Hooniverse Asks- What's the Best Formerly Expensive Luxury Car to Pick up on the Cheap?

VW Phaeton

Rich people aren’t like you and me, and that’s the way they like it. Of course maintaining that class barrier is expensive and part of the cost is paying top dollar for cars that, while usually cutting edge and feature laden, typically end up losing huge chunks of their value in short order. That’s called depreciation, and it’s something us poor folk can readily appreciate.

The reason is because it brings into the realm of affordability previously forbidden fruit, and  allows us to drive around pretending to wear a monocle and top hat and pet a creepy hairless lap cat.  Actually their precipitous depreciation – BMW’s 7-series can lose up to half its cost new in a single year – brings a plethora of recent and massively engineered cars within the price range of the average Joe.

There are tons of formerly expensive and exclusive rides cluttering up the classifieds these days, and the question for today is which one of those would be the best to buy off the discount table. Sure, you’d need to keep in mind on-going maintenance and likely repair costs, but not all über rides are craptastically built and fly’s wing fragile. With all that in mind, what do you think is the best formerly expensive luxury car to now pick up on the cheap?

Image: [autobidmaster]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

145 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's the Best Formerly Expensive Luxury Car to Pick up on the Cheap?”

  1. CABEZAGRANDE Avatar
    CABEZAGRANDE

    <img src="http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2008/04/20/17/06/2003_jaguar_xjr-pic-29585.gif&quot; width="600">
    My vote is for the X308 (1998-2003, although you really want a 2000+) Jaguar XJR. Simply an amazing car. First and foremost, it's still one of the best looking cars in history. There's a reason Jag stayed with this styling for 40 years, and to my eye the X308 is the ultimate fruition of those 40 years of refinement. It's also one of the best blends of refinement and sportiness that I've ever experienced. With 370 hp and 390 lb-ft out of a supercharged 4.0L DOHC V8, it will flat out move for this heavy a car. Handling is excellent for a 4000 lb car, with sharp turn in, very good transitional response, and loads of grip. And for all that it still rides very nicely. The interior is heavenly, with maybe the best grand touring seats ever, with plenty of support and yet 1000+ mile trip comfortable (ask me how I know). And all this can be yours for well under $10k. These were $75,000 cars 10 years ago, but can now be had in excellent low-mile condition for around $10k, or with more miles for as low as $5k.

    1. JayP2112 Avatar
      JayP2112

      Same with the S Type R.
      Beautiful car- but I'd hate to have it repaired.

      1. labcoatguy Avatar
        labcoatguy

        You'd be surprised how cheap it is to live with them, gas aside. I had a '99 with engine and transmission replaced under warranty, which you actually want to have happened what with the Nikasil and timing chain tensioner issues that the early engines had, and the confusion over transmission servicing intervals. With a Jaguar specialist mechanic who knows what he's doing and has access to a boneyard of old parts cars, it was very reasonable indeed. I only sold mine because I moved into the city, and a wide and long barge like this isn't the most maneuverable or parkable vehicle.

        1. JayP2112 Avatar
          JayP2112

          The 2005 S we had wasn't under warranty and since it was a commuter for my wife (now ex), we couldn't be down a day waiting on research and parts. It suxed.
          Now a big Jag as a 3rd car… getting driven to pick up chicks and showing at the British car meets, I can very easily see.

      2. YUNODIY Avatar
        YUNODIY

        "Have it repaired"? What is this?!?

      3. CABEZAGRANDE Avatar
        CABEZAGRANDE

        If you can do the work yourself, they are amazingly cheap to work on. Parts are actually very cheap and accesible. I've done a ton of work on mine, and i haven't had one part yet that was more than 20% more expensive than say a comparable part for a crazy high volume car like a Taurus. Where they get you is labor, which is absolutely insane (average shop rate for a Jag shop is $130 an hour), but they are actually quite easy to work on. I haven't found a job on that car yet that I was scared to tackle, including replacing the secondary timing chain tensioners and replacing the supercharger. Both the X308 generation XJs and the S-Types were still steel construction and coil sprung, so they aren't nearly as hard to work on as the X350 XJs with their aluminum chassis and air-ride. And they are actually VERY reliable. The engine is a 150k no touch if you replace the infamous plastic timing tensioners with the updated metal units, the trans is the bulletproof MB 722.6, and due to the Ford connection the electronics are actually super reliable. If you can do the work yourself, they are very cheap and easy to maintain.

        1. Preludacris Avatar
          Preludacris

          I was with you until you said Ford electronics were super reliable. My experience with Ford vehicles so far has been that they will run forever as long as you can put up with the accessories not working…

          1. CABEZAGRANDE Avatar
            CABEZAGRANDE

            I always hear people saying this, but I have never had an issue through personally owning 6 Fords, all with well over 100k and a few with over 200k. I had one window switch fail on me in the 230,000 mile LX 5.0 Mustang I had, other than that not one electrical failure out of my Fords. It's the same with my family, which is a big Ford family. Out of maybe 20 FLM cars over 30 years, they've only experienced one electrical failure, in my mom's Milan when the brake safety prox switch failed and wouldn't let her shift out of park.
            But in any case, they're a billion times better than they were while they were wired by Lucas, Lord of Darkness. Friend of mine had a 83 XJ6. After it had a major electrical failure for literally the 8th time, he gave up and we put a 350 Chevy and a Painless harness in it.

          2. jeepjeff Avatar
            jeepjeff

            Yup, my understanding of the ranking of the Big Three is: Ford > GM > Chrysler > Lucas.
            (And of course, that's for OEM electrical quality.)

          3. Preludacris Avatar
            Preludacris

            Granted the contrast from Lucas must be huge! Also, I've only had one Ferd in my life , my parents' 95 Exploder with high miles. It's loaded but none of the options work anymore.

    2. quattrovalvole Avatar
      quattrovalvole

      Hmmm yes! I've seen the newer model on sale for loaded Corolla money too… How tempting.
      <img src="http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2008/06/27/23/20/2006_jaguar_xjr_4_dr_sedan-pic-24201.jpeg&quot; />

      1. CABEZAGRANDE Avatar
        CABEZAGRANDE

        I was inches away from buying an pretty black on black 04 (first year of the X350 generation) before i bought my 2000. They have some advantages over the X308, like the aluminum construction, 6 speed transmission, huge Brembos from the factory, and the 400 hp 4.2 engine. But then I found my 2000 with 60k miles for less than $7000, and just couldn't pass it up. Sort of glad I did go with the X308. I think they look better (although the X350 is anything but ugly), and the coil springs are so much nicer than the hideously expensive CATS air-ride assemblies on the X350. The air ride was the deciding factor though. The X350 just feels less nailed down, and there isn't a coil conversion available yet. If they do come up with a coil conversion though, I'll probably step up to the X350.

    3. dculberson Avatar
      dculberson

      I think you might have hit it. You even got me searching Craigslist for XJR's locally. But I've still got my garage full of my current luxury car hell project – a 2001 GS 430 with bent valves. I'm waiting on shims to adjust the valves and then I can start reassembly, but talk about a hard to work on car. The v8 was shoehorned in that little engine bay and then the car was put through the dryer on too high a setting so the car shrunk around it. There were a couple bolts that took 2+ hours each to remove.
      The rest of the car is Toyota simple, and the engine is bulletproof reliable as long as you don't let the water pump go 220,000 miles without replacing it. But then someone like me can come along and swoop it up for a song and regret it.

      1. CABEZAGRANDE Avatar
        CABEZAGRANDE

        I know it's kind of the answer to everything, but there is an LS swap kit for the GS. Lets you move up to a 6.2 easy and the LS looks lost in the engine bay, way easier to get around the the 3UZ. Lets you do an easy manual swap too without those expensive R154 adapters that you can get for the UZ.

        1. dculberson Avatar
          dculberson

          Well tie me up and whip me while I'm down! I've been beating my head against this GS for a while now and an LS + T56 swap would have been wonderful, but I'm almost to the "final reassembly" stage so it's a bit late. Though perhaps later … I wonder what a refreshed 3uz-fe is worth on eBay …
          I bet the LS would look lost in there, the 3uz-fe is not a small motor, what with the four overhead cams and VVT and everything.

          1. CABEZAGRANDE Avatar
            CABEZAGRANDE

            I had given really strong consideration to a GS430 before I got my Jag, glad to hear you saved one. If you're already almost done, it's not like the 3UZ is a bad engine by ANY means. The only bad part about the swap kit is they don't have a plug n play solution for the wiring yet. From the builds I've read it's not horrible to work out yourself, but it's not easy. You could turbo your UZ and put an R154 behind it…..

  2. P161911 Avatar

    It depends, if you want one that will be cheap to maintain, a Cadillac Escalade. From a mechanical standpoint it is a Chevy Suburban/Tahoe. Sure some of the gadgets might fail, but it shouldn't break the bank to keep it on the road. New they sticker for $65-90K, you can pick up a 10 year old one for less than $15k.
    For cheap and looking great, maybe a late model Jaguar.

    1. erikgrad Avatar
      erikgrad

      The rate of Escalade thefts and carjackings are enough to make me stay away, but in every other respect (except gas), it is a fantastic option for luxury on the cheap.

      1. OA5599 Avatar
        OA5599

        GMC Denali is an Escalade with different headlights and a little less trim, but since it's wearing a GMC badge it seems to get a free pass from "millionaires in their Hummers and Escalades"-haters and doesn't typically warrant a second look from street thugs.

        1. ThirdPedalGirl Avatar
          ThirdPedalGirl

          Bonus – you don't look like a complete tool in a Denali!

          1. wunno sev Avatar
            wunno sev

            you look like a tryhard in a denali. at least with an escalade everyone knows you could afford to go whole hog.

    2. clunkerlove Avatar
      clunkerlove

      I'd only drive an Escalade with a paper bag over my head. It's the worst kind of compromise between utility and luxury – typically driven by non-hoons.

  3. OA5599 Avatar
    OA5599

    I think a better question than what to buy is when to buy it. There is often a sweet spot between when the car has depreciated 95% and when the expensive fragile parts start self-identifying. Depending on the car, that might be a 500 mile window of opportunity, or 50,000 miles.

  4. muthalovin Avatar

    98-02 7 Series. My dad traded his T/A for a 2000 745i. He has since invested more money in repair for the BMW than the cost of the Trans Am (BTW, that Pontiac was a 1/4 mile track rat. Consistant 12s)

  5. IronBallsMcG Avatar

    Why, oh why, must you do this to me?
    Depreciated luxury cars are my biggest potential auto vice. I've resisted, but weekly I browse ads looking at all manner of W12 Phaeton, 7 series, big Audi and even the occasional Roller or Bentley.
    I demand this post is removed and replaced with one about things less costly and addictive. My suggestion would be an in depth study of hookers and coke.

    1. danleym Avatar
      danleym

      There's other websites out there if you're looking for an in depth study of hookers…

      1. IronBallsMcG Avatar

        I've heard rumors of such material making its way to the tubes, but I assumed it was just that, rumors.

    2. dculberson Avatar
      dculberson

      Or, to stay on subject for Hooniverse, how about Cokers and hook?
      <img src="http://nitrous-systems.easysixfigureincome.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/wpid-CokerPhoenixRaceTires2.jpg"&gt;

  6. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    You can't do better than free.
    <img src="http://hooniverse.info/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/IMG_0560_cropped.jpg&quot; width="500">

    1. engineerd Avatar

      You're a sexy beast.
      The car. I was talking to the car.

    2. ThirdPedalGirl Avatar
      ThirdPedalGirl

      Amen.
      All hail the mighty Panther.
      /quickly falling in love with my 96 Grand Marquis

    3. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      1. wunno sev Avatar
        wunno sev

        straight lollin'

      2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Rollin' khaki, flossin' my pleats. Straight outta Mid America. Representin' 816.

  7. PotbellyJoe Avatar
    PotbellyJoe

    Mid-90s Cadillac Fleetwood.
    <img src="http://cars-database.com/data_images/models/cadillac-fleetwood/cadillac-fleetwood-04.jpg&quot; width=550>
    They'll drive for forever and were most likely driven by an old man on his way to golf, or by wannabe mafiosi, either way you'll be able to tell quickly who owned it.
    They are easy to repair if needed, and parts are available, unlike many other luxury cars.
    If I want sport, I'll buy a sports car, when I want luxury, I want the finest of the land-going yachts available.

    1. Impalamino Avatar
      Impalamino

      So many of these have fallen victim to the "custom" movement. Many of them are on their third or fourth owner, which is enough separation from Milt at the Eagles Club that they've gained tiny wheels and tires/giant wheels and tires, horrific paint jobs, and "designer purse" interiors, not to mention all kinds of audio-related stupidity.
      I want so badly to find a clean triple black one with under 100k, the LT1, and for less than $5k.

      1. PotbellyJoe Avatar
        PotbellyJoe

        NJ/NY seems to have more than its fair share of these cars. The sub-100k miles would be the hard part. Although many in this area are white, surprisingly.

        1. dukeisduke Avatar
          dukeisduke

          And I'll bet plenty are now salt water contaminated.

          1. PotbellyJoe Avatar
            PotbellyJoe

            Only the ones that were within a half mile of the shore. Besides, most of those people were in Florida by Halloween.

      2. Irishzombieman Avatar
        Irishzombieman

        Was going to say that most of these I see around Fresno look like this. Only crappier, and forever half-finished.
        <img src="http://images.mautofied.com/adphotos/10193734_2010101314355.jpg&quot; width=400>

      3. VolvoNut Avatar

        You can find unmolested ones around Pittsburgh. The aging populace around here has led to a plethora of Granpa cars being sold because MeMaw and PapPap shouldn't/can't drive anymore. Besides Caddy's, there are tons of Grand Marquis and Town Cars for sale. If I hadn't found a decent Volvo 740, I was going to get a Caddy.
        Here's one, damaged fender. $1200 bucks. http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/cto/3611854303.h
        <img src="http://images.craigslist.org/3E53N43Hd5Lc5Fd5J6d2ca71d18117bb81677.jpg"&gt;

        1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
          C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

          Wrong one, VolvoNut.
          That one is FWD. The Fleetwood Brougham was RWD.

          1. Impalamino Avatar
            Impalamino

            Good call.
            Important to note that while the new body style was introduced as a '93 model, they didn't get the LT1 until '94.
            The truly desirable "last of the big RWD luxo-yachts" are the 94-96 D-body Fleetwoods. LT1 350 + 4L60E makes for a fairly bulletproof combo.

    2. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      My mother-in-law had one, and it had serious transmission issues. What it needs is an LS motor and a six-speed.

    3. vroomsocko Avatar
      vroomsocko

      Brougham needs to make a comeback.

    4. Tomsk Avatar

      YES. And with the towing package they could pull 7,000 lbs.! Sport utility whatnow?

  8. danleym Avatar
    danleym

    That website seems like a very dangerous place.

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      I was very, very pleased I did not find an NSX.

    2. danleym Avatar
      danleym

      Holy crap a Marlin for $275! Just don't look at the right rear and everything is ok.
      DEAD LINK

      1. dukeisduke Avatar
        dukeisduke

        Looks like someone's DD. Good luck finding repair parts. The later model alloys are cool.

        1. danleym Avatar
          danleym

          I think it's too tweaked to repair, but there's a lot of good parts still on there that would help keep other Marlins on the road. Definitely worth the $275.

    3. Irishzombieman Avatar
      Irishzombieman

      Oh, dear God. There's a sister site.
      http://www.salvagebikesauction.com/

      1. muthalovin Avatar
    4. njhoon Avatar
      njhoon

      What is really scaring me is that a lot of them are local to me. Sandy really kicked some ass. Packard's! Caddys! Alfas! Oh my!….Must. Stop. Looking.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      Surprisingly, not that cheap nowadays.

    2. FrankTheCat Avatar
      FrankTheCat

      I actually saw a red one of these for sale in northern Troy for $8000 last fall. I laughed.

  9. muthalovin Avatar

    Mid-aught CTS-V's can be had for 20k. Not cheap cheap, but affordable.
    http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehiclede
    That one is only $16k with about a bazillion miles.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      130k? That's not bad, assuming the gearbox hasn't been abused.

      1. muthalovin Avatar

        Smokin' deal. I have been searching for SRT-8 Magnums lately, but just turn up Donk'd V6s.

  10. JayP2112 Avatar
    JayP2112

    I instructed a guy in a V6 B6 A4 quattro. The engine and drivetrain was stock but upgraded the suspension and motor mounts- pretty much what I had down with my B6 turbo. Felt tight, and the V6 wound up pretty well.
    B5's are tired by now, B6's are cheap and getting tattered, B7's have held a bit.
    B6 S4 V6… strip out everything I don't need and have a kick ass track car.
    Why do I do this to myself?

    1. marmer01 Avatar
      marmer01

      Yes, B5's are tired by now. Even garaged, the plastic is starting to crumble. And the B5 1.8T's weren't very good to begin with.

      1. JayP2112 Avatar
        JayP2112

        The B5s were light and good looking cars.
        That's all I got.

        1. marmer01 Avatar
          marmer01

          Still beautiful, though I wouldn't call the 2.8 V8 light. And even though the trim is starting to crumble, I like the B5 interior materials, in general, way better than the newer ones.

          1. JayP2112 Avatar
            JayP2112

            The '97 was pretty light compared- it lacked some insulation, ran a CF driveshaft and didn't have much of the extras that came later in the refresh. Even the final drive in the quattro was lower.
            I had the 5 and 6… the 6 didn't hold up as well as the 5 interior.

  11. mdharrell Avatar

    <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8085/8471190166_dea89087b4.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Nothing says "formerly expensive luxury car to pick up on the cheap" like an Austin Maestro Vanden Plas. Nothing.
    Actually it doesn't say that, either, as its vocabulary is surprisingly limited. Still, talking digital dash.

    1. Irishzombieman Avatar
      Irishzombieman

      Looks amazingly cheap and Japanese from this angle.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Perhaps that's because from this angle one can't see the genuine wood trim on all four doors and the power windows in the front doors. Vanden Plas.

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          Why would you want to waste power windows on the back seat passengers? Especially when they've got that wood trim to fondle.

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Clearly this is a car for the well-to-do driving enthusiast, not for the disengaged, chauffeured type.

  12. dukeisduke Avatar
    dukeisduke

    What does "FL SALV TTL" mean? Florida? If it's really a Houston car, then the flood water would be of the fresh kind. Also, a 2010 with 60k miles?

    1. OA5599 Avatar
      OA5599

      What is "fresh" floodwater?

      1. dukeisduke Avatar
        dukeisduke

        Well, the kind without the salt.

  13. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
    C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    Well, there's inexpensive relative to new, and there's the borderline luxury-beater class.
    I shop in both.
    In the latter, look for a late, i.e. '89 or newer, W126 LWB. Gasoline or diesel, irrelevant, though be aware, even with the small 4.2L einspritzen motor, you're gonna have a tough time cracking 20 MPG, even at 65 MPH on flat road in NM.
    Also, the W124 falls in this category. Both are pretty common in the $3K area.
    Feelin' lucky, punk? Go find a W140 V12 sedan. I've seen them in good nick for $3K. Be prepared for MPG never reaching 14, however. Still…you be rollin', they be hatin'.
    I see the final RWD Fleetwood's been taken, already. Yeah…I still want one of those. A '95 with 44K miles popped up on my local CL, recently. I didn't have the $8K asking, however. Classic 'little old lady' car.
    If you want to up the WOW factor significantly, look for an '06 Jaaaaaag XJ SuperV8. Better yet, a Portfolio model, if you can find one.
    Six digits, new, for the Portfoliios. Can be had now for $22-25K, if you're patient. A 'regular' SuperV8 commands about 18-20K in the used market, but they're ever more difficult to come by…at least in north Texas. I've driven an '05.
    They. Are. Amazing.
    I don't consider the car I drive now to be particularly luxurious, but it was around $50K, new, in 2005. Cadillac STS with the N*. 320 HP, and if equipped properly, you'd be shocked at how well it handles for its size/mass/heritage.
    However…the magnetic rice control, i.e. MagneRide struts, are at least $500….
    Each.
    The rears on my car are leaking enough to leave very expensive drops on the garage floor, and the car feels completely wrong. Started to be a problem @ 100K, I'm at 107K, now, and I pretty much can't stand it.
    Oh, and said STS, with 93K miles on it, two years ago, cost me $13K, cash. Not bad.
    Here's a pic of my W126, 1989 420 SEL. Cost me $3K in 2006 or 2007.
    <img src="http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp29/mckellyb/Asperfectasitgets.jpg&quot; width="400">
    The '95 W124 which replaced it…another $3K machine:
    <img src="http://i394.photobucket.com/albums/pp29/mckellyb/rearthree-quartersview.jpg&quot; width="400">

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Can the MagnaRide struts be replaced with conventional ones? I know somebody finally made conventional shocks/struts to replace all the sagging air sprung Lincolns of the 1990s.

      1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
        C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

        They can be, but it costs just as much, based on the pricing I found through a forum member on a Caddy board.
        The rears will set me back about $900, shipped. To convert is about a grand, and I lose the really nice adjustability of OEM.
        Now, if Koni made dampers for it, I'd be ALL OVER them. They don't, however…which is not a surprise.
        They don't make dampers for my wife's RX300, either, which is a bummer, but I do have a set of four on our diesel-pusher 40' motorcoach. They shame the OEM Bilsteins, honestly. 24K lbs. is a challenge to control.
        At least KYB makes struts for the tall Camry wagon…

    2. Com126 Avatar
      Com126

      I really want a W126..300SE or SD/L. I really dont like the whole V8 thing.

      1. Tomsk Avatar

        You mean the 3.5L diesel.
        I've come up with an easy-to-remember rule of thumb* for buying old Merc diesels: "Cylinder count of four or five, long will it be alive. Cylinder count of six, often must you fix."
        *As always there are exceptions (see the Sprinter 2.7L fives).

        1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
          C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

          Yes, yes, yes!
          The 350, i.e. 3.5L. Bad…bad, bad engine.
          The 3.0 or 3.8 are the ones you want.
          I like your memory trick. Clever.

    3. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      how's the w124 for maintenance? i've long held it as the standard for How Cars Should Be™

      1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
        C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

        Not bad at all.
        They have three known problems.
        The later ones have biodegradable, GENIUS, electrical wire insulation.
        /facepalm
        The transmission, if automatic, has a plastic reverse piston which, over time, cracks due to heat/age. Eventually you wind up with no reverse… I lived with it this way for three years…no biggie. You get good at reading parking lot topography.
        Finally, the odometer gear tends to fail in the instrument cluster. Part is available at any MB dealer, and likely will be for another 15 year.
        Otherwise, they're actually nice to work on, when required.

        1. slipperytrombone Avatar
          slipperytrombone

          I used to really like the way the post 93 facelift W124s looked, but I started liking the older ones more a little while ago. The issues the newer ones have are also a bit off putting. I think the E class sweet spot is around 88-89.

          1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
            C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

            I'm still a fan of the looks of the post-facelift 124, and honestly, I wanted to put Euro lights on the 126. Just looked cleaner.
            You're right, though, they had a few issues which were horribly expensive to fix. However, most have been done, by now.

  14. Maxichamp Avatar

    Well, here is the kind of issue you have to deal with when owning one of these cars. Currently, I have to take my Phaeton to the dealer because the driver's side headlamp washer door won't budge.

    1. danleym Avatar
      danleym

      Geeze, first the unequally accellerating ash trays, now a stuck headlamp washer door? What a pile. You should sell it before it falls apart even more.

    2. mdharrell Avatar

      Make sure they don't rip you off by failing to time it properly with the passenger-side headlamp washer door.

      1. Maxichamp Avatar

        Well, they are supposed to spray one side at a time in order to maximize visibility.
        My wife was not a happy camper when I asked her to be my spotter Sunday morning. She's like– Why do you even need headlamp washers?

        1. OA5599 Avatar
          OA5599

          I suppose you live and drive somewhere that dust and dirt are common. Peasant!

    3. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
      C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      1st world problems…

  15. Irishzombieman Avatar
    Irishzombieman

    The 635CSI cost $44k in 1985. This was on par with the contemporary Porsche 944 and is roughly $95,000 in 2012 dollars.
    Me and two friends got ours, running well but in need of a catalytic convertor, for $400.
    <img src="http://www.dtmpower.net/forum/attachments/bmw-parts-sale/15463d1032479272-1985-635csi-sale-2500-firm-bmw009.jpg&quot; width="500/">

  16. muthalovin Avatar

    ZOMGZ!!!1! NSX, bid at $20k, 172,094 miles.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Custom-Pearl-Yello

    1. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      Do it!

      1. buzzboy7 Avatar
        buzzboy7

        I was drooling over it when I saw it.

  17. MrHowser Avatar
    MrHowser

    If you want your luxury liner to actually… you know… start every day, the choice is clear – Lexus LS400. Toyota designed that thong specifically to beat the legendary S-class Mercedes, so you know build quality is up there. Beaters can be had for two grand, decent ones go for $5k.

    1. dculberson Avatar
      dculberson

      I can vouch that these cars are rock-solid. I've had two, both were sold on to their subsequent owners driving just great. One was a $500 salvage title "parts car" that I rescued with just a new timing belt and water pump. The other was a $3000 later model one that had a few dents. Both rock solid, super dependable, mega comfy, and the later model ones are stupid fast for a luxury car. Mine was a '95 which is 0-60 in 7.4s or so, and the '98-'00 models are 0-60 in 6.3 or so. Amazingly the second gen ('95 – '00) was *lighter* than the first gen – when did that ever happen? The later LS 430 gets slower since it got heavier.
      The only down side is, relative to the other cars being discussed here, the depreciation is not as rapid or extreme. A new 7-series is a lot pricier than a new Lexus LS but used they end up a lot cheaper. Due to exactly what we're talking about – reliability. The LS is no cheaper to fix, really, but needs fixed so much less frequently. You're hard pressed to find a nice '98-2000 LS400 for less than $7k but you can get similar 7-series for $3500 – $6500 every day.

  18. CalculatedRisk Avatar
    CalculatedRisk

    I'll pass on the W12 VW's as there seems to be too many luxury items to fail. I really want a W8 Passat wagon with a 6 speed and the sport package. The engine is rather maintenance intensive but the other gadgets are from a Passat so hopefully easy to source replacements.

    1. marmer01 Avatar
      marmer01

      You're still looking at very very very expensive small trim parts all over the interior, which are probably getting old enough to break.

  19. Spring-heeled Jack Avatar
    Spring-heeled Jack

    The answer is always lexus LS430

  20. Vavon Avatar
    Vavon

    True luxury is a cheap Citroën C6… 🙂
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Citroen-c6-05big.jpg&quot; width="650/">

    1. danleym Avatar
      danleym

      And a castle.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Not as much depreciation on those, however.
        The castle, I mean.

        1. danleym Avatar
          danleym

          I don't know, I've heard that there's a bit of a drop off for the first couple hundred years, but as long as you keep up on the maintenance they really take off after 500 years or so.
          Features make a big difference, too. Moats tend to bring a little more money.

          1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            I went castle shopping a while back, but all I could find were resto-mods. One that was billed as "original" had electricity and heating and crap like that. I sent a few guys from the National Corvette Restorers Society over to teach the agent a thing or two about what "original" really means.

          2. danleym Avatar
            danleym

            Just make sure your realtor doesn't recommned any advertised as "rat castle"- everyone knows that's just a glorified way of calling it a dilapidated piece of junk.

          3. Vavon Avatar
            Vavon

            And so many are modified with poor taste. I went to look at a small chateau near Paris.
            They had put up mirrors everywhere!!! I was so appalled I didn't even make an offer.

      2. MVEilenstein Avatar
        MVEilenstein

        Can't hurt.

  21. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    I was going to say Volvo Amazon, but they were not all that ridiculously priced when new it turns-out. There's a Rover SD1 on ebay right now, just a couple hours away from me even. My wife won't let me bid. Anyway, that's the best. I don't want to find-out what those cost when new cause it will just hurt too much to know, so you'll just have to trust me.

  22. Fritzo2162 Avatar
    Fritzo2162

    Another vote for the VM Phaeton. If you sit in one, you'll want to live in it 😀

    1. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      And keeping it in tip top shape could require selling your house and actually living in it.

  23. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
    C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    I can't help myself.
    I have no other choice than to go look at this, this weekend.
    http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/cto/3607950820.h
    Admittedly, I like the white whale look…used to own an '85 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance, in white, back in the early 2000's, but I can't dig on the blue interior.
    http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/3603786929.h

    1. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      The one in Fort Worth looks good except for the wear on the steering wheel (or is it just dirty?), and I like the color inside and out. The one in Mesquite? I can't do the blue interior, either. And is that two cotter pins holding the driver's seat heater switch together? Yes, I think it is.

      1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
        C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

        I've spoken to the woman who owns the Fort Worth car…it's not far from me, actually. Less than 10 miles, and it's been VERY difficult to resist.
        It was her and her late-husband's 'road trip' car…like when they went to Dallas. 45 miles.
        Yeah. I can dig that.
        I think the steering wheel is merely dirty.
        The Mesquite one…you're right about the driver's seat control…plus, how do you get that kind of wear on leather in 40K miles? That's what I thought.
        Also, that one cotter pin pic shows what looks to be a hold in said leather…the dark spot, not the hole with something coming out of it.

  24. Dutch Avatar
    Dutch

    93-98 Lincoln Mark VIII. 40,000 new, around 3,500 now. Spend another grand to eliminate the air suspension,and you've got a great luxo-cruiser.

  25. Sjalabais Avatar
    Sjalabais

    What? Guys, only peasants ride in non-stretched vehicles.
    Serious, old Nilsson-luxury:
    <img src="http://213.132.112.105/images_full/19/1930031940.jpg&quot; width="600">
    '93 Volvo 940 Nilsson
    Heck, make it six doors.
    <img src="http://213.132.112.104/images_full/81/8153033399.jpg&quot; width="600">
    '02 Volvo S80 Nilsson

    1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
      C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      I was shopping 'family cars', those used in funeral processions for the family.
      Luxury rides, six doors, three rows of seating.
      Then I measured the garage…. Foiled again!
      This one is a limo, which I don't want, but think of the four-door 'camino possibilities!!!
      http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/3607438241.h

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        <img src="http://www.funeralcars.com/InvntryFS/CarH526/L526A.jpg&quot; width="500">
        I've got a 36' deep garage. I'd SOOOO do one of the Town Cow's 6-door cousins.

        1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
          C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

          When I was shopping a convertible '66 Imperial…Texas car, from Austin, 65K miles on it…$20K (the guy wound up keeping it, damnit), my wife said I could commandeer the room in front of the garage, which, in this house's floorplan, gives me an extra 'bout 15 feet…on top of the 21' and change out there, now.
          I could live with that.

    2. dculberson Avatar
      dculberson

      Six door cars are for peasants – they are "airport" limos, basically a fancy short bus. The stretch 4-doors are where it's at for luxury!

      1. Sjalabais Avatar
        Sjalabais

        You're absolutely right, sir.
        I can still mock that alternative, can't I?
        <img src="http://www.a2z-limo.com/images/fleet/hummerh2_stretchlimousine_01.jpg&gt;

  26. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    I've already been beaten to the Jaaag answer (which, when an X350 with 80k kms is going for barely more than an off-lease Civic, and even XFs have dropped below $30k, is very, very temping). So I'll go with their Land Rover bretheren (or at least the pre and post-BMW stuff). At the very least, the Rover V8 is pretty much sorted out, right? And Tata has made huge advancements in interior quality on the newer LRs – it doesn't feel so much like a Beemer inside anymore.

  27. Devin Avatar
    Devin

    So I was searching around for the Craigslist Crapshoot and I found this '90 BMW 7-series.
    <img src="http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NzUwWDEwMDA=/$(KGrHqZ,!hoFEQ07q3KTBRFCde4ZE!~~48_20.JPG" width="500">
    It's $3,600 and gorgeous. And probably a terrible idea, but I'm being seduced by the pretty. It's taking everything in my power to not just go to Warman right now.

    1. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      to give you an idea of bmw's design philosophy at the time, when they wanted a V12 quickly, they put two I6s in a V12 block, with two separate ECUs.
      if this sounds like a fun thing to work on, the same guys built the rest of the car, so you'll love it.

    2. Irishzombieman Avatar
      Irishzombieman

      Wow, that's nice. Probably the least finicky engine you could get in an old 7, too.

  28. n1tr08urner Avatar
    n1tr08urner

    Any AMG over 10 years old. Relatively reliable and cheap to fix compared to modern Mercs, still relevant as far as technology and toys (similar to a loaded new Honda) and good amount of performance if not amazing by today's standards. Plenty of them under $10k. My 02 CLK55 runs 100% ok, not a single feature is broken or missing, can keep up with plenty of modern sports cars and can be had for under $10k.

  29. jeremy![™] Avatar

    oooo, i think i found a power plant for project escape pod.
    and… being a VW it is fitting as a descendant motor to nsu.

  30. Tomsk Avatar

    There can be only one: The W140 S-Class.
    <img src="http://www.carsbase.com/photo/Mercedes_Benz-S_Class_W140_mp35_pic_39427.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Dual firewalls. Dual-glaze side glass. Self-latching doors. Billion dollar development budget. Arguably the last Mercs that really were "Built to a standard, not a price." And…decent six-cylinder gas examples can be had for comfortably under $10k.

    1. Com126 Avatar
      Com126

      Comfortably under 10k indeed. And honestly the one you want is the I6.
      If I wanted a w140 with a big engine Id not pussyfoot about it and get the V12. Might as well spend the money on that than a Lowly V8

    2. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
      C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      The I-6 pulling all that mass around, though…
      I'll have to look up MPG. It can't be good (not the engine's fault).

      1. Com126 Avatar
        Com126

        It wont be a speed machine (Thats what the V12 is for) but it would waft you around quite well im guessing. Id actually love to get a SD W140 (Very rare..) with the improved 3.5 OM603 you were talking about earlier or a 3.0 OM606.

  31. MarionCobretti8 Avatar
    MarionCobretti8

    I realize "Panther Love" is a TTAC thing, not a Hooniverse thing, but why no love for a late-model Lincoln Town Car? Like the Caddies mentioned previously, they're a big V8 body on frame rear drive American luxury car, in which you can cruise in comfort for thousands of miles at a stretch. In my opinion they're better looking inside and out than the Cadillacs. They're durable as hell (old livery cars with 300K plus pop up for sale all the time), and, most importantly, cheap to fix. Sure, that 12K V12 Benz may look appealing, but you'll find that when something goes wrong repairs and maintenance are still priced in the range of someone who can afford a six figure car. But when most of your parts are out of the big Ford bin, that's not an issue.
    Sure, people may think you're an off duty chauffeur, but you know what they say about rollin'/hatin'.
    Find one with low miles that was grandpa-owned, and you can ride in comfort for years to come for not much more than 10K.
    E.g.,
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FLORIDA-IMMACULATE
    What's that? You don't have 10K laying around like some kind of plutocrat and you'd prefer a little more "sport" mixed in with your luxury? Then there's a Lincoln for you, too! It'll take some hunting, but manual-trans Lincoln LS's can be had for 5 to 7 grand.

  32. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
    C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    Though, once you get below a certain price point…it's easy to haz a sad.
    http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/cto/3527831743.h

    1. JayP2112 Avatar
      JayP2112

      "89 bmw iam saleing it for my cuzin it has a v 12 the transmission does not work witch i think its just a sensor it has like 122 ''''miles the motor works perfect clean no dents shaved back doors the inside is clean its black on black best ofer or trade for ani car ablo español"
      Sounds reputable.

    2. Com126 Avatar
      Com126

      A cars surroundings tells a lot about it and the owner that "looked after it". These pics say AVOID.

  33. Vb9594 Avatar
    Vb9594

    I ended up buying a 2006 Acura RL in 2010 for $16,000. Had 86,000 miles on it. Now has 138,000 and has pretty much been flawless. 300 hp, SH-AWD, all the luxury goodies, all for the price of a stripper Civic? I'll take it!

    1. Com126 Avatar
      Com126

      That generation of RL is one of the nicest looking cars I have ever seen,and the last good looking RL too. It amazes me how low they go for.

      1. Vb9594 Avatar
        Vb9594

        Yup- it's "pre-beak." Buty the interesting thing is the car is so good, I may overlook the beak for my next one and pick up another used one when this one is all done (which is hopefully not for awhile!) The shocking thing about the car is how well it corners…SH-AWD just pivots the car around. It's not like a Miata or anything, but for a car of its size and comfort, it's an excellent handler.

        1. Vairship Avatar
          Vairship

          Aren't there any decent aftermarket grilles for the beaked ones? Because the value will skyrocket the moment you replace the beak.

  34. richierich Avatar
    richierich

    /
    poor folks….

  35. after Effects optical flares tutorial Avatar

    This post is truly a pleasant one it assists new the web
    users, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

%d bloggers like this: