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Identify your wheels

Dan

Dear Leader
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So, fellow planners and planning students, what kind of internal combustion powered vehicle do you drive? (Much as you're tempted to brag about your Trek or Metrocard, bicycles and transit passes don't count in this thread.) I'm under the impression that planners tend to gravitate towards "liberal" cars; i.e. Saturns, Volvos, Saabs and Hondas, with a disproportionately large amount deferring to basic pickup trucks.

My car -- a red 1995 Ford Contour LX (Ford Mondeo to those outside of North America), with the Duratech V-6 engine. Bought it with 6,000 miles (10,000 km) on the clock before I got out of grad school; now the odometer reads around 111,000.

In a few months, though, I'll probably be getting a new used car. I'm leaning towards a VW Pasaat, or Volvo S70 or V70, although those choices aren't necessarily carved in stone.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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7,903
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34
Well Ford is 2 for 2 so far...

I drive a 1996 Ford Escort - Bought with 35K on it, now has 97K. And I think the clutch is starting to go...

I do take transit to work though!

My colleague drives a Passat wagon - he likes it. I think I'd get a Focus or one of the new Mazada Protege5's, if I was buying something right now (based on my $$ situation).

I don't Dan - how are you going to impress the beach bunnies with a Passat? Gotta go with a convertible....
 

Red

Member
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4
Points
0
Get a cabrio, your dog will appreciate it.

I drive a 2000 Malibu with less than 13k on it. I hate driving, would give up the car in a minute... if I lived remotely close to ANYWHERE with transit.
 

biha

Cyburbian
Messages
25
Points
2
Car Talk

What is this, NPR's Car Talk radio program? Next thing, posters will be asking for advice on whether to trade in that '89 Toyota with repeated transmission problems, or try once again to repair it! As for my car, the front wheels rattle wher I make hard right turns at excessive speeds. Any idea what causes it?
 

Dan

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Red said:
Get a cabrio, your dog will appreciate it.
(looks at self in mirror) :rolleyes:

Nope, I'm not a perky 22 year old blonde female. Don't think I'm qualified to drive a Cabrio, much as Bailey might like the thought.

(... and before anyone says anything, Bailey isn't a Poodle, nor is she a Poodle mix. Call her that, and she gets very upset.)
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
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34
Re: Car Talk

Bella said:
What is this, NPR's Car Talk radio program? Next thing, posters will be asking for advice on whether to trade in that '89 Toyota with repeated transmission problems, or try once again to repair it! As for my car, the front wheels rattle wher I make hard right turns at excessive speeds. Any idea what causes it?
I think your problem is caused by hard right turns at excessive speeds!

Sounds like a ball-joint to me...
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
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33
A '98 Subaru Outback Sport, a '96 Land Rover Discovery, a '99 Harley Sportster, and a plethora of pre-1965 volkswagens. The 100th anniversary Harley Fat Boy is on the horizon! As a local government planning director, the Land Rover raises eye brows (as in, "we must pay him too much") but it was bought back in my days working for a developer when I drove 6,000 miles per month and needed an "image car". My next one will probably be another Subaru...
 

Linden Smith

Cyburbian
Messages
141
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6
I used to drive a 1984 chevy s-10 extended cab pickup, I sold it with 176,000 miles and went without for about six months.

Then, giving in to a more purient side, I bought a Mercedes 1995 C220. I gotta tell you Dan, don't consider a Volvo without looking at some 5-10 year old M-B. Great car, better than any BMW i've ever had.

My regular ride is a 1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado (motorcycle). I get some flak for showing up at work in my leather pants though.
 
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1992 Geo Storm with approximately 157,500 miles on it. This is my first car and based on my wonderful salary, it will probably be my only car.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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Keep in mind that I live in snowy Iowa and actually need four wheel drive for a couple of months a year. A Harley would be great if they paid me enough.

1997 Mercury Mountaineer
 
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1993 Chevy Corsica

164,000 miles

But the car is much happier now that I'm carpooling just 4 miles each way to my new job.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
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1998 Chevy Cavalier

Better gas mileage that the '86 Caravan I bought off of my parents when I was in college.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Linden Smith said:
Then, giving in to a more purient side, I bought a Mercedes 1995 C220. I gotta tell you Dan, don't consider a Volvo without looking at some 5-10 year old M-B. Great car, better than any BMW i've ever had.
I'm tempted, and I'll admit to looking at 'em -- you can get a three or four year old BMW or Mercedes with about 50K or 60K on the clock for about $18,000 to $20,000. Thing is -- in my small town, what would people think if I drove up to a building jobsite or did code enforcement in our eight-block, shotgun shack-filled ghetto in a late model 3-Series or C220? I did ask a few citizens about it, and they essentially said "don't worry about what others think." The Town Manager and Mayor, though -- they think driving a German luxo-cruiser isn't really prudent.

For some reason, the Volvos and Saabs have the luxury, but they don't send out the unwelcome message of "look where your tax dollars are going!" Same thing with SUVs and some American luxury cars (Oldsmobile Aurora, Chrysler 300) whose cost approaches the cheaper BMWs.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Planderella said:
1992 Geo Storm with approximately 157,500 miles on it. This is my first car and based on my wonderful salary, it will probably be my only car.
During my first planning job, I drove a 1985 Volkswagen Jetta with some sizeable hail damage. A stripper model. No air conditioning -- and I was living in southern New Mexico at the time.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
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30
Dan,
I was first going to say that appearance does count in the public sector. I have always had a "practical" vehicle for work (VW, Cavalier, Protege), and a step up for the spouse and trips.

But what counts is price. If you can get a Volvo/Mercedes for $20K, why should that be any different than a new Taurus for the same amount?

Of course, the caveat is what does the boss think? And the follow-up to that: does it make a difference what the boss thinks?

Ask for a city vehicle for your code enforcement activities.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
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33
Ford Ranger, 2WD. With 700 feet of driveway and Wisconsin winters, it looks like a Subaru is in my future.
 

Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,704
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24
Well, back in our DINK days I traded in my 'white 84 VW GTI for a '97 Golf. Husband Doug traded in his black '84 GTI for a full size cargo van (for hauling our Ducati's) Then came the kids (in '96 & '98)so now I drive the van. But we last year we traded in the Golf for a 2001 Beetle.
Now I am scoping out my next new vehicle choice, either a BMW touring bike or a Triumph dual sport bike!
 
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Brent

Cyburbian
Messages
107
Points
6
Right now I drive a 1993 Toyota pickup with 180,000 miles. I was broadsided a while ago by a car thief who ran a red light and I still haven't repaired the considerable body damage to the passenger side. Although my truck has been extremely reliable and virtually indestructible, a rear-wheel drive pick up is a terrible snow and ice vehicle - so I am shopping for a new car.

I am looking at the VW Jetta TDI. Anyone have any experience with the TDI engine? Are cold starts or long idles a problem? So far everything I've read says they are great engines and the fuel efficiency is amazing.

Thanks.
 

poncho

Cyburbian
Messages
96
Points
4
90 Nissan P/U with abour 250,000 miles on it. Speddometer broke about 5 years ago so I am not really sure. I love it, faithful to the end.
 
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Sadly, the 93 Chevy Corsica was totalled yesterday (sniff, goodbye old Blue)

We are now a generational throwback, a one-car family.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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<We are now a generational throwback, a one-car family>

By the time I pay the payment and fill the Mountaineer with gas we can't afford to be more than A one car family
 

planasaurus

Cyburbian
Messages
215
Points
9
Well, since you said that only bikes and transit passes are not allowed, I will post my ride... a 2001 Yahama Vino scooter. max speed 30 MPH, 49 ccs, 85 miles per gallon. Great for Chicago driving (I ride the bus in the winter), I can pass all the cars that are in traffic and park anywhere.
 

Richi

Cyburbian
Messages
432
Points
13
1990 Ford Ranger, 138k miles So maybe pick up trucks are the planners choice. Why I wonder?
 

Brent

Cyburbian
Messages
107
Points
6
Go Becki. You're setting a good example for the rest of us planners. I used to be much better about using alternate modes, but I live in the mountainous boonies now. Still no excuse, I should be biking to work twice as much as I do now.
 

HilaryP

Member
Messages
15
Points
1
Sure does seem like there's alot of VWs here! Count me in - '95 VW Trek. It's a great car, but w/ 2 kids it's getting a bit small. I'm considering a wagon, since I don't think I could buy an SUV in good conscience. I could *never* own a minivan ...

Getting that postings count started,
Hilary
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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I'd ditch the SUV if I lived in a place that had transit. I am quite a bus fan. But here in small town Iowa, you have to drive everywhere.
 
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130
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1994 Saturn SL1. Bought it new without test driving anything else. I figured, GM was trying something new, the car looked cool, and the dealers treat you like a human being.

Something new would be nice, with an engine stronger than a sewing machine. But it is paid for and runs great. Plus, I got a minivan payment now, along with a one-year old daughter!
 

nerudite

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6,544
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I've been driving a 1993 Nissan pickup... which I bought new. I moved around so much after college, that it seemed like the smart way to go (and it helps with all the camping equipment). I think it has a little over 100,000 miles on it. I live within 2 miles of work, so I usually walk or take the bus. Otherwise I would probably try for something more reliable. The thought of making car payments again usually quells whatever urge I may have to buy a new vehicle. The new beetles catch my eye though... especially the chartreuse ones :)

Deb
 
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My, hmm, choice, shall I say was a 1999 Kia Sephia right as I graduated from grad school. NEVER AGAIN, will I ever buy some Korean made car that has a design flaw where the alignment goes out of whack at least twice a year. VW's are my choice, but my salary cannot afford the payments any more than what I pay now, and I have a 30 mile commute to and from work, so no biking for me at this point.
 

Richmond Jake

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18,258
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42
1992 Chevrolet extended cab full-sized pick-up--it just rolled to over 100,000 miles. I drive to work alone (with Howard Stern on the radio) and I drive fast.
 

Plannibelle

Cyburbian
Messages
44
Points
2
Top Down!

1999 Sebring Convertible...Cd Player, leather seats--it was my present after I got my divorce! I love it. If I feel crabby, I wont take long for me to feel good when the top is down! (unless it's raining, of course).
 
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I just passed on my '87 VW Jetta to my dad. Great car but not reliable enough for long trips. The odometer broke 8 years ago at 53,000 miles.

I "seized the moment" and bought a Honda Accord when I was leaning toward a VW Passat. Amazingly, you can pay $28K for a Passat and not even get a CD player! All those options start to add up. Funny how popular VWs are when they couldn't give them away a few years back.

I never thought of the Accord as a "liberal" car because there are just way to many of them on the road.
 

metroplanner

Member
Messages
18
Points
1
2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS

Great winter car, all wheel drive and all the sporty fixins, get 7 second zero to sixty times on a 4 cylinder, and I get about 28 mpg to boot. Subarus are great cars, but the RS is a step above, on top of all that, I can fit this pocket rocket in any space, anywhere. As for the Volvos, Dan, I would check consumer guide and the rest, they rated the S70/V70 one of the worst cars to buy, especially used, in the 2001 Used cars guides. and actually, the Mbenz C class as well. I take a good deal of stock in those mags, have yet to let me down. Not to knock the Volvie or the MB too badm they look great and I am sure give you some space and excellent comfort, just not the best reliablity. Dunno, that's my 2 cents.

Later-
 

pandersen

Cyburbian
Messages
243
Points
9
My Vehicle

I know I'm going to regret telling you all this, but I own two vehicles that get driven during certain parts of the year.

Vehicle One: Is a 2000 Ford Explorer V8 AWD (gas guzzler). I drive (and insure) this vehicle only in the winter months up here in Manitoba where snow and cold temperatures can be a real challenge. I like the vehicle and have used it for several long highway trips, hauliing stuff around and occasionally hauling a trailer. This is the first new car I ever bought. What with all the recalls etc, it remains to be seen whether I'll keep it for the long haul.

Vehicle Two: Is a 1984 BMW 318i. This is a great little car with a small 1.8 litre fuel injected engine. This car has 280,000kms on the odometer and I believe it is capable of at leat another 100,000kms. This is by far the best car I've ever owned in terms of reliability etc. I garage the Bimmer in the winter as I plan on hanging onto it for a number of years. Also, with the low profile tires etc, this car is less than perfect in the snow.

I should say that on avrage, I keep the vehicles I own for extended periods of time. The first car I ever owned was a 1973 VW Super Beele and I had that one for 18 years. I owned my next vehicle, a 1989 Ford Bronco 11, for 12 years.
 
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Jen

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Top up or down?

Not only do they pay well in Manitoba, but the scenery is stunning! prairie, forests, mountains and lake winnipeg (which dwarfs our Great lakes).

But it's also on the edge of permafrost. Brrrr.
How many convertibles do you see in Manitoba?
 
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Plannibelle

Cyburbian
Messages
44
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2
Convertibles wouldn't work in Manitoba...Another provence in Canada that is beautiful (at least in the travel books) is Alberta.

I live in La La Land so convertibles perfect. I would say about 6 months out of the year, perhaps more I can drive with the top down.
 

pandersen

Cyburbian
Messages
243
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9
Work in Manitoba

Originally posted by Plannibelle
Convertibles wouldn't work in Manitoba...Another provence in Canada that is beautiful (at least in the travel books) is Alberta.

I live in La La Land so convertibles perfect. I would say about 6 months out of the year, perhaps more I can drive with the top down.
I know some Americans have the impression that the weather up here is something akin to "nine months of winter and three months of bad sledding". I would have to take issue with this exageration and let everyone know that winter is only 3 or so weeks longer out here as compared with Ontario. The difference is that it's dryer out here than in Ontario in the winter.

As for Jen's question about convertibles out here on the Prairies, sure, I see a few! Both my vehicles have sunroofs - all the better to see the "Big Sky" country.

As for being well paid out here, I guess everything is relative. Sure, I have two cars, but one is always parked at any point in the year. Also, the monthly payment on the Explorer simply takes my breath away not to mention lightening my pay envelope. I'm not complaining, just stating the obvious. Oh well, I'll payfor it in the next 3 or so years and hope to drive it for 10+ years.
 
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el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
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29
Try finding parts for either one

I drive a wonderful 1985 Volvo 244 to fit the Midwestern public's image of what a planner should drive to work - Frugal, efficient and a bit dowdy.

On the weekends, I drive a 1978 International Scout II painted OD Green to satisfy my soul. It has two gun racks, big tires and drops rusty bits of its quarter panels every time it hits a bump. It’s the kind of vehicle only a bubba could love.
 
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Dan

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Okay, time for an update. As of today ... a 1998 Volkswagen Passat sedan, V-6, auto/Tiptronic, leather everything. I'm a very, very happy camper, although I do know that I run the risk of becoming a regular at my friendly VW mechanic.

The way the Passat drives, I'll probably hold on to it for a very, very, very long time.
 

trp_plan

Member
Messages
2
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0
1992 Mazda Miata 105,000 miles. Only averaging about 5,000 miles since I either bus or walk to the office.

Andreas Duany likes to use the Miata as a metaphor to explain the concept of neo-traditional. i.e. just like a British Roadster but much better since it's as reliable as a corolla.

2000 Subaru Forester We love this car since we feel it represents the best of all worlds.
 
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Identify Your Wheels

Been lucky - 2001 Ford Crown Victoria furnished by employer. Police Interceptor Package with upgrades - after 30 mph you have to brace for G-forces. Jet black - has the "Darth Vader" look. Not a car for a slick image, though. I have to endure the questions about what branch of the Georgia Gestapo I belong to. If I'm out of a job, it will be just my Schwinn bicycle and I. What would I buy on my own? I'm a basic transportation kind of guy. If I lived in a city public transit would be fine for commuting, with a weekend car being an old 60's muscle car like a GTO convetible or a motorcycle. Otherwise, I'd like to have a Saab convertible if income allows.
 
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Saturn SL2

I have been driving my Saturn for exactly two years now, and this morning my odometer hit "12,700." Gotta love my commute!!!
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
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Oh yeah - Peachy's description of his wheels brings back memories - the company cars I cruised around in at my former employer were old police cars which had been put into the region's car pool - they were awesome to drive around town, but I'm glad I wasn't buying the gas.

We had both Crown Vics and Caprices. I used to love watching people discreetly buckling up when I pulled alongside. The effect was double when I'd pretend to speak into the radio mic and glanced over...

Not only were they fast, but they were rugged too - I owe my life to the Caprice which took on a moose and let me walk away...

One of the saddest days of my life was when they started replacing the brutes with wimpy mid-size Chev sedans. Maybe that's why I left...
 
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The thing I hate about being in the retired cop's Crown Vic is that when people run red lights the guy that's pulled up next to me gives me the "Well???? Aren't you going to do anything about that a**hole?" and i have to give him the "sorry" shrug.
 

Dan

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Re: Saturn SL2

Planimal said:
I have been driving my Saturn for exactly two years now, and this morning my odometer hit "12,700." Gotta love my commute!!!
If I was back in Buffalo, my commute would consist of a ride on the Elmwood Avenue bus -- assuming that I worked downtown.

I love playing "armchair anthropologist" and noticing the vehicular preferences of various metropolitan areas. Denver was dominated by SUVs, expensive German uber-autos, Lexii, Infinitii, and Subarus. Last time I was back in Buffalo, I got an idea on who is buying all those Pontiac Aztecs. Rust isn't as prevalent as in times past, and there are still quite a lot of GM vehicles on the road, with a disproportionately large number of Oldsmobiles and Buicks. In Amherst, Japanese and German were more prevalent. Still, though, not too many SUVs in the Queen City.

"Nahnty nahn dahn, nahnty nahn a munt gets you into a brayand new Ford Focus"
 
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I suppose that I too would take the Elmwood bus to work downtown if 1.) I lived near the Elmwood bus line, 2.) a bus ride between my home and downtown would take less than eight minutes, and 3.) the cost of a monthly transit pass was less than monthly parking - which is, of course, another issue altogether :)
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
A '98 Dodge Durango & a '00 Nissan Frontier P/U

I have lots of people to haul around, and I don't feel old enough to drive a mini-van. Also, I enjoy remodelling homes (most of the time), so I use the pick-up to haul things around.

The Durango only gets 17 mpg at best, but I love the ride, can fit the entire Park Board in it (and have), and I never get stuck in the chat piles...
 
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