We love cheap, weird, unreliable cars, but buying one doesn't always make sense. Jalopnik readers came up with ten justifications for taking the plunge.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
The world is full of reliable, affordable cars to buy. A rational buying decision is not hard to find. We'd die before we finished counting all of the Civicorollas and Camcords for sale in the US right now.
But there's more to the car world than beigemobiles and there's more to life than being stuck behind the wheel of a car that refuses to die on you. Sometimes you need a little excitement, like dropping $13,000 into a beat up Mazda RX7 that feels like it wants to destroy you. Sometimes you just have to go out and get the car of your dreams, even if it has a welded diff, semi-functioning doors and the World's Cheapest Paint Job. Sometimes you just need a stupid car.
So we put together these ten justifications for buying a questionably-advisable vehicle. We're sure that there are more rationales, so let us know in Kinja below of any tricks you use to convince yourself or someone else to go for that lovely beater.
Photo Credit: Andrew Davies
10.) Use The Four-Part Formula
Reader ranwhenparked's stupid-car buying formula is simple. Just make sure you can check off these four items.
1. Do I want this?
2. Can I afford it?
3. Do I have space for it?
4. If yes to all of the above, go for it. No other rationalization needed, really. If you've got the money and space and it won't kill your budget, then "I want it" should be reason enough.
9.) I Won't Let Reliability Be My Only Concern
When you're buying a single daily driver, reliability should be a high priority. If you're just buying something dumb and interesting, don't be afraid of a few possible trips to the mechanic.
8.) Remember: No Car Payments
This only applies to cheap cars (Aren't most stupid car-buying decisions for cheap cars?), but you can always remember that you don't have to take out a loan to buy your low-priced dream car. Of course, you'll probably end up paying its list price over again in repairs.
7.) Disguise An Onslaught Of Numbers With Kitties
If you're trying to justify a purchase decision to a spouse or family member, you can follow the lead of this man's epic PowerPoint justifying buying a Corvette Z06. Assault the reader with numbers, then distract him or her with pictures of kitties.
6.) Owning a Boring Car Is A Fate Worse Than Death
When you're stuck behind the wheel of an autotragic mid-90s Civic and you feel like driving into trees just to have an excuse to buy a beater Camaro, it's time to make the jump.
5.) The Car Needs My Rescue
Reader wheatieboy explains how sometimes an old car is like a rescue dog at the pound. You know it's been neglected or abused, and you know it has no pedigree, no 'value,' and it will come with a lifetime of vet bills. But you buy it anyway because someone has to take it in, and you know you'll get love in return.
4.) It's Like That One Thing I Totally Needed As A Kid
Why buy a
Ford Mondeo in drag Jaguar X-Type? Here's My X-type is too a real Jaaaaaaaag's explanation.
When I bought my Jag I bought it it because it almost looked liked the cars from the White Snake video that had Tawny Kitaen dancing across the hood in her underwear. That image was important to a 9-year-old boy and filtered down to the supposed adult car shopping over 2 decades later.
3.) It'll Be A Parent-Child Project
Buying an old car isn't just a means of transportation; it's a project. That project can be something you do with your son or daughter, which is how Brian, The Life of convinced his wife to allow a $3,300 1955 Ford Fairlane into the home.
I lobbied for the car because it presented an opportunity to do something with my son that was only about him and me. My son is 17 and the years I've had to raise him to be the promising young man he has become have flown by. Next year will be his senior year and, since he has always been a highly self-motivated, straight-A student, I am sure he will be leaving the nest to move on to college and there is little chance he'll be a "boomerang kid" that comes back home after graduating. This next year will likely be our last opportunity to do something like this together...
Bottom line, my justification is that my son and I will be adding one more wonderful father/son memory. That alone is worth everything.
2.) There's Never A Perfect Time
If you're waiting for the 'perfect time' to make a purchase, it'll likely never happen. There rarely ever is a 'perfect time' for anything. If you really want that car, you've got to bite the bullet.
1.) Because It Makes Me Happy
If you can't meet this requirement, leave the car behind. If you do, just about everything else falls into place, as Who needs sway bars anyway anyway explains.
I'm in the process of trying to buy a '68 Falcon Futura I found on craigslist for $800 bucks. At first I was just scrolling through craigslist looking for cars under $1000 and when I came across this car I knew I was going to try and buy it. I immediately started coming up with reasons why I should buy it. From I could flip it and make money, It would be a good backup if my Jeep was broken, Its cheaper than dirt, all the chrome and glass is there, IT RUNS!, I've always wanted a Falcon....etc...etc....etc.... but at the end of the day I am going to buy it because it would make me happy. I would drive it with a huge smile on my face and even when it inevitably broke down I would much rather brake down in a 68' Falcon than a POS Toyota Camry or Honda Civic.