Houston, at last
1993 Toyota Camry LE (Momma’s car) - 4 door automatic. After the Volvo started having long term problems, we traded it in on a new 93 Camry (Best Buy in Consumer’s Report). Great compact car that was about the same size as the Volvo with better handling and pick up. The Volvo was a great car, but not really designed for south Texas summers. It really did not handle some of the mid July days when temps topped out over 98 degrees. The Camry handles nicely and gets great gas mileage. I wound up giving it to my son as a college car and he is taking decent care of it while in college. Every time junior comes home from college and heads off to his summer internship in Seattle/San Jose, I get the car back for the summer. I tend to use it during the summer to commute to/from work because of the gas mileage and saving wear and tear on the land barge. Besides, I take the opportunity to work over the car (oil change, inspection, tires, brakes) so it is in good shape when he heads off to college again in the fall. Even though it is highly reliable, it is over 19 years old and has somewhere shy of 182,000 miles on her. I've talked with my son about looking to trade her in for something newer (like made in this decade) but, as he is a newlywed and just out of college, he is not interested in going into debt and is happy with her. Smart kid.
1998 Cadillac Deville D’Elegance (The Pimpmobile) - a deal from my uncle/dad. Great car, just not my style. My uncle has always leased his cars since the 80’s. He tends to get the top of the line cars/minivans. At the end of the lease, he will offer it up to anyone in the family if you are willing to pony up the residual cost. Typically, you get a low mileage car that is in pristine condition and has never left the city limits of Dallas/Fort Worth. My dad bought this 98 and drove it for a few years before Cadillac #2 came available and my dad sold me this car for next to nothing. We were starting to look for another set of wheels so I could give the Camry to my son for college and the timing was right. It is a big, Detroit Cadillac with all of the bells & whistles. All leather, Northstar engine, gold trimmed - way more than we are used to and a bit fancier that I would normally drive. That said, the thing is a sweet ride. With a Northstar engine and relatively lightweight frame, the car has some serious kick-a%% horsepower. When I am cruising down the beltway and have to pass someone, I tap the gas and she takes off like a rocket. I would label this car as a true highway vehicle. It is not good on gas mileage in town but on the interstate, it glides along the highway. Almost like driving a road sofa. The few downsides of the car is that 1) it looks like something that a little old retired lady would drive (ergo momma is not altogether happy with it) and 2) any repairs require a massive investment into GM stock. The alternator went out on it two years back and, while I consider myself a amateur mechanic, that turbo charged, transverse mounted, Northstar engine was way beyond my skills. That little job cost me the high side of $700. Unless you have your own shop or you are dating a mechanic, you might consider more affordable transportation. Even though she is the youngest on in the fleet and is currently sporting around 98,600 miles, we will probably look to trade her before she caps 100k for something a bit newer.
2000 Ford Expedition (The LandBarge) - almost a school bus, just not as tall. Bought the beast to be able to haul kids in and tow my trailer. Is a great hauling SUV with plenty of room, but crappy gas mileage. It is powerful enough to pull out a stump, but rides nicely (for a truck). I still drive it every day, although I would prefer something a bit more gas friendly. Currently hovering around 185k mileage, but I am hoping to eek out another few years. Depends on how well I treat her.
We pondering getting rid of the pimpmobile and getting something "newer" with some room and with better gas mileage. Not sure who will drive this one as my daily commute tends to add up on mileage.
And, for the last round - Next: Work in Progress