Goes through brakes fast, if cheap parts are used.
Started leaking a bit of oil at 150k.
Shreds cheap tires up fast.
All new ball joints/tie rods at 150k (original were on it), new struts at 95k (needs new struts very badly again).
At 160k miles the engine frame (K member) has completely separated from rust on the passenger side where it mounts to the body/firewall, right behind the lower control arm. Amazingly, the car still drives OK, but you can feel the flex on that side of the front end a lot.
This car goes through spark plug wires fast (hard to route cleanly), original trans, original motor, A/C still work.
In order to keep the rear brakes adjusted, you have to constantly use the emergency brake when parking, very annoying. Also, the rear brakes "drag" way too much due to the poor design of the caliper on that specific vehicle.
For someone who does not work on cars, this could be a costly vehicle to own. A lot of small tinkering is required to keep it running perfect. Lots of tiny problems. For someone who doesn't mind doing the small stuff on their own car, this is the perfect car. Especially for a wrench-happy teenager.
1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 3.1L, 4speed automatic, loaded (no leather). This car has always been driven very hard by the previous owner and myself, ever since it was new.
The Olds is unfortunately limited to 107mph. No fun there. Because of the poorly geared transmission and the converter lockup constantly disengaging and reengaging, to maintain top speed you have to stay heavy on the throttle. It will sail along at 90-100mph all day though!
This has overall been a reliable car. Never once in its 160,000 mile life has ever broken down suddenly. It has traveled around the United States two separate times.