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I actually paid 8k for my dodge. Its clean for its age and mileage, but its got some issues. One is an oil leak, but at 300k miles, who's suprised! I actually got a fix it ticket for the oil leak from a commercial vehicle enforcement officer when I got stoppped a few weeks ago. (that was an experiance in of itself)
FYI, just so ya'll know, if you are at a CGVW (Combined Gross Volume Weight) rating, yes I said rating, not just your actual weight, make sure you have your DOT number and required items that go with it! It was an expensive lesson I got a few weeks ago. Over 10k lbs CGVW requires a medical card, DOT number, log book, daily matinence check log, company name on the trailer, and on top of that, they can and will ticket you for mechanical problems, and yes, that includes OIL LEAKS! I'm still working on that, as I need a new front and rear main seal to fix it, and just don't have the time or money to do so.
For those who don't understand the CGVW rating and how they work, heres a quick lesson. If your vehicle is being used for work, it must follow the federal DOT guide lines. This means if your pickup (like mine) is rated at GVW of 8800lbs, and thats all you use, no trailer, you do not need to comply to the DOT regulations. BUT if you hitch a trailer with anything over 1200lbs GVW RATING to that pickup, you are over 10k lbs and are required to be compliant. My trailer is a 7000lb rated trailer, so my CGVW is 15800lbs. I really didn't think I fell under the DOT number guide lines, and honestly never looked into it, and when I purchased the trailer this spring, no one at the DMV said anything when I registered it. (I bought it private party, so no dealer to tell me either).
Just thought I would let you guys in on my pain.... and maybe keep you from having the same ordeal! I could have lied, said I was looking for garage sales, and he would have probably had to let me go... but I can't lie my way out of anything, and the last thing I wanted was to be caught in a lie in the middle of a traffic stop, it would have been WAY more expensive....
Been there also Cowboy, with a 2006 F350 GVW11,000. The part that kills me is that Mr and Mrs Smith can buy a crew cab dually, hook on the biggest 5th wheel camper made and drive from here to California with not a care in the world. Im haulin a toilet in the back of my truck and I have to stop at all weigh stations. Dont get me started on the Greyhound bus sized motorhomes.
Lets see, I'm currently driving a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan, bought used three years ago and the first car I've had to finance in a very long time.
I have a 1995 Mazda Miata which has less than 33,000 miles on it... I bought it used (only slightly) in 1997, paid cash ($10,000); and at the very same time I bought a 1990 Plymoth Grand Caravan for $5,000 (also cash). That lasted quite well to 2009 when I bought the current van. (The old one had 170,000 miles on it.)
Basically I've owned "transportation"... except for the "hobby" Miata my cars have been few and used to their very maximum:
My first car was a 1956 Mercury Monteray 4-door Sedan which I bought from my father for $70... that was the best "trade-in" he could get. That was in 1963.
In 1965 I bought my first brand-new car, a VW-1200 "Beatle". $1860 complete with optional white-walls, gas heater, and AM radio. I financed that for three-years at about $56 a month and I put over 93,000 miles on that and it was the most expensive car to drive that I've ever owned.
In 1968 my new wife and I traded in the VW (got $1000 on it) and bought a new 68' Plymouth Valiant "slant-six", automatic, 2-door. That was like $2600 "sticker" and after the trade in I managed to keep my "monthly" to $60 for 37 months. We loved that little car and drove it for ten years, putting about 80,000 miles on it. I then had new brakes and tires put on it and gave it to my kid brother who trashed it within a few months.
We bought a new Mercury Monarch in 1976 for $4900 "loaded". Worst POS that I've ever owned. Found over thirty "fixes" within the first day... missing body plugs, AC didn't work, damaged interior, missing parts, etc. Bought it right off the truck on arrival in early June and by late September there was already paint literally falling off it and "rust-thru" where the mirror mounted to the driver's door. At two years, the radiator collapsed from corrosion and at three years the bottom dropped out of the gas tank (dumping over ten gallons in my driveway). By the time the car was six year's old it wouldnt' pass inspection and there wasn't enough intergrity to the body to mount the rear shocks. I had to pay to have it towed to the scap yard. I swore that that would be the last Ford I'd ever even ride in.
In 1984 I bought a Toyota Tercel Wagon. Ugly little thing but man it drove like the wind. I paid slightly less that $9K for that brand new. Dealer was lousy, but thankfully I found a great mechanic. I drove that car for 14 years. In the end it had some slight rust on one fender's "flare". It never burned or lost oil and I got as high as 46 miles to the gallon on the highway. I sold that to a local guy for $500 in 1997 when we needed the bigger "used" Plymoth van. As I recall, we had put pretty close to 80,000 miles on it... which shows that as a married guy, I drove a lot less than those 93,000 miles of my "single" VW days.
That's all the cars that I've ever bought and owned for my wife and I. Not bad considering I'm now 67. But of course I did buy a couple of cars for our son. Like the 1970 MG-GT "split-tail" which he got for his 16th birthday. He didn't like it at all and never got his license... something about the "stick-shift" and a certain lack of coordintion and "willingness" to learn. But it was fun to drive, providing you didn't mind stopping along the road and replenishing the oil in the "dash-pots" or spending some time each weekend, filling the Armstrong shocks. Oh yeah, can't forget about the "Lucus" electrics either... you know about those right... "Lucus" was best known as the "Father of darkness". But, we bought that little beast quite used and abused. It had way too much fiber-glass "patchwork" and it leaked water everywhere. I couldn't keep ahead of the rust. After three years of mostly sitting in the driveway, I gave it to a guy who was rebuilding another MG and needed the parts.
When our son turned 19 he left the local community college and went off to the the big university. I can't remember what year that car was; I'm thinking it was 1980, but it was the last year of "Datsun", before they changed their name to Nissan. The car was a 200SX. Used, but very nice with a great engine and four-wheel discs. But alas, the kid still didn't like "stick" even though he at least tried. So, I kept that for a second car for about a year and got him the used "Mustang II" automatic propane delivery in san diego that he wanted. God, I hated to do that, but it was what he wanted, so what the heck. That lasted about three months! I never did "get behind the wheel" myself and only road in it once. It was another "cheaply" executed "FORD" and a total waste of money. After that the kid was on his own, and he bought a little used Nissan "Sentra" that lasted him through college and into his first job when he traded it in on a Saturn.
So, that's my full line-up. The first "Merc" was a great car, but the second a total POS. The Volkswagen was unquestionably the most expensive to drive as it required constant maintenance. Oil changes every 1500 miles and a tune-up every other oil change and I was constantly replacing the brakes and tires... but that was in my "Kamakaze" driving days. The Valiant served us well, though the quality of assembly was pretty crappy with it's welding flash and undersized wheels and subsequent tire wear. The Toyota was unquestionably the best buy and most reliable and durable. The two "Mopar" vans the most comfortable and certainly the most versatile. And of course the Miata is the most fun to drive, but NOT in traffic!
The MG... well, the MG was an "adventure" car. It's hard to describe and I suppose it's what they say about "Harley's"... If you have to ask, you simply wouldn't understand. All that crazy maintenance and "jokes" about the electrics, but there as just something about the feel and smell of the thing. Once you squeezed yourself into the cockpit, everything just "fell at hand". The Miata is fun, but nothing like the same feeling of the MG. With the former you can "drive it to the limit" but with the latter it's "motoring"... and it fits all the senses quite well.
WOAH! I really enjoyed reading you're story man thank you so much for post an in-depth look at your history of cars!