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I bought a '90 Volvo 740 GL sedan five and a half years ago for $10,000 -- with 38K miles on it. It just turned 100K miles and drives like a solid dream. I put about $1000 to $1500 into it each year -- much of it preventative maintenance. It does require original equipment manufacture parts, which are hideously expensive. I expect to continue doing same until at least 200K miles, perhaps more, or for another five years, whichever comes first. Then reconsider. I also owned little Hondas, since the mid-seventies, Civic hatchbacks. Bought them used too, for much less of course. They ran til rust took over (a Vermont born and bred car) or a bus ran over it (a Maryland school bus). The first had 245K miles on it and ran fine. No major repairs but kept it with fresh hoses, points and tires if necessary, although I never changed the oil since it seemed to like what it had. The second Honda, newer and not as pure a model, I treated the same way (except started changing oil) and it also ran like a charm til its fateful day with the bus (it had about 140K on it at the time). My conclusions: NEVER buy a new car, but pay a reasonable amount for a solid second hand one; treat the car with reasonable respect and with confidence it will live a long life; don't worry about style or surface beauty; in fact, take a certain pride in well worn wear and tear. Drive proudly. Push the cars to their functional limits now and then, they seem to like it as much as my greyhound likes to tear around at 39 mph in short sprints. And try not to show your superiority over those who throw good money after the latest and greatest. Also no one ever breaks into my cars since I conspicuously keep the doors unlocked and they are not beautiful. Maybe some of this will encourage someone!
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