It might be cliché for someone who loves cars to constantly snoop around on websites with secondhand cars, but I happily contribute to that stereotype. I enjoy to spend time to find out what cars I might want to buy in the near future. Take a minute to listen to me telling you about my recent experiences and thoughts on this.
I have spent time on these sorts of websites, for as long as I can remember. The love for cars is deep-rooted in my body, so when I found out the ways of the internet, I figured out that there must also be websites with cars. You can split these up in lots and lots of different categories, but for now, we’ll obviously be focusing on websites with cars for sale.
After I found the car selling websites, I started scrolling. Just to look for cars that I knew. Trying to find the best possible version of a car that you particularly love, and then actually succeeding in this ”search” is a great feeling. Of course, I will not be the only one to tell you that looking for things you know, will be a limited quest. The real fun appears when you start to find stunning examples of cars that you did not know existed. As a young man, I am now eighteen years old, the spectrum of cars that I know of is quite narrow. Like lots of kids that grow up with a love for cars, I too spent some time reading car magazines, watching car shows, etc. This all still does not grant me the knowledge, to be aware of every single car on Earth, which makes me kind of sad.
Fast forward a few years. I have finally gotten my driver’s license, but long before that have I been checking these websites for a car to buy when I turn eighteen. At this point, I hoped to have enough money to provide for the proper maintenance and taxes for it to stay in my possession longer than two months. This all turned out a little different than I expected it to when I was younger, for several reasons which I will not go into detail now. The hard part now is, that I am heavily trying to keep myself from buying a cheap, yet reliable, pretty and interesting car on one of these websites.
If you happen to be reading this, you might ask yourself this right now: ”what type of cars should we think of, when you give us these four criteria?”
Since I formulated the question for you myself, I will try to answer it briefly.
If you think of cheap vehicles, right away, a bunch of cars drop out of the running. Cheap, in some way, correlates to small, or compact, if you will. At least in my mind, that is. Keeping in mind that I love my aged automobiles, it makes sense that I skip the cars from the past 15 years, both because they’re mostly boring and on top of that more expensive too. So, a small, aged, cheap car, that is reliable. Hard to find right?
Yup. Again, there are several reasons for this, but to name two of the most important ones:
1: I am so very untechnical, so I wouldn’t know very well what to pay attention to.
2: I am not extremely familiar with the reliability of certain older cars, as well any other essential information that would be necessary if you wanted to buy a vintage car.
You could argue, these are the two ingredients for a complete failure of a purchase.
This didn’t stop me from searching for awesome cars. Cars, that I wrote about in the past, like the Renault 4 I fell in love with in Mallorca. Or the Traction Avant I wrote about too. But also, very basic cars that I’ve had a teeny crush on since my younger years, back when I played games like Need For Speed Underground 2. One of the starter cars in that game was the Peugeot 106. Like I said, it is rather basic, but this does not mean it can’t be a fun starter car in real life. I drove the demons out of that thing.
Unfortunately, the 106 is a car so basic, that I would not want to drive it, simply because I don’t feel like it has that much of a spiritual backbone. Because of this, and the fact that is not ”vintage”, I started to look for earlier, similar versions of this car. The old 205, as well as the Renault 5, which looks a little similar, but is of a different brand, came into the picture.
Yet, here comes the part where realism gets ahold of me, followed by the two reasons I stated earlier: buying older cars is all but too often accompanied by issues, which in our eyes, translates to money that needs to be spent to fix these issues.
Knowing the fact that I really want to buy a car from a different, much more interesting period in time, I have to admit, I don’t know, and can’t be certain to assure myself that I can keep the car in my possession, if the hypothetical issues finally arise. Usually, I’m a man, who neglects these things, and refuses to look at these downsides. This is one of the few times I really want to be sure of something, because it is so close to my heart. You can compare this with the contemplation of buying a pet, in this case, let’s take a dog as an example. If you’re somewhat of a decent human being, you will have figured out of your bank account allows it for you to adopt one. A dog is a living being, and you will probably grow to love it. You cannot neglect the animal in times of financial crisis, because that would be a terrible thing to do. Worst case, it will starve to death, and I am more than sure you would not let that happen to your dearest four-footed friend.
I reckon I will treat my car equally, because my love for cars is that great.
So with all this knowledge, I gave up. Sort of. I started to look more for cars like the 106, and I kept looking at these types of cars. I just kept on looking, and stayed with them for a while. I saw more small hatchbacks in that period, than I had ever seen before, both on- and off-road, on- and offline.
So after a while of trying to find the cheapest possible model of a certain car, you get bored, because you have basically seen them all multiple times. Then, in came the Audi 80, after some random searching. Let me tell you, this car is cheap, it’s supposed to be reliable, it’s pretty and not to forget, it is a f*cking Audi.
At the immediate second I found out that it was this low-priced, it had my full attention. I have seen it drive before multiple times on public roads, but it never stood out. It’s a pretty car, in my eyes at least, but in that respect, it is a true German car. Stylish, beautiful, reasonably fast, but a sleeper over everything. You wouldn’t look at it twice, because the exterior, as well as the interior, is fairly modest.
So, the Audi 80 then?
According to a range of websites, it is a reliable car. Except for the fact that is not exactly small and a hatchback of sorts, it is within the ranges I set out, so it fulfills my needs in that respect, which is a good thing.
Although this version is the standard model, I actually do prefer the Avant. Something about these station cars just looks better to me, but if there is a perfectly fine and quick, I will most definitely consider spending my money on one of these.
The example showed here, with the blurred license plate, pumps almost 150 hp out if its 2.6l V6. 0-100 in a little over 9 seconds, with a top speed of 212 km/h. These are the figures that matter to me most, but if I were really interested, I’d contact the owner, the dealer, or even pay them a visit to find out about the mishaps, if there even are any to begin with. Granted, I cannot say with complete confidence that these numbers are still accurate because it is twenty years old. They might be put up there according to the latest check-up. Were that the case, it would be a very interesting and fast car, to invest in.
Well then, time for my verdict.
Is there a chance I will buy it? Yes, most definitely.
Is it very likely I will buy it? No, most definitely not.
Why then, write an entire (quarter) article about it? Because it intrigued me, and was hoping that it would intrigue you in the same way as it did intrigue me.
Even though I keep telling myself that it might not be the smartest decisions to buy an older car, I will probably end op doing that exact thing, without a grain of regret. Updates on this topic, as well as my further thoughts on this subject will pop up every now and then.
Have a good one,