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Thread: A thread all about... cars!

  1. #1
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    A thread all about... cars!

    From my very first bicycle (a sparkly blue huffy), I've been interested in things with wheels. As I got a bit older this fascination was transferred to cars, though I still love bikes, too. I thought it might be fun to start a thread about cars to see what other people are interested in. Road trip stories, your first car, daily drivers that you love to death, whatever! I'd like to hear/see your car stories.

    Currently I drive a 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit, which I drove from North Carolina to Brooklyn, and then all the way from Brooklyn to Seattle! For those who enjoy driving, I highly recommend a cross-country road trip if you ever get the chance, it was quite the experience.

    Here is my car in a state park somewhere near Mt. Rushmore:

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    I've owned something like 7 or 8 cars since getting my license, and the one I most regret selling was one of these:


    (stock photo, mine was actually primer grey)

    a Datsun Z-car from the 70's. I'd love to buy another one and fix it up some day, they are still relatively cheap, but they are a bit rare as rust seems to have made swiss cheese out of most of them.

  2. #2
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Cross country road trips are a blast! Did you get to stop at the corn palace on your way to Seattle?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katy View Post
    Cross country road trips are a blast! Did you get to stop at the corn palace on your way to Seattle?
    Sadly, no! We saw tons of billboards for it, but David (my current roommate/road trip friend) was concerned about our time budget.

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    I drive a Honda Element, and there are many of us who are crazy Element lovers! We have a club and such. I've camped with Element owners on the East Coast and the West Coast. I've driven hundreds of miles to hang out with other Element people. It's ridiculous and awesome!

    Last year, I took a 9,500 mile 6.5 week road trip around the country. The Element is an excellent road trip car due to the spacious cab and interior, and I still got 25 mph ... for a car not known for its aerodynamics, that was pretty good!

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    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    I drive a paid for 2004 Mazda MPV minivan. I swore after years of my mom driving Dodge Caravns that I would NEVER own one. But when baby 2 was on the way and a standard oil change gone bad had my Volvo V70 acting awry we got a the van new. I actually love my minivan. She's a comfortable fit for our family. She gets decent gas mileage (the one thing I wish at this point that I could upgrade on her). She can tow things (which came in handy more times that I can begin to share). She is now a senior girl with over 126K miles. When we drove her off the lot she had 2 miles. For my kids, this is the only car they remember mom owning. She's become a part of our family. I really hope she will be able to give me many more miles/years of use.
    One day (hopefully within the next 3 years) we plan to take a cross country trip, but we will not be driving my mom van. We will be driving Rocky's truck as we tow our Travel Trailer. ;-}
    Si non aptus in Peram, ego opus ad buy magis quisque.
    my bags: S, LS, KP, mg'11, S, LS, COW, MCB, LS, COW, LSB, SE, LSB, TT, SB, SE, TSS4, PCSB, PCBP-A, SC, BB, SCB, FJN, BB, FoJ, RS, F.O.T., LSB, S25, PCSB K, LS, I w/AS, A, PP FJN, SE, 3-DC, MCB, PCBP-T/WF, PCSB, CQPC, S19, LSB, SB, TT, SE, S, C-P, P, WF, UT, LSB, CQPC, PCBP-T/WF, SE2, MCB, RiPad, SB, LSB

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    Registered User bunchgrass's Avatar
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    We own a 1999 Grand Voyager that has 213k miles on it. We also own a green, 1999 CRV with 105k miles on it. We refer to the CRV as the "field car" because it's what I bought to take out to the fields to collect data for my MS degree.

    Dorayme - at 126k miles, your mom van is just getting broken in. :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tCook View Post
    I drive a Honda Element, and there are many of us who are crazy Element lovers! We have a club and such. I've camped with Element owners on the East Coast and the West Coast. I've driven hundreds of miles to hang out with other Element people. It's ridiculous and awesome!

    Last year, I took a 9,500 mile 6.5 week road trip around the country. The Element is an excellent road trip car due to the spacious cab and interior, and I still got 25 mph ... for a car not known for its aerodynamics, that was pretty good!

    That is awesome! The Rabbit "only" gets around 25mpg or so usually, seems like a small-ish car should do better. When you toured the east coast, did you make it to the Blue ridge Parkway or anything? It's pretty beautiful out that way.

    dorayme - having owned several older Mazdas, I can say they are pretty indestructible. The MPV always seemed a bit smaller than some of the other minivans, which I like.

    bunchgrass - 213k miles is impressive! My Rabbit only has about 29k miles on it, so far all have been trouble free. The highest mileage car I've ever owned was an '88 Civic, which had about 200k on it when we parted ways. That was a great car too; it consistently around 38mpg, no matter how I drove.
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    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    I definitely think that my van has lots of life left, and we bought her to drive her until it was no longer feasable. Also her smallness has been a factor in my love for her.
    Si non aptus in Peram, ego opus ad buy magis quisque.
    my bags: S, LS, KP, mg'11, S, LS, COW, MCB, LS, COW, LSB, SE, LSB, TT, SB, SE, TSS4, PCSB, PCBP-A, SC, BB, SCB, FJN, BB, FoJ, RS, F.O.T., LSB, S25, PCSB K, LS, I w/AS, A, PP FJN, SE, 3-DC, MCB, PCBP-T/WF, PCSB, CQPC, S19, LSB, SB, TT, SE, S, C-P, P, WF, UT, LSB, CQPC, PCBP-T/WF, SE2, MCB, RiPad, SB, LSB

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    That is awesome! The Rabbit "only" gets around 25mpg or so usually, seems like a small-ish car should do better. When you toured the east coast, did you make it to the Blue ridge Parkway or anything? It's pretty beautiful out that way.
    No, we had a long driving day from Virginia Beach to Gatlinburg and didn't take more time to do the Blue Ridge Parkway ... it was in the running, though, for awhile! Got to see the Great Smoky Mountains a bit instead, and I thought Tennessee (at least Eastern Tennessee) was really pretty. If you're interested, I will PM you a link to my blog.

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    We have have a 1998 Toyota Camry with 180,000 miles, a 2008 Ford Fusion, & Monday night we added a 2011 Dodge Avenger to the family
    Synapse 25 (Steel Dyneema/UV), Organizer Pouches ( Dyneema, Cordura, Cork - various size & colors), FoJ Pouch, FoT Pouch, 2011 TB Mystery gift(Cork pouch), 2012 Mystery Gift (Forest/ Steel) Pocket Pouch, Sm Yarn Stuff Sack (UV), Small Shop Bag (Steel), Large Shop Bag (UV), Various Color Key Straps, Side Effect (Steel Dyneema/Wasabi)

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    Subaru bought used from a very nice couple, who planned to upgrade to the nicer Subaru model. They kept her in factory clean condition, she smelled new an looked new too.

    We wanted one ever since they came out, and we waited 5 years to get a used one.

    She braves winters like a champ, Snowmageddon 2010, DC, anyone?
    The car was covered in snow almost to the roof and AAA refused to come when the worst storm was over, the plowing was on its way but the parking area still had very high banks.


    She drove us from DC area to the South (very hot summer) with the Goldfish Girls then back to DC (from nice to freezing cold weather) with the Goldfish girls then back to the South (Snowmageddon) then from South to the Midwest (100+ weather), a small trailer to tow and the Goldfish Girls.

    I mention the Goldfish Girls because their oxygen pump is working on the car lighter with an adapter. It enables the filter/pump to keep its cycle going, the girls have more oxygen than being kept in a container without it. I learned it was possible to move them in a pumpless and safe container but in very cold or very hot weather, I thought it wasn't very smart.

    Needless to say no road music because we need to save power for the Girls.


    Sorry, back to the car, she is a mini SUV (a station wagon basically), she has 4WD and sound like an airplane on the highways.
    Good mileage but it could be better.
    Last edited by backpack; 10-15-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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  12. #12
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    my favorite ride over the years has been a 1988 mercedes-benz 560sl convertible. it bought it in 2002, i think, from a gentleman in maryland. he was going to a newer sl class vehicle, and was looking for a new home for this lovely vehicle. it was cabernet in color, with a tan interior.

    it was a screamer!

    at 14 years old, it didn't feel it! with 8 cylinders under the hood, this baby could scream down the road.

    there is a certain joy that comes from driving with the top down.

    alas, our love affair was short lived. i think about 2 years after i bought it, it met with an accident. i was going straight, a woman in a honda civic was turning left, and we had an unplanned meeting.

    fortunately, no one was hurt.

    the honda ran into the left front fender. the damage to the honda was much more significant than to my convertible. i had the weight advantage, so the fender, bumper, and hood were damaged. the front of the honda got smashed in.

    still, the repairs were significant in cost. the way the insurance company wanted to take the less expensive route, and i wanted it fixed right. so we decided instead to declare it a total loss.

    the vehicle was towed away and ended up later on the auction block. the insurance company wrote me a check, and i began an unsuccessful quest for a replacement.

    i wanted another sl class vehicle from the same generation (1986-1989), and even considered earlier editions of the sl. you could find them, but not in the condition that mine was in. the previous owner had taken good care of it. he had serviced it at silver star motors in vienna, va, and i continued to take it to the same place. they work on just mercedes, they are excellent, and they know the car.

    the only thing that came up while it was under was a window control needed replacement ($70 repair). other than that, it was just oil changes every 3,000 miles.

    unable to find another sl class vehicle, i decided to get another mercedes - a 560sel sedan.

    this thing was a boat, and a comfortable one.

    this is what you call a land yacht. with huge, comfortable seats, tremendous legroom in the front and in the back, and spiffy safety and luxury features for a car of that time, it provided a different kind of fun.

    while it was the ultimate comfort ride, it proved expensive to maintain. i spent more on maintenance over the years than i did on its purchase, and ultimately decided that it was time for it to move on.

    the idea of the convertible hadn't left my heart, and next came the slk320. the smaller brother of the sl, the slk was also a lot of fun! it was a newer car, unlike the previous mercedes vehicles i had driven. the hardtop electronic roof made the car a joy to drive year round (the 560sl also had a hard top, but the only time i had it on the car was when i brought it home and when it left for the auction lot).

    the thing with a convertible with on back seat is that it doesn't work well when you have a kid. so the slk moved on, also. and i bought a subaru legacy. that's what i've been driving since 2008.

    it's not a big fancy car. it's not a convertible. but it's safe, it's reliable, it has a back seat and cargo room to boot. plus, the 4 wheel drive is nice when we get snow.

    i still every now and then about getting another land yacht or another convertible. i drove my cousin's lexus ls recently, and it reminded me of the ride of my 560sel. and i thought, the next car is going to be a mid-late-2000's lexus ls.

    but my conscience tells me that my next car should be a plug in electric hybrid sort of car. something that does right by the environment.

    as far as milage, if i remember correctly, the 560sl had under 120k miles; the 560sel made it to 160k or 180k before i got rid of it; the slk320 had just under 50k miles, and the subaru just hit 75k miles.

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tCook View Post
    I drive a Honda Element, and there are many of us who are crazy Element lovers! We have a club and such. I've camped with Element owners on the East Coast and the West Coast. I've driven hundreds of miles to hang out with other Element people. It's ridiculous and awesome!

    Last year, I took a 9,500 mile 6.5 week road trip around the country. The Element is an excellent road trip car due to the spacious cab and interior, and I still got 25 mph ... for a car not known for its aerodynamics, that was pretty good!
    We totally wanted an Element, but when we finally decided to get a new car, there were none to be had (new or used) at the largest Honda dealer in Wisconsin. At that point, we couldn't even consider taking our 92 Accord down to the even bigger dealership in Chicagoland because it had a terminal illness, and was not highway safe.

    We ended up with a CR-V, which gets similar mileage (25-29 mpg). The cargo space in the bag is big enough for two corgis, each in his own traveling crate. (The Element would have been much, much better for traveling with dogs, though--sigh.)

    This past summer, we drove from Indiana to Oregon and back, from Indiana to Tennessee and back, and from Indiana to Iowa (twice). While I wouldn't want to do that much driving every year, it was an unbeatable way to see parts of the country we would normally just fly over. Although, I'm ashamed to say that we also bypassed the Corn Palace. We were even in the town that had it! It was hot and we couldn't leave the dog in the car for very long.

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    Hey, at least you *tried* to get an Element.

    The best mpg I've ever gotten in the Element was 26, and considering I usually drive very short distances around town, I usually get <20 mpg ... the CR-V beats it for sure that way, along with some creature comforts (unless your "creature" is a dog!). The Element really is great for dogs, and that's the reason I got it after the Civic just wasn't cutting it for two 40-70 pound dogs and two adults. Life circumstances have changed and I don't have the dogs anymore, but a pug is on the horizon and she will surely have crazy pug dance parties in the spacious back.

    One thing I really love is how easy it is to take the back seats out or hang them up on the sides. A negative for some, but not me, is that the Element only seats four - there's no third belt in the middle. I've had one seat out for quite awhile now, but it's going back in today. The versatility of the seats makes the Element a true utility vehicle and I take advantage of it all the time! Trips to Ikea, anyone?

    The Element is also really modifiable. People in our Element Owners Club do crazy awesome mods! I've even taken apart the door panels and added sound deadening stuff, and I was never a person to work on cars before. I camp in it a lot, and love sleeping in the back (I'm 5'3" and fit just fine). Others have built great platforms that stretch the entire length of the interior. My platform just fits behind the front seats, but I usually sleep on the floor on a pad.

    I'm bummed that they won't be made anymore, but my 2005 is paid off and has less than 80,000 miles on it, so it'll last me as long as I want.

    Uh ... clearly I could talk about this car for a long time. I'll stop for awhile!

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    I think the Elements could easily be converted into Electric Vehicles when the moving parts of the motors star being a bother.

    I believe this is what account for the obsolescence of most contemporary cars, the newest one, made from fiberglass should be way more resistant to rust.

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