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I finally did get a car

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Jack White, Sep 11, 2004.

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  1. Jack White

    Jack White Icon

    Sep 17, 2002
    I've been so busy with preparing for college and stuff and so anxious about it and stuff for the past few weeks before college started(September 1st), that I haven't even had time to read or post anything here or even surf the web or watch tv at all.
    My dad said he was willing to pay $8000 max for a car even though he spent much more on my brother's cars and he's spent a lot more money that that for my sister on a whole bunch of other stuff.
    My dad said that I should pay at least $3000 down or 25% down if the car is more than $8000.
    I wanted us to go to New York and check out a few Volvo S80s over there because cars were much cheaper over there, but my dad said that it had to be a car that was LESS than like 5 miles from our house.
    We did go to a Volvo dealership 2 miles from our house and check out the prices, at first we went to the "non Volvo" part of the dealership.
    The guy was trying to tell me how safet didn't matter and how if you get into an accident it really won't make any difference what kind of car you have.
    The guy tried to sell me some old Altimas, and relatively new Grand Ams, and Malibus, all of which didn't have side airbags.
    The guy told me that NO cars that were not brand new or very expensive had side air bags.
    That was basically just a flat out lie that he told me.
    Well, then we went to the Volvo part of the dealership.
    The guy showed us a 1997 Red Volvo 850 Wagon for like $8500 I think, that would have been fine(although I didn't like the color or the fact that it was a wagon), but my biggest problem with it was that although it did have side airbags, it didn't have side airbags that protected the head(the side airbags only protected the torso and hips).
    Well, then we looked at some cars that did have side airbags that protected the head.
    We looked at like a between red and maroon color 2000 Volvo S70 that did have the side airbags that protected the head, but the price was $14,775(for that kind of dough you can have a pretty large selection of safe cars to choose from if you just go beyond the 5 mile range limit that my dad insisted on.
    My dad wanted me to increase my down payment to $5000 for the Volvo S70, for which the final price would probably have been lower than the $14,775 quoted.
    I told the guy I'd sleep on it.
    Previously I had only searched online for what I considered to be EXTREMELY safe used cars such as the Volvo S80, 2002 or newer Saab 9-5, 2002 or newer Lexus ES 300/330, etc.
    Well, it seemed like it just wasn't in my destiny to get an EXTREMELY safe car, so I started looking at cars that I considered above average in safety, but still not in the same league as a Volvo S80.
    So I searched for cars like the 2001 or newer Chevy Impala with optional Side Airbags, 2001 or newer Lincoln LS, 2001.5 or newere Volkswagen Passat, 2001 or newer Buick Lesabre with optional Side Airbags, etc.
    I did find a 2002 Passat for $12,495 online that was only about 3 miles from our house at a Chrysler/Jeep dealership.
    I had ALWAYS never considered the Passat for what I considered a VERY good reason.
    One of our neighbors has a Silver Passat.
    I has always never considered buying a Passat because I would be so ashamed and embarassed of what would be considered "copying the neighbor".
    Well I changed my mind and I though that being ashamed and embarassed and getting in an accident while in a Passat is still not as bad as if I were to get into an accident driving a car that didn't even have side airbags like the Grand Am or a Malibu, or having to pay $5000 or more down for the 2000 S70.
    So my dad and I went down to the Jeep/Chrysler dealership and I paid $3000 down and the final price of the car was $11,995.
    My dad claims that he'll make all the payments like he did with my brother's cars, but it would really suck if my dad was just lying and then he expects me to make all the payments because I made what a I consider to be a pretty big compromise in safety compared to a Volvo S80.
    If you get T-boned at an intersection by a Hummer H1 or a Ford Excursion, or an 18 wheeler, the Volvo S80 is arguably one of the safest passenger cars to be in in such an accident.
    The Passat is significantly worse than an S80 in side impact crashes, weight, as well as injury rates, and Volvos have historically had the lowest death rates.
    That being said, I'd say that the Passat is still significantly safer than the average car and I feel much safer in it than I do in a Lincoln Town Car.
    I can now even make that left turn I was always afraid to make in the Town Car because cars were whizzing by the side from behind just inches from the car while they were doing 45mph+.
    I do love the Passat, and it's has average reliability, while a Volvo S80 has bad reliability.
    I can sense that my neighbors are pretty mad and the neighbor that already had a Passat, she's probably furious.
    My neighbors(especially the ones with older cars) must really resent me and stuff and think I'm a spoiled brat and stuff.
    In a way I had wished that the old Volvos with side airbags(such as the 1995 850 Turbo) had head protecting side airbags, because if that were the case, then I would have been happy with a 1995 Volvo 850 Turbo since it's pretty safe in every way with one exception(its side airbags only protect the torso and hips, but they don't protect the head).
    My Passat isn't an S80, but my 2002 Passat does have the 2 regular front airbags, 2 seat mounted side airbags(for protecting the torso and hips of the front occupants), and it has 2 ever important HEAD protecting Side Curtain Airbags that drop down from the celing and extend all the way from the A pillar to the C pillar so they provide head protection in side impacts for front and rear passengers.
    So even though technically there are 6 airbags, it's like having 8 airbags since rear passengers get 1 airbag each also.
    The car is a 2002 Champagne(Beige/Tan) Volkswagen Passat GLS with a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder turbo engine with 170hp and 166lbsft of torque, and it had just under 78,000 miles on it when I got it.
    One thing I was REALLY REALLY mad at, but I didn't say anything about was the fact that my dad picked his nose for like 20 minutes before HE test drove the car and refused to let me test drive the car or to even drive it home.
    My dad has a real bad habbit of always scratching himself(not even over his pants) and always picking his nose in public and not even washing his hands afterwards.
    I was really mad, but I guess if my dad's really going to make payments on the $8,995, then I guess that gives him the right to put his boogers all over my first car, and I mean he touched EVERY SINGLE BUTTON, KNOB, LEAVER, and HANDLE in the car.
    Anyway, here are a few pics.

    Attached Files:

  2. Jack White

    Jack White Icon

    Sep 17, 2002
    Here are the rest of the pics.

    Attached Files:

  3. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Good to have you back, Jack!

    First, a clarification - You write like you are fairly young - maybe 18-19, but your profile shows your year of birth as 1975. That would make you 29. Is that correct, or did you fudge on your date of birth when you registered two years ago in order to 'appear' older?


    I'm a dad, Jack. If you think your dad might be "lying", as you say, you have more important things to be concerned with than whether he is going to make YOUR payments or not.

    When my first son went to college (1000 miles away from home), he rode a bicycle on and off campus for the first two years. I was unemployed at the time and wasn't able to offer much financial help. He made it virtually on his own.

    If you get T-boned by a "Hummer" or an Ford "Excuse Me", unless you're in an 18-wheeler, you are toast. Vulvos and side-curtain airbags aren't going to help at all. Your concerns with safety features seems a little obsessive.

    I know you are angry, embarrassed and frustrated by your dad's filthy habits, but this is NOT the place to discuss things like that.

    What I don't get is how a man that does nasty things in public like you say your dad does can earn an income sufficient to pay for all these cars and (I presume) pay for your college tuition and expenses. What does he do for a living? :confused:
  4. olgeezer

    olgeezer Guest

    Dec 5, 2003
    First cars are like a boy's first kiss. You always remember them. I remember my first 3 (cars not kisses). I hitched until i was 21. Bought that first car, a 1950 plymouth coupe in late 1963 for $40. 30 days and 6 quarts of oil later, I sold it for $60.
  5. Redster

    Redster Godfather/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jan 14, 2004
    I am not a dad so I dont have kids in college. I will look at this as just a practical man.
    First,, who cares what the neighbors think, you have a reliable , relatively safe car. Consider yourself lucky.

    Second,, a lot of college kids do not have cars because their parents scraped and saved to get them into college. Consider yourself lucky.

    Third,, most college kids have a job outside of college to pay for the extra's. If your dad does stop payments,, well --guess who is going to have to work to make payments or have his credit ruined before it gets started. Again, if your dad does make some payments,, consider yourself lucky.
  6. Jack White

    Jack White Icon

    Sep 17, 2002
    Well, my parents always told me not to give too much specific information about myself online so the specific information I give about myself like my age, name, location, etc may or may not be true, just to keep people guessing.
    The more general information like the fact that I'm a college student, etc is definately true though.

    About the side impact thing, you're right that it probably wouldn't make much of a difference in a very very high speed side impact collision with an H1, Excursion, or 18 wheeler what car you were in.
    On the other hand I think it would make a difference in a more moderate or low speed side impact collision what kind of car you were in.
    The safety cages they use in Volvos are made of extremely high strength Boron Steel alloy, which is like 6 times stronger than high strength steel.
    This crash test of a Volvo S80 struck on the side by a large Chevy truck is really a picture that's worth a thousand words.
    The truck is the old type of truck where they didn't even really have crumple zones, yet the safety cage of the S80 is so strong that the hood of the truck could not penetrate the side of the car, but actually the hood of the truck was deflected upwards and ended up above the roof of the S80, and as the pic shows, the truck crumpled a lot more than the S80 did even the truck was an old really solid(they don't build them like they used to) type truck that didn't even have crumple zones.

    Now compare these 3 images of similar fatal side impact crashes.

    "This 1993 Pontiac Grand Am was struck by a 1972 GMC full-size pickup truck. The Grand Am's 29-year-old female driver died from massive injuries to her head, neck, chest, and abdomen. A 72-year-old female passenger in the rear seat also was killed."

    "This 1991 Chevrolet Geo was struck by a 1997 Ford pickup truck. The Geo's 23-year-old male driver was killed. His injuries included chest trauma plus fatal injuries when the hood of the intruding pickup struck his head."

    "This 1997 Plymouth Breeze was struck by a 1985 Chevrolet Blazer. The Breeze's 30-year-old female driver was killed. Her injuries included head trauma when the intruding Blazer's hood struck her head."

    BTW, I think I gave the wrong impression about my dad, he does pick his nose in public, but a LOT of people do that(even the Volvo car salesman picked his nose right as I was talking to him), that's just something I will never do in public, but if people want to do that it's their right to do it.
    Also, my dad DOESN'T scratch himself in public, just in front of his family, just when he's at home, or driving or but certainly not in front of a room full of strangers.
    I actually think the car is TOO good for me, I wish 10 year old cars had head protecting side airbags.
    If the 1995 Volvo 850 Turbo had head protection, then that would have been the perfect car for me since that car would not make me look like a spoiled brat. Even though I did pay the $3000 down payment, and I probably will make some payments eventually, this car still makes me look like a spoiled brat and don't like that.

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  7. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Take a look at what kind of crashed you're most likely to be in. You may be worrying about a red herring because it's head-on offset crashes that are most common. And a lot also depends on where you drive, when and what style.

    Don't be hung up on any ONE piece of data - weigh it *all* before making a decision.
  8. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

    Mar 25, 2002
    Oh, to have had a nice car in college. I went to the University of Minnesnowta. My transportation was a Yamaha 60cc "motorcycle" and the city bus system. I had a job downtown, about 5 miles from campus during my first year. During the Winter I always jumped on the bus at the corner and rode it to work, until they went on strike. During the bus strike I drove the MC to work, freezing my butt off. During snow storms I swear people would intentionally swerve into the piles of slush in the middle of the road just so they could splash me. When the temps got down to 10 degrees the company agreed to pay cab fare for me.

    Gee, this sounds like a "I used to walk through 10' snow drifts to school everyday" story. :lol:
  9. olgeezer

    olgeezer Guest

    Dec 5, 2003
    In Minnesota, that was probably only between october and the end of May
  10. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Hall Of Fame

    Jan 15, 2004
    I got news for ya, son. The frame rails on that ole Chevy truck (I've had a couple of that particular vintage - still have one now) cut the driver in half. The sheet metal bending is nothing. The engine block (if a V-8) is sitting on the car driver's left hip.

    I've seen plenty of 'blood on the highway' over my years in fire/rescue, and the bottom line is that there is NO substitute for hundreds of pounds of steel around you.

    I saw a thread recently where someone hit a moose and it sliced through the entire car. Fortunately the driver survived, but it was a miracle - and a moose is lighter than any car. ;)

    P.S. Chances are that Chevy truck was still drivable, although with radiator damage, and of course, having to unbolt what's left of the hood.
  11. Bogy

    Bogy Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    Gee Jack, sorry to say it, but you sound like a spoiled brat. Not as bad as my neighbor who got a brand new Mustang GT convertable to go to college in, but still pretty spoiled.

    I went to college in 1972 ina '72 Pinto I bought myself. I now drive Ford Taurus program cars, and my daughters have received a hand me down Taurus when they needed a car at college. They have had driver side airbags. The type of accident you might be most likely to have depends a great deal on where you live and the type of roads you drive on. Where I spend most of my time rear end accidents are the most likely, as long as you watch carefully for the jerks who run red lights.

    I you think the first salesman was lying about side airbags being primarily in newer and/or more expensive cars I would like to see your list of old cheap cars so equipped. And it does sound like you and your dad have some problems that go beyond your first car. Unless you have aggravated him so much over this purchase that this IS the reason. I think you should apologize and thank him.
  12. Jack White

    Jack White Icon

    Sep 17, 2002
    Well, here are a few examples of cheap cars with side airbags.
    Now cars with side curtain airbags may not be cheap, but that's not what the dealer said, the dealer said that there was NO cheap car that had side airbags, he also said that you couldn't get a used Passat or Jetta with side curtain airbags for less than $20,000.





    As you can also see from this pic of the Volvo "SIPS BAG Emblem" from this 1995 Volvo 850 Turbo, it does indeed have side airbags.
    This other illustration of the side airbag system on the Volvo 850s shows its flaw though, the side airbags DON'T protect the head.
    One solution I had always wondered about was if it would have been possible to somehow get volvo or somebody else to retrofit either side curtain airbags or dual chamber seat mounted head/torso/pelvis side airbags into a beatup high milage old 1995 Volvo 850 Turbo, that way I could have a safe car that wasn't too flashy, too new or too expensive.
    Since the 1999 and later S70s(which have head protecting side airbags) are very very similar structurally to the Volvo 850s, I wonder if it would have been possible.
    You're right that I should thank my dad and be nicer to him.
    I've already thanked him a few times, but I should do it more often.
    BTW, maybe the shoe fits and maybe I am a spoiled brat, but hopefully I can change that in the future.


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  13. Bogy

    Bogy Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    OK, qualification. You can buy a cheap car with a side airbag, if you buy a car that started out as an expensive car and now has 150,000 miles and up. By the time you are looking at any car with this kind of mileage for $3,500 it is going to end up being an expensive car.
  14. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Hall Of Fame

    Jan 15, 2004
    Ask a dealer how much it costs to "reload" an airbag after deployment, multiply it by the number of airbags, double it for the retrofit design and you might be close to the number you desire.

    I'll bet a donut the LOW end of the estimate would be $5K or more.

    While, yeah, you might have some "issues" right now, on the positive side of the coin, it's admirable that you're thinking about safety instead of the typical guy your age that thinks themselves immortal, and many times finds they aren't. :(

    My only caution is to not obsess over airbags. Put forth the same amount of money, time, and effort into improving your driving skills - it will have a MUCH better payback.

    Maybe you can find a cool driving school around there somewhere. There's some really fun stuff popping up. Some years ago I took a course in ice driving. It was an absolute blast, and has probably saved my skin a couple of times. :D

    Tis always better to avoid a crash than survive one. ;)
  15. markh

    markh Hall Of Fame

    Mar 24, 2002
    Nick, I think the answer is obvious, at least it was to me after thinking about it. Who picks his nose and scratches himself in public? Jack's dad must be a professional baseball player. :D ;)
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