The "Oldies" Are the Goodies

The “Oldies” Are the Goodies

If you work in a new-car dealership, you can skip to the next piece because you’re not going to like what you’re about to read – older cars are probably better than anything of the “new and improved” models that we have the privilege of paying thousands and thousands more than they could ever be worth, even my Chevrolet.

Here’s the scoop, we know a couple on the other side of US that’s not in the greatest of financial fixes. Hubby works, but he’s had a couple of heart attacks and he’s stretched thin as he does the work of four guys and his wife has been out of work for at least three years (she’s talented, just no jobs…something about outsourcing to India or China – the usual).

Well, until very recently, they were driving a 1990 Mazda MX-3 (that’s what it was called at the time). Okay, so the owner is lucky because his brother-in-law is a lazy mechanic who gets work done at his pace (a month isn’t out of the question for a new belt, but the price is right and the car just kept on running and running).

Finally, it just couldn’t run any further. It had about 395,000 on the odometer when the block went into terminal seizure and the poor Mazda was taken out back and backed into the rear end of the driveway.

Now, they are driving their “new” car. It’s actually one of Honda’s best, the 1988 Honda Accord EX. That’s right, for $400 – and we think a bag of chips, but we’re not really sure, might have been popcorn – they picked up the Accord. This one only has 405,000 on the odometer and it runs like a champ.

It really should because the former owner kept it like it was his baby. At 85,000 he had the first internal timing belt changed and then at 170,000 he had the second one done. He also had all of the major front end components fixed including the tie-rod ends, upper steering rack swapped out at least twice, along with the major front end pieces, including the front springs and shock towers, plus the suspension pieces.

He also had the front transaxle fluids changed regularly, along with swapping out the belts and hoses when they needed it. The first owner was also a stickler for ensuring that the timing was set up correctly and that when it needed tires the buggy got the best.

He must have done something right because, although it only cost $400, from what we understand there’s at least another 100,000 to 200,000 miles in the car as the interior is in great shape.

It’s actually something we’ve understood for a long, long time. If you keep you car up correctly, you can have a lifetime investment. Imagine driving buying your first car as a kid and following all the directions, including oil changes at 2,500 to 3,000 and filter changes by 5,000. Also, imagine having lubes done at 3,000 and changing all of the hoses and belts at recommended intervals. You’ll have one sweet-running car that either you or someone else can take advantage of. In this case, it’s the couple who will easily put another 200,000 miles on it as their kids live all over the Northwestern US.

As if to top it all off, the uncle of the wife in the couple just happened to have a brand-new 1980 Suzuki trail-bike put away in the garage for safe-keeping and the husband of the couple bought it for about $900. The bike is practically brand-new and we think it’s shown at shows more than it’s driven (as if his wife will let him drive it after two major heart attacks; it’s a show-bike now.) Still, it goes to point out that the “oldies really are the goodies,” aren’t they?

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