The San Francisco, California, public auto auction is not normally the place to discover a classic Mercedes sedan. Generally run across the block are tatty donation cars like battered Ford Escorts, crispy Nissans imported from rusty states, or smoke-belching Saab parts cars that will not pass the state’s Draconian emissions inspection.
Occasionally something interesting gets consigned, like a clean Porsche 914 or 1980s Maserati Quattroporte, but the reserve is always full retail. My friend Jake and I would always keep our eyes open for the rough gems, but more routinely found the generic garden boulders. Continue reading
My cohort here at TTS and I occasionally discuss why we’re not wealthy. Aside from the obvious – not winning the birth lottery, dedicating our dwindling free time to blogging – we’ve decided a lot of it has to do with karma. Continue reading
Car shopping is either a joy or a chore, depending on your automotive disposition. Regardless, it’s always better to shop when you don’t actually need to spend the money. Casually browsing, whether surfing eBay or wandering around Burt’s Used BMW Emporium and Sushi Bodega, is less stressful if you know you can just keep driving your current heap.
My friend Dale Olson has a long commute, travelling daily from his home in River Falls, WI to Eagan, MN, something near 100 miles roundtrip. His 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 TS wagon, purchased new, has recently sailed passed 152,000 miles. Having the body thoroughly rust-proofed when new, Dale says, has helped it immensely.
Living in California had its advantages when it came to spotting near-extinct species of interesting cars; classics like BMW’s iconic 2002 were almost commonplace. Fiats littered Craigslist and the local strip-mall shopping centers. Less common were the vastly superior Datsun 510s, but they could still be spotted if you knew where to look. Residents can and do use classics as daily transportation. I once lived near a guy in Sausalito (just north of San Francisco) with a Jaguar XKE coupe, for example, and by now we’ve all heard about the nut in San Diego with the Lamborghini 400GT sporting over 250,000 miles.
But I don’t live in California any more. I live in Minnesota. Continue reading