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I have a chance to buy a 1984 Nissan Maxima for $1000 from a responsible person. It has 114k miles, a good engine, 2yr. old transmission, and seems to be in good shape for its age. The problem is that recently there's a gas smell inside the car. It comes and goes, so the mechanic hasn't found it yet. I don't know if this is a major repair, but I am prepared to spend about $1500. I've ridden in the car for 3 yrs., and I know that it has been well-maintained and that the owner would not intentionally take advantage of me.

I need a reliable car to last 1 1/2 yrs. until I finish college. As a starving student, it's unlikely that I can buy a car from a dealer under reasonable terms. This would be my first car ever and I am a new driver as well. Does the Maxima sound ok, or should I take my chances with the classifieds for a newer car?
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