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Approaches to fun car ownership

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Cars are not really about efficiency; otherwise we would all drive the cheapest point A to point B transportation and call it done. Cadillacs especially are about luxury and performance, and to me, about FUN.

Some people drive a Japanese minitruck to work, then have a Corvette or antique Cadillac in storage or the back garage that has never seen rain that they visit to wax on Saturdays. I always thought this missed the whole point, since they did not get to drive the car they enjoyed every day. Certainly I understand that a car only driven 100 miles a week will last a long time.

Some people lease the most expensive automobile they can afford to pay for, and keep the miles off it to just squeeze in under the lease before they trade it on the next one. Cadillac and others have almost perfected this as an art form, offerring $0 down, and early trade deals to move more cars. But modifying or customizing a leased car is its own basket of worms, since everything has to come back off if you decide to not buy out the lease at the end, (which is seldom a good deal).

Some people buy a nice new or used Cadillac that they like, then drive it for miles before it becomes high maintenance, or they lust after that new/newer model, then move on to the next one.

I definitely feel that if you are going to drive a car not under warranty, you need to have backup transportation, so you can take time to make decisions on repairs, or wait for parts. The WORST situation is when you are in a rental car on your dime and the car is in the shop and they delay 2 weeks for something. Of course, there are also added cost of a second car.

A) What would you say is the ideal way to keep a car for xx years AND to enjoy the car you drive every day?

B) Would you want a weekend only car? If so, what car do you have, do you wish you had (or still had) for a weekend only car?


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A) What would you say is the ideal way to keep a car for xx years AND to enjoy the car you drive every day?

Make it a Cadillac and drive the wheels off it. I've been completely impressed with the reliability of mine, and I haven't ever had to use secondary transportation as a backup. Having said that, our "second vehicle" is the one my wife drives everyday, a 2003 Grand Caravan. It's nice to have more than one, although I haven't had to rely on the other because of a problem with one (from either vehicle). The one exception is when I had to use the Cadillac when I was changing the water pump on the Grand Caravan, that didn't really need changing, and I needed a part (long story).

B) Would you want a weekend only car? If so, what car do you have, do you wish you had (or still had) for a weekend only car?

No, don't need a weekend car. If I did, I wouldn't have my Cadillac. My brother has a '99 supercharged Corvette Convertible, and it hauls *smurf*. Perhaps many people's idea of a great "weekend" car, although he drives it every day he can. And drives my old Nissan truck (that I wish I still had) when it's snowing or needs to go get groceries or something. So he has a second vehicle (the truck), but only for physical needs (like when it's snowing, that C5 won't go nowhere).

I would like to have ANOTHER Cadillac, but don't have the space at the moment. I'd love to have a 97-99 DeVille, white diamond. I know, I shoulda bought yours Larry! Problem is, we only have a 2-car garage, and I don't know which Cadillac I'd have to park outside. I know, I know, the Grand Caravan. No brainer right?! Well, that's the wife's, so it IS a no brainer. :)

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Here in Michigan it's not so much a weekend only car as it is a "nice" weather car. I have nice weather cars because most of the time it isn't financially possible for me to drive them everyday. I would say that my nice weather vehicles only get about 10-12 MPG and they usually require at least 94 octane gas. They definately wouldn't go well in the snow (305-50-16 M&H racemaster tires might have something to do with that!), and I wouldn't dare take them out when the roads have been salted.

The best way in my opinion to drive something for a few years, and enjoy it, is to buy something a with a couple of years depreciation under its belt with 20K or so miles on it, and sell it before it gets enough miles on it that people consider it a money pit. (20K to 60-something I would say) I usually buy things that other people consider odd, which saves money too! Right now I just sold a few things that were sitting in my garage and I have been having visions of a Lincoln Mark VIII with a big block chevy in it dancing through my head! That's just wrong, yet so right! Black, mini-tubbed with some viper sized rubber out back, a fuel injected 540 ci rat motor......

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I say drive it and enjoy it. That's what you payed for. Years ago I had a '73 Eldo that I picked up 2-3 yrs old with 11K on it. It was my daily driver til I got married and had a second car. It then remained in the garage for most of the time. It slowly got out of hand til I would not drive it in the rain, much less in the snow. In the end I think I was putting more money in insurance than in the tank. When I finally sold it at about 5 or 6 yrs old it had 40K on it and was like new. I saved it for someone else. NEVER AGAIN!

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Likes most of us here, I drive a Cadillac every day and thoroughly recommend that to anyone.

A new Cadillac isn't expensive for what you get for the money. I've had my ETC for over eight years and I'll probably keep my 1997 ETC for as long as I can get parts for it. A used Caddy is affordable, and with dealer-certified and guaranteed used Cadillacs, and with CarFAX and good mechanics, anyone can get and drive a perfectly good used Cadillac or even an old one.

I don't recommend the leasing route because it is known to be an expensive way to go, and the mileage limits (usually 12,000 miles a year) are unreasonable for most people and over-mileage charges are exorbitant in most contracts. The way to keep down cost per mile is to buy the car and keep it more than four years -- a *lot* more than four years, and to go ahead and drive it every day. Insurance is reasonable on Cadillacs because insurance records on them show them to be good risks that are not bombshells when you get an estimate after a fender-bender. I've taken the maintenance of mine over the last couple of years and find it easy to maintain because of the OBD II codes and the well-written factory manuals.

I find the shorter wheelbase of the Eldoado gives it an agility in small spaces that is truly amazing to those who think of it as a large car, and the handling capability of the ETC is astounding to those who see the old luxury two-door hardtop and don't understand the STS/ETC as world-class sport sedans/coupes.

Cadillacs are bargains compared to their competition, the foreign 32-valve V8's, and a dream to drive compared to any of them. With models since 1993, you have Northstar with a choice of a handling package with the STS, better ride and consummate drivability with minimal compromise of performance with the SLS, or world-class ride and room with the Devilles, and your choice of 270 HP or 300 HP, or lately 320 HP vs a V6. Then, for those who like smaller cars like my wife, there's the CTS, and there's the CTS-V. The Eldoado is great, with slightly less weight and a shorter wheelbase, if you don't mind the two doors and can find one for sale; there weren't many made and people tend to keep them. Look at the fuel economy of the 4.1/4.5/4.9 and any of the Northstars produced to date; all of them have fuel economy that is acceptable in the days of $3 a gallon gasoline. I don't like the sport-utes and trucks because I feel I must have excellent handling in a car that I drive every day, and anything under 15 MPG around town with a lead foot seems inappropriate to me.

My spare wheels are a motorcycle, and I borrow my wife's car if necessary because of rain, snow, or cargo.

For a weekend car, I would recommend a motorcycle -- the ultimate convertible for weekend drives, and not too expensive to leave in the garage all week, and inexpensive to insure and maintain. I prefer a 16-valve four cylinder with quiet mufflers; your preferences may vary and that's fine by me; I'm comfortable riding alongside strangers on anything, so long as they drive sensibly, their handlebars are lower than the tops of their helmets and I can hear my own bike and the rest of the world occasionally.

For the majority that really aren't comfortable with a motorcycle, a classic or custom car is a good idea, if you have room to garage it or you don't mind a canvas car cover. I don't recommend a Corvette as a weekend car; I would drive mine every day if I had one today. It doesn't make sense to me to have an expensive car with expensive insurance sitting in the garage; I will understand if you disagree -- I am Scotch by ancestry and am so tight my eyeballs squeak, and I do realize that not everybody is that way.

When I must haul something I can't get in my cars -- both coupes -- I rent a van at U-Haul. If a pickup or van is your second car, then you have that covered, too.

-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I say drive it and enjoy it. That's what you payed for. Years ago I had a '73 Eldo that I picked up 2-3 yrs old with 11K on it. It was my daily driver til I got married and had a second car. It then remained in the garage for most of the time. It slowly got out of hand til I would not drive it in the rain, much less in the snow. In the end I think I was putting more money in insurance than in the tank. When I finally sold it at about 5 or 6 yrs old it had 40K on it and was like new. I saved it for someone else. NEVER AGAIN!

I agree with Ranger 100%! Life is short. Get the best car you can afford and drive the hell out of it EVERY DAY! Otherwise you will save it for someone else or even worse... for another Katrina. Give your A to B daily driver to your mother-in-low. :lol:

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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my cadillac is my main car http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y48/johnnydone/19972.jpg

my corvette just sits there because its usually blocked in and im too lazy to move cars around


my rolls is my once in awhile car i still dont know what to do with it


i guess this makes me CAR CRAZY

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I know if I had my "dream car" I would probibly not park it at the mall (I hate that place so it would give me an excuse to not go there) but I would certainly drive it everywhere I could.

My dream car is truly a chopped cadillac from the 20's-30's fitted with a northstar. With or without a blower, probibly would depend on how much power I want if I did make it and how fast it would go on just a uppgunned unblown northstar :)

The Green's Machines

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I drive my Eldo all the time. If I had to get another car, I'd just get a newer one - a 2002 - because I haven't run into anything else I like that I can actually pay for.

Weekend car would be a 67 Cadillac convertible!

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Fun car ownership? I don't know about fun.. I am too old for fun :lol:

Some times it is just all about driving down the right roadway at the right time with the right cigar and a frappuccino.. which is NOT a girly drink ... I think :ph34r::unsure:

When is it fun,

A couple days ago I got some much needed highway time.. some doofus in a rented little chinese looking car a Malibu I think it was he flys up beside me and passes me and drives in front of me into my lane there. Then he gets with it and takes off for some reason I think to myself oh lord why not I don't work hard for my money and a ticket is just a ticket so I get on mine the little sucker in the chinese car stayed with me as best as he could right up to 100 where he became afraid and backed off...

Knowing that he was stomping down on the floor like an idiot and I wasn't.. I digged that or dug it :)

Leasing makes sense in some situations. If a guy knows how much driving he does, isn't stupid enough to take posession before the papers are in and terms finalised, and he has got to have a newer model for business reasons - leasing is the best way to go.

Go buy a 50k automobile and put 36k on it over 36mo ($50,000+Maintainence)

I go lease an automobile and put the same 36k on over the same 36mo ($3948+$1500= $5448)

Here it is three years later I am down $5448 and you're down $30,000... :o

As an aside I personally don't believe in making payments on any automobile.

You know the country is headed to hell when the average middle class imbecile pays more out in automobile debt service and insurance than he pays for his home.

Actually it might be closer to ten grand rather than 5448

But my logic is not flawed.. never is :)


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My dream car is my daily driver.. I love my caddy... But I do have an Olds 442 that I drive, for fun from time to time... A totally different flavor... Helps remind me how good I have it in my STS... But the 442 is fun too... It shakes, it stalls, it gets really bad mileage, its loud... The Caddy is like a nice piece Camembert and the 442 is like a strong piece of Roquefort.

And Fred... You might want to check your math on your lease calculations. By my calculations a 36 month lease on a $50,000 car, even at 0% would be close to 900 a month or well over 34,000. At any interest rate over 0... and your monthly cost is up over 1000 a month...

Where leasing makes sense is where you can deduct the interest and depreciation off of your income taxes. That's why most people who lease are either in sales or are self employed.

A lease calculator can be found here


Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide


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OK then,

Daily driver would be two cars actually, but probably the about same price as one for most folks:

The primary would be the Caddy, but about a 1-2 year old leased/rental unit with miles right at the point that they get rid of the cars no matter what condition or latest feature-fad.

The secondary would be the weather/function-appropriate one, in my case a used pickup. This would also be the one to drive to facilitate the lowest cost repairs and cost of ownership possible on the Caddy. I'll take the gamble that the Caddy won't simply break without one heck of a good reason. In that case it will probably be my fault anyway, so I deserve it (like the time I went off-road and sorta-kinda took the oil pan off the Horizon). Rant continues below...

I have owned a Caddy long enough to know they are engineered world-class. I have no problems to "run until broken", compared with changing out drive belts every 50,000 miles or whatever those who have more money than brains do - just because. I'm not talking about oil, coolant, tranny fluid, tires and a few other items. Granted, changing drive belts at 50K may be a poor example, but when someone says there "LuxSux" never breaks, yet they mindlessly spend hundreds for "Factory Service" every few months or thousand miles - astounds me! If they drove their LuxSux like millions of regular Joes - with little or no regular care or feeding - then it would never be the last car rolling. Enough ranting, sorry... :rolleyes:

I would rent my fun car just to try different flavors without guilt (I don't suggest that with spouses... :unsure::blink::rolleyes: ). Tip: carry the extra insurance, in case it gets nearly broken in half (a different story for another time when frame-strength, getting-air and lift-at-speed are topics). If the car I rented (pull the flight-recorder inputs also) still runs, I say buy it - because it can handle the envelope and into the glue strip as well.

Good topic Bruce. ;)

Add power to leave problems behind. Most braking is just - poor planning.
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