Out With the New – in With the Old!

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Which costs more – buying a new vehicle or fixing up the one you’ve got? 

Everyone has heard about the unprecedented skyrocketing prices of used vehicles – especially trucks – over the past couple of years. The “media” says this is happening because of shortages of new vehicles. The “media” also says that wearing “masks” – and getting Jabbed – “stops the spread.” If you still believe either, then go ahead and believe that used vehicle prices are up by 30-plus percent because of inventory shortages of new ones . . .

The truth is that the value of used vehicles – especially used trucks – waxes because interest in new ones wanes. While some people are stupid, not everyone is – and the ones who aren’t are smart enough to understand that we’ve already passed a kind of event horizon as regards the desirability of new vehicles vs. their undesirability.

For decades – since the very beginning of the Age of the Car – it was the reverse. New vehicles generally were better, not just newer.

They came with more desirable features; they tended to be better-built and more reliable with each successive model year. You got more for your money – which was an incentive to part with your money. 

What do you get today? 

Undesirable features such as “advanced driver assistance technology,” which both insults your intelligence and aggravates your senses – every time you try to drive the car and have to fight the car’s attempts to countermand your driving. These “technologies” are all-but-impossible to avoid in new vehicles, having been virtue-signaled into the standard equipment package by car companies that are less interested in selling cars than selling “technology.”

How about ASS? The obnoxious “technology” that stops the engine every time the car stops? Then starts it up again, rinse and repeat – over and over and over, again? Yes, you can turn it off. The point is, you ought not to have to. 

But it goes deeper than these minor electronic annoyances. The cloying parenting of adults by “technology” not asked for but which we’re forced to pay for.

People who aren’t stupid are also aware that most vehicles made over the past ten or so years are technological time-bombs, embalmed with electronica that isn’t repairable when it fails and which will cost a fortune to replace when it does. They don’t want 48 volts, mild-hybrids, multiple turbos and ten speed transmissions behind 2.0 liter engines in two-ton vehicles.

They want repairable – by them – vehicles that can be kept in good order for decades. They want non-turbocharged engines and manual transmissions. Perhaps even roll-up windows. Ideally no airbags – but anything less than the six or more that almost every new car is force-fitted with will do. 

Most of all, perhaps, they want paid-for.

Not-stupid people are smart enough to avoid debt, particularly when the possibility of paying it down wanes in tandem with the value of the currency used to make payments. They are smart enough to understand that it is not just the cost of a new car that is high it is also the cost of the taxes and insurance applied to them. All of which, together, serves to impoverish and enserf them – leaving aside the being parented by the inevitably throw-away new car.

That is why the value of older vehicles waxes.

Even more so when you run some numbers and realize how much less it costs to return an older, pre-electronica vehicle to operationally as-new condition. Perhaps even cosmetically new, too. With the end result being an older vehicle free of all the undesirable “features” of new vehicles that runs, drives – and even looks – like new.

And that’s of value to people who aren’t stupid.

It’s also why people who already own an older vehicle that’s readily fixable aren’t selling them. This, in turn, increases the cost of buying such a vehicle when one becomes available.

I could probably sell my ’02 Nissan Frontier pickup with about 140,000 miles on for $7k – which is about what I paid for it, used, about twelve years ago. But it’d be stupid of me to sell it – for even twice that – because there’s nothing new that approximates its value and not just to me, either.

Give it another couple of years and let’s see how much a truck without a ten speed automatic, a turbocharged  2.0 liter engine, “advanced driver assistance technology” and all the rest is worth.

In the meanwhile, I could spend $7k on a new/rebuilt engine and clutch job; go through the simple (mechanical) suspension and fix/replace anything in need of being – and end up with an operationally as-new truck that will probably last longer than any new truck will and which will never parent me in the meanwhile.

No ASS. Not even a seatbelt buzzer. Just a timid little light that illuminates – easily ignored. I shift for myself, which is something you’re not allowed to do in any new truck. There are no “updates” changing the way my truck runs – or doesn’t, if they decide to turn it off (which they can’t, with an old truck that isn’t connected). No EULA came with it; just an owner’s manual.

Which I am, because no one else controls my truck.

Which is why it’s worth its weight in gold, almost – to me as well as people who wish they had one like it, too.

. . .

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  1. Got a nice-running ’73 Plymouth Duster with a slant-six to teach my boys how to wrench. Original motor & tranny. Great, basic transportation.

  2. I jumped on the old truck bandwagon last year when I got an ‘82 Silverado and have never looked back. The thing had issues but good bones (not too much rust, engine and drivetrain in good condition). Once it was fixed up it was like nothing I’d ever driven before. It’s a Detroit Diesel V8 with the standard transmission (no OD) and towing gears, so the thing really roars when I’m going down the interstate. The closest thing I can compare it to is the ‘97 Isuzu Trooper my dad had when I was a kid until high school – that was also diesel, stick and 4×4, but a much smaller engine. I know it pushes out way lower hp and torque numbers than any modern full size truck, but it FEELS so much stronger and tougher. Oh yeah, and overall it cost me a *fraction* of what a new or late model truck that size goes for… and is super easy to maintain myself.

  3. LOL got curious about old Nissan Frontiers so looked them up in Mercado Libre Uruguay. Oldest listed are each from 2004, each around 440,000 km (273,000 miles). USD 15,990 and USD 16,900! This is not new, but typical: I sold my 4Runner to bro-in-law in Texas in 2009, probably could have fetched USD 8K if perfect. Got to Uruguay and saw same year, same mileage (but diesel) advertised for USD 34,000.

  4. My daily driver past 18 months is a 2004 Toyota Camry (up to 363,000 miles now) replaced axle shafts up front, shock/strut assemblies on rear. It just keeps running and rolling great.
    Just purchased a trade-in from a dealer before auction, 2002 Toyota Sienna CE (base model)
    that spent majority of existence in Georgia and Florida with only 237,000 miles, NO Rust.
    Both vehicles have the same 3.0 V6 and drivetrain. In my 50’s, and plan for these cars to
    see me through to the end, provided gasoline is available that long.

  5. The only reason these auto manufacturers get away with making $40,000+ cars that most of us DON’T want, is that they know the dildos won’t keep them for very long. They’re basically fashion accessories at this point, just like those GD smartphones! Use it for about a year or two, then trade it in for a new one. Rinse and repeat. I swear, I’m beginning to think the dildos actually LIKE being ass-raped because life in general is STILL a living hell! But then again, they’ll accept ANYTHING as long as there’s no “painful” thinking required.

  6. Another thing working to kill off viable used cars (As if these tiny turbo-charged over-worked engines pulling around heavy vehicles isn’t enough) is how the population is being propagandized with the idea that one can go 10K-20K miles between oil changes!

  7. Mazda keeps sending my wife ‘Appraisal Invitations’ for her 2010 Mazda 3 GS, hatchback. Low km, 2.5l, auto. We get it serviced at the dealership. Not crazy about that, but I couldn’t find a reputable service shop, and the dealership is close to her job. We try to stay up with recommended service intervals. I handle most minor “dry” type service/repairs myself. We’re upgrading also a few things ourselves, like installing an aftermarket stereo and adding a backup cam.

    She drove someone else’s 2022 Mazda 3 a few weeks ago. “Fully equipped” At one point she got into some kind of wrestling match with the steering wheel. Not happy.

  8. My “newest” vehicle is a 2000 Voyager minivan. It can still be shifted out of park without holding the brake pedal. The 2000 is the last year of the 1st generation double-sliding doors
    (1996-2000) so it is relatively nanny-less, yet reasonable to service and operate. I avoid the T&C models as they are always chocked full of the latest unreliable automated garbage.

  9. The Mk3 VW Golfs are good cars, get pre 1996 and there is no airbags or obd2.

    Jeremy Clarkson says no matter what kind of car you need buy a Golf. The VW GTI was voted one of the ten best cars in the world at any price.

    These Golfs are very simple, analog, easy to work on, well engineered, handle really well, high quality. They are very practical, carry 5 people, carry lots of stuff, are a sports car, easy to modify for performance was a successful race car in rallies and on track. The Mk3 interior was upgraded and looks like an Audi.

    The 2.0 lt. aba 4 cyl. engine is very strong, simple and reliable, easy to repair, parts are cheap, get the manual transaxle car. These cars also came with a diesel.

    The Mk3 GTI is not as popular as the Mk1 and Mk2 GTI’s so it is cheaper, the Mk1 and Mk2 are cult collector cars and getting very expensive, the Mk3 will probably follow, so could appreciate in value.


  10. I have a 2005 Volvo XC90 with 135k miles on it. All it needs is a little TLC here and there – nothing crazy. The 5-cylinder turbo engine runs like a Swiss watch. I will never get rid of it. I haven’t had a car payment in 15 years.

  11. I don’t know about the rest of Virginia, but Stafford County is cashing in on the increased cost of used vehicles. Their valuation of my 2016 Tacoma keeps increasing, which increases the annual personal property tax on it — by almost 50% last year. So I have a wasting asset that keeps getting taxed more and more by those blood sucking thieves.

    • Hi Mike,

      I anticipate the same happening here in Floyd, VA. I stopped “registering” my truck three years ago and have Fram tags on it now. I think I will inform the bastards the truck was sold. I, too, tire of them shoving their hands in my pockets serially as well as at every turn.

      Some will say: But I’d only $100 or so every year! So it’s ok if a thief “only” steals $100 from you each year? And after ten years of this, it’s $1,000…

  12. Eric: “Perhaps even roll-up windows.”

    All vehicles, for Saaaaafety, should have a roll-up window on the driver’s side, and other power windows for convenience. The lemmings wouldn’t understand the concept.

    I’ve bought new vehicles (’70s & ’80s) with roll-up windows and then installed a power window kit on the passenger side (best PW kit – Spal).

    • Most power windows, if you can figure out exactly the right spot, you can drill a hole and install a crank. The sizing is standard.

  13. I’ll be keeping my 20 year old gas guzzling rust bucket SUV for as long as I can. Every mile driven in it from here on in is an FU to crap like this:

    From 3/29/22: North Carolina just signed a multi billion dollar crony fascistic deal to have Vietnamese EV manufacturer VinGroup build VinFast electric vehicles in Chatham County. So, in other words, actual communists will now be building social credit based tracking devices on wheels right here in the good ole USSA. If you have the stomach, Startpage these folks. The absolute weirdest factoid is that this giant Vietnamese state capitalist (commie) consortium was founded by Vietnamese folks in…. Ukraine… in 1993 and was initially known as Technocom and involved in… “food production.” Also, they are heavy into a “location tracking tech” known as what3words that will be integrated into every one of their EV models. Accurate to within 10 feet of anything even offline. For your “convenience”, comrade.

  14. Well I did it. I found a 1979 Formula Firebird that checked all of the boxes. It was relatively cheap, has a transplanted small block Chevy engine in great shape no leaks, 4 speed manual transmission, redone interior, , all gauges AC and heater work, has a very rough exterior. The only thing it probably needs is suspension work which I can do pretty cheaply myself. I wish it had the t-tops, but can’t have everything I guess.

    The guy I bought it from was fixing it up with his 13 year old son so he could drive it when he turned 16. Son decided he wanted a 4×4 instead, so I get to take over from here.

    I always wanted to drive around a cool old 70’s car as a daily driver.

    I don’t drive too much now that I work remotely from home. I have a 15 year old daughter that’s getting my current daily, an ’05 Dodge Stratus.

    • Philo!

      I am something of an expert on second generation F-cars; if I can be of assistance with anything, holler. Your car may be very rare, by the way. An original four speed Formula with the 400 (T/A 6.6) engine) would be a real find, even if the original 400 Pontiac V8 is no longer there. Is it a WS6 car? You can tell by checking for rear disc brakes. If it has them, it is a WS6 car. I’d check the VIN to ascertain whether it’s an original 400/4-speed car. If so, you have found a find!

      • No sir, I wish it was. I believe it was an original 301 with the ST-10 transmission. Has drum brakes in back.

        Thank you for the offer, I might shoot you an email if anything comes up that I have trouble with. This will be a new adventure for me as I have never owned anything but Mopar. Prices for Mopars are through the roof, even for engine-less or non-running cars.

        But I’ve always loved the body style and always wanted to drive one.

        • Hi Philo,

          Even with the 301, it’s still an original four-speed car and that is a huge plus. I kick myself – repeatedly – for letting a parts car ’77 400/four-speed car go . . . with the four speed, the pedals and all the small bits and pieces. Price these out today and you will find that you got a deal on your car!

          The 301, incidentally, was an odd-duck engine for a Pontiac. It’s the only Pontiac V8 that does not interchange most parts with other Pontiac V8s. My 455, for example, can use practically any 326/350/400/428/455 D-port head made from circa ’67 through ’79 and all factory intakes are bolt-ons, too. The 301 has a different block/heads/intake/crank and pretty much everything else. It was designed to be be light – relative to the 400 – and was considered a “fuel economy” engine, back in the day. Some people have pulled decent power out of the ’80-’81 turbo models, which had some strength upgrades. But you’d probably be better off putting in a 400 or 455 when money permits. The 400 is more common and will cost less to get the block/crank (400 heads bolt on the 455). The 455 is long-stroke engine and known for being a big torque mill that works really well with automatics in heavy cars.

          If you haven’t already, get a parts catalog from Ames Performance Engineering; see here: https://secure.amesperf.com/

          • Hi Eric,

            Thanks for the link Eric. I’ll send you some pics of the car when I’m able if you’re interested. It’s silver with blue accent stripes, blue interior.

            The guy I bought it from said the 350 engine was from a 69 Camaro. It has a posi rear end , but I’m not sure of the gearing. I’ll count the rotations when I get it in my garage on Saturday. I’ll probably drive it as is for a while if it’s relatively reliable. Maybe a restore at some point.

            I pick it up this weekend. Super excited.

  15. I just got a recall notice on my 2016 Mustang. The back up camera blanks out or distorts the picture, the notice said, which can lead to “unsafe backing.” I had to laugh at that. Apparently, I’ve been backing unsafely since I was 16. This is the first car I’ve had with one of these infernal cameras, solving a problem I never knew I had.
    I doubt I will get it fixed since taking a car to a dealership is such a pain. I’ll let the next person deal with it. I have not noticed any issues with my back up picture, but I don’t look at it much.
    My previous car was also under recall when I traded it in, this one for the passenger side airbag, another new tech/safety ninny feature I didn’t want or opt for and never had fixed since I never had passengers. That recall said, if I remember, that the bag could explode and possibly injure a smaller passenger. I thought they were supposed to explode, like that’s the feature, not a bug, right?
    Yet, Ford, and other makes, put out some lugnuts that fused to the bolts or something. The only way to get them off was to break them. I remember a Ford dealership mechanic telling me to just get a new set at Autozone. (What? Not Ford Certified Parts? Is there a glitch in the Matrix?). But Ford would not do a recall for that issue, which I think is a little more important than that asinine backup camera. Technically, I guess, functional lugnuts are not federally mandated, while the backup camera is.

    • The front-facing camera on my 2018 Camry has briefly failed several times since I bought the car new. I wouldn’t care since the camera enables the saaaaafety features such as the Lane Assist and Collision Avoidance, which I turn off, but the dashboard lights up like a Chistmas tree anytime the camera fails. I know it would never get through inspection in Texas with a failed camera.

      The camera is a $1200 part new so Toyota wasn’t going to budge on replacing under warranty unless the part failed completely.

      BTW, the car’s Lane Assist tried to kill me, fighting me for control of the steering as I approached an intersection, the first time I drove the vehicle home from the dealership. The “feature” has been off ever since.

      • I never drove a car with lane assist until recently, when I got a Rav4 as a rental while my car was in the bodyshop. It was subtle but noticeable and freaked me out the first time it fought me. Then I started playing with it, running it off the road on purpose, weaving etc.
        The day after I gave the SUV back, I went on vacation and rented a new Ranger that had it too. The Toyota had all the nanny crap but if I put it in sport mode, most of it turned off. Not an option on the Ford, or I couldn’t find it if so.
        It was nice to be back in my car though, which actually lets me drive it.

  16. I have a 2003 Lexus ES300 that I have had for years. Normally, with 200,000 miles, I would probably get like 3k for it if I was to sell. Now, I believe that even with the valve ticking, it’s worth 4-5k. Three years ago, I would have just tossed the car. Now, it is tempting to have it repaired either with a new engine or to rebuild my own. High dollar repairs on older cars are becoming the norm. I contacted a local machine shop and they stated that they have never been as busy as they are today.

    It is between keeping the Lexus and buying a replacement for me. Either way is fine. I would rather put up to 5k in an older car than drive a newer one any day of the week.

  17. Spoke to a guy in a GMC 3/4T 4WD long bed at the store recently. He said it was a true 4WD, lockers front and rear. It was about an 08 or so and looked great even though the bed was full of farm stuff. Said he bought it with 300K miles on it and it now had 400K and ran just fine. It was LS powered and he was really happy with it. I asked if he happened to use Amsoil and he said “I damn sure do”. He said it ran like a champ and he didn’t intend to get rid of it when the engine was worn out.

    When I bought my 2000 Z 71 it clattered like hell, lifters making lots of noise. I figured I’d just replace them not realizing that LS engine was totally different from the old small block. It had some Pennzoil high mileage oil in it, just freshly changed. I went to Wally and got enough Mobil 1 to change a couple times. It ran 4500 miles before using a quart so I changed it again and it got a bit over that. My case of premium Amsoil was in with the extra large filters that go with it. Both changes I’d made looked like tar although the second was better. I put the Amsoil and filter in it and it got about 6000 before looking like crud. I changed again to Amsoil and this time it was quit a bit cleaner and the engine just barely had a tick on the lifters. I keep changing it to Amsoil premium and it now looks like decent oil when I drain it. I changed again recently and when I pulled the stick after 1000 miles the oil was clean and it had nearly no tick on cold start up and no tick after about 2 minutes. I can only guess what that LS would sound and the oil would look if it had always had Amsoil.After speaking to the guy with the 3/4T he said he was an Amsoil user himself. He and his brother both raced Chevy pickups for many years. He said his small blocks would last and last turning them up but his brother always bought big blocks to race and went through them regularly. I’ve run both and the big block 3/4T 4WD got a steady 10 mpg while the small block would get half again that much or more. I’d like to find a good 93 Turbo Diesel like I had. I did nearly all my driving in it getting 18.5 mpg while my Nissan 4WD got 16 with it’s little 4 cylinder. Every Ford diesel owner would tell me he had more power than I did and I agreed with them but I don’t race and don’t feel the need to hold it on the floor pulling heavy loads and that I’d bet his Ford didn’t get 18.5 mpg and they’d agree they didn’t. But not all Power Stroke engines hold up like others do. I had a guy tell me he changed head bolts to studs and he could run his Turbo Diesel hard all the time. I came across one guy who pulled big RV’s from the manufacturer to the dealers with his and had over a million miles on his TD but he was on his 3rd 4500 transmission. The big difference in my Chevy and a Ford and especially a Dodge was ride and handling. I put some Moroso shocks on my Chevy and it rode like a Caddy going straight down the road but make a little turn and it became the Corvette of pickups. Turns out those shocks reacted faster than the computerized shocks. When I’d go fishing I’d always want to take my truck. The half ton crowd would groan and want to take their little half tons. What was funny was the fact that my one ton rode much better than their half tons and got better mileage. Each to their own. I’ve owned a few half tons that were ok, one 3/4T 4WD with quad shocks that rode better then their half tons. Shocks make a world of difference. One of my half tons was a HD job and damned if it didn’t ride and drive better than the regular half ton. It had a better transmission too and ran cooler than the light version. And now I shed a tear because I wanted to change shocks on my current Z 71(rough SOB) and found out Moroso had sold their suspension parts to another company and there is no longer the “best shock I ever had” made. I haven’t found a replacement for those shocks. Now I have no idea what sort of shock to buy. I just did a search for Moroso shocks. They have all sorts but not what I want. I don’t want a 3 way adjustable or a drag shock nor anything else. I just want a set of those “always ready for whatever condition” shocks like I had.

  18. Eric,

    I bought a 1997 Toyota T-100 (made in Japan) last year for $7100.

    It’s a real unicorn. It’s a rust free (Cali/TX vehicle) 4×4 V6 5 speed manual with 245,000 miles.

    Everything works except the cruise control.

    I did the brakes, starter, spark plugs, master and slave cylinder, flushed and changed all fluids myself.

    Had a local independent shop due the timing belt. thermostat, water pump and belts because that was beyond my scope of knowledge.

    I also put brand new 2021 4Runner brand new (takeoffs) 17 inch alloy wheels and tires.

    When I went to pick up the takeoff (from a new 4Runner) wheels and tires, the guy told me he had taken off the TPMS sensors and I couldn’t have them.

    I laughed and told him my 1997 didn’t have TPMS. I check the tire pressure myself with this thing they call a tire gauge.

    All in all, I have less than $10,500 in this rust free, runs like a top Toyota T-100.

    I love it, It’s just primitive enough to be fun, has a 6.5 foot bed and is low enough I can reach things in the bed without a step ladder.

  19. Help me pray to the car gods that my 1998 Ranger is fixable. It’s still at the shop pending evaluation by the frame pullers and has been for a couple weeks now. Months back, some woman ran a red light and “broke its nose”, shifting the grill of the car a few inches to the passenger side.

    I was told upon bringing it to them that they were SWAMPED, and it would probably be a few weeks before they got to it. But, since I’d made the appointment weeks in advance, they took it in, giving me an equivocal once-over regarding it being repairable.

    It still runs and just needs bent back. I’m certain, myself, that it could be back to functional, at least. Might never be pretty, but I need that 4×4 or use on the dirt roads.

  20. My first car I got used. It was a 67 Valiant with a slant six engine. No air conditioner, no radio, no power steering, no power brakes. It was a piece of junk, but I was able to work on it myself even though I was not a mechanic. I could climb into the engine compartment to do work it was so spacious. I kept that car going for years. Now a days one cannot even reach into the engine compartment yet alone work on it. I crave a simple to work on vehicle. And that only comes used. Thanks for an excellent article. Your new car reviews are excellent. You tell it like it is. Do you have any articles that list the best used cars, trucks to go for?

    • Man, Ken! I’d love to have a car like that today, thaty is solid, but not in collector condition. What a time that was for cars! The Big Four (GM, Ford, Chrysler, and AMC) ALL had multiple simple economical solid basic cars with indestructible straight sixes, which were cheap and easy to maintain and repair…and would last forever (But because they were cheap, they were often treated as disposable). Just simple cars…safe and solid and not tiny tinny junk..and not festooned with gadgetry and ‘luxury’. No one has made cars like that for decades now…they’re not even allowed- and few people today would buy them even if they were made, because everyone seems to be obsessed with with luxury and gadgetry. I’m beginning to think that half the people alive today wouldn’t know what to do with a key and a simple door lock or keyed ignition…..

  21. I’m in the process of replacing my rusty 20+ year-old vehicles with non-rusty 20+ year-old western vehicles. Picked up a beautiful Excursion from out west last month- no rust; 200K well-maintained highway miles…feels like it has 20K miles on it- and basically all it will end up costing me is what I paid to have it shipped…’cause I can sell my old rusty Excursion for as much here on this side of the country as I paid for the new one.

    Now to see if I can do the same with my pick’em-up!

    Would really like older stuff, ’cause even these 20 year-old vehicles are too festooned with electronics and computerized garbage to make them truly sustainable when TSHTF (Like last year, when the A/C quit on my Exc. because it was getting a false signal from….the cylinder head temp sensor, due to a broken wire just before the connector- something which I nor 2 A/C experts could figure out…needed the Furd dealer for that one).

    Would ultimately like to get one rust-free 70’s vehicle- like a 70’s 4×4 Suburban- simple as dirt and bulletproof- but I do believe at this point, everyone has gotten the memo, and now all such vehicles seem to be priced at collector levels….so that plan may not be viable.

    But Eric, you must know a better class of people than I do; seems everyone I know just loves all of the modern gizmos and garbage with which modern cars and trucks are laden. They don’t seem to give a thought to what happens when the crap breaks, or how much it’ll cost to repair once the vehicle is out of warranty. Everyomne seems to be flush with money (except you and me…)- buying $70-$80K trucks, and even realizing that it’s going to be a problem once the warranty is over (I’ll just trade it in and buy another”…) -The only thing I see restraining people from buying these rolling cell-phones is that they are in short supply and or that the prices are so high from them being in such short supply that they are simply waiting. But I truly wish it were as you say…that people had somehow awakened and realized what an atrocity these modern computers-with-wheels are.

    We tend to look at things from our own perspective, especially when we see people taking a course of action which is similar to ours….but oftentimes, though the actions may be similar…the reason for those actions is usually not the same reason which motivated our actions. e.g. someone homeschooling their kid…because they are afraid the kid will get the ‘Rona…vs. someone in our camp who homeschools because they don’t want their kid propagandized by government leeches; socializing amongst undisciplined cretins; and treated like prisoners, with drug-sniffing dogs and ‘resource officers’ and the whole routine….. They both may homeschool…but the motivations are pretty much the opposite.

    • Hi Nunz!

      In re: “Everyone seems to be flush with money (except you and me…)- buying $70-$80K trucks, and even realizing that it’s going to be a problem once the warranty is over (I’ll just trade it in and buy another”…)”

      Yes – because they can still finance it. So could I – so could you. But we’re not stupid – and they’re in debt. Up to their eyeballs. It can’t last much longer. Brandon has seen to that.

      • I do it different than that. Maybe not prudent to most, but very prudent to me. I can’t show up on a jobsite driving a beater. 10yr old, presentable, max.
        Once I ‘invested’ on my first 50K truck it was pretty simple from then on. Had it paid off fast as I could, I think 3 years. Then with under 60K on it, the dealer paid me handsomely for it cause he could still put it on his lot and it would sell very fast.
        From then on I pay/paid cash, which turns out to be about $4-500/month +/-, but still far better than letting a car become a wholesale unit or worse. Cost of doing business for me. No loan interest, save on taxes a lot.
        Just my way, doesn’t make it right for everyone.

      • Amen to that, Eric!
        Never had a car payment in my life…and never will- and I’ve always had good reliable vehicles that I got to drive for many years, and which cost me very little to purchase and keep going. The Powers That Be are making our sustainable way of life unsustainable- e.g. by the time the mandated ban on selling of new ICE vehicles is implemented (I’m sure other states will follow WA’s and CA’s lead…and then it will just go federal) all of the old sustainable, viable vehicles will be ancient…even if never outlawed.

        Hey…I don’t know about you…but even if I were willing to go into debt, I couldn’t afford the $1100 a month payment my friend is making on his ’21 Cummins Ram!

        Another guy I knew: Was diagnosed with terminal hepatitis C…so went out and indebted himself for a new mega truck…..but then the taxpayers of the state of NY paid $100K so he could get a newly developed cure for the Hep C. It worked…then he realized he was straddled with the debt he incurred for the truck…so he had a heart attack- literally. He died. I’m still trying to figure out if that was good or bad… 😀 Talk about painting on’s self into a corner!

  22. I’ve always wondered if I would sell my ’01 GMC 1500HD. That was a unique model for a couple years and the only way you could get the very good 6.0 engine vs I think the 5.3 back then, and not into a 2500 which rode quite a bit harsher.
    I paid $5K for it about 5 years ago w/275K on the clock, original engine and trans (that shocks me about the trans, but it was mostly highway mileage so I guess it’s possible).
    So to keep her going it’s cost me approx. $5K over the years with misc. stuff like AC compressor, wheel bearings, etc… and it makes me wonder if it’s worth to continue fixing it.
    I think the answer now is apparent, it is. I think even if I need a new trans/engine it would still be worth it in the long run.

  23. Why aren’t kit cars raging back on the scene yet? Theres tons of uninspectable fwd cars with rot or an engine light that run fine and are prime pickins if a few companies started making chasis kits. I’d do it if I had the capital, big market. Homebuilts usually only need to meet minimum requirements to be certified for the road.

    • Kit cars are what I personally really want even more than I want a car older than my ’02 diesel Jetta. My Jetta turned out to be way too new when I lost its key and it cost a preposterous amount for a new one. I want mechanical windows, mechanical key, one air bag.

      They don’t make external combustion cars that could run on diesel, gas–or orange peels. They don’t make what I want. They made something close in about the 1920’s–dual fuelled cars–but I do want ABS and other stuff.

  24. I had to replace my 02 Silverado (severe rust damage from road salt, lesson learned) and finally found a 17 GMC Sierra that has a nice, strong engine and very little safety crap. Yes, I will be making sure to have a good rust preventer applied before winter! Hoping it will last me the rest of my days.

    • Fluid film or another type of oil/wax undercoat is your best bet. Apply it yearly. Pull rocker and door plugs and saturate in there. Spray inside frame rails. Spray hard line connections and hangers. Hell, spray everything thats not a brake part, plastic or rubber. Do NOT use rubberized shutz. It will crack and hold moisture to the steel, looking pretty as your car turns into dirt.
      Road salt is economic warfaren. It purposely destroys vehicles and infrastructure… Justifies the inspection racket… Keeps the slaves going to their plantations on dangerous weather days. Another awful racket.

      • I’m sure that spray stuff helps a lot. However, I was taking apart my headlight assembly to change the bulbs on a ’18 F150, yes you have to darn near take the whole front end apart to change the bulbs, yuk.
        But in the process, I routinely put nuts and bolts in my mouth to hold them and they tasted salty! No way any spray is going to help that deep inside things like that. And on an ’18 no less that only had two winters on it at the time, and after hosing the crap out of everything post-winter.
        I’m sure it helps with sheet metal stuff though.

      • I’ve watched a couple of videos from repairgeek, he’s in love now with Blaster Surface Shield. Says it won’t wash off even with a power washer and stays on 2 years. He’s always been a Fluid Film fan, too. I’m hoping Blaster gets a dealer applicator network set up, my old, wore out body just ain’t up to trying to put the Surface Shield on myself.

    • If you can, find a drive through carwash with an undercarriage option, and use it once a month, or more, in winter. Especially that last snow or ice. Coatings can be good. But they can also inhibit good drainage, depending on the product and the vehicle design.

      • Maybe that, “undercarriage option” works/helps, who knows? I do know of a number of people who religiously, meticulously & obsessively tried to wash their vehicles in the hopes to keep rust at bay. They. All. Failed.

        I second the notion that, “Fluid film or another type of oil/wax undercoat is your best bet.” as every beater I’ve owned, where the oil leaks were the worst, there was never a spot of rust.

        I met one guy who slathered oil all over his vehicle, claimed it kept rust at bay. I imagine he might’ve been right.

        My experience is, a dry garage to park inside makes a world of difference. YMMV.

        Also, you guys must have really clean vehicles, most every nut, bolt & washer I ever pull off is covered in too much grease, grime, rust & yuckiness for me to ever be tempted to put it in my mouth. …And this is coming from someone who agrees with Dr. Mercola that we all need to eat more dirt to be healthier.

        • Another solution if you drive in rain or on salted roads:

          Get under your vehicle and wire brush off any loose rust then paint everything with Por15 or a similar product, rust bullet, eastwood’s current rust encapsulator, etc..

          por 15 sticks to metal better then fiberglass resin, it stops rust, just remove any loose rust, paint it on, anywhere there is rust clean off loose stuff, paint on por 15, if there is a hole, lay on fiberglass fabric, then paint over por 15, it is water proof, stops rusting, great for battery boxes, floors. welding is better, but then paint with por 15 = no rust.

        • “as every beater I’ve owned, where the oil leaks were the worst, there was never a spot of rust.”
          “Customer states what” is correct. That is called the self lubricating chassis system.

        • There is no way for you to properly wash the underside of your vehicle without putting it on some kind of lift, and getting a face full of it, or hiring a carwash to do it.

  25. “Which costs more – buying a new vehicle or fixing up the one you’ve got?”

    That depends largely on two things: 1) how badly rusted it is, and 2) your ability and willingness to work on it yourself. Shop labor around here averages $100 an hour, and more at a stealership. That adds up FAST. And it’s not unheard of to pay a ton of money in labor and the “pros” still don’t get it right.

    If you are willing to shop for your own parts, spend your own time, and get your hands dirty on a vehicle that’s not rotted out, you are far better off fixing an old one. Otherwise, you are better off getting the best brand-new deal you can with the best warranty and maintain it scrupulously and drive it 200,000 miles or more.

    • If a new vehicle was designed to go 200k miles. With the current flood of required to operate electronics, such is unlikely. Whereas an older vehicle that has no such electronic requirement can be made to go much farther. Given sound structure.
      A ten year old vehicle, with sound structure, as opposed to a 25k or more new? One is likely to be able to make that ten year old like new for far less than 25k, even if paying to have it done. it’s a question of financing. Can you afford that kind of investment out of pocket, or are you compelled to borrow for new?

  26. I’m in the market for another farm tractor, so I looked up how much to duplicate my ’02 4310 which I still own. I paid 12K new for it 20 years ago.
    Now? a new one is $27K+, wow. more than double.
    So I looked up what my 20yr old is worth. $17-19K+/-, wow.

  27. One of the few problems I have with my fleet of older vehicle is envy of the lack of rust, faded paint, scratches and dents in new cars and my cars are all in very good shape for there ages with the collector cars being in even better shape. Other than that I’m happy with my 20+ year old vehicle fleet and have zero interest in buying a new one. Isn’t it funny you can get a new build body from Dynacorn for collector cars easier than getting parts for a 2007 Accord?

  28. I have long contended that one can do an enormous amount of work on a vehicle for the price of a new one. Even if you hire the work done. Far more obviously so now. I recently had to trade off my 06 Miata, for health reasons. I traded it for an 05 Accord. I can easily put it in like new condition for the price of a new one. The rub being that most cannot afford such outlay. But given a reasonable credit rating, they can borrow money to buy a new one. There’s a reason they want us in near poverty.

  29. I have an 11 GMC Sierra it’s my only new vehicle I ever bought. I thought of selling it a couple years ago but decided to just fix it. Over the weekend I replaced the cv axle and will keep fixing it until it won’t run anymore.

  30. My ‘03 Corolla with crank up windows is the best car I’ve ever owned, also the newest. If I can keep the road salt from eating the chassis it will probably outlast me.

  31. ‘if they decide to turn it off (which they can’t, with an old truck that isn’t connected)’ — eric

    ‘Always connected’ vehicles deliver the same deal-killing surveillance you get with smart phones.

    ‘All cars in the world can be tracked and geolocated in real-time — that is the shocking promise of The Ulysses Group, a specialized surveillance company that has offered this service to the US military.’


    Connected cars, like smart phones, are self-purchased, self-inflicted tracking devices.

    Data thieves probably aren’t interested in you personally, except as a profile for targeted marketing. But why let them steal data that doesn’t belong to them?

    Stick it to them with an older vehicle and a dumb phone. Throw off the invisible shackles of their high-tech dystopia.

  32. A friend asked if I would part with my 2012 Focus/5-speed manual. My reply was absolutely NOT. That car has 138,000 trouble free miles and worth its weight in gold with the high fuel prices. The newest vehicle I own is a 2014 F-150 XL STX pkg. It has enough of the modern gizmos (power windows, locks and sirius/XM) for me. No turbos, no touch screen and no back up camera to go out. And I will keep them properly maintained til they can run no more. Me purchase a new Cluster Foxtra on wheels; FORGET ABOUT THAT!!!

  33. I recall the “Cash for Clunkers” fiasco in 2009 when 690,000 cars, many of them in good, working order were scrapped due to a Federal rebate on a newer “higher MPG” vehicle. I wonder how high prices would be now if the Obummer administration wouldn’t have destroyed all of those vehicles. I wonder if this was part of the long-term plot to make it to where you can’t have anything but one of the newer cars with all of the gimcrackery.

    My thought on the EVs and the car companies going along with this business-destroying decision is that they know customers will have to come back every 5 years for a new vehicle when the battery wears out. I have some battery-powered lawn equipment and right at two years of service, the lithium-ion batteries refuse to hold a charge. The car companies want people leasing ever-more-expensive cars and the average age of the cars on the road to decrease.

    • Hi Mantis,

      In re: “…they know customers will have to come back every 5 years for a new vehicle when the battery wears out.” Exactly. The car companies want to get their customers on the serial debt plan, ever revolving. You pay and pay and pay… and never own anything. This serves two purposes, the obvious one being to keep you paying. The less obvious but much more important (to them) purpose is to prevent the accumulation of capital. This serves the purpose of assuring people are constantly on the treadmill, just trying to get through today – and easily cowed into submission by threats that tomorrow, they may not have (insert here)….

  34. I’ve had several random people ask if I’d sell my 2001 Sierra with 380,000 miles on it. The most recent one was at the gas station. Bubba said he had cash (guessing he was a buy here / pay here owner). And the gent that owns our local Mexican eatery always says, “Miguel when you gonna sell me that truck”. I always reply that I can’t afford to replace it.

    To me it’s amazing that an old truck that’s fixin’ to be a classic –a high mileage one at that garners such attention. It’s not like it’s a show truck –it has scratches and minor dents. The hood is faded. The driver’s side leather is ripped. KBB says it’s $2-3K. That’s not even a down payment on a new anything.


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