As carguys and hoons we are often called into action when someone is in need of a car or a car repair. And then once that drama is over with we are quickly forgotten, but that is all good. We get to go on a “car hunt”; selecting the right vehicle, searching for it, offering suggestions, and some times killing our own weekends in order to go look at a car which we have zero interest in. This is what we do it and we love it, that’s our nature.
Currently, my father-in-law is looking at a Toyota Solara convertible. Before you throw stones at me, you need to understand my father-in-law. In addition to his ’05 Highlander, which he bought three years ago after my recommendation and inspection, he wants a practical four-passenger convertible which can be driven year-round in the northeast. He is not a car guy, does not speed, gets into accidents, and likes to get the most for his money. Therefore, in my opinion, the ’04-’08 Solara convertible is the perfect car for him, especially given his success with the Highlander.
The Solara convertible seems to be keeping its value quite well. I have looked at a few and the one he likes is a ’05 with 125,000 miles on it. I think he likes it because it is the cheapest at $9000. I drove it; clean, one owner, no accidents, no repaints. The interior trim a little loose and the chassis isn’t exactly a Boxster S, but it seems good at first glance. Timing belt hasn’t been changed so that’s job one.
I told him to bring to mechanic to put on the lift, check for leaks, rust and suspension wear. He wants to get five years and 60,000 miles out of it. Other than rust (New England), what would prevent his from going the distance? The top works fine, A/C is cold, all windows work, no leaks, radio works, transmission shifts fine, equal wear on tires and, importantly, one owner car. Would you let your father, who knows little about cars, buy and drive that?