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run the numbers!

>It seems we all get bashed by our friends and relatives, with comments 
>like, "Why would I buy an AUDI, your always working on yours".
>They just don't get it, that our seemingly newer looking cars that 
>always seem to have problems, are actually 10+ year old cars with well 
>over 100k on the odometer.
>Often were workin' on them not because there is something major wrong 
>with them, but because we like keeping a good thing going.  We're 
>trying to get some additional HP/Torque, or doing somthing to get more 
>sportage out of these good platforms.  
>What is truly amazing is how good the condition of the paint usually 
>is.  My '87 Pearl Wagon looks like a much newer car.  My '854KSQ would 
>be pristine if I hadn't been rear ended, sideswiped and atacked by 
>door ding gnomes time and time again.
>I don't know how much your brother is going to pay for his Toyota, but 
>I bet you could pick up several of these older vintage Audi's for the 
>price of what he'll pay (muchas gracias CBS 60 Minutes).  I also 
>wonder whether it realy tracks, handles and performs like an AUDI.

Here's the key: With an extremely low purchase price (due mostly to CBS)
and a strong supply of junkyard spares at reasonable prices (at the local
u-pull-its) plus some degree of skill with hand tools and a willingness to
use them, I am driving a well engineered, very nice car for not much money
and a few hours work every few weekends.

The ONLY thing that makes the majority of new cars even worth looking at is
that they happen to be NEW - and that goes away quickly, even while the
payments go on for years and years, long after the NEW is gone. And after
their warranty expires, you still have to fix the heap of junk, and then
you still have a heap of junk after you've done the work or paid someone to
do it, usually wrong.

Take a car costing $25,000 new - and that's probably a lowball price for
any new car comparable to what a 5000 was in say, 1986. If you get a 48
month loan, that means payments of $520 a month at ZERO interest. At 8%
interest, your payment would be $610.32 per month.

My car payment is zero per month. I spend well under $100 per month on
parts (I often buy parts I don't need, and stash them), and I doubt I spend
three hours a month on maintenance. Now: Assuming three hours a month, that
makes my time worth $610 minus the $100 for parts, leaves $510 saved by
doing three hours worth of work, or $170 per hour, and I'm doing something
I enjoy anyway.

So in 48 months, I've saved 3 (hours per month) times 48 (months) times
$170 (savings per hour) by doing my own work: $24,480. Do you have any idea
how many cans of waterless hand cleaner you can buy for $25,000????

Hard to argue with those numbers!

And I'm driving a very nice, elegant, stylish, well designed and extremely
satisfying (if somewhat quirky) car.

Best Regards,

Mike Arman