Let me make one thing clear... On December 11th, 2009, I killed my car. My precious 1992 Prelude; The "Lude" - license plate: "ILL ZILL".
I did it through neglecting a piece of regular maintenance; Changing the timing belt every 90K miles.
I was headed to work, and the belt snapped after cresting an incline: Half of the valves on the top end of the dual overhead cam engine bent to heck. At 193K miles, the Prelude could have been good for 250K, but I missed my chance. I had to close the lid on the engine and make a hard choice. Replace the engine and do other needed front end work for $2K, or move on to a larger, newer vehicle that could handle carrying my framed work, studio supplies and has the same reliability. I chose the latter.
my darling daughter (in need of hours of behind the wheel practice) and i drove a 180 mile loop today, test driving cars within my 4x4x4 range - 4 doors x 4 cylinders x $4,000. We tried various cars, but at the end of the day - i went with familiarity.
daughter wanted me to get the banana colored 2000 audi A4 - i couldn't see myself trying to blend in with a pack of traffic in a car that looked like a school bus. she's mad at me for not buying it.
i also drove sharp BMW convertible, but i saw it puff smoke as i made a U turn on my test drive... sorry.
i dropped a deposit on a 12 year old, one owner 318i. it's the last 4 cylinder bmw sold here before the introduction of the Mini. i've owned a 1975 2002 and a 1985 535i, which this car reminds me of as a hybrid of both. i took it out on I-95 near Quantico Marine Base, opened it up and tossed it around... tight.
just need it to get me up the road and back each day. it should do fine.
daughter is mad at me - said it looks old and boxy - would rather be dropped off at the prom in the minivan. she had her eye on the Prelude as her first car, and was nearly tearing up as I broke the news that I couldn't afford to drop the money into it.
i can only go with what i know.