It’s not just this morning’s weather that led me to call the post “Foggy Friday.” I am foggy. (Yeah, Yeah; How can I tell?)
The last 9-10 days have been a whirlwind with a cross-country round trip to find/buy a house, an invasive diagnostic procedure that also requires one day of prep that’s not fun, and word that the repairs we need to complete on our current house before closing on the sale will be more extensive, meaning more expensive, than we had originally thought. I am physically and mentally exhausted. Exhaustion impairs mental function. Still, I am trying to keep my eyes on the prize.
Palm trees and mountains without having to live in the People’s Republic of Calizuela sounds good to me. When my wonderful wife and I moved from California 20 years ago (!) a representative of the moving company told us that the three most popular destinations for people leaving “The Golden State” were Denver, Dallas and Phoenix. Our move then was to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Many people currently living in the Phoenix area complain about the influx of people from California. Hey, people vote with their feet when they can. Another picture of the prize:
I can say unequivocally that if we had remained in “The Golden State” we would not be in the state of relatively good financial health in which we find ourselves at present. Although we did not leave California specifically because of high taxes and the high cost of living, it has been to our great benefit to live in two low tax/low cost of living states since then. Money talks, bullsh*t walks…maybe that saying doesn’t really apply in this context, but while money isn’t everything it is important. Reducing expenses by living in areas with lower overhead is usually a good thing.
With the move to the desert imminent and the fact that we will have one empty garage space when we arrive, thoughts of the Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion have returned with a vengeance. As regular readers know, this search began with a strong desire to buy a car like a 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk or ’63 Buick Riviera. Then, after speaking with John Kraman at the Mecum auction in Arizona in March, the search moved to a more modern car because of concerns about “iterations of repairs” needed to make an older car reliable.
The next phase was trying to find a stylish and “modern” two-door car with a decent sized trunk that was not a slug. The 2000-02 Cadillac Eldorado became the leading contender. However, as my wonderful wife has pointed out, this car will be used to transport other people from time to time and not just groceries. (Hence, the addition of “Taxi” in the description.) It is much easier for people to use doors to enter/exit a vehicle than to climb through a small opening behind the front seats.
So, I decided that if the car had four doors it had to be something exotic like a Maserati Quattroporte. Then, I saw this article about Maserati recalls. The fact that kind of defect could slip through development and testing in addition to the very high maintenance costs has moved me away from an exotic make like Maserati. The leading contender now?
From wallpaperup.com a picture of a 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan. This one might be the V-spec with high performance, but we don’t really need that. The base engine is a 2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 272 HP/295 LB-FT of torque. Those numbers are very similar to the output for the Northstar V-8 found in the 1993 Allanté. The available six-cylinder motor has more horsepower, but actually less torque.
Neither my wonderful wife nor I has ever owned a Cadillac, although each of us has/had a parent who did. (My father, her mother.) Yes, this is a long way from an early 60s Studebaker or Buick Riviera. Flexibility and adaptability usually correlate with success better than stubbornness. Besides, the money that would have had to go into “iterations of repairs” for an older car can be used to modify the Z06 instead. Oh, race gas (101 Octane) is readily available where we’re going. It’s not cheap, but it’s a 3%-5% boost in HP/Torque. That would probably push my Z06 to about 730 HP/740 LB-FT.
I would very much like to read your thoughts on this odyssey. Foggy Friday, indeed.
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11 thoughts on “Foggy Friday”
My wife and I await your arrival to our lovely state with anticipation. It will entice us to venture out on a road trip North to see y’all.
If you are looking at the 2014 Cadillac CTS why settle for a wimpy I4 or V6? Move up two years to a 2016 and get the CTS-V with the supercharged LT4 that was in the C7 Z06 Corvette. The Arizona freeways are a little crowded to use the 200 mph top speed but you would have more than enough horsepower to pass the slow drivers. And the engine would have companions in your two Corvettes.
Stay safe and chill out, I assure you the stress will lessen. We will help in any way we can. It is what family does.
Thanks, Philip. A used CTS-V costs substantially more than we want to spend on a car that will be driven 1,200-1,500 miles a year.
Sadly, common sense and a budget nullify the hot rod desires of many of us car nuts.
Oh, those details…
Why not try the hotter model? You might find you like it, but if you don’t it’s unlikely you will lose money if you decide to sell it. As you have no doubt noticed, I have no problem buying and then after a few months reselling a vehicle. If I decide to keep it there is usually a compelling reason, ie; something I’ve wanted for many years. A prime example would be the 2001 model year truck that I now have close to $40K invested into.It was equipped from the factory pretty much the way I would have ordered it and had the benefit of less than 82K miles when I bought it. On the other end would be the Stealth R/T I bought a few weeks back. It’s fun, I enjoy it, but I will probably resell it next year.
On a side note, my insurance agent smiles when I call I’m pretty sure, due to a commission for him every time I add a vehicle. Not to mention being on a first name basis with some of the ladies at the tag office. 🙂
Thanks, DDM. The V-spec is literally twice as much money as the other CTS sedans. If the difference were 10%-15% that might be another story.
Ahh. I didn’t know the difference in price was that much. That does make it a bit harder to justify.
Glad to see your plans are moving forward. Good luck on the third vehicle search. I have never owned a Cadillac, but have actually given it some thought for the next time I look to change vehicles.
As always, good to “hear” from you, sir.
As I have written in the blog, my father had a ’65 Deville convertible, which was the first car I ever saw with power locks and power windows. Obviously, my preference in American cars leans heavily towards GM. I have never owned an American car that wasn’t a Chevrolet or a Pontiac. I think Cadillac makes a good product, for the most part, but is lost as people under 50 do not associate the make with a well-made luxury vehicle. I don’t know how they can change that perception, but the make’s survival may depend on it.
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The dreaded “by the way, we discovered X Y and Z that need to be done”. I hope the bite isn’t too bad and doesn’t throw your hopes for timeline too far out of whack.
As you know, I haven’t had a Caddy but wouldn’t have an issue buying one (with some exceptions). Before settling on a Fusion with ecoboost I actually was looking at some older DTS sedans. The CTS looks like a nice car, see lots of them on the road. I get the desire for a CTS-V, and understand the cost concerns. I wonder if the slightly older STS-V would make a good compromise on price+performance.
Thanks for your wise advice. As for the repair work to our house, we were warned by our realtor and our contractor that stucco repairs often go beyond the initial assessment. We are fortunate that we can afford to have the job done correctly. I am just not a patient person and want to be done yesterday. I just want to close out this chapter and move to the next.
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