First of you’ve got to know I’ve never had a new car in my life. Or even financed a used car in the last thirty years. I buy older used cars and drive the heck out of ‘em, often till they die. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had some great cars over the years, a ’72 Mercedes 280se, A Mercedes 450 SLC and we still own a ’91 Miata and a ’66 Mustang. But these are the fun cars and then there are the grocery getters and commute beaters. Because of this being Colorado and having two dogs and a cabin in the mountains. That means these are usually 4wd SUVs. I’ve had a Blazer, two Explorers and lastly we got a ’96 Subaru Outback from a friend for a thousand bucks two years ago. with a 150,000 miles on it.
It was a pretty good car , I figure I put another $1500 into it in tires and repairs. Anyway it started running like crap about two months ago, And the brakes and the Struts were shot. And I thought I’d take into the shop and get a final oil change and try to make it last a couple more months. As I was pulling itto the Firestone Shop the power steering failed. I had the technitian come out to look at it and we determined that the CraShaft pully that drove the Alternator and Powersterring had come loose ans was wobbling on the crackshaft bolt which turned out to be complete frozen so that it niether tighten or loosen. So I determined the best course of action was have it towed home. And start looking for a “new” car.
I had my heart set on a Subaru WRX station wagon. At 270HP these bad boys put the Haul in grocery hauling. I set my budget at $7500 and after exhaustive searching on the Internet, I found one listed at a car lot on south Broadway (where most of the Sleazy daelers in Denver are) So my wife and I drive the 30 miles to this lot Only to find That they had Just Sold ” the WRX. I then tried to call another dealer on my cell phone about an AWD 2001 Passat. Couldn’t get through on the phone and so we drove by where th car was. Turns out that this guy brokers lease return cars and only showed by appointment.
Needless to say it was a cold drive home in the Miata, with my wife’s not so silent recriminations as to my car hunting skills.
After a the entire thanks going weekend looking at various cars and not finding a WRX for under $9K I called the guy on the Passat agin and made an Appointment.
Surprisingly he turned out to be a decent young man and didn’t try to sell us the car are answered our questions as honestly as he could. So I went home for twenty four hours to think about it and after more fruitless search, I went and bought the car on Monday, it’s a 2001 VW Passat v6 AWD with 117.000 on it and I picked it up for $6K. it needs tires and allignment but other than that it’s in good shape with the leather interior and heated seats it has a real luxury feel. The car is Identical to the more expensive Audi Avant so I feel I got a bargain.