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Discussion Starter #1
( I should have started this thread earlier today as I am about to leave for the night)

Anyway, I am going to go look at a car this evening for my teenage daughter. Let me start off by saying that by no means is she a "silver spoon baby" The car I am looking at is no where near being a new car. IN fact that is the reason of this post. It is a private party, mid 80's model vehicle.

Basically what I have seen of this car it is your garden variety beater. So with that said, how bad of condition would you say the car can be in before i just laugh and walk away? I was always taught that your first car should be something that will take a beating as the occasional light pole will certainly jump out at the driver from time to time.

things I have seen wrong with this particular car are, needs two rear tires, radio in dash was Ripped out, and possibly the window regulators are shot (could be important as we do have very cold weather heading our way being in the midwest)

but what other factors should I calculate for in looking for a used car for an experienced driver? Safety being my first concern obviously.

I know when a car is in bad shape for me, but considering it is for my teenage daughter what else should I think about?

disclaimer: all post in this thread are considered opinions of the poster and said poster will be in no way held liable.
 

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My main concern would be the complete drive train. Nothing like breaking down on the side of the road, in the middle of the night right after you turn 16. In all reality The body really wouldn't really be that big of a deal, cause its just like you said. Them light poles do jump out at ya from time to time :lmao:
 

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Body work is repairable. I'd say if it has major engine/tranny issues walk away. Also frame rust I would stay away from as well. If the body is rusting or is beat-up you can always paint it. Same goes for interior, you can fix that up and it doesn't effect the performance. Try finding a early 90's Corolla or something reliable and easy to work on. My first car was a 1968 Bug from my mom the original owner. I restored it since it had no interior and a "original" paint job. As long as it runs well that's all that really matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have thought about the drive train, in fact with it being a chevy I am thinking that it would be pretty good since they are normally cheaper to fix than any other manufacture and parts are easy to get.

but I do want her to be able to get home from work(even though she only works around the corner from the house)

But I also feel confident that if there are issues with the drive train, my and my neighbor can fix about anything…he is a certified mechanic so we can work on about anything as long as the tools are available.

thanks
 

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It is for your daughter? Imagine that junk heap brakes down in a bad neighborhood into which she’s inadvertently entered. It is your daughter. If you’re going to buy her a car, get he one that’ll be more than just safe, more than just run.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the only issue I have with a corolla or similar type car is the size. If I had my way she would be driving a sherman tank.

and up here rust is an issue. I plan on taking a screw driver with me to poke around on the frame and floor boards.

My wifes first car was a 1969 bug. I don't know the full story but according to her. someone mistook her car for being her neighbors who had some grudes evidentally.

One night she was surprised by an orange glow out her front window. the glow was the flames coming out of her car. Someone torched it thinking it was her neighbors.

Ironically my teenager wants a bug she always have. but again they are a very small car. and the newer ones are well…new! I have a friend that sales cars on the side that has a 00 bug, but I am not going to spend more than 1K on a car at this time for her to find every curb between the house and school. Know what I mean?

(not that she is a bad driver or irresponsible. I just remember what it was like being a teenager with a car)
 

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Spend a little more and find a used Honda Civic or Accord.

$1k is going to get you a POS that will get your daughter stranded in the wrong parts.
 

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Old bugs are not safe for highway, but very solid in city impacts. My sister was hit 3 times and since it's a steel body they don't crunch easily. But only I drive it on the highways and tempt fate now and again. Usually I drive my truck on highways and the bug in the cities. I would strongly NOT recommend it if she plans to drive on the freeway.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I hear ya! that is kinda part of my statement of safety. It certainly has to be able to get her out of the way of an on-coming 18 wheeler (if her judgement faulters) but it also has to be able to get her home in the circumstance you describe.

but I guarantee, she will have her boundries that she better not cross regardless! I had mine when I first started driving and knew what happened when I crossed them. I only did it once if you know what I mean.

It is also another reason I am willing to buy the car for her. First she has proven that she is becoming mature enough for the responsiblity. Yet if I buy the car, and the car is in my name, It is techincally still my car to use as motivation! Bad grades…school bus. Bad behavor…she hoofs it! She is the type that if she has "ownership" she thinks she has control. In other words she is stubborn just like me and this is just one way to curve that attitude!ha ha. (not that it is going need to be enforced or if so, it probably wouldn't even work but its a nice thought to dream about)

According to the seller the car runs pretty good…but again that is coming from the seller so I just have to wait and see for myself
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I don't plan on giving her a lot of reign on where she drives, and everywhere she needs to go is within 10 miles of the house. But of coarse she will be wanting and being able to expand that range.

it is definitely something to keep in mind!

She won't be getting on the highway for a while. Or at least until I am certain she can handle drivers drifting towards her…something that is bad in our parts. I have actually had two people drift into my 37's.

I ask you how the hell do you not see a truck on 37's much less just drift over in to them????
 

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I would stay away from anything that has been kid-ized and find something that is in good condition and stock. If something on the car has been broken for any length of time it shows that the owner probably neglected everything.

Find an old car (toyota, datsun/nissan) that has been takin care of and you'll be happy. It is much more fun and rewarding to work on something cared for than to try and reverse years of neglect and abuse on some piece of shit chevy.

I bought a 76 corolla that was all original with over 270,000 miles for $200. It had all the service records so I knew it was well maintained. I tuned it up and it has been a great little car.

Do not buy a compact chevy or ford car from the 80's they are disposable junk
 

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Bear said:
It is also another reason I am willing to buy the car for her. First she has proven that she is becoming mature enough for the responsiblity. Yet if I buy the car, and the car is in my name, It is techincally still my car to use as motivation! Bad grades…school bus. Bad behavor…she hoofs it! She is the type that if she has "ownership" she thinks she has control. In other words she is stubborn just like me and this is just one way to curve that attitude!ha ha. (not that it is going need to be enforced or if so, it probably wouldn't even work but its a nice thought to dream about)
That's what my parents did with me. Technically the bug was mine but I got my license taken away a few times, just be sure to hide the keys to your cars :D not that I ever took my dad's car when he didnt' know...I'm just saying...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Actually if I shop for any type of honda…I feel like I would be sending her the wrong message.

I once condemmed her from a "friend of hers" because he drove a honda and was a moronic ghetto rat(ricer). (not her shining moment in character evaluation) but like I said she has matured since then and has made much much better decisions since then. and her choice in friends has improved 100%
 

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I wouldn't worry about getting her a cheap car that would take a fender bender and can say oh well just becasue its her first one. I would find something that will make her fell safe like if she is comfortable driving and is able to function while operating the car. Its her car and you want to have the peice of mind that she will reach her A - B destination with out worries of old parts like suspension, engine, windows, door locks, brakes and such. Even a vehicle that is higher off the ground compare to a car like a Honda CRV of a 4runner will give her the ability to visually see more of the road. But then more seating in her car means more she might be picking up other freinds and playing taxi. Its all up to you to get the best for your budget. Old folks vehicles seem to be good canidates.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good points.

would you consider a 1985 monte carlo ss (if indeed it is an ss) a disposable car? That is a valid question. what do you think of that model?

At one point my wife and I found a guy that restored muscle cars…actually had a '71 nova that was not hot rodded and drove by a gramma. but at the time we didn't have the funds. I am leaning toward going back to that guy and seeing what he has.

I just want as much metal around her as I can get. and gas miliage isn't a factor for me as she will be filling it up herself. If she runs out of gas and doesn't have the funds to put any more in…the car is getting parked. a life lesson on my part. but also a deternient for her to not joy ride so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Con3boy808 said:
I wouldn't worry about getting her a cheap car that would take a fender bender and can say oh well just becasue its her first one. I would find something that will make her fell safe like if she is comfortable driving and is able to function while operating the car. Its her car and you want to have the peice of mind that she will reach her A - B destination with out worries of old parts like suspension, engine, windows, door locks, brakes and such. Even a vehicle that is higher off the ground compare to a car like a Honda CRV of a 4runner will give her the ability to visually see more of the road. But then more seating in her car means more she might be picking up other freinds and playing taxi. Its all up to you to get the best for your budget. Old folks vehicles seem to be good canidates.
Oh boy do I hear everything you are saying! My wife thought I was crazy for wanting to get her a toyota truck. the way I saw it was that with a standard cab she had room for one passenger. but then my wife asked me how many girls I "had" in the bed of the truck. So I figured a car with a small backseat might be a good compromise.ha ha
 

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Don't worry about the drive train......it is a chevy.....parts are a dime a dozen.....they can be found anywhere and any fool (yes even you :D) can fix them.


The biggest thing is rust........in particular really watch the floors both in the passenger area and the trunk.......plus watch the frame where it curves up over the rear axle......plus watch the brake lines.......these are important and are a bitch to re-run if necessary (been there done that).


Other than that you should be fine.......And if it falls through let me know......there is an mid 70's oldsmobile around the corner from my house for cheap that is big enough it really won't matter she hits......thecar will be fine.

Edit: wern't you looking at an ElCamino a while back???
 

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CronusTRD said:
Spend a little more and find a used Honda Civic or Accord.

$1k is going to get you a POS that will get your daughter stranded in the wrong parts.
2nd that, a little more cash will get her a car that is much more inexpensive to own than the chevy. And you'll know that you won't spend nearly as much time repairing it for her. I've had an '89 Accord with 180k on it that I purchased for 2k a few years ago. Gets like 26mpg, and I haven't had to do much to it.
 
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