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Tim Frazier

Old vehicles as a "value"

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Tim Frazier

I didn't want to hijack Chilly's Jeep thread but he mentioned that old cars seldom are a good value finacially. (my words not his exact words)

 

I don't really agree with this but have had a recent experience that kind of supports with this sentiment.  I have a 2003 F150 I picked up from a guy who brought it back from Florida about 4 summers ago.  It was cleaner underneath than many new cars in Ohio are if they have to sit out a winter before they sell.  I mean, it had zero rust.  It was a regular cab with an anemic 4.2 V6 but it was 4wd (manual transfer case shifter) and had a limited slip and tow package.  It had 108,000 miles on it. $6000, even tax/title OTD.

 

Right off the bat I put new tires on it, $500, and a couple hundred more in new plugs/wires/filters and such.  Each year I've put some money into it, the biggest being $800 for a heater core.  I do a lot of the work myself and have never put more than $1000 a year in it and much of that was my choice (tire/rim upgrade, cap and such)  I keep it undercoated with a yearly product and it's solid as a rock.

 

However I have just recently had some resistance from a local mechanic that I use when I don't want to do something myself about putting money in it and was shocked when he did a sort of half ass repair to "save me some money".  I don't look at this truck as a beater and wanted it done right.  I think he was trying to honestly save me some money as he was worried he would snap a bolt on the intake and the labor charge would significantly higher to fix it.

 

Anyway, I still see it as worth doing things right on because the cost to buy a new truck would be insane and this one will go places many new trucks wouldn't without even more money being put in them.

 

So is my $6000 truck a money pit...maybe...but compared to $35,000-45,000 for a new truck, I don't see how.

 

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WI Outdoor Nut

I believe I was the one who called out the "value" of a car in the last thread, and will say, it really comes down to the owner.  In the jeep's case, it appears the vehicle is looked as a toy and it doesn't need to make sense to me or anyone else about putting money into it, other than the owner.  For you, the cost you have into your truck is justified over a new vehicle.  The great thing is,  your money, do what you want, and who really cares what others think. 

 

I own a boat that cost me some pretty good cash.  There is no way I could ever recover the food savings in fish for this toy.  I know I have some friends who think this way and really don't care what they think.  Just like owning an $8000 fox sxs, when an 870 pump will really do the same thing for a lot less money. 

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max2

The manifold bolt that rusts off because ford chose to use instead of correcting  ? Muffler noise ? This is what turned me off on ford. I have been a Chevy/Ford guy for years .My neighbor had a an 2001 F-150 -Bolt rotted I had a 2004 Expedition bolt rotted  had it fixed by a mechanic -claimed he popped it out of there with a torch. Then fast forward to my 2008 Super Duty and it rotted off I was told to correct they would have to remove the cab and would cost 2-K .I traded it in on my current ride Chevy Silverado. They knew in 2001 this was a problem  - why not correct ?  Not to trash ford in general and who knows if I would own one in the future . Perhaps ?    Again this may sound bitter/argumentative  but not meant too ! JMHO  

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gunsrus

I will always lose money on older trucks , Jeeps , cars , it's what I do . I'm a fanatic about doing things right , The current '99 Tahoe 2 door is a prime example . Bought it for $6100 and honestly needed nothing , ran like a top . Since then I have replaced almost everything and my mechanic does things the way I want . Most think I'm nuts , don't really care because it is the vehicle I want on the logging roads of Northern Maine . Currently at Body Shop , cleaning down the frame in excellent shape , no rot and painting it along with fixing any beginning rust on the rockers , (very little} sandblasting and replacing metal as necessary. 

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Tim Frazier
4 minutes ago, gunsrus said:

I will always lose money on older trucks , Jeeps , cars , it's what I do . I'm a fanatic about doing things right , The current '99 Tahoe 2 door is a prime example . Bought it for $6100 and honestly needed nothing , ran like a top . Since then I have replaced almost everything and my mechanic does things the way I want . Most think I'm nuts , don't really care because it is the vehicle I want on the logging roads of Northern Maine . Currently at Body Shop , cleaning down the frame in excellent shape , no rot and painting it along with fixing any beginning rust on the rockers , (very little} sandblasting and replacing metal as necessary. 

 

Yes, I feel the exact same way and had to tell the mechanic that I appreciated his concern but I was fine with the expense if the bolt snapped. (it didn't btw)

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Speaks

Value always depends on what you want out of it. I loved my 77 F150, favorite vehicle I have ever owned (possible exception for a couple motorcycles). I could also work on it and fix things in a way that I will never even try on my current truck. When the situation came up though that I could not park two trucks anymore I sent it down the road and kept my 08 Tundra. To contradict myself that truck is probably considered an old truck now, it never once needed anything more than scheduled maintenance. As soon as it does I will buy something new. When I was young wrenching on vehicles was a profitable use of time, when I am old it may be again (though with the direction they are going that gets harder and harder), right now there is zero chance that turning a wrench on anything is not costing me more money than someone else doing it. I honestly prefer old trucks to new ones, I just cant afford an old one right now. 

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steveziv

 

Buy a new truck/SUV and your payments will easily be $6000 the first year, so every year after that is gravy.  If there's a catastrophic failure in year 2 you've broken even, in subsequent years you're putting money in your pocket.

 

I bought a couple Volvo XC70's for around $6000 and also put maybe $1000 per year into them.  I eventually got tired of the maintenance and decided to go newer, then new since I receive an allowance from my employer.

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Jazz4Brazo

I am of the opinion that I buy new then run it til it drops with the last years always being the rationale that a $1,000 fix is equal to a few car payments...in the case of my 06 Tacoma I finally had to give up on it as it looked great from the outside but despite a frame change under recall everything else around it was rusting away from the inside out!

 

As for Tim's post...I would be doing the same...nice rig!!

 

J4B 

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Greg Hartman
8 minutes ago, Jazz4Brazo said:

I am of the opinion that I buy new then run it til it drops

 

I try to do that, too.  BUT...

 

One problem for me is that I'm not any kind of mechanic, so I have to pay someone to keep an older vehicle on the road. 

 

My other problem, as a non-mechanic, is that it's always hard for me to know when "it dropped".  My last "shooting brake" - an old Jeep Liberty - gave me many years of service, but in each of the last two years I owned it, I spent at least the cost of buying an equivalent vehicle to keep it running.  Each time, I figured "OK, now I've fixed everything on the vehicle!  There's nothing left to go wrong."  Then, something else would fail and I'd be stuck with the Hobson's Choice of just junking a non-functioning vehicle, or paying, yet again, to fix it.  After two years of that, I decided that "it dropped" and bought a new truck.

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GLS

Ted Turner once drove up to an interview in an old car.  The reporter remarked that Turner could afford any vehicle he desired, why the old car?  "A car is the single most depreciating asset an American family buys."  Point taken.   Gil

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Tim Frazier

Back in the early days of the Great Lakes SxS group there was a shoot down by Columbus Ohio.  There was a gentleman there named Ed who drove a rather plain looking red Chevy truck.  Behind the seat were multiple Purdey's to include a one of a kind 20ga made by one of the employees.  It was a spectacular collection.  Someone there asked him how he could have such a collection and be driving such a plain old truck.   Ed promptly informed him it was because he drove "old trucks" that he could have the collection!

 

 

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jeff88
1 hour ago, gunsrus said:

 Most think I'm nuts , don't really care

Al, this may be the secret to a happy life.  

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jeff88
20 minutes ago, GLS said:

Ted Turner once drove up to an interview in an old car.  The reporter remarked that Turner could afford any vehicle he desired, why the old car?  "A car is the single most depreciating asset an American family buys."  Point taken.   Gil

That's classic reverse snobbery with an Eff U to boot.  Love it.  I don't feel real badly about folks who flaunt their wealth but it is pitiful.   The older I get, the more I enjoy the  "not caring" factor.  Not caring + CRS = 😎

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Birdcountry70

Everyone has their own philosophy on vehicles  and value.  I  view them as a necessary expense that I try to minimize as much as possible without causing myself too much grief with things like breakdowns and excessive repairs or getting stranded in the  middle of nowhere or just stress from worrying about those things. My main vehicle (always a 4x4pickup) usually is bought at about 5-6 years old with 40-70k miles. Somebody else has already taken the big hit on initial depreciation. During the time I'm paying it off the cost per mile is better than the original owners but still not great.  After it's paid off and I'm still racking up miles is when I finally find out how good of a deal I got a few years earlier. That's where I am now with my 09 Ram. So far I've put on 75k miles with only regular maintenance and about $200 in repairs.  It's got 114k total on it. If it goes another 75k before it starts needing expensive repairs like most high mileage vehicles do I'll call it a success and sell it for a couple thousand bucks. Was my pickup a good deal? It's looking like it was but ask me in a few more years and I'll have a solid answer. 

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caleb
2 hours ago, Tim Frazier said:

 

So is my $6000 truck a money pit...maybe...but compared to $35,000-45,000 for a new truck, I don't see how.

 

 

Agreed.  The payments on a new truck could easily be $6000/year.  And it would cost more to insure.

 

We've managed to cut down to one vehicle between us, a 2003 Toyota Matrix with now 203k miles.  It's been needing new tires and brakes.  Good tires (I hate, hate, hate bad tires) were $600, and the brakes were a few hundred.  So, something like $1000 in maintenance to keep a 17 year old grocery getter going.  Some people might say that's not worth it, but my logic is that $1000 is only about three months of lease payments on an equivalent vehicle.

 

Steps one and two in most personal finance literature are (1) spend less on your housing, and (2) spend less on your vehicles, for good reason.

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