I bought it at a garage sale in 2002 for $2000 and used it as my 'good' car for quite some time. It went on numerous trips to Indiana and Kentucky, a road trip to Oklahoma, way too many trips to Minnesota, visits to friends in Missouri, and several short vacations in other states as well. I've lived in this car for several days at a time, napping at rest stops and starting it up every hour to warm my feet back up. My dog has thrown up in this car, bled in this car, shed enough hair to equal her own body weight in this car, and rubbed her nose on the windows in this car many times. I put about 60,000 miles on it in 4 years even though I didn't drive it to work and have always had more than one car.
What finally prompted me to sell this thing?
Three weeks ago I came home from work and noticed that one corner of this car was practically sitting on the ground. Further examination showed that the strut spring had broken, and any attempt to move the car would result in a piece of the broken spring piercing the tire.
I dont do strut work. I hate springs. HATE springs. I hate springs even more than exhaust work (and I'm damn tired of exhaust work too). I always think of the time it takes for me to do the work compared to how much I save buying discount parts and installing them myself. Its actually cheaper for me to have other people do things like oil changes and minor exhaust work on my cars since I figure that my time is worth about $23/hour.
Anyway, I digress. After some deft maneuvering with my dremel (and four cutting disks) I finally removed the spring completely and inched the car to a garage a friend of the family owns. Just last November I had the rear struts replaced, and I was expecting the price to be about the same for this set ($500).
Well... throw in some other worn out front suspension/steering parts, an alignment, and parts for the front end being a bit more expensive than I had anticipated and it ended up costing me over $900 even with labor discounts and coupons.
That cost was the last straw. I knew I had to sell it... the problem was that I couldn't sell it with the corner of the car almost resting on the ground.
I think I actually heard my credit card groan under the strain.
I did a blue-book value check on the car and found that it wasn't worth much... I figured I would settle for $1500, which was on the upper end of the blue-book 'private seller' value.
Well... then a friend at work turned out to really need a car. He could afford to pay $1100, and knew I was selling. I thought about it for a few days. Would I say no to a guaranteed sale for the sake of $400 on a 15 year old car? A 15 year old car with 200,000 miles on it? No, no I wouldn't. I sold it to him. He loves it, and I love that his cash will pay off a credit card.
Goodbye Car. I wont miss you as much as some other cars I've lost, but I'll still miss you.