I've owned a-lot of cars. You might have assumed that I might have a problem... because, who does this kind of thing- and how does one develop that kind of psychosis? Well, I have my mother to blame*.
These are the cars that have have been sold, traded, or you are now drinking your soda out of.
Sold May 2021
I didn't have this one very long. After sorting it out a bit and making it as close to perfect as I could, I took a long hard look at the cars in the barn, including some new additions and decided I should choose between the two e30's I had. I opted to keep the convertible. This was purchased by a classic car dealer in South Dakota. ___________________________
If you are a BMW fanboy or girl, you know this as an E30. This was the 2nd generation of the BMW 3 series- built from 1982 to 1994. There is also a later 91' convertible in the collection. These cars really strengthened BMW's presence in the American market as the "Ultimate Driving Machine", and became synonymous with the 80's Yuppi culture. I tried to culture that look in the 80's- complete with Girbaud jeans with my Genera sweaters... and I may have put highlights in my hair- but it just wasn't complete without this car. The E30 has held up much better than my 80's look, and are also far more desirable today. As with most cars of the 80's- the horse power numbers are bested by economy cars today, however their small size and low weight make them a blast to drive. This model- the eta, was a larger engine with lower power output designed for fuel efficiency. The inline 6 in these cars are some of the best to ever leave Bavarian Motor Werks for the US. This is one of the more recent additions, acquired in January 2021.
SOLD April 2021
As much as I would like to hold on to all of these cars- because there was something that made me want to own it in the 1st place, I can't. I didn't build a large enough building. I wanted a BMW when I was a teen something- but I couldnt pull it off. This car went to a 17 year old from southern MN... very sharp and polite, and excited to get it. It really made it fun to sell, knowing how excited the new owner was and thinking about how 17 year old me would have felt driving it home.
* He put it up for sale 3 months later for more money. _____________________
The successor to the e30, the 3rd generation BMW 3 series e36 was built from 1990 to 2000. This 97' had the more powerful inline 6, a manual transmission, and some sporty bits that gets as close as I could to the vaunted M3... on a budget. This is not a particularly collectible car (yet), nor is there anything really super special about it- but it was a fun way to have a stick shift convertible I could take with my 3 kids. I know- that's a bit nuanced, like choosing between shoes that look pretty much the same. I guess that happens when you have a large collection of anything- you start to focus on the small differences.
SOLD March 2021
Sometimes I just need to make room for something new. This was my daily driver sports car- simple, reliable, and worry free. This was never intended to be an investment. However, after two years and 6,000 miles- Carvana paid me thousands (plural) more than I paid. It may be because, as I said in my story below- they would be missed. The 370z went out of production with the 2020 model year and their prices are now on the rise. Who knew.
This is an old car that you can still buy new. It was introduced in 2008 as a 09' model- and really has not changed since. Nissan seems to do that as a matter of course- if it ain't broken, sell it as long as you can. The 370z is a rear wheel drive, manual transmission, naturally aspirated, hydraulic steering, with all analog instrumentation- not a single color LCD screen in sight. All of which will never return in a single car. Great you say- who wants old tech, right? For those who prioritize cushy transportation, this isn't for you- and there are some days it's not for me either and I drive something else. However- as a drivers car that connects you to the machine and the road through most of your senses- its great, and when cars like this are gone they will be missed. One of the nicer aspects of this car is its reliability and that I never worry about the check engine light coming on, like I do every time I start some of the others in my collection. I also trust it to withstand teaching my younger son and soon to be driving daughter how to drive a manual transmission.
Sold May 2021
I knowingly purchased this car as an investment. I loved having it in the collection and admiring it, however low mileage, pristine, and valuable collectable cars are part of the formula that pays for the barn and everything inside it. This one sold at auction and has shipped off to the new owner in Los Angeles.
So- really the Honda NSX. It was only Acura in the United States. The New Sports-car eXperimental was revealed in 1989 (go back to the 89' Caprice Wagon to see the then status quo) as a Japanese competitor to the Ferrari 328. This 30 year old car could easily pass for something new on the show-floor from the last few years- that's how advanced it was. All aluminum, mid-engine, and one of the best manual transmission cars... ever. I 'm pretty sure my neck snapped a few times in the '90s when one of these passed by. These were handmade- with about 9000 total produced over its original 15 year run. And- they are also taking off in the collector market. I was lucky to get this one as part of a handful I purchased from a local dealer liquidating their collection. It's also about as new as they come- with just over 13,000 miles on it. The downside to owning a 30-year-old car that is rising sharply in value with low miles like this one... is you want to keep it low miles, so I usually pick something else to drive. I do enjoy walking past it- like another painting in the gallery.
SOLD August 2021
After 5 years, Thor has a job and it is time to get a brand new car- he's currently thinking a Toyota Tundra. The Mercedes went to a local family, so maybe we'll still get to see it around town.
Now I bet you think I'm just including pictures of our neighbor's cars for fun. Among the fleet, there are a few that are just used for transportation. Imagine that. This one happens to be my oldest son's 1st car. We purchased this in June of 2016 for his journey to Mankato State. The main criteria's were safety and all-wheel drive. One of the salespeople who has taken care of our family for years kept an eye out, and we landed on this. Mark is in the picture with Thor. Admittedly, this was not the sexiest choice for a 1st car for Thor...but having a safest car we would find in his price range won out.
Sold August 2021
This one was really hard to let go- more so than any other car I can remember selling. Not because it was particularly special- lots of families have them, but because it was our family car though most of our kids schools activities and cross country trips, and because it was Cherri's car. But- it sat unused for years, save one final trip to Delaware this summer. As you can read below- I was holding on to it... just in case. However, the car market in 2021 is crazy, and it became worth many thousands more than it was worth years go. So- a new family has it now with several young kids, and I hope it takes care of them too.
This was the family car. Lots of kid after school activities, several cross country trips, and all the stuff a family car does. It has been parked for the better part of two years. But- I might need it, so I better not sell it. I know, that is crazy. Since you made it this far looking through the cars in the barn- I'm sure you already think I am. What is crazy and actually has kept me from selling it is that I priced out the equivalent 21' model and it was $83,000!! Granted, this one was not cheap, but $83k or more for a truck?! That got me wondering how we arrived at supersized price-tags for trucks- including $100k Escalades and Navigators. Looking back- a 2000 Honda Accord LX had an MSRP of $18,540. The same year Suburban was $25, 711- or about 37% more than the Honda. For 2021, the similar Honda MSRP is $24,970, but a basic Suburban is now $58,795- 137% more than the Honda. That price disparity seems to be true for many cars vs trucks over the same period of time. So in 2042 when my daughter is 36 years old and needs a Suburban- it will cost $134,000 give or take. That is crazy. I should just give her this one instead.
Sold October 2021
Assuming this website lasts far beyond 2021...2021 was a crazy year for the car market. Covid and resulting supply chain issues drove new and even used car priced over MSRP. Sometimes way over. I purchased these cars for the reasons listed below- and we did get some miles on them. Callie's 1st time driving a car was on a stick shift (I'm so proud). However- the opportunity arose to sell these and come out ahead right before I'd have been putting them away for winter. I hope to pick up one next spring.
THE WORST CAR EVER!!! So proclaim the automotive pundits. I ran out and bought three brand new ones! Remember when you could buy a new car that didn't cost what you make in a year (or a big chunk of it)? Simple, efficient, reliable? The VW Bug or Rabbit, Dodge Colt, or recently the Fiesta, Cruise, etc. Yes- everything else is bigger and more powerful than a Mirage, but consider this- 10 year warranty, airbags everywhere, Stability/ABS, Auto braking collision mitigation, auto climate control, touchscreen Infotainment with CarPlay/Android, Camera, Cruise, etc, etc, on a NEW car that cost about $12 thousand dollars OUT THE DOOR (including tax and fees). It also gets the best MPG of any car that is not a hybrid- I regularly average 47MPG. That is an amazing value. Reviewers blast the 78hp engine, however engines with less power did just fine for decades. 78hp is just the right fit for a car that probably weighs at least a 3rd less than yours, and it does not sacrifice fuel economy. If it was bigger or cushier- well then you would have Civic... a great car that would cost more than twice as much. Why three you ask? I have kids that I want to be competent with a manual transmission, great cars for school, a low key daily driver for me (sometimes I just need the right tool for the right job) and ultimately when I sell- I bet I get 2/3 of what I paid for them or better.
Another fallout from the crazy Covid car prices of 2021 is that it is just a bad time to buy a car. Thor is moving out on his own and needed to replace his college wheels. As I have a new 2022 truck on order (because you can't just go buy one anymore) - he is taking the F150. This truck got the whole family safely to and from the Lake House for the better part of 13 years, and he drove it a bit in high school. I'm really happy this is staying in the family, and I know it will take care of him.
This is my truck. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. That's plagiarized from a movie- but it works here. Nothing special- this is basically the shuttle between our home and the lake. It does have the distinction of being absolutely the least reliable vehicle I've ever owned- almost $18k in repairs over 100k miles. Fortunately, I purchased the extended warranty... and extended it again, so I didn't pay for those repairs. I'll use this space for my opinion on those warranties. All cars break. When you buy a warranty- the bet is that you will sell or trade your car before you ever use it. If, like me, you keep some cars until the earth reclaims them- the math is on your side. Make sure you only look at an exclusionary warranty- the kind that has a short list of what it does NOT cover and is much like a "bumper to bumper" warranty. Try to buy from the manufacturer, not Auto-Vantage-Super-Excellent-Coverage and the like. Price shop. You can can often buy a manufacturer warranty online from dealers that sell at much closer to their cost to earn your business, and see if your dealer can match that or come close. Buy the longest term you can- the odds are really on your side on a 6 or 7 year warranty... unless you trade it in on a shiny new car in 4 years- then you threw your money away. Finally, don't make your decision based on trade in value. Extended warranties typically add ZERO dollars when you trade because the dealer can't transfer them... and they would rather sell their own anyway.
Below are the cars of yesteryear- all of the cars that I once owned in generally the order I owned them in, less the cars I still have.
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