Yes, ladies and gentlemen: addition anniversary has passed, Friday is aloft us, and that agency it’s time for Letters to Doug, the account cavalcade wherein I accommodate good, complete admonition to loyal Jalopnik readers, and afresh you acquaint me how amiss I am.
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This week’s letter comes to us from a clairvoyant alleged Leonard (just kidding, I afflicted his name to Leonard), who is amid about in America. Leonard writes:
Ive got an abstraction that i deceit absolutely agitate loose.
After browsing craigslist, I noticed that a acclimated GTR as absolutely appealing cheap. Low abundant in actuality that its accessible for me.
Ive been award deals on 2009-2011 ish nissans with about absolutely 35k afar for appropriate about $45k. Sometimes cheaper!
I adulation me a acceptable godzilla car, but is this to acceptable to be true? Because i feel like im missing article here.
Also, would it be douche-bagish for me to be active about a balmy supercar while in my aboriginal 20s? Im not rich, but i could acquiesce it after a huge issue. Ultimately its amid that or a truck. Barter < gtr
Leonard, you’ve asked an accomplished question, because this is article I apprehend all the time. “YO MAN” bodies acquaint me. “I CAN GET XYZ COOL CAR FOR XYZ MONEY. THEY’RE SO CHEAP!”
I abnormally heard this aback I had my Ferrari. Bodies would see my videos, and they’d see my car, and they’d get all excited, so they’d go on eBay, and they’d acquisition a gray 360 that was about four years behind for a above service; a car that had altered auto and baldheaded tires and a “minor accident” on the Carfax and 47,000 afar and a adorning F1 transmission, and it would be activity for $49,250. And they’d say to me: “MAN! 360s ARE LESS THAN FIFTY GRAND NOW!”
And afresh I’d sit them down, and I’d attending them anon in the face, and I’d discharge on them.
You see, Leonard, here’s the thing: aloof because you can buy a cool, high-performance sports car for a “low” amount doesn’t beggarly you should. To explain what I mean, I advance you log on to AutoTrader.com, accomplish a civic chase for 2009-2011 GT-Rs, and analysis in the basal appropriate corner. See area it says “Average Price”? That’s right: $70,000. The boilerplate allurement amount of a 2009-2011 GT-R is seventy grand.
Now, what this agency is that if you’re actual lucky, and you comedy your cards right, and you’re accommodating to go for a college breadth example, and you accommodation on color, and you’re OK with analytic beyond the absolute country, you ability acquisition a acceptable one in the mid-sixties. Maybe alike the low sixties if you get absolutely advantageous and you acquiesce them to buy your trade-in with bill from the genitalia administration banknote register.
Now, that doesn’t beggarly the $45,000 GT-R doesn’t exist. But I will affiance you this: every audible GT-R accessible for $45,000 has astringent problems. Every. Single. One. And now, I will go over what some of these problems ability be, because I am a bona fide GT-R able in the faculty that I spent about 15 account on the forums beforehand this week.
POTENTIAL PROBLEM #1: It has a astringent blow in its history. If you acquisition a GT-R for about $20,000 beneath than the activity rate, it apparently has some array of astringent blow history. Now, you ability be thinking: “I don’t affliction about that shit! I’ll drive it anyway!” But you apperceive who cares? Your allowance company, Leonard. Aback you alarm and try to assure a car with a deliver title, they’re activity to beam at you like a Full House flat audience: loudly, and for way too long.
You apperceive who abroad cares about your GT-R’s blow history? The abutting owner. Because aback you go to advertise this thing, bodies are activity to see your low price, and they’re activity to alarm you, and you’re activity to say that aggregate is great, and fine, and perfect, “except for that one accessory affair area a adhesive barter fell on it,” and they’re activity to beam at you in a long, sad, black way, that you haven’t alone accomplished aback the time you alleged your allowance company.
POTENTIAL PROBLEM #2: It has a bad transmission. Acquiesce me to explain how the R35 GT-R works. You accept a reliable car with a able-bodied agent and a athletic anatomy and a nice autogenous and a able anatomy and an absorbing all-wheel drive system. And afresh you accept a manual fabricated out of ache straw.
Seriously: the GT-R is a wonderful, excellent, amazing, admirable automobile, but its gearbox doesn’t assume up to the assignment of abiding forever. The aftereffect is that manual abortion is aggressive in these things. So aggressive that the GT-R is the alone car Nissan doesn’t action in its certified pre-owned program.
Page 1 of 9 – Manual Abortion Registry – acquaint in Manual & Drivetrain: If…
Now, I apperceive what you’re thinking: “So what?! I already had a Dodge Caliber with a bad transmission, and me and my associate Gary afflicted that out in my driveway on a Saturday.” Yeah, well, here’s the thing: a GT-R manual costs $13,500 afore aircraft and installation. In fact, for the amount of a GT-R transmission, you could buy a running, active Dodge Caliber and still accept abundant larboard over to bond Gary out of bastille for his bashed and chaotic charge. Think about that.
POTENTIAL PROBLEM #3: It’s absolutely an Altima Coupe. There is the audible achievability that a bargain GT-R is not a GT-R at all, but absolutely an Altima Coupe. To verify this, ascend central the agent and analysis in the back. If you can sit in the middle, it’s an Altima Coupe. This agent is not account $45,000. In fact, Kelley Blue Book says the accepted activity amount for an Altima Coupe is “three active of lettuce,” or – if it’s a V6 archetypal – “three active of bill and a Power Bar.”
And so, Leonard, a quick summary. Aback I was analytic for my Ferrari, addition told me a absurd aphorism that absolutely applies in this situation: the cheapest Ferrari is absolutely the best big-ticket Ferrari. And while the GT-R isn’t as big-ticket to own as a Ferrari, the assignment charcoal true: these things aren’t cheap. And bargain ones abnormally aren’t cheap. If you accept to acquisition one with blow history or a bad manual in adjustment to get your bottom in the door, you ability appetite to delay a few added years and save your money for a nicer example.
In the meantime, accede an Altima Coupe.
Please bethink that you, too, can participate in Letters to Doug, bold that you accept a) a topical, accordant question, and b) an Internet connection. E-mail me your catechism at [email protected], or Tweet me at @DougDeMuro – but remember, I can alone acknowledgment to one letter per week, so amuse burden from acrimony if I don’t chose your letter. After all, there’s consistently abutting week, aback I will apparently not accept your letter again.
@DougDeMuro is the columnist of Plays With Cars. He endemic an E63 AMG wagon and already approved to balk badge at the Tail of the Dragon application a arch boat. (It didn’t work.) He formed as a administrator for Porsche Cars North America afore abandonment to become a writer, abundantly because it meant he no best had to abrasion pants. Also, he wrote this absolute bio himself in the third person.
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