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Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/3/21 10:48 p.m.

My first daily after I moved to L.A. was a five-hundred-buck 74 Maverick.  I cleaned the maple syrup out of the carb and drove it for 3 years.

My second daily in L.A. was a 62 Caddy SDV.  $1500 and 532k on the clock.  It burned as much oil as it did gas, and the springs were cut so low that I couldn't do a three-point turn without high-centering the frame on the crown in the street's pavement.  I once had to call AAA to tow me one foot to get unstuck on Sepulveda Blvd as I blocked half the traffic for 40 minutes.  I lost this car in a bet in Vegas.  Drove there with my buddy in a pink rabbit costume (weed was involved) and bet him that he couldn't win $1500 to buy it from me.  He did.  In the rabbit costume.  Walked into the Golden Nugget to the Roulette table, he put $20 on black 8, hit, pulled it all back to ride on black, hit again, and cashed in $1625.

No photo description available.

Then I got super smart and bought this Step Van.  In L.A. every city block retains a parking spot for commercial loading/unloading.  I used to drive this thing to auditions and calls the night before, park in a commercial spot, sleep in the back, and be there bright and early.  I would take it to the bar at night because no cop would assume a commercial delivery van would have someone in it that just drank 2 beers.  It was so rusty that I could use strategic holes in the back of the box to see how close I was to something behind me when I was backing up.

Bought this 66 Bonneville in 1996 for $300 and I still have it.  I put 6x heads on it, an Edelbrock intake, and a homebuilt modified Qjet with a plywood spacer, and the next day I drove it from PA to FL with my girlfriend sitting beside me on the bench seat.  For a long time it had a Caddy 500 in it.  It currently has a 14 bolt full-floater and 3/4 ton spindles to match up front.  Getting a Duramax swap soon.

Snagged this 82 Baja SunSport with motor stringers so badly rotted they had grass growing out of them.  Stripped it bare, dropped in a Vortec, rebuilt the outdrive, and had a 60 mph luxo cruiser.  Sold it to my buddy in 2013 and he just gave it back to me.


Tk8398 HalfDork
12/3/21 11:02 p.m.

I like driving junky cars, and fixing stuff so it works properly again, but I also hate the endless cycle of making a little progress on a repair, ordering part which take two weeks to show up, then repeat multiple times when I would really rather spend time doing something else.  I'm currently not sure whether I want to keep the cars I have (00 Boxster and 96 Legacy which are definitely in the junk category), order a new Maverick or buy more junky cars (90s diesel truck or another diesel mercedes maybe).

Cactus HalfDork
12/4/21 1:05 a.m.
z31maniac said:
Cactus said:

I live in SW Ohio where traffic is full of idiots and the roads aren't any good when there's nobody on them. 

Just to be fair, EVERYONE says where they drive is full of idiots and crappy roads. I can't attest to the accuracy or method.



Can't argue that drivers aren't crap everywhere, I believe the only way to truly get away from them is to move out somewhere there's not enough traffic to bother paving. Even then you're probably going to bump into somebody who shouldn't be behind the wheel.


And my other complaint wasn't that the roads are bad, but that they're boring. The east side of Ohio has plenty of nice twisty asphalt that doesn't lead anywhere crowded. Problem is I've got to slog on the interstate for 3 hours just to get there.

rattfink81 Reader
12/4/21 2:33 a.m.

I've been driving junk since I got my license in the 90's. My current daily is my 14 Challenger that I bought used 2 years ago and is the nicest car I've every owned and probably will be for the next 5 to 10 years(at which point it might be consider junk). I don't like car payments even though most of my junk requires repairs which we all know can add up quick or turn into projects(got 2 non runners on the back burner)

I still find myself driving my 90 chevy 1500 quite a bit even when I'm not using it for truck stuff. Something about driving a bench seat, manual everything old truck(relatively speaking) just feels right.

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
12/4/21 9:59 a.m.

I used to be able to rationalize to myself driving junk cars. But I find I just can't do it anymore. I guess it's just borrowing that phrase of "I'm too old for this E36 M3".   I've worked too hard and too long to be driving old beaters. I'm not saying that I need to have a brand new $90,000 car, because I wouldn't want it and probably can't afford it. However, driving an old beater just isn't fun anymore. For me, it's almost like the thing about driving a slow car fast. I used to think that was fun, but not anymore.

Billy_Bottle_Caps GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/4/21 10:57 a.m.

I prefer cheap cars as well. Currently driving a 2000 Ford F150 V6 with annoying cracked exhaust manifold I bought last year for $750. Put about $400 in and been driving it everyday, not pretty, but drives fine A/C works and it does truck things well. I am not afraid to use it like a truck, and if it gets scratched or just craps out on me, I am not out much.



wspohn SuperDork
12/4/21 11:32 a.m.

I have only bought one new car in the 70+ I have owned, but that doesn't make me a 'junk' lover as I always improve and maintain them (pics are the models I drove but not all are of my particular cars).  They all ended up mechanically sound although aesthetics did take a back seat sometimes, depending on the state of the wallet.


RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) Reader
12/4/21 4:09 p.m.

I've been dailying a 2001 Nissan Maxima I bought for 800$. I love it because its simple, easy to maintain and comfortable. It's also zero stress because I do not care what happens to it at all.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/4/21 5:09 p.m.

In reply to RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) :

For a while my (now ex) wife had a 90s Tercel that got totaled with hail damage.  I bought it back for $500 with a salvage title and she drove it for another 100k.  She hit a retread on the highway and slammed it into a concrete wall (she was fine) and I showed up at the accident before the tow truck with the title and just handed it to him.  Nice to not have to worry about it.

Folgers New Reader
12/4/21 9:30 p.m.

I’ve almost always have had a “nice” truck and at least one beater car. 

First nice truck was a 93 d150 with 220k on it. Car was a 1990 Omni, 20 pounds of boost one wheel burn outs were the norm.

The trend of 20 year old dodge trucks and 23 year old dodge cars continued for many years.

I bought my first new vehicle in 2019. 2018 ram 3500 with the 6.4.

the last few beaters have been Japanese appliances. 99 civic for $500, drove for four years, sold it when snow started coming up from the floors. My most recent is a 2005 solara with a five speed and sunroof. Bought in 2019,  I paid $1500 for. 

My truck doesn’t go to the grocery store, it doesn’t drive in the snow, I try to not drive it in the rain. After and before winter I drive it to work on Fridays to wash it, then she sits in the garage till next Friday when I get to wash it again. Truck stuff does happens in between. 

The solara has been rear ended three times in my possession, two other parking lot incidents, I wasn’t  at fault in any of them. 

My solara has lost probably six square inches of paint and has two dents on the passenger rear fender.  I’d be in jail if that happened  to my truck.

I am the Lone Ranger, and my truck is silver.  

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) Reader
12/4/21 9:38 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Yup! It's the ultimate luxury. The Maxima currently has 76k miles on it (i've driven it for 4k miles) so this thing is for the long haul.

Streetwiseguy MegaDork
12/4/21 9:53 p.m.

Every time I read the title of this thread, I see "Who enjoys driving drunk?"

No, not really.

JThw8 UltimaDork
12/4/21 11:46 p.m.

I've reached a point where comfort and reliability are kinda important to me but still I will admit at one point I was doing my daily commute either in my Mercury Marauder (not a beater) or the $500 beat ass crown vic cop car I bought to keep miles off the Marauder.   I loved that Vic, because I didnt care about it.  I didnt have to worry if someone was going to rear end me while being inattentive in traffice (2x in 2 years) or whatever else.  Maintenance was simple and parts were cheap.   The marauder was a better car all around, but driving the Vic was a stress free endeavor, after the first few months it owed me nothing and I would be content to leave it on the side of the road if it died.  It never did and sold for $1500 after 2 years of faithful service.


einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/5/21 11:50 a.m.

When I go to the inner city college campus to pick up my daughter, I prefer to take the 2006 Civic that she mainly drives when she's home, so there is no stress about getting bumped into, etc. in that urban jungle.  The Civic also gets taken to work by me if the weather is crappy, and she is not using it.

autocomman Reader
12/6/21 2:58 a.m.

It's pretty much been said here but I think it's not that you like driving junk, you like driving a car you don't have to care about. I like my daily driver it's a 2019 regal tour x and I love it. First new car I've ever bought, and I'm not too paranoid about it I do try to keep it nice and clean. I also have a 59 Austin-Healey Sprite, bugeye Sprite. This car is mechanically 100%, ive gone through it all, but the paint body have not been done. It's mostly black but has green doors and a blue bonnet. It's got no carpets no door cards etc etc. It sounds awesome it runs freaking great I can drive it anywhere park it anywhere and I don't have to worry about it. I absolutely love that about this, so when I do finally get around to the paint and body I'm going to be paranoid about it and that's going to suck however that's not going to stop me from driving it.

I was a Volvo guy for years. I think I've had 11 or 12 of them. My favorite without question hands down was a 240 wagon that I cut the top off of and turned into a truck. It was mechanically sound it was structurally sound, because I had other Volvos at the time that I was sort of customizing this 86 wagon ended up with a 1980 grill and headlights keeping the 86 hood so it had a bit of an overbite, the 1980 dash, no carpets, the stock b230 but with an m46 manual swapped in.  did all the bracing and everything right but didn't know how to finish the body work on it. I drove it in its unfinished state for a couple of months and had an absolute blast with it. Because I didn't care it was fantastic. I mean an old Volvo doesn't really care how you drive it, and I definitely took advantage of that. So to sum it up I don't think it's so much driving junk that's fun, however driving junk is kind of fun. But having a car you don't really care about that's a reliable enough you don't really have to do much too, toss whatever in it park it anywhere no cares given, thats the money shot.

dxman92 Dork
12/6/21 7:17 a.m.

I don't think of them as junk. I prefer broken in vehicles.

mjlogan New Reader
12/6/21 10:40 a.m.

Love it.  This was my favorite daily driver ever, perhaps favorite vehicle ever.  Leave the keys in it 24/7, never worry about door dings or anyone trying to cut you off.  88 ranger, did plenty of 1000+ mi road and off road trips.  Never left me stranded


And my current daily driver junk, looks ok from 20' but it is a total rustbucket.  I choose it over my newer pickup every morning.


Edit: sorry about the million reposts, not sure what was going on??

twowheeled Reader
12/6/21 11:17 a.m.

2 things I can't stand about cheap old cars.


1. Replacing suspension bits myself

2. Squeaks and rattles








jfryjfry SuperDork
12/6/21 11:35 a.m.

I find myself driving an appliance more often than driving the cars I love because there is a real risk in Los Angeles of the cars coming home worse for the wear

of course, the appliance never gets dinged/hit/etc but I know as soon as I take something nice, I'll get hit and run (again) or door dinged (again). 

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