Time To Call An Audible

In case you don’t know, or even if you do, in the context of football an audible (as opposed to audible, as in able to be heard) is a verbal instruction to change the play that was called in the huddle. The change can be minor or major.

After guessing about the size of our “three-car” garage here, I decided to measure it yesterday. More specifically, I measured the part of the garage adjacent to the single-car door.

Yes, the garage is about 28 feet wide in total, about 2 feet shorter than what should be the minimum for a three-car garage. The single-car part of the garage, though, is only about 17 feet, or 204 inches, from the garage door to the bump-out for the guest bedroom closet. (The double-car part of the garage is almost 18 feet long in usable space.)

OK, do you think it’s prudent to try to park a 200-inch long car, like a 2000-2002 Cadillac Eldorado, in a 204-inch space? That car can’t be parked diagonally because of the insufficient width of the garage. Yes, I wish I had measured the garage while looking at the house before purchase. It’s not that I could have changed anything, but at least I would have gone into this exercise with my eyes open.

So, all of a sudden the Eldorado has become an impractical choice. If we had 18 feet in length instead of 17, then that would not be the case. The last-generation Chevrolet Monte Carlo is not much shorter at 198 inches and my wonderful wife and I don’t really want a three-Chevrolet garage.

I admit I am disappointed at this turn of events. This search for another car that began by looking at “classics” from the early 1960s has now morphed into something far less romantic.

I also must admit that this is when I wish a comprehensive online automobile database existed where I could search for cars based on criteria like length. I guess such a database has no commercial use so it doesn’t exist, at least not to my knowledge.

OK, now what do I do? Well, at least the short length has, in essence, ruled out cars with four doors, but that also means a Maserati Quattroporte (currently 207 inches in length; the first generation of the revival was 199 inches) is out. Even the Ghibli is too long at 196 inches and examples without high mileage are out of our desired price range.

What do you think of this?


See the source image


From GM Authority a picture of a 2015 Cadillac ATS coupe. At its introduction in 2012 (as a 2013 model year car), the ATS was named “Car of the Year” by Esquire, “Luxury Car of the Year” by Popular Mechanics and “Vehicle of the Year” by the Motor Press Guild. In 2013, a panel of 49 automobile journalists from the US and Canada named the 2013 ATS as “North American Car of the Year.” I grant that some automobile enthusiasts would call that last award as damning the car with faint praise.

The coupe is just 184 inches in length (the sedan would probably fit at 189 inches, but I need some semblance of romance left) so it would fit even in a 17-foot space. OK, why not a CTS coupe? I’m sorry, but the shape is just too odd for my tastes.

Using Car Gurus as a first source, 17 ATS coupes met the criteria for mileage (<= 50,000 miles) and color. (No cars with black or white exteriors and no cars with black interiors; this is the desert with about 300 sunny days per year.)

Only one had a list price under $20,000 ($19,995), but four others were listed at or below $21,500 and Car Gurus identified one of them as a “Good Deal.” The others were only described as “Fair Deals.”

This price range is above our target ($15,000-ish) so I may have to keep looking. Pushing the maximum mileage to 75,000 does not reveal any cars at that price.

OK, kind people, I am asking for your help. What two-door car with good looks and decent performance, with more than two seats and a trunk at least 12 cubic feet in volume, no older than the 2000 model year and no longer than 185 inches can we buy for no more than $15,000-$16,000?

I hope to hear from you. Thanks.






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4 thoughts on “Time To Call An Audible

  1. I suspect given the constraints you have to work against, 95% of domestic vehicles will fail to meet your criteria. Perhaps a Volvo will fit in, but I suspect most contenders will be Asian.


    1. Thanks, DDM. We are trying to avoid foreign cars for many reasons, but if we have to buy one, we will. I am also not a big fan of most Japanese cars in terms of styling. The car still has to have some level of good looks despite its utilitarian tasks.


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