When I set out to buy my most recent car, I gave myself a budget of $5,000. I dutifully looked at two almost identical 1970s Volkswagen Beetles, one was a shabby, well-worn ‘74 for $2,500, and the other was an immaculate, restored ‘71 for $5,000. I think you know which one I bought.
The car going for five grand was just about perfect, with a totally redone tweed interior and a very healthy engine and transmission. But there was something about the owner and the yuppie town he lived in that put me off, along with his somewhat incomprehensible explanations of why he had to re-wire the car twice.
The car I ended up buying for two and a half grand needed an engine-out set of repairs the moment I first drove it around the block.