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Help me spend my money

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by dreams_and_aspirations, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. dreams_and_aspirations

    Jul 15, 2006
    63
    Vail, CO
    Full Name:
    Scott
    I no longer need the 4WD of my S550, so I'm going to bid bon voyage to the barge and look for something much less expensive and a bit more fun to drive.

    I'm looking to spend $25k or less, age doesn't matter.
    A coupe two seater or 2+2.
    I'd like a convertible, haven't had one in awhile.
    It should have good grunt on the highway as that's where it'll spend most of its time.
    Prefer RWD.
    I'd like to be able to keep the insurance and service cost well under $3k a year.

    It has to be able to pass the girls "pretty test", this will end up being the hardest part since her taste changes daily.

    The current front runner are the 2003+ Mercedes SL500, but I'm not sure about the running cost of this car, I've never had a newer Merc that wasn't under warranty.

    Thanks guys!
     
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  3. tundraphile

    tundraphile F1 Rookie

    May 16, 2007
    4,162
    Missouri
    Can you get an SL for under $25k these days?

    If you want a good-looking convertible that is pretty fast the original body style of the Jaguar XKR would also be a candidate, '03+ model year.
     
  4. Qvb

    Qvb Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 9, 2003
    2,375
    Newport Beach Ca.
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    John Dixon
    Boxster
     
  5. Carsonp

    Carsonp Formula 3

    Sep 29, 2004
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    Carson Partain
    corvette. you can get a really nice C5 for $25k. good handling and power, relitivly cheap to maintain, reliable etc...
     
  6. Carsonp

    Carsonp Formula 3

    Sep 29, 2004
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    a good boxster S might be nice
     
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  8. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    2,137
    '03 E46 M3?
     
  9. dreams_and_aspirations

    Jul 15, 2006
    63
    Vail, CO
    Full Name:
    Scott
    #7 dreams_and_aspirations, Mar 19, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
    30 SL500's are on autotrader. Most of them with 55-75k on the clock. The problem isn't with finding one, it's finding one in good condition, with good history, and finding out about running cost's.

    I like the XKR, but I prefer the hard top (the convertible part isn't a deal breaker, I'd just like it) which a good bit harder to come by.

    I already had a Boxster, the M3 is a option that may lead to to much aftermarket fiddling :), but still a option.

    The girl HATES Corvettes, so that's a automatic no go :(.
     
  10. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jun 4, 2008
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  11. agup48

    agup48 Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 15, 2006
    26,282
    Phoenix
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    I'd have to agree with a S2000

    Audi A4/S4 cabriolet
    Audi TT roadster
    Nissan 350Z Touring


    I've seen a few Maserati Spyders for around 10K more than what you are looking at, same with the Lotus Elises mid 35k+ cars. Along with Dodge Vipers & BMW 645i's.

    What do you think about t-tops?
     
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  13. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    22,677
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    #10 ryalex, Mar 19, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
    S4 cabriolet

    You can find Maserati Spyders under $30k
     
  14. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 14, 2003
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  15. dreams_and_aspirations

    Jul 15, 2006
    63
    Vail, CO
    Full Name:
    Scott
  16. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 14, 2003
    58,942
    In front of you
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    BCHC
    I just got done with one myself. Had it for almost 5 years. The only things it ever needed was a $300 sensor which failed and a battery which is routine. Lots of fun, top down, throaty exhaust note, great sounding radio and power to pass just about anyone on the freeway....

    Check one out. :)
     
  17. rossocorsa13

    rossocorsa13 F1 Rookie

    Jun 10, 2006
    2,517
    Nashville, Tennessee
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    M
    I can attest that plenty of ladies do like the Z's...I worked at a Nissan dealer for a while.

    I prefer the original 350Z Track Models myself...and don't remember them having too many issues except for a strange tire wear problem and a few other minor recalls that should all be sorted out by now on a properly cared for car...

    Have fun spending your money.

    :D
     
  18. Mondog1

    Mondog1 F1 Rookie
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    Jul 27, 2006
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    Robert
    Great car but avoid the SMG transmission at all costs. You'll learn to hate that tranny so fast you'll wish you had just given the money to me instead.
     
  19. GG

    GG Formula 3

    Feb 21, 2008
    2,137
    Have you ever driven one? I find the only people that hate on SMG are the ones that have never really had any seat time with one. I will admit the first time I drove one, I really was not a fan, but 10,000 miles later I'm a believer. I will say, however, that 6-speed is the way to go.
     
  20. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
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    Definitely meets the OP requirements for passing the "pretty" test.

    I would stick with the vastly improved 2008-newer second gen car.
     
  21. TravisJ

    TravisJ Formula Junior

    Feb 9, 2008
    618
    Chicago, IL
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    Travis
    Maserati won't work if running costs need to be under $3K per year
     
  22. Mondog1

    Mondog1 F1 Rookie
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    Jul 27, 2006
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    #20 Mondog1, Mar 21, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
    I had an 05 M3 convertible for 6 months. In that time we put about 10k miles on. That transmission took all of the fun out of the car. It was too jerky, a joke when pulling out from a complete stop on a hill and not smooth shifting either.
     
  23. pks41805

    pks41805 Formula 3

    Aug 4, 2007
    1,145
    Colorado Springs, Co
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    Paul Sloan
    You could send 5 grand my way. I need a new exhaust.
     
  24. Teenferrarifan

    Teenferrarifan F1 Rookie

    Feb 21, 2003
    3,047
    Media, PA
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    Erik
    Caddy XLR, they are pretty rare to see compared to an SL. Maintenance is cheaper as well, and it has the Corvette platform underneath it. The only downside when buying used is the interior fit, finish, and feel, might leave you wanting more. The northstar engines are pretty tough motors. The styling is not everyone's cup of tea either.

    Erik
     
  25. kverges

    kverges F1 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2003
    3,160
    Dallas
    Full Name:
    Keith Verges
    Lotus Elise. Low maintenace, convertible, good looking and as exotic as you can get for $25K IMO.

    Totally impractical, though.
     
  26. kosmo

    kosmo Formula 3

    Oct 19, 2008
    1,438
    BIg D
    my vote is for an m3 coupe w/ a 6speed. Quick, fun, and decent utility.
     
  27. labcars

    labcars Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 22, 2003
    1,561
    Phila. + Scottsdale
    I had one of the first delivered cars. I couldn't wait to get it. Had it two weeks and promptly sold it because I HATED the SMG. Some folks swear by it. To each their own. Me, I'd opt for a 6 speed M3 convert, which can be had in the low 30's these days. I would stay away from the '03 MB SL's, having had an '03 SL55 which spent waaaaayy too much time in the shop for puzzling electrical gremlins which evaded diagnosis. It was a torque monster, but got rid of it within a year with only 5,400 miles. Enjoy the hunt!!!
     

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