Frugal Friday, Cheapest Car I Would Buy Edition

First…

 

 

I warned you that I was going to show a lot of pictures of the scenery around here.

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Even though I found both of our Corvettes using Car Gurus, for the type of search I wanted to do today I used AutoTrader. The latter is better at searches by multiple types of cars.

I did a nationwide search of vehicles with a max price of $10,000 and no more than 75,000 miles. The cars had to have an 8-cylinder engine, an automatic transmission, and be a convertible or coupe. Oh, the cars also could not have ever had a reported accident.

It will be absolutely no surprise to regular readers of Disaffected Musings which car I picked. This picture is from Barrett-Jackson as picture links to AutoTrader have a way of breaking quickly.

 

See the source image

 

This is a 1993 Cadillac Allanté. The one available on AutoTrader, also in Red, has 53,499 miles and the asking price is $7,990. AutoTrader classifies that as a “Great Price.”

This was the fifth least expensive of the 19 results in the search. The four that were less expensive were also Cadillacs, either Eldorados or Allantés, but were of model years I wouldn’t buy.

IF the car fit our needs (it doesn’t) or IF I had space for a fourth car (I don’t), I would have already contacted the dealer about this car. If my aunt had had balls, she would have been my uncle. I first heard that line, which I have been using for more than 40 years, from Tim Whittie. He was a star athlete at my high school, earning 10 varsity letters in football, wrestling and track. (It could have been football, wrestling and lacrosse, but 10 varsity letters is still 10 varsity letters.)

He did play major college football, but was never more than a complementary player at that level. I had a friend, Jim F (we have drifted apart over the years), who was the city defensive player of the year in our senior year. He was not successful at making the jump to college football at the 1-AA level. It’s great to have dreams, but almost everyone should have a fallback position. People like LeBron James are literally one in a million.

OK, back to the car…as every edition of Frugal Friday shows, an enjoyable car can be purchased for not a lot of money. I believe it was Keynes who said that the desired end result of all economic activity is consumption. In other words, one acquires wealth with the idea it will or could be spent, even if that spending is in the future.

 

#FrugalFriday

#DesertBeauty

#CheapCars

#1993CadillacAllanté

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday After Momentous Thursday

Yesterday was a day of major change for my wonderful wife and me. First, the extensive repairs (stucco remediation and associated repairs) were completed yesterday after four weeks of work. We want to thank Rob and Jaime for their yeoman efforts on our behalf.

Second, we had much furniture removed yesterday, some to be consigned for sale and the rest to be donated to charity. The kitchen and master bedroom were particularly denuded of furniture.

Third, we said goodbye to our dependable Kia Sportage, selling it to CarMax. One last picture:

 

 

If one looks closely a small dent can be seen on the left front fender, courtesy of a tree limb launched during Tropical Storm Isaias. The proceeds received for the Kia will be used to buy its replacement. The backdrop for this photo is one that will soon be foreign to us, both in terms of location and type of setting.

We owned the Sportage for eight years, during which time we drove it about 42,000 miles. It was a reliable vehicle and served us well.

When I put “Momentous Thursday” in the post title you didn’t think I was referring to the last Presidential debate, did you? I will reiterate my extreme disdain for American politics. To Democrats and Republicans, a plague on both your houses!

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Barrett-Jackson returned to live auctions yesterday with their “Fall” event held at Westworld in Scottsdale, Arizona. The auctions are now broadcast on fyi and History.

I guess people didn’t understand that the TV move meant the end of Cristy Lee as a participant in the broadcast. Disaffected Musings had many views by people trying to find out why she didn’t appear on the Barrett-Jackson telecast, which led them to Where Is Cristy Lee?, this post and this one.

One more time…Cristy Lee is under contract, ultimately, to Discovery Communications. (Motor Trend, the previous “home” of the Barrett-Jackson telecasts, is part of Discovery.) History and fyi are jointly owned by Disney and Hearst Communications, not by Discovery.

In addition to other commitments, Steve Magnante actually works for Barrett-Jackson, which is why he is still on the broadcast. Mike Joy and Rick DeBruhl must have a contractual arrangement (i.e. not under contract to Discovery) that allowed them to continue on the broadcast after the change in channel/networks.

So, what did I think of the telecasts? The energy seemed a little low, particularly at first. I don’t know if someone with input into the broadcast reads this blog, but it did appear as if an effort was made to have the telecast be a little more of a conversation among the hosts and less of Person A says x and Person B says y with no interaction. I have remarked that the Barrett-Jackson telecasts have seemed a bit stiff, in part because of the seeming lack of real dialogue among the hosts.

It was good to watch a Barrett-Jackson auction again although I still think the docket lacks diversity. Way too many pickup trucks and Mustangs for my taste although, once again, I realize that Barrett-Jackson is at the mercy of consignors and potential bidders. They have to offer what they think will sell for good prices.

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Speaking of good prices (what a segue!), this is a Frugal Friday post. Oh, also speaking of CarMax, here is a picture of a car offered at $19,998 (a popular price for CarMax offerings):

 

 

This 2015 Mustang has about 45,000 miles. CarMax makes it much easier to find pictures and how much you would pay per month if you financed the purchase than it is to find out about the drivetrain, suspension, etc., but this car has a 6-cylinder engine (300 HP/280 LB-FT of torque) and an automatic transmission. That price ($19,998) is the price you pay–no negotiating–with the addition of an “administrative” fee and possibly shipping if your local CarMax dealer is more than x miles away from the CarMax location where the car is. Oh, an aside: if the picture disappears please let me know here. Thanks.

 

#FrugalFriday

#MomentousThursday

#NoCristyLee

#Barrett-JacksonReturn

#2015FordMustang

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday And Far More Significant Things

I suspect all of you remember where you were and what you were doing on this day in 2001. To me, the terrorist attacks are yet another example of the horrific evil that has existed since the beginning of mankind. As a child of Holocaust survivors, my life has been shaped by the profound knowledge that human beings are capable of actions most vile.

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In 2002 a poll of TV Guide readers named Diana Rigg the “sexiest TV star of all time.” I’m not going to argue.

Of course, the RADA-trained actress with deep Shakespearean roots would probably like to have been known for work other than playing Emma Peel for 51 episodes of The Avengers. In this interview in The Guardian from last year, Rigg was quoted as saying, “Becoming a sex symbol overnight [in The Avengers] shocked me. I didn’t know how to handle it and I kept all the unopened fan mail in the boot of my car because I didn’t know how to respond and thought it was rude to throw it away.” She won a Tony, an Emmy and a BAFTA during her career.

Sadly, Rigg died of cancer yesterday at the age of 82. From CBS News a picture of the awesome Diana Rigg:

 

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Yes, another last generation Cadillac Eldorado for Frugal Friday. From autohausfm.com a picture of a 2000 Eldo in Sterling; this is not the car currently available on AutoTrader. As I wrote here, I am going to use more generic photos in an effort to keep the picture links from breaking. The AutoTrader car is in Sterling over Pewter, has about 61,000 miles and an asking price of $3,991.

 

See the source image

 

The AutoTrader car does not have the rear spoiler; I don’t like the rear spoiler on this car, anyway. As we (hopefully) get closer to our move to the desert, my mind is once again focusing on the search for a Grocery Car/Taxi/Corvette Companion. Anyway…four grand for a car like this seems like a steal to me, regardless of any Kelley Blue Book® value. Even if it needs a thousand in work after purchase it’s still a bargain.

OK, another Frugal Friday car…

 

See the source image

 

From allamericanautomobiles.com (Duh…) a picture of a 2001 Ford Mustang convertible in Performance Red. The AutoTrader car is also in that color, has about 64,000 miles and an asking price of $9,995. For 2001, the GT-spec engine was a 4.6 liter/281 cubic-inch V-8 that produced 260 HP/302 LB-FT of torque. The AutoTrader car has an automatic transmission.

David Banner (not his real name) suggested this feature and I am grateful. Frugal Friday has now appeared on Disaffected Musings for more than a year and a half. (Where did that time go?!)

Regular readers have commented that they like Frugal Friday so it will remain a regular part of this blog, although it won’t be shown every Friday. I mean, how many last-generation Cadillac Eldorados do you want to see? 🙂

 

#9/11

#DianaRigg

#FrugalFriday

#2000CadillacEldorado

#GroceryCar/Taxi/CorvetteCompanion

#2001FordMustangConvertible

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday Reset

First…I offer my sympathies to Tom Seaver’s family. Although he and his team were responsible for “breaking my heart” during the first World Series I ever watched (1969, Orioles/Mets), I developed great respect for him as a competitor. His friends and teammates always spoke of him as a good person.

In The New Bill James Historical Abstract Bill wrote this, “There is actually a good argument that Tom Seaver should be regarded as the greatest pitcher of all time.” Bill rated him sixth. Part of that argument is that only one of the five ahead of him, Warren Spahn, even pitched after World War II. Bill again, “Where Seaver rates relative to those pitchers, then, depends to a large extent on how steep one believes the incline of history to be. Since no one can say with confidence how much tougher the game has become, it is certainly reasonable to argue that the accomplishments of early pitchers should have been marked off by more than I have discounted them, and thus that Seaver’s record, in context, is more impressive than Walter’s.” [Walter Johnson, whom Bill ranked number one.]

The “New” Abstract was published in 2001; the “Original” one, published in 1985, is probably still the book I have read the most in my life, even though I haven’t looked at it in quite some time.

From a Mets website–as opposed to the Mets website–a picture of “Tom Terrific.”

See the source image

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The “reset” to which I refer in the title of this post has more to do with pictures than with anything else. Bring a Trailer has become very aggressive at breaking links to pictures on its website. Other sites, such as AutoTrader, are either breaking links or taking down listings that are no longer valid, which means the picture link is no longer valid.

When reviewing the contents of my blog, which I do on a regular basis (it’s called OCD) nothing makes me as mad as seeing references to pictures that are no longer displayed. When I can, I fix the post and add another picture. Anyway, I am going to find a “generic” picture of the car being featured and try to verbally describe the actual car.

In addition, I am going to be less concerned about mixing up the list and just write about whatever car I want for Frugal Friday. I will still continue to keep a list of Frugal Friday cars (OCD, duh…), but will not be bound by how recently I have written about a similar car.

Originally, I wanted to write about a 1968 Dodge Charger today. That car just missed being included in Ultimate Garage 2.0 and might be in version 3.0, if I ever do that. I just couldn’t find a decent one for sale for under $50,000 and think that to be a Frugal Friday car at that price means it has to be a good example of a more exotic and more rare car. Dodge built almost 100,000 Chargers in 1968.

From a site called zombiedrive.com (no surprise it’s not secure) a picture of a…1997 Lincoln Mark VIII. Such a car is currently offered for sale in the state in which we hope to be living in the very near future for $4,995.

See the source image

The AutoTrader car is in Bright Toredor Red over Ivory. The car is advertised as having about 38,000 miles. Of course, I wrote about the Mark VIII here.

I mean how could you go wrong for five grand?! Although no Kelley Blue Book® value is listed, probably because these cars are not common, I really wouldn’t care if that value were $2,000. Here is a good-looking car with plenty of room for more than two passengers or for groceries for five grand. You know the car only has 38,000 miles, right? 🙂 It’s also probably not a slug as it weighs about 3,800 pounds and its engine produces 280 HP/285 LB-FT of torque, or at least that was the output when new.

Does anyone want to weigh in on this car? We would like to read your opinions.

#FrugalFriday

#TomSeaver

#BillJamesHistoricalBaseballAbstract

#1997LincolnMarkVIII

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday, C6 Corvette Encore

On a personal note…this day in 1999 was my last as a full-time employee of a major league baseball team. I didn’t know that at the time. In normal baseball seasons July 31 was the trading deadline, the day after which it is more difficult, although not impossible, to trade players. I confess I don’t even know if this date is still the trading deadline and, if it is, if it is still possible to trade players after July 31.

I tendered my resignation in May, but offered to stay through the trade deadline. Two of my colleagues, apparently, had a bet as to whether or not I was really leaving the organization. The one who won the bet is now baseball’s “Wonder Boy.”

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Another personal “note”…

 

 

I have been waxing nostalgic for this car, my 2007 Corvette that I purchased new in February of 2007 and then sold in a panic in October, 2010 when I basically lost my baseball business. Earlier this week while running errands in my Z06, I saw a good-looking C6 convertible (a 2007 Corvette is a C6) with the top down. I am usually the first to make the “Corvette Wave,” but on this occasion the C6 driver beat me to the punch.

Although I wrote a Frugal Friday post about C6 Corvettes last September, I am compelled to do so again today. This is not the least expensive C6 I found on AutoTrader, but it was the least expensive convertible and this 2005 model allegedly has only 16,000-ish miles.

 

 

Maybe it’s inappropriate to write about buying cars as “toys” in light of current conditions including the largest quarterly GDP decline in US history. The opportunist in me thinks that this might actually be the best time to indulge oneself in such a purchase, if one is in a position to do so. The seller is asking $23,495, a price that AutoTrader calls a “Great Price” because it is in the lower half of the Kelley Blue Book® value range for this car. (A car with an asking price below that range is also called a “Great Price.”)

What do you think of this car? Is it inappropriate to buy expensive “toys” at this time? During the Great Depression many people of means refrained from buying expensive cars because they didn’t want to draw attention to themselves, not because they couldn’t afford it. Of course, at about $23,000 this Corvette is not expensive, as long as you’re still working and/or have a decent-sized nest egg.

 

#FrugalFriday

#C6Corvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday, Hemi On A Budget

“There are more things in heaven and earth…than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.”

– Shakespeare

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The Chrysler Hemi engine has a long history, dating back to the introduction of the first version in the 1951 model year. That iteration was produced through 1958. The second generation, the famous “Elephant,” was available from model years 1966 through 1971. The current generation was first introduced as a truck engine beginning with the 2003 model year.

The “baby” of the modern Hemi family (Chrysler Corporation trademarked the word Hemi) is the version first used in 2003, a 5.7 liter/345 cubic-inch engine with an output of either 345 HP/375 LB-FT of torque or 340 HP/390 LB-FT. A revised version of this engine was introduced in 2009, producing 372 HP/400 LB-FT in the Challenger R/T automatic and 375 HP/410 LB-FT in the manual version. Without further ado, from AutoTrader, a 2012 Challenger R/T Classic:

 

 

This car has about 33,000 miles and is in Bright Silver Metallic over Dark Slate Gray (the interior looks black in the photos). The ad copy differs on what transmission is in the car, listing it as an automatic in one place and as a manual in another. Regardless, the asking price is just $18,991 and is actually well under the Kelley Blue Book® value range of $21,359-$23,868 shown at the bottom of the ad. Of course, the fact that the car was, apparently, involved in two accidents between June, 2017 and August, 2018 is the major contributor to the car’s asking price relative to “value.” Some hood misalignment is visible in a couple of the photos and the CARFAX® reports the first accident caused damage to the right front.

So, how comfortable would you be buying a car with prior accidents? Sometimes, buying a car on a budget or below “value” means buying a car with some issues. Still, being able to buy a Hemi Challenger built in the last 10 years and with under 35,000 miles for less than $20,000 might be worth the “risk.”

 

#FrugalFriday

#Shakespeare

#HemiOnABudget

#2012DodgeChallengerR/T

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday 45

First, another less than pleasant dream, this one from two days ago…I dreamt I had returned to a job from which I had been absent for awhile. The reasons for the absence were not made clear in the dream. I went to the office building, or what I thought was the office, only to find it was an enormous complex, filled with people I did not know. I did not recognize my surroundings and could not find “my” office. I was more bemused than angry, though. I was sure I was supposed to come back to work, but never did find my office.

I cannot remember a period in my life when I did not have dreams about being lost, about not being able to find what I am looking for. For years I had a recurring dream about my being (usually) unable to find my apartment. The theme was always the same: I lived in a new apartment building, but had to go through an older building to get to the one in which I lived. About nine of these dreams out of ten I could not find my apartment. For some reason, about every tenth dream I could find my apartment.

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I have to admit that I had one idea for this week’s Frugal Friday, but then changed my mind because I thought I had used the same idea before, just not with the catchy title. I was going to call this post Frugal Friday, Double-Digit Cylinder Edition. Then, I actually looked at the list of Frugal Friday Cars (yes, I have a list…it’s called OCD) and didn’t see any post where multiple cars had been shown with that theme. So, long way ’round, here is the Double-Digit Cylinder Edition of Frugal Friday.

On AutoTrader I did a nationwide search for all convertibles and coupes made since 1981 (that’s as far back as AutoTrader goes without using their “Classics” website), fewer than 100,000 miles and with a 10-cylinder or 12-cylinder engine. Oh, I capped the price at $40,000. Do I have to explain why I used that price?

The search yielded 187 cars, some of which were listed for under $10,000, although all of those were either Jaguar XJS 12-cylinder coupes or Mercedes-Benz CL 600 or SL 600 cars. The C-series Mercedes do nothing for me, even if they weren’t a German car. Actually, most of the cars from the search are either a Mercedes-Benz CL 600/SL 600, BMW M6, or a Jaguar XJS 12-cylinder.

For no reason in particular I decided to show this car; well, maybe I had one reason:

 

Used 2000 Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster Farmington, MI 48336 - 533728262 - 2

 

This is a 2000 Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster with 48,000 miles listed for $37,995. Yes, I know the car has a V-10 with 450 HP. My question is: have you ever seen a worse-fitting top on a car? The tops for this generation Viper roadsters look like a very bad toupee. This particular car is not unique in that respect. Whenever I see one in an auction, televised or live, the ill-fitting top is all I can see. Sorry, Mopar fans, but that’s my opinion to which I am entitled even if it differs from yours.

How about this car?

 

Used 2006 Aston Martin DB9 Volante DECATUR, GA 30030 - 551355134 - 1

 

This is a 2006 Aston Martin DB9 Volante, which is the name Aston uses for its convertibles. For an Aston it’s not a low-mileage car with about 61,000 miles; the dealer is asking $25,990.

That’s a BEAUTIFUL car (my wonderful wife would concur). The maintenance would be expensive, but I can’t think of too many cars, if any, that would be as cool to drive and to look at for that money.

You can buy a V-10 or V-12 car, even a convertible, without breaking the bank, at least initially. I would very much like to read your thoughts on inexpensive double-digit cylinder cars.

 

#FrugalFriday

#DreamsOfBeingLost

#2000DodgeViperSRT10Roadster

#2006AstonMartinDB9Volante

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday 44 Or The Last Eldo

“The Last Eldo” sounds like the title of a novel about the end of some dynasty. Well, I guess in a way, the last Cadillac Eldorado was the end of an empire.

I have become quite taken with the last generation Eldorado that was manufactured from 1992 through 2002 with refreshes in 1995 and 1996. The first of the front-wheel drive, two-door Eldorados, the 1967 model, was part of my Ultimate Garage 2.0.

The Cadillac Eldorado debuted in 1953 along with the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta, Chevrolet Corvette and Buick Roadmaster Skylark as top-of-the-line, limited-production specialty convertibles introduced by General Motors. By the mid-1970s, the ninth generation Eldorados had become quite popular. Model year 1973 sales exceeded 50,000; even with the OPEC oil embargo sales remained at over 40,000 for 1974. The tenth generation, running from 1979 to 1985, had the most sales of any Eldo model, reaching about 78,000 in 1984.

Foreign competition in the luxury segment and missteps by Cadillac (Cimarron, anyone?) changed the perception of the make, which hurt the Eldorado. Even with the advancements in the car, by the 1990s sales had fallen dramatically, dropping below 20,000 in 1997 and never recovering, leading to the end of the Eldorado five years later.

These last model years of the car have become a stealth contender (well, I guess not so stealth anymore) for being the Corvette companion/grocery car after the move to the desert. Neither my wonderful wife nor I has ever owned a Cadillac. While Cadillac is not defunct (not yet), the Eldorado is a defunct model with great history. In addition, these last-generation Eldos are “modern” cars with airbags, disc brakes, fuel injection, etc. They are also extremely inexpensive to acquire. Here is this week’s Frugal Friday car from this AutoTrader ad:

 

Used 1999 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Wantagh  Long Island, NY 11793 - 512019133 - 4

 

This 1999 model, which coincides with the year my wonderful wife and I married, has about 56,000 miles and the seller is asking $8,995. The ETC badge on the lower part of the trunk lid means the car was powered by the higher output V-8 that produced 300 HP/295 LB-FT of torque from its 4.6 liters/279 cubic inches. According to the Kelley Blue Book® valuation at the bottom of the ad, the car is worth much less than the asking price with a “Fair Market Range” of just $2,631 to $4,728. When the time comes to pull the trigger, a similar disparity in value vs. price might mean we could buy one of these for about $5,000. I think that’s the definition of a Frugal Friday car. The 1999 Cadillac ETC (Eldorado Touring Coupe, near the beginning of the awful Cadillac convention of three-letter names for their car models) had an MSRP of $43,495, $66,937 in 2020 dollars. From Car Gurus a better picture of a 1999 Eldorado:

 

See the source image

 

I’m pretty sure this car could easily serve as a grocery car with four seats and a trunk of 15+ cubic feet capacity. I think they are quite stylish and are hardly slugs. What do you think?

 

#FrugalFriday

#1999CadillacEldorado

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday 12

Last night my wonderful wife and I watched the first two episodes of Ant Anstead’s new show, Ant Anstead Master Mechanic. Before yesterday the show was only available on the Motor Trend app–or MotorTrend’s website, I presume–but to watch the content there one must pay. We already pay triple digits a month for satellite TV so we’re not paying extra to watch a channel we can already watch. Anyway…the shows were excellent, fast-paced without being frenetic, informative without being boring. Besides, for me learning is entertainment. Short attention span that I have (I’m one of the lucky 15% of those with OCD who also have ADD), the fact that each episode is a half-hour is ideal.

What’s the premise of the show? You’ll have to watch it yourself…

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This CNBC article is titled, “The coronavirus pandemic has upended auto sales and buying a car will never be the same.” The key points are presented upfront in these bullets:

 

Key Points
  • The coronavirus crisis has upended auto retail, and many don’t think it will ever be the same again.
  • Dealers and automakers are investing millions in new digital sales tools as consumers demand more online and personalized services.
  • It’s a more flexible purchasing process that doesn’t have to be conducted during traditional business hours.

 

As almost everyone reading this knows, I purchased my car–a 2016 Corvette Z06–the “21st century” way, online without a test drive and having it delivered to my house. Just as the coronavirus will probably lead to a permanent shift in the workplace paradigm, it will probably lead to a permanent change in how we buy cars. Get ready to groan, everyone: “The only constant in the world is change.”

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Speaking of a C7 Z06, I decided that for this week’s Frugal Friday I would look for the least expensive example available. However, I did not include any cars with more than 50,000 miles or cars sold on a salvage title.

 

The photo that used to be here has been removed from the AutoTrader website as the car has been sold since I wrote this post. This was a 2016 Z06, same year as mine. The ad trumpeted the “fact” that the car, offered at $53,895, was priced at $5,400 below NADA retail. The car has almost 40,000 miles on the clock and has the same trim level, 2LZ, as mine. Granted that I bought my car about 14 months ago (!), but my car only had 4,400 miles at purchase. It is a tad disconcerting that only 2 of the 18 photos showed the car, the same photo is shown twice, and the other 16 touted the dealership. From fastlanecars.com a picture of a 2016 Z06:

 

See the source image

 

I don’t know if the advertised car had the Z07 performance package like mine, a $7,995 option when new, but I assume it didn’t or it would have been mentioned. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of 2016 Z06s were ordered with the Z07 option.

So, what do you think? I think these cars are the performance car bargain of all time, cheap at twice the price when new and an absolute steal used. Yes, they’re not for everyone or even for everyone who can afford them. Remember, though, that the number of American households consisting of a married couple with no children is higher than the number of married households with children.

 

#FrugalFriday

#AntAnsteadMasterMechanic

#EndOfCarBuyingAsWeKnewIt

#C7Z06Corvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Frugal Friday 11

I guess not too many people are interested in John Unitas, anymore. Too bad…

 

I really wanted to call this post “Frugal Friday, Aughts Small Displacement Version.” That’s not exactly a title that appeals to the eyes or rolls off the tongue, though. Still, that’s my idea today. I will show a couple of small displacement vehicles built from 2000 to 2010. (OK, so I stretched the aughts a year.) Also, the cars have to have forced induction, supercharging or turbocharging. I mean, I couldn’t care less about some naturally aspirated 4-banger.

Well, whadda ya know?! A whole bunch of cars like this showed up…

 

Used 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP Convertible PETOSKEY, MI 49770 - 550297641 - 4

 

From this AutoTrader ad a picture of a 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP convertible. This car in Mysterious Black over Ebony has about 31,000 miles and is listed for $13,000. The transmission is an automatic and, of course, given the GXP designation the car is powered by the turbocharged 2-liter/122 cubic-inch inline-4 cylinder engine that, from the factory, produced 260 HP/260 LB-FT of torque. This might still be the highest specific output (power per unit of displacement) of any engine in General Motors history.

Everyone who reads this blog knows I am a big fan of the Solstice/Sky. Everyone knows I think GM made a major mistake in not giving an upgraded version of this car to Buick as a halo car after the demise of Pontiac and Saturn.

I am not a big fan of the car pictured below, but most cars have a price at which they are appealing.

 

Used 2006 MINI Cooper S Convertible BURBANK, CA 91505 - 545079804 - 1

 

From this AutoTrader ad, a picture of a 2006 MINI Cooper S convertible. The car in Pepper White over Black has about 41,000 miles and the “no-haggle” price is listed at $6,990. One thing I like about the AutoTrader ads is that for most cars the Kelley Blue Book® value is shown at the bottom. For this car the value range is shown as $5,426 to $6,889. Most cars are listed for prices far above the top of the range. At least this car is close, but no-haggle doesn’t always mean good deal.

This MINI, built by BMW, is powered by a 1.6 liter/98 cubic-inch supercharged inline 4-cylinder engine that generated 168 HP/162 LB-FT of torque. For a car with a curb weight of under 2,900 pounds, that’s not a bad power-to-weight ratio. Remember that these are front-wheel drive cars.

One could buy both of these cars at list price and pay just half of the average transaction price for a new vehicle purchased in the US, at least before the coronavirus. Imagine his and hers convertibles for 20 grand total.

I know Dirty Dingus McGee has had an active career as a car buyer with many of those purchases made online. To all readers, I would like to read about your experiences in buying a car, good or bad, online or in-person.

 

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