56 -0300
From: Dexter J <>
Subject: Re: What car would you buy INSTEAD OF of a Saab???

Salutations: Grunff wrote: > > Skid wrote: > > > Buying any of them without a bumper-to-bumper check by a qualified mechanic > > is dangerous. > > Utter tripe. I'm not a qualified mechanic, but I'm willing to > bet that when I check a car over, I spot things many "qualified > mechanics" wouldn't. I'm also willing to bet that a good few > people on this NG fall into the same category. > > -- > Grunff Perhaps.. Once I've been over it, under it, in it, driven it and rode behind it out to a highway and back - I then hand it over to a pro wrench meister I really trust and have worked with before to confirm any non-deal breaking observations I have written down and to detail anything else they suspect against a service bulletin print out from the OEM dealer. I forget things in the heat of the chase sometimes and a solid inspection has proved a pretty good insurance on my used cars (utility classics or otherwise).. Assuming I haven't dismissed a given machine at some earlier point in my inspection - it usually runs around $70 here for a pro once over.. To date - I've owned 3.5 SAABs, a 240z (two seater), a VW Vanagon Panel, a chev cavalier and a 4 banger Isuzu Trooper.. I started out in my Dads' VW Wagon / Ford Galaxy Wagon / Peugeot Wagon / 1972 Kojac New Yorker before I finally got my own fab little Honda nighthawk 450.. In point of fact - I suppose I come from a family of long standing 'Utility Classic' owner/nuts and to date the only ones either of us got burned on were ones we didn't bother to have inspected.. My wife and I calculated out a while ago that except for the motor home (which to us a more a cottage with an ever changing sunset) and the '79 Kawasaki Z1R (prozac for Dad) - we are out about $28,000 total (what - like $18,000US) over the last 20 years on our daily driver(s).. That includes all repairs, maintenance (oil/filters), purchase price and insurance to date.. Or - around $116 a month right now including taxes around here - we average around 40/50,000kms annually... Now depending on how long exactly I can keep this SAAB running without any further major repair (the 'crap' shoot - as Mrs Dexter sometimes says) - I should be able to trend that back down to around $95 a month in a couple of years before I have to give up an buy the next one.. Brother Andy's current spot.. Except for the dark year and a bit with the Cavalier - we have mostly driven machines that would not normally be available to us given our career paths and we have been able to go with minimum PI/PD insurance all along - which is a considerable cost of ownership up here in Canada.. Usually more annually than I have paid for any given car at purchase.. Given that I don't think I've seen an honest public automotive review since Tom McCahill passed away and they stopped printing Gus's Garage in Popular Mechanix - you are now best served by reviewing anything you are going to buy against the an official print out of dealer service bulletin and current evident rolling condition.. I get a solid estimate on what it might take to put it all right from the shop who would be maintaining it for me and then average that out against a brutally honest self appraisal of how many years/kms you think you might get out of a given used car before it starts making lifestyle statements you would otherwise not like to make.. This last one is the tough bit really.. I think that is safe advise across all brands - all you can really do is keep and eye on the cost of ownership burn rate trending over the life of any given daily driver.. I'm there right now with our current 1989 9000T CD.. Do I Paint mine and find a fresh interior which might let me run it a three or four more years? Find a used but better SAAB shell with a dead engine and transplant (I might find a hatch and a 5 speed tranny too).. Or - look around for another Trooper - which I liked a lot and would recommend if you don't mind the required changes in driving style and fuel consumption.. Does anyone else think $95 - $110 Canadian a month isn't all that much over 20 years for hard worked cars? You know - if you included everything and trend it out with the insurance savings? -- J Dexter - webmaster - all tunes - no cookies no subscription no weather no ads no news no phone in - RealAudio 8+ Required - all the Time Radio Free Dexterdyne Top Tune o'be-do-da-day En Vogue Salt n Pepa - What a Mighty Good Man

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