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I offered the seller a bit more than the low-ball dealer trade-in value on the car - $17,500 -- and he agreed to take it.

Anything under 20k is a great deal for that car, heck, the dealers are getting about that for a 2004 with 13k miles.

I think engineers are the only market for cars with manual transmissions. I bought my new Altima from a Mechanical Engineer who works for NASA. The guy that bought my old Maxima is an Electrical Engineer who works for GE.

That's probably true, I had to special order my Mustang 20 years ago with a manual transmission. Sold it (actually its carcass after it was stolen and partially destroyed) to a gearhead who modified it for racing. My first [used] Honda Civic was a manual, and my second [new] Honda Civic was a manual.

A more accurate statement would be "Single engineers are the only market for manual transmisson cars" . Since I was married, all our cars are automatic transmission as my wife cannot drive a manual. Heck, it's hard enough for her to drive an auto with 3 kids in the back :-)
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