21st Aug 2017, 18:19

A lot of guys started out buying collectible used cars long ago and stepped up. Starting with just a few hundred dollars. Smart ones kept their vintage cars during the gas shortages in early 70s. And stepped up over time to high dollar cars today. It's very common. At Cruise Night I see a guy with a 18k Superbird he bought in the 80s. Or 6 figure cars that they paid low 20s for used. And allowing time to pass. I bought a townhouse with 4K down back in the 80s and later also rented my ranch house out. Those 2 rentals even after taxes are perpetual income positive from day one. Sometimes a little risk then enables you to buy nice cars today. After taxes, that doesn't require retirement age to enjoy driving now. Or needing half off.

22nd Aug 2017, 15:03

Lo and behold, the off subject comment of "collectible" cars at cruise nights finds its way onto a Volt review. I thought the purpose here is gas mileage. Personally I would never own one and would never see a Volt as a collector's item. My two cents.

22nd Aug 2017, 19:04

Not the topic at all. It's addressing that one shouldn't buy new cars as they depreciate. Don't need half off.

23rd Aug 2017, 20:05

Used cars today versus used cars decades ago are two totally different things. Even when I was growing up in the 80s, most cars with the exception of some of the mainstream Honda and Toyota models, were usually worn-out or otherwise showing extreme wear by the time the odometer rolled over the 75k mark. If you bought used back then, chances are you were walking into someone else's liability. But these days one can buy a used car, and due to improvements in materials, design and engineering, one can easily expect a good 200-250k before the car starts to exhibit major problems or wear. As I had mentioned, the Volt we own, despite ticking over the 100k mark, still runs, handles and even looks new. No real wear or tear seems evident.

Trust me: I am no stranger to shiny new cars. I work in a high-income industry in a high income area of California, and on a nearly daily basis I'll see my fair share of BMWs, Mercedes, Porsches, Audis, and Tesla Model S's. In fact I probably see at least 20 Teslas or more a day. But ironically guess what? We're ALL going to be sitting in the same gridlock traffic doing the spirited speed of 15-20MPH.

Furthermore it seems to me that when it comes to the attitude of buying new cars, the predominant thing I see here is that those same folks spending 75k+ on a car also seem to want the car they drive to be a perpetually new version of whatever model it is too, meaning they probably have an expensive lease or they simply spend a LOT of their income on cars. And as a result, the market for used luxury cars can be insanely cheap. Example? Take a gander at how much a BMW 7 series cost new. They run well north of $80,000. But right now you could buy a gently used one, say a 2012 model for under 20k. So again - is the cost of "new" worth an extra 60k?

When it comes to depreciation the same is true with Volts, Fiat 500e's, Leafs, and even BMW i3's. For those of you who like your classic muscle cars or Corvettes, you haven't really experienced driving until you try an EV. Any car powered by an engine will always have to overcome rotational mass, and it's that drain of initial inertia which dampens the feeling of torque. That my lowly Volt has 100% of the torque instantly, means the driver gets an instant sensation of having a kick in the pants power-wise. It's pretty great.

Either way, at this point all of the world's major automakers have extensive EV programs either underway or under development. The internal combustion engine is one of the most truly remarkable inventions of human history. But it's not going to be around forever and it's clear EVs are the way forward. Perhaps not this year or even next decade, but the writing is now on the wall, and I'm glad to have been an early adopter and I won't be going back either.

24th Aug 2017, 03:34

Our GM cars from the 80s (midsize and full size) were just getting broken in at the 75k mark. I had an 84 Grand Prix that was bought with 89k and lasted another 100k. We must have been lucky?

24th Aug 2017, 07:45

My one son lives in Berkeley Ca. A 6 figure income barely covers keeping a roof over his head. I hear that comment all the time. Just like living in Ct or NJ or D.C. I can't ever see him saving enough and living out his retirement there. He doesn't want lengthy commutes or the stress sitting in traffic. On the same income I have a .95 cost of living index area, all within an hour of beaches and mountains. Far more disposable income for a big home and nice cars. It's not what you make, it's what you spend. I do not lease or have payments on my cars. You work hard and pay your houses off in 15 years. Try that in California with taxes etc on top.

The topic was on early retirement. Is saving by buying a cheap car going to accomplish this alone? Even going there to visit is an eye opener on living costs. I'd rather have more to show for my money. Even if you were born in the 80s or 90s, there are still 60s cars well worth the investment by the way. I'd start out with a car like a nice Mustang and work my way up. If you get tired of the classics you flipped, buy a nice new one with the profits. Drive it for fun just on weekends. And keep it 10 years. Maybe have 25000 miles after all that time on a fun convertible. My personal cars owe me nothing. It's quality of life and enjoyable too. If I feel the need to scrimp, it's changeable. Downsize or move seems easier. There's plenty of great locations in America with better cost of living indexes. It's up to you if high mortgage and taxes are where you want your money going.

24th Aug 2017, 15:45

I'm not really interested in getting into another drawn out domestic versus import argument. But yes - the domestic automakers were going through some severe turbulence in the early 80s and the quality suffered. Yes - the quality is pretty good now, but back then? Hello? The Chevette? Citation? That awful Olds with the diesel engine? The Pontiac Firebirds with sagging door hinges? Yeah... not sure how many look back too fondly on that era...

24th Aug 2017, 19:49

I own a 47 year old Chevrolet. Totally restored and in perfect show condition. Plan on passing it down to my lucky son in another 20-30 years And he can pass it on to his. And he can say it was my grandfathers. Pretty cool feeling. Who says cars must be disposable? If he isn't into it, at least it should pay for a nice education or towards a home with its appreciation. And I am cool with that too.