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  • #16
    In 1966 I bought my first new car, a Chevy Impala with a 327 and a four speed. I was twenty years old. Kept it for about a year and traded it for a 1965 Olds 88 (lost my good paying job and couldn't afford the payments on the Chevy). My next new car was a 1978 Toyota. I've had new cars ever since, along with a lot of used cars.
    Rick
    Kingman, AZ

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    • #17
      I'm enjoying this thread, and found Bob P's link rather interesting. SO, here is my take on buying used vs. new. In 1965 right after high school graduation, Dad signed for me to buy a 56 Chevy wagon on a 90 day note. It was $350.00. Right before it was paid off, it used an entire case of oil between Memphis and Nashville, and a bit more than that on the way to our home in Clinton, TN. Nope, not because of this teenager driving, Dad was using it as I had surgery and was using his automatic car. We escorted wide loads around the south, and when he finally got home, we went across the street to our local used car dealer, Fox Motors, and he told me to pick out another car. The 56 had been going through transmissions,oil, rear wheel bearings, and one complete rear end, and I wanted another Chevy. That was my 2nd mistake...got a 64 Bel Air automatic ( 283 two barrel with a "Powerslide" ), that lasted all of 31 days. It had cost me a little over $1900.00. When I finally took all the down time and expence's I could stand, I told Dad I was getting rid of it and wanting to trade for a 63 1/2 Falcon Futura with a 4 speed and a 260 engine. He did NOT like that idea, but finally relented, so I got my 1st Ford. (it had been advertised for $1699.00, so I "lost" a bit). After 160,000 trouble free miles with minimum oil use and twice the gas mileage of the Chevy's, I was really hooked.

      Now, as I said, "after 160,000 miles",
      this is because I found a 271 horse hi-po engine for sale for $60.00 and bought it, put it in the Falcon, had the car painted, put on 14 inch wheels with Goodyear Blue Streak tires, glass packs, new shocks, and after slipping off to the races one night, totaled it courtesy of a 57 Plymouth turning across in front of me. $325.00 later, I had a little 61 Falcon Ranchero that I took the 6 cylinder automatic out of and put in all the other parts I could out of the 63. One of my best moments ever, as it ran like a "scaulded dog" as we say in the south, got fabulous mileage, and was lighter which led to LOTS of race wins when not being just a daily driver and work truck. Two years later, after marrying, we moved to Texas in 1968 in it, used it there for two years, and came back to TN, AL and finally took that engine out and put in 3 more vehicles over the years. Superb little engines and trannys.

      Now to the new car part of the story. While in Texas, a Hot Rod magazine came out advertising the new Fairlane Cobra and Mustang Cobra Jets with the 428 ram air engines. We jumped in the Ranchero, went down to Texas Motors Ford and tried out a Boss 302, a Boss 429, a CJ Mustang, and then a CJ Fairlane. My wife and I both liked it the best, and after filling out the order and waiting around 30 days, had our 1st new car. ( $3558.39 after discounts/ negotiating, etc., and a $94.00 payment for 36 months after my down payment....yes, I still have all my paperwork and window stickers, ha ! ) After driving it to work for the 1st week, I got one of my pals to drive it and I drove the Ranchero in a couple of drag races on Jacksboro Hwy right outside of Ft. Worth. I beat that "expensive" new car, so we swapped, then he beat me twice, so we went home. As I was already 20 by now, and "real" mature, ha !, I told my wife that we had wasted a lot of money, but we'd keep the Fairlane anyway as it was prettier, roomier, and quite a bit more comfortable.... Those days, ah, what a fun time. I have had a lot of new and used cars and trucks since those days, hate the depreciation, but love the comfortable feeling of my wife having something "more reliable" and safer. If I had cubic dollars today, I would still buy one of the used cars of my dreams or build the wildest 1961 Ranchero to ever roam the streets, ha ! Keep up the stories guys, this is fun !

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      • #18
        To give an input to John Clary's query - I sold used cars for many dealerships. They were sold to all ages, some as only cars and some as second cars. When I started selling new cars full time (50 hours per week), in the 1980s, I worked for an old dealership - same family since 1929. The used cars went to all sorts, but the vast majority of new cars were sold to those 60s to 80s years old. I think this reflected the dealership's customer base, not the norm.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #19
          studegary, that is probably a true fact for more than just your area. Most of the new cars sold when I was young in our little East Tennessee city were to older folks, very few young folks were able. Now the difference was that probably 99% of us that left town and got decent jobs immediately bought a new car as soon as possible...... and came back in it to show it off on our visits "home".

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
            I am now 58 years of age, and I also have never owned a brand new car. Although I did come close a couple of times, I could not see eating that huge depreciation.
            There may be some general trends on this issue, but clearly there are lots of individual exceptions. Like Bob, I have never owned a brand-new car (and at my age, it now seems unlikely that I ever will). I used to refuse to own anything that I couldn't fix myself, but the advent of microprocessor-controlled fuel injection and other parameters has made that approach moot. Still, I haven't purchased a vehicle in 20 years, and continue to drive a 95 GMC pickup.
            Skip Lackie

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