Author Topic: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car  (Read 807 times)

use2betrix

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Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« on: June 02, 2019, 09:18:32 PM »
My whole life I have been a huge auto guy. Lots of vehicles, motorcycles, etc. they have always been a passion. I’ve always loved sports car but after living in a 5th wheel for 5 years, no way it was practical. We’re now in an apartment and have access to garages.

I’m having an incredibly hard time pulling the trigger on a car I’ve dreamed of forever, that is now slightly more “practical” for me to own.

About me: 31 years old, married, no kids, wife doesn’t work. About $410k in savings/investment, paid off 4Runner and Camry, no debt/loans/etc. This year we’ve saved about $83k and spent about $35k. We save around $13k-$15k/month.

I can “afford” it, but I also yearn for financial freedom, which is still many years away. I live in a part of the country I don’t care much for, due to my work. Because of this, I have to sacrifice most the other hobbies I would love to do, due to our geographical location. I feel like the car would bring enjoyment and a weekend hobby. As long as I can remember I’ve been researching every single thing about sports cars imaginable. Easily spend hours weekly reading articles and forums. The amount of knowledge I have about every single performance car over the last 10 years even baffles myself. (Especially memorizing HP, 0-60/1/4 mile times of countless makes and model)

The car I want is around $25k (clean low mile 2004 mustang cobra). I could likely put 20k miles on it over a few years and it’d lose maybe $3k-$5k in value.

Any input would be appreciated. I ask my wife, and she tells me to buy one...
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 09:27:06 PM by use2betrix »

Syonyk

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2019, 09:50:22 PM »
If I'm not mistaken, you work(ed?) in the oil fields, and therefore are almost certainly capable of working on it/upgrading it/etc yourself, instead of paying a shop to do the basic work.

And you're looking at spending basically 2 months of savings for a substantially-depreciated car - so it's certainly not a horrible use of money.

However, having owned various vehicles, faster and slower, I do have a suggestion: Instead of buying a powerful straight line car, why not buy something like a Miata?  They're going to be cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, and they're a genuine truckload of fun to drive, toss around, etc.

You're looking at ~400hp car, presumably modifying it a bit.  It's hard to actually make use of that power in the real world.  On the street, sure, you can launch hard and get to speed in a hurry, but that's hard on tires.  I won't deny it's amazingly fun for a while, but the thrill wears off after a bit, and you're still left with a crazy tire bill.

Spend substantially less on something like a Miata of whatever generation you desire (I'm personally a fan of the late 90s ones), and you can do an amazing amount of work on it - and still end up with far less into it than the Mustang.  Or, even better, buy a well-modded one that has what you want, because the resale value of aftermarket parts is horrible.  Someone drops $10k of parts into a car and it ups the value maybe $2k.

Driving a slow (vehicle) fast is an awful lot more fun than driving a fast vehicle slow.  I've got a gutless wonder of a motorcycle as well as a quick sport/touring bike (bought them long ago, not worth selling them), and they're just as fun to flog - but the difference is that flogging the gutless wonder hard onto the highway gets me 80mph (which feels like accomplishing something), whereas the same effort on the sport touring bike puts me merging at, oh... 130?  <.<  Haven't done that in many years, but it's just as fun, either way.

If a Miata is just too practical, what about the Solstice with a supercharger?  More power, with none of the useful trunk space of a Miata. :p

I can sympathize with the "Wife says buy it" thing - for quite a few years, I'd been busy trying to pretend a Subaru Outback was a truck - which it wasn't.  My wife had been pestering me for years to just buy a good truck, because it's better suited to our needs.  She was right.  She's amazing at spending frugally and efficiently, so when she tells me to quit it and just buy XYZ, it's mostly because either she's tired of me trying to pretend something else is that, or because she knows we'll make very good use of it.  We were planning to move to a rural area close to family, and a truck is just part of life out here (we have a Chevy Volt, a '97 F350 CCLB 4WD with the 7.3, a few two-wheeled motorcycles in storage until kids are a bit older, and my "car" is a Ural - sidecar motorcycle, but I work from the property so don't put many miles on vehicles). 

I certainly think you're in a position where a fun car is doable, but if I were to consider spending $25k on a "fun" car, I'd probably buy either a $5k Miata and $10k of parts, or (ideally) a pre-modded Miata for $10k or so.

... or, perhaps, a clean '86 RX-7 and then start having fun in the shop. ;)

Wrenchturner

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2019, 09:57:55 PM »
Sounds like you can afford it, but will it bring enough enjoyment?  I feel it might be shortlived, and I say that as a car guy too.  If you can join or start an autocross or racing club, that's a different story.  Buying a car isn't a hobby.

AlotToLearn

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 03:43:43 AM »
You can justify either decision (buying or not buying).
Will it fit in your life in 3-5 years?

Parizade

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 04:22:30 AM »
My whole life I have been a huge auto guy. Lots of vehicles, motorcycles, etc. they have always been a passion.

Have you thought about ways you can harness this passion to augment your income? You might find it easier/more comfortable to buy the car you want if you can turn it into a side gig. For example, a cool car like that might make you some extra cash on Turo if you are willing to rent it out.

Make Thousands Each Month Renting Cars with Turo


Falke401

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 05:35:01 AM »
I would not recommend renting out an 03-04 cobra on Turo.  With those numbers, I would buy the car. 


My whole life I have been a huge auto guy. Lots of vehicles, motorcycles, etc. they have always been a passion.

Have you thought about ways you can harness this passion to augment your income? You might find it easier/more comfortable to buy the car you want if you can turn it into a side gig. For example, a cool car like that might make you some extra cash on Turo if you are willing to rent it out.

Make Thousands Each Month Renting Cars with Turo

rothwem

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 06:01:06 AM »
I think there are dumb ways and smart ways to be a car guy, and yours doesn’t sound too dumb. Buying a basically fully depreciated car that has a bunch of resale is infinitely better than leasing a string of brand new BMWs.

I will echo the previous point though about super fast cars. It’s something you adapt to really quick. Way quicker than I ever thought possible. I remember the first time I got on a 600cc sportbike, I felt like I was hitting warp drive with the stars turning into lines before my eyes every time I rolled on the throttle. It was probably only a month later that I was looking at literbikes because my 600cc  at 117hp/420 pounds seemed “too slow”.

For some reason, nicely handling cars have a longer lasting relationship, and I think it has more to do with the technique require to maintain momentum—it’s harder to master so I think it keeps the attention longer.  Though if you live in an area with flat straight roads, you might start to hate the slow/good handler quickly also.

RWD

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 06:54:55 AM »
The Terminator Cobra is a collector's car and is unlikely to lose much value. May even be a decent long term investment (as far as cars go). It's a Ford so parts should be cheap. I don't think that is a significant financial commitment considering how much you have saved already. If for some reason it doesn't make you happy the financial impact of having to resell it will be minimal.

Syonyk

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 07:15:00 AM »
I will echo the previous point though about super fast cars. It’s something you adapt to really quick. Way quicker than I ever thought possible. I remember the first time I got on a 600cc sportbike, I felt like I was hitting warp drive with the stars turning into lines before my eyes every time I rolled on the throttle. It was probably only a month later that I was looking at literbikes because my 600cc  at 117hp/420 pounds seemed “too slow”.

That's only because a 600 is slow. :p  They're gutless wonders until you get them up into the shrieking power band at 10k RPM.  I'm not a Harley guy, but a V-Twin sport touring bike (or any of the grunty low end motors) is way more fun to ride, because you have all the torque, anywhere you want it.

Parizade

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 07:45:59 AM »
I would not recommend renting out an 03-04 cobra on Turo.  With those numbers, I would buy the car. 

For example, a cool car like that might make you some extra cash on Turo...

Turo was presented as one example, the idea was to try using a little imagination to make money off the car so OP would feel better about buying it. I'm sure a creative thinker could come up with many possibilities.


rothwem

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2019, 11:28:35 AM »
I will echo the previous point though about super fast cars. It’s something you adapt to really quick. Way quicker than I ever thought possible. I remember the first time I got on a 600cc sportbike, I felt like I was hitting warp drive with the stars turning into lines before my eyes every time I rolled on the throttle. It was probably only a month later that I was looking at literbikes because my 600cc  at 117hp/420 pounds seemed “too slow”.

That's only because a 600 is slow. :p  They're gutless wonders until you get them up into the shrieking power band at 10k RPM.  I'm not a Harley guy, but a V-Twin sport touring bike (or any of the grunty low end motors) is way more fun to ride, because you have all the torque, anywhere you want it.

Hahaha, yeah there's a bit of a learning curve to keeping it in the powerband, which is actually quite broad.  Actually, the major thing is just realizing that 12k RPM is the motor's happy place and its not going to explode if you keep it there for a while.  Once you figure that out, its objectively extremely quick, though a liter bike is quicker. 

The only sporty V-twin I ever rode was an SV650, which completely underwhelmed me.  I might feel different on a Ducati or an Aprilia, but the SV's awful suspension and absurdly strong engine braking (ie, skip the back wheel if you roll off too quick) were not my thing. 

use2betrix

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2019, 11:30:32 AM »
Lot of great feedback here, very much appreciated. Glad to see there’s not any knock out face punches, but certainly some things to consider.

@Syonyk - thank you for your detailed responses. I have, admittedly, not spent a ton of time digging into good handling cars, mostly just straight line power. My cousin did have a Miata when we were younger and it was a fun car. I do think I’d want something with a back seat, in the event we have a child in the next year or two, riding by myself or just the wife would probably be limited. My reluctance on that route is, again, due to my location. If I had any twisties, or even relatively winding roads, it would be way more of an opportunity. Instead, I’m in a town of about 15,000 people with not so much as a curvy on-ramp lol. The nearest city is about 60 miles away, which would just have your standard highway/interstates turns, which could be fun, but also a drive. One potential “upside” to this, is because the car would be less HP, cheaper, more reliable, and better fuel mileage, it could also potentially replace our aging 1999 Toyota Camry as a DD for either myself or my wife. I do have a 100 commute once or twice a week (I get reimbursed per mile and drive time) and the other 3 days I drive to a construction site, which is gravel for the last half mile. I have looked into other options into replacing the Camry with a more fun car, that would also be a DD, such as a Golf R, Civic Type R, or similar.

Tires are definitely a cost. I actually just priced out the tires for the mustang yesterday, and it looks like they’d run about $1000 for all 4, and they would last around 8k-10k miles. I would plan to drive it around 6k-8k a year.

In the past, I have modified a ton of vehicles. Jeeps, 4Runner, Motorcycles, Mustang I had in college, etc. I could do a lot of the work myself, however right now I’m working 6 days a week and am looking for something more complete that I can just enjoy. The Cobra’s I have been looking at mostly have pulley swaps, basic bolt ons, and put down around 450-500hp at the wheels.


As to the other comments. I have had many motorcycles over the years: 2006 R6, 2002 R6, 2006 R1, 2006 V-Rod (Screaming Eagle), Yamaha Super Tenere, Ducati X-Diavel. I am definitely familiar with the different types of speed, at least according to bikes. Honestly, my V-Rod felt like a turd compared to the R1. Many people spoke highly of the v-rod, but it definitely lacked that face melting speed of the R1 or Diavel.

The modifications of many of our “toys” have been with adventures/trips in mind. Our Yamaha Super Tenere we modified to no end in preparation of a 3,500 mile motorcycle trip through Baja Mexico we did over a 3.5 week period. We camped on the beach every other night and had full camping gear with us for the trip. We did a lot of very challenging trails (and went down a lot) but built it with that purpose in mind (lights bar, skid plat, crash bars, better seats, windshield, aluminum paniers, etc.)

On our 2017 4Runner, it was a very similar situation. We built it up, along with a 1966 M416 military trailer for a 2 month, 8000 mile camping trip we did over the continental divide, parts of Canada, and the northern US. We lifted the 4 runner, light bar, bumper, sliders, ARB 50 qt fridge w/ deep cell battery, awning, etc.

This is some of my history with the vehicles. We sold the Tenere as our aging dog was no longer fit for boarding so we could build up the 4Runner on a trip to bring him with. Unfortunately he passed away before that trip (and we did get another dog before the trip, which was still a blast)

Likely my next sabbatical will not be for a couple years as I’m in a long term project right now. We do expect the next sabbatical to likely be a 6 month North American camping trip. By then will likely trade the 4Runner for a truck and get a small airstream. We want something more livable, that will at least have a bathroom, kitchen, and AC and heat. There are too many variables in that option to start planning for now. This project could easily extend into more jobs, 4-5 years down the road which would basically bring me into full FIRE. I would hate to get 4 years from now and be like “damn, I could have spent my weekends enjoying that dream car, but instead I was constantly too busy worrying about the future.”

Decision decision..
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 11:32:19 AM by use2betrix »

Here4theGB

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2019, 01:10:39 PM »
I see it only took 30 minutes and 1 post for the Miata recommendation.  lol

I bought a supercharged shelby mustang several years ago as a weekend/fun car.  Ended up barely driving it and selling 2-3 years later.  Always super funny to park out in a way back parking spot w/ noone else around only to come out and have some asshole parked right next to it every. single. time.  At least I got what I had into it back out.

cmou

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2019, 02:30:40 PM »
I'd agree with what RWD said about depreciation. Mustangs are just one of those cars that people seem to always want. It's already somewhat low in price, it's a limited production SVT model. If it doesn't work out, you'll probably be able to sell it for the same price in a few years.

Optimiser

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Re: Buying a non-mustachian (sports) car
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2019, 04:02:35 PM »
Regarding the Miata comments above. While I absolutely recommend a Miata as a fun weekend car, I wouldn't recommend one for a daily driver, at least not an older one. They are an absolute blast on a warm day when you are driving around town, the autocross track, or on a scenic highway, but they kind of suck to commute in (I did it for 10 years).

It sounds like the Mustang is probably a better fit for you in your current situation, and as others have said the depreciation hit won't be too bad.