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mndsm
mndsm SuperDork
2/4/11 3:14 p.m.
AaronBalto wrote: If I were doing a $2.500 road trip, I would do it a little differently. I would arrange a car loan for $20k. I would search the LA Craigs List for the newest Rolls Royce I could get for my $20k. Because the good lord loves me so much, the car wouldn't have any problems when I got there, and I would just tag it and start driving. My first stop would be at a Ralph's to get two things: Half and Half (Where's the MONEYS Lebowski) and a jar of Grey Poupon. I would then drive around having a hella time in my Roller, flashing my mustard at everyone I met. When I was good and done with my trip, I'd put that Rolls back in Craigs List and sell it for $17,500. I'd pay off my loan, and have a great story. And, best of all, I would have a FREE jar of mustard AND some Half and Half!

You make it sound as though you've done this before. And I admire you for that.

Matt B
Matt B HalfDork
2/4/11 3:28 p.m.

I've always had a thing for the 2nd gen(?) Acura Legend Coupes. Plenty of those for cheap nowadays. Not sure of their specific problems, but I think you mostly need to look out for neglect (they attract a certain type of "pimp" owner around these parts). I know they made a few in manuals (5spd and 6spd). I test drove one years ago, while it wasn't as sporting as a TSX or anything it was a fine driver.

pres589
pres589 HalfDork
2/4/11 4:41 p.m.

Suzuki GS1100

oh

Acura Legend Coupe, 1st gen. 2nd gen will cost too much unless it's really cruddy.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/4/11 4:44 p.m.

With a Legend Coupe, very carefully check the slushbox as they have a habit of taking a permanent vacation. Nice and comfortable car otherwise.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 HalfDork
2/4/11 5:11 p.m.
AaronBalto wrote: If I were doing a $2.500 road trip, I would do it a little differently. I would arrange a car loan for $20k. I would search the LA Craigs List for the newest Rolls Royce I could get for my $20k. Because the good lord loves me so much, the car wouldn't have any problems when I got there, and I would just tag it and start driving. My first stop would be at a Ralph's to get two things: Half and Half (Where's the MONEYS Lebowski) and a jar of Grey Poupon. I would then drive around having a hella time in my Roller, flashing my mustard at everyone I met. When I was good and done with my trip, I'd put that Rolls back in Craigs List and sell it for $17,500. I'd pay off my loan, and have a great story. And, best of all, I would have a FREE jar of mustard AND some Half and Half!

Dude. This. Just watch out for your johnson. You need that.

itsatrap
itsatrap Reader
2/4/11 5:31 p.m.

SAAB 9000 if you replace the DI cassette with a brand new one before you leave. With all the space in the back you'll have enough room to sleep in the car with the seats folded down, or bring back an insane amount of souvenirs from the trip.. Like a whole totem pole, or a giant neon burlesque show sign, or a small elephant, the possibilities are endless. Plus the seats are super comfy and heated too.

92dxman
92dxman HalfDork
2/4/11 5:49 p.m.

I'd rock a Zx2 with Mx3 seats and an upgraded rear sway bar..

Matt B
Matt B HalfDork
2/4/11 6:18 p.m.

Yeah, I've heard of the automatics going out on the second gen Legends. Honestly, I'd just hold out for a manual.

Probably easier to find a manual in an E34 though, which also an attractive choice.

mmosbey
mmosbey GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/4/11 6:39 p.m.

Saab 9-3 Viggen with a Toppola. Comfortable, fast. Blows your budget, but you'll make it back on lodging.

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
2/4/11 7:07 p.m.
92dxman wrote: I'd rock a Zx2 with Mx3 seats and an upgraded rear sway bar..

I wouldn't! Mine was a disaster.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
2/4/11 8:00 p.m.
92dxman wrote: I'd rock a Zx2 with Mx3 seats and an upgraded rear sway bar..

Hate hate HATE those. If i'm going to do an Escort, it'll be an LX-E.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
2/4/11 8:04 p.m.
mmosbey wrote: Saab 9-3 Viggen with a Toppola. Comfortable, fast. Blows your budget, but you'll make it back on lodging.

LOL.

Not going to camp on the trip. If that was the case, would get a conversion van.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
2/4/11 8:45 p.m.

Audi 90 Quattro 20v?

Here's a good one that will make most of you recoil in horror: VW Corrado?

On the saner side of VAG auto, a Passat GLX VR6?

Vigo
Vigo Dork
2/4/11 11:22 p.m.

As a mechanic, i would just like to point out that AC is usually one of the easier things to fix on a car, unless it needs an evaporator and the dashboard is complicated.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
2/5/11 8:04 a.m.
Vigo wrote: As a mechanic, i would just like to point out that AC is usually one of the easier things to fix on a car, unless it needs an evaporator and the dashboard is complicated.

I thought so, too.... until i was utterly unsuccessful in fixing the A/C on the Escort.

But yeah, i'm not against fixing the A/C if i have to.

Sonic
Sonic Dork
2/5/11 9:31 a.m.

Saab 9000 Turbo. I've had two, have driven one cross country, and they eat up highway miles so well. Effortless highway cruising at near 30 MPG, very comfortable seats, plenty of room for luggage/stuff/souvenirs/new friends met along the way. For $2500 you can get a pretty nice one. They are fun to drive, the turbo motor has lots of torque and can pull the continental divide passes without coming out of 5th gear.

In general, look at cars that are comfortable and quiet for highway cruising, that are also sporty enough to entertain you. WHen you are putting that many miles on the car in a short time, comfortable highway cruising is the most important thing, as you will be more refreshed when you arrive, and she will be happier, and that's what really matters.

Aside from that, just get a big, old, american convertible.

J
J New Reader
2/5/11 7:20 p.m.

How close are you to Lincoln, NE?

heck of a deal if you ask me

DaveEstey
DaveEstey HalfDork
2/5/11 7:38 p.m.

Early 90's Subaru Legacy SS.

internetautomart
internetautomart SuperDork
2/5/11 7:51 p.m.

stay away from legends. I've had plenty come through my warehouse. mostly with blown head gaskets which means pulling the motor. (2nd gen issue) both gens have weak auto trannys. 2nd gen has a "driveshaft" issue on m/ts as well plus regular axle failure.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
2/5/11 8:09 p.m.
internetautomart wrote: stay away from legends. I've had plenty come through my warehouse. mostly with blown head gaskets which means pulling the motor. (2nd gen issue) both gens have weak auto trannys. 2nd gen has a "driveshaft" issue on m/ts as well plus regular axle failure.

Wierd... every account i've been able to find well... ever says that they're extremely long-lived and reliable. I'm not worried about the auto, i refuse to buy one.

Head gaskets are a "problem" in that they need to be replaced every 100k miles or so... Not really something i'm worried about.

At the end of the day, the chances of me finding a nice manual Legend for $2500 are pretty slim anyways.

Travis_K
Travis_K Dork
2/5/11 8:53 p.m.

Subaru Legacy Outback-you could actually go off the pavement a bit and not have to work much.

w123 Mercedes 240D, just becasue it would be awesome. lol

JohnW
JohnW Reader
2/5/11 9:42 p.m.

In reply to 92CelicaHalfTrac:

Your list looks pretty safe, although I've heard too many nightmares about SVT Contours. I like the Saab idea. I've seen a lot of cheap 9000s lately, but I digress.

Some others to consider?

e28 5 series BMW

e34 5 series BMW -- a 525i with the m50 and the 5 speed manual should fit your needs well and should be very findable in decent condition for $2,500 (the manuals are not as rare as many people would have you believe)

Volvo 200/700 -- but somewhat hard to find with a manual.

94-98 VW 4 cylinder Jetta/Golf -- not the most exciting car VW made, but good ones can be had all day long for $1,500 and should fit your needs very well.

VW Bus -- get this one if you want to make some great memories. Here's one that sees a lot road tripping: http://chanatrek.com/

mmosbey
mmosbey GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/5/11 10:27 p.m.
JohnW wrote: 94-98 VW 4 cylinder Jetta/Golf -- not the most exciting car VW made, but good ones can be had all day long for $1,500 and should fit your needs very well.

I've owned one of these - a 95 Jetta 2.0 in a color I'd describe as plum. Aside from post-"unintended accelerationgate" pedal placement, the car is very comfortable, and well laid out. That said, I imagine the car having been designed in some German university's engineering department. The drivetrain was designed by professors, the body by grad students, and all of the switchgear was designed by moderatly sloshed freshmen.

It seemed as if some little part was breaking each month. One time it'd be the door lock on the driver's side, then next month, it'd be on the passenger's side, then the alarm would get funny ideas and go off, then the locking gas flap would stop unlocking. Perhaps you'll pull the button to fold the rear seat, and find the button has come off in your hand. Ugh. I don't doubt the car will make it. I just don't know how many wire harnesses you'll have to jump to keep the immobilizer from stranding you.

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/7/11 8:59 a.m.
Sonic wrote: Saab 9000 Turbo. I've had two, have driven one cross country, and they eat up highway miles so well. Effortless highway cruising at near 30 MPG, very comfortable seats, plenty of room for luggage/stuff/souvenirs/new friends met along the way. For $2500 you can get a pretty nice one. They are fun to drive, the turbo motor has lots of torque and can pull the continental divide passes without coming out of 5th gear.

EOT.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
5/25/11 11:11 a.m.

Let's bump this up.

Let's increase the budget, and put more stipulations on here.

Let's say $5-8k, and not against financing.

RWD. Convertible. Small. Enough space for 2 and their stuff, packing light. Still literally driving around most of the US. Needs to get good gas mileage, and be plenty tossable. Don't need luxury, but comfortable is necessary.

I'm coming up with NB Miata, MR-S, Mazdaspeed Miata or NA Miata. (Obviously pay cash for NA.)

The reason i threw the other cars out in the exercise was because they were all too similar to cars i already have. Seemed silly. Go on a road trip, come home, and have something 95% the same as my MX6. What's the point? I realized that i'm probably keeping the MX6 around for the long haul, so let's try something new.

Pros for the MR-S:

I like the interior better. They're newer. They're powered by a corolla motor, so what's going to go wrong? You don't see millions of them a week. They're very light, and as such, feel more powerful than the Miatas. (Barring the MSM)

Cons:

Not as big of an aftermarket. (Problem after the trip.)

Miata:

Well, it's the answer. And i've always wanted an excuse to buy things from Rev9.

Cons: An NA i can pay cash for might not be something i'd want to take across country. NBs that i can finance aren't any cheaper than MR-S, and sometimes more expensive in this area. I don't find the interior quite as comfy. I'm not sure if i would choose an NB over an NA just because of the looks and aesthetic aftermarket, anyways.

Any other suggestions? I will not be racing either of these cars. Would want a unique, responsive, comfy, "baller" summer daily after the trip that could more than hold it's own on some backroad fun. Something that gets noticed. It's anti-grassroots, but aesthetics will play a BIG role in whatever i get down the road.

If there were a site like Rev9autosport for the MR-S, the deal would be DONE. I know it's stupid, i know those little parts are all expensive, but i've always somewhat wanted a car that i COULD get those parts for. I would do a "retro-ized" Miata over time.

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