: Is it worth giving up a known good car for a "want".



ga_etc
02-26-11, 11:51 PM
The story of every car guy's life. There's always something else that will catch your eye. Well I have this problem once again. I have been wanting a '94-'96 Fleetwood Brougham. This is not a car that I "need", it's purely a "want". My problem though, is I still love my Eldorado. In just a little over two and a half years I've racked up right at 42,000 miles now. All relatively trouble free. There have been a few minor issues to arise, but that's to be expected with any car, even something brand new. The Eldo is paid for, doesn't require any expensive repairs, still looks good, and just got a brand new set of tires less than two weeks ago. This is the longest I have kept any car so far (yes, I know how sad that is) and I still really enjoy the car. However that want still remains, and the only way I could get a FWB is to let go of the ETC.

So my question for you guys is this: For you personally, is it worth giving up a car that you know to be reliable and trustworthy, which you still enjoy, to venture back out into the land of IFs for a "want"?

orconn
02-27-11, 12:06 AM
Have you got a new job yet? To me the Eldo is far more desirable than the Fleetwood. I would wait until I could afford both cars and then go for it. To get rid of a perfectly good car that you like, that is payed for, doesn't seem like a good move for a young guy with "iffy" cash flow!

ga_etc
02-27-11, 12:14 AM
Yes, I got a new job in September. It's just "part time" but that doesn't mean I can't get 40 hours a week. I very much respect your insights and opinions orconn, but I'd really like for this not to just turn into a thread about my personal situation. I was just thinking that since it was on my mind it could make for something interesting to discuss on here. For instance, would you trade or sell your '95 STS to go back to something like another Alfa Romeo 164 knowing how good of a car the STS has been for you?

Playdrv4me
02-27-11, 12:19 AM
We're not talking about a car loan, and we're not talking about an unreliable car. If you want a Fleetwood and you won't be laying out much cash, then get a Fleetwood. We are car guys, it's what we do.

ga_etc
02-27-11, 12:24 AM
I know we car guys and this is what we do. The whole point is, do you rationalize and talk yourself out of it, or do you throw caution to the wind and go for the new toy?

I guess that line should have been in my opening...

Playdrv4me
02-27-11, 12:30 AM
I know we car guys and this is what we do. The whole point is, do you rationalize and talk yourself out of it, or do you throw caution to the wind and go for the new toy?

I guess that line should have been in my opening...

No, you don't throw "caution to the wind" because it doesn't have to be a complete gamble either. If you want a Fleetwood then you wait patiently for a well maintained car to come along that fits your budget (or trade arrangement etc). Then and only then do you make your move. Now, if we were talking about dumping your ONE reliable Kathy for that old SEC? There would be a problem. Anything can be a lemon, but the Fleetwood's a tough car to get hurt with

Aron9000
02-27-11, 01:05 AM
Austin, I feel for you man. I've been thinking of trading in the Brougham on a Miata. Yeah the Brougham has been the most reliable car I've ever had, but its pissing me off lately with all the squeaks and rattles, the broken sunroof, the warped rotors(already had them turned once), overall its just starting to feel its age. I think I'm just going to save my $$$ for another 6 months or so and just buy a cheap NA Miata and keep the Caddy, even though I could really afford a newer NB if I sold the Brougham right now.


As for your situation, do what you want IMO. Both a nice 94-96 FWB and your Eldo are worth similar $$$. You aren't going to find a super low mileage "MINT" FWB for under 5k, but something in that 60-110k mileage range is definetly do-able. As far as maintenance costs, the FWB will be a lot cheaper to keep on the road, barring a transmission rebuild(about $1700-2000 for that). I know you're a young single guy, but the four doors and huge back seat in the FWB makes it a lot more practical people mover than the Eldo.

drewsdeville
02-27-11, 01:21 AM
Although you stated that you'd like to keep your personal situation out of the discussion, it's a vital part of the equation since you admit you have to make a sacrifice to do this.

If you were doing this because you were an auto enthusiast with no bounds, you'd get the Fleetwood, keep the Eldo, and drive both. You admit you can't do that and only you know the reasons why. Those reasons can't be ignored.

Putting myself in your shoes and assuming some of your personal situation that you don't want to discuss, I'd keep the Eldo. It's delivering everything one could love about a car: you love to drive it, it's reliable, and it's not costing a lot to operate since it's paid off. It's ideal and I think you'd be a fool to give it up.

If you want a Fleetwood, I'd think about picking one up either when the Eldo no longer satisfies your requirements or when you can handle owning both.

Playdrv4me
02-27-11, 01:59 AM
Called it.

hueterm
02-27-11, 02:46 AM
Considering I just got rid of my ETC, I might be biased. However...just because it's a B-Body doesn't mean you can't rack up repairs. My white RMW has just cost me $2K in 2 weeks between the headlights and the brake lines.

Not sure why you'd want a Roadmaster and a FWB -- IF you like driving the ETC as much as you do. Neither are going to drive as good as the ETC...

ga_etc
02-27-11, 03:39 AM
Although you stated that you'd like to keep your personal situation out of the discussion, it's a vital part of the equation since you admit you have to make a sacrifice to do this.

If you were doing this because you were an auto enthusiast with no bounds, you'd get the Fleetwood, keep the Eldo, and drive both. You admit you can't do that and only you know the reasons why. Those reasons can't be ignored.

Putting myself in your shoes and assuming some of your personal situation that you don't want to discuss, I'd keep the Eldo. It's delivering everything one could love about a car: you love to drive it, it's reliable, and it's not costing a lot to operate since it's paid off. It's ideal and I think you'd be a fool to give it up.

If you want a Fleetwood, I'd think about picking one up either when the Eldo no longer satisfies your requirements or when you can handle owning both.

I don't mind talking about my situation, I just would like to get everyone's ideas on this. My main question is if you have a car that you like, but you think you'd like to have something else, do you try to rationalize the decision or just jump the gun and change cars without a second thought?

As far as my situation goes, it's no big secret. I work part time on an as needed basis. I might get 4 hours one week, I might get 40 hours one week. I never know. So, I don't have the spare money to set back right now to save up for a nice FWB. Well, any other vehicle right now. And I'm the kind of person that over thinks things sometimes. I really couldn't justify getting rid of the Eldo for any other reason other than I just want a FWB. But I don't know if the desire for one is enough to give up what I have with the ETC. Even with as long as I've had it I still think it's a beautiful car. I honestly think that body style is close to, if not the most timeless design Cadillac has ever come up with. I never get tired of looking at it and I never get tired of hearing the marvelous noises the N* makes or the amount of thrust that is called when I plant my right foot. I just don't know if I want, or can, give that up right now.


Considering I just got rid of my ETC, I might be biased. However...just because it's a B-Body doesn't mean you can't rack up repairs. My white RMW has just cost me $2K in 2 weeks between the headlights and the brake lines.

Not sure why you'd want a Roadmaster and a FWB -- IF you like driving the ETC as much as you do. Neither are going to drive as good as the ETC...

I know that neither will drive as well as the ETC, but I do enjoy driving the RM. I like how it's big, comfortable, and simple. I've heard that the FWB got a more controlled suspension than the RM so it should be as smooth but a little more enjoyable to run through a curve and I really like the thought of that. I think the Roadmaster handles it's size quite well in a curve as long as you keep in mind the heft of the beast you're behind the wheel of. If the Fleetwood can improve on that, even marginally, and still maintain it's big car ride plus the power of the LT1 I think I would be content. The problem is I'm attached to the Eldo.

Jesda
02-27-11, 03:47 AM
On a car from the mid-90s, consider it a restoration project. Something expensive will need service.

ga_etc
02-27-11, 04:02 AM
Not if the car as been maintained properly. Well, generally speaking. I've found one in FL that really has my curiosity peaked.

Jesda
02-27-11, 04:09 AM
Hopefully! Service records?

Then again, Hueter's Eldorado has more records associated with it than a Soviet bureaucracy.

ga_etc
02-27-11, 04:54 AM
I don't know. Waiting for them to email me back. It's a '94 that supposedly is a one owner.

hueterm
02-27-11, 06:58 AM
Mmm hmmm...

Stingroo
02-27-11, 07:58 AM
I'd say go for it. The repairs will only kill you if you can't (or won't) DIY.

And unlike the N*, you CAN DIY fairly easily.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-27-11, 10:14 AM
Well regarding your work situation and it's variety of hours available, it's tough to feel truly confident when potentially spending big money on items you want. It's kinda the same way for me with the sales game. Some months are great, some are awful and it all reflects in my paycheck. I wish it was more consistent, but I've found that if you can live within your means, why not? What I do is during the great months, I'll either save a bunch of money for the slow months, or buy the things I want during the busy months, so I don't have to worry about it during the slow months.

The Eldorado will drive much better than the Fleetwood will, and I personally find the Eldorado more enjoyable to drive, whereas the 225.1" Fleetwood Brougham is quite cumbersome, especially in the city. It's all a matter of taste...some people prefer the large, soft, smooth Fleetwood to the smaller, sportier, quicker Eldorado. But with that being said, if everything else was the same between the cars (condition, miles, color) I'd rather OWN the Fleetwood because it's a much easier car to live with (only needs regular gas, much cheaper to maintain and repair, much simpler to work on). It's simplicity, reliability and ease of service would give me great piece of mind, even if it takes me 20 minutes to find a parking spot downtown big enough for it.


With that being said, I gave up a good car (92 deVille) for a want (99 S320) and got myself into a long and winding road of expensive and bizarre repairs, but a '94 FWB is nowhere near as maddeningly complex or as expensive as a W140.

drewsdeville
02-27-11, 11:06 AM
Sort of what Chad was getting at with the end of his post, he fact is that they are all machines, they are all subject to failure, and in the end, anything is a gamble.

On the topic of reliability, giving up a known reliable vehicle for another ASSUMED reliable vehicle isn't smart IMO. One owner or 5 owners, well maintained or not, a 15 year old FWB can be a money pit just like anything else. Hell, I have shirt tail relation who delivers his '92 RM to my driveway a handful of times a year. The car is an absolute pig if you ask me, and isn't what I'd call a benchmark setter for reliability. I've been trying to convince him to dump it as he also owns a 2001 Grand Marquis, which he enjoys more and has been a flawless performer anyway.

On the other hand, my uncles '94 Caprice has been good to him throughout his ownership, save for some body corrosion.

It really is a gamble. Our opinion is nothing but a guess. Yeah, the ETC could get expensive to repair if it comes down to chronic trouble, IF that time comes. It could begin this month, it may never come. You just don't know. At this point, it sounds like you have no reason to suspect it's near. Why give up something that's working for you?

Something to consider is that the newest FWB is now 15+ years old. Good maintenance and low mileage can't offset the effects that aging have on a car. Reliability and cost to repair WILL suffer as the years go on, even for well maintained variants.

Playdrv4me
02-27-11, 12:56 PM
I think Austin meant the thread more as a general poll to see what others of us have done when faced with temptation in a similar situation... Have we taken the leap? Or have we passed on a car we think we would have loved because were worried it would leave us stranded?

In my case, I've taken that leap a few times, and most of the time it actually turned out well.

As for Austin, I've seen the '94 in question and it looks gorgeous.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-27-11, 01:51 PM
Something to consider Austin, the FWB's are all atleast 15 years old now (much like Drew said), so it's really hard to find a lot of the various cosmetic trim pieces now. That chrome strip that runs the entire length of the car will "shrink" and get wrinkled, and those are almost impossible to find nowadays, and they command a premium when you do find them.

ga_etc
02-27-11, 04:26 PM
I know things are getting hard to find for the FWB. But at the same time, there are things that aren't so easy to find for the Eldo either.

77CDV
02-27-11, 07:27 PM
With that being said, I gave up a good car (92 deVille) for a want (99 S320) and got myself into a long and winding road of expensive and bizarre repairs, but a '94 FWB is nowhere near as maddeningly complex or as expensive as a W140.

I was wondering when you'd chime in. I can understand Austin's situation. I've never ditched a reliable car on a whim, and mercifully, all my cars have been reliable. There are plenty of times I'll see a really nice car and think, maybe it's time for the Eldo to go. Then I think about payments and such, the fact that the Eldo still runs well, and I decide it's better to stay with the devil you know. I'll still likely let the Eldo go in a year or so, buy Mom something new and more fuel efficient, and take the 06 DTS for myself.

ga_etc
02-27-11, 07:41 PM
I'm also kinda worried that everyone telling me how lucky I've been with Kathy is going to jinx me. But so far she's been rock solid. Just for the heck of it, here's the FWB that has my attention.

http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv220/austin99etc/tennvacation025.jpg
http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv220/austin99etc/tennvacation026.jpg
http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv220/austin99etc/tennvacation023.jpg

Sevillian273
02-27-11, 08:10 PM
^^That's a damn nice car. Now I know what ga_ is going through! One thing that I'd like to point out is that at 42K miles his current car could sell for a good price. As the miles and years go by, it's only going to get harder to sell. It's a tough call, but if you're not happy in your current vehicle, I'd sell it before anything major happens to nix the deal. It really depends on how badly you want to drive something else and how willing and able you are to deal with the new car's potential issues.... Keep it or sell it, either way it's a gamble! Cars will come and go but you're experiences with them will last forever!

ga_etc
02-27-11, 08:15 PM
My ETC is at 139,6xx miles. You're thinking about hueterm's ETC having 42K on it when he bought it.

Sevillian273
02-27-11, 08:17 PM
Thread reading FAIL. :banghead:

lacville78
02-27-11, 09:22 PM
Austin, I feel for you man. I've been thinking of trading in the Brougham on a Miata. Yeah the Brougham has been the most reliable car I've ever had, but........

:nono::nono::nono::nono::nono:

gdwriter
02-27-11, 09:44 PM
I tend to keep my cars for a long time, but that's partially because I usually buy something I really like. I considered whether I'd find the Seville to be a troublesome car, and held on to Cruella just in case. Within a few months, the Seville had proven itself, and I could promise Cruella to my niece.

If I were going to have two cars, I wouldn't want them to be too similar, because what's the point? Your Eldorado does things your Roadmaster can't do and vice versa. But I doubt there's going to be much difference in how the Fleetwood drives compared to your Roadmaster, other than the power boost from the LT1.

That pimp-tastic grille would definitely have to go. Not a fan of the wheels or blackwalls either. Me? I'd pass.

hueterm
02-27-11, 09:45 PM
My ETC is at 139,6xx miles. You're thinking about hueterm's ETC having 42K on it when he bought it.


And of course, that, having worked SO well....

:bighead:

orconn
02-27-11, 10:59 PM
I tend to keep my cars for a long time, but that's partially because I usually buy something I really like. I considered whether I'd find the Seville to be a troublesome car, and held on to Cruella just in case. Within a few months, the Seville had proven itself, and I could promise Cruella to my niece.

If I were going to have two cars, I wouldn't want them to be too similar, because what's the point? Your Eldorado does things your Roadmaster can't do and vice versa. But I doubt there's going to be much difference in how the Fleetwood drives compared to your Roadmaster, other than the power boost from the LT1.

That pimp-tastic grille would definitely have to go. Not a fan of the wheels or blackwalls either. Me? I'd pass.

Good point about the Roadmaster and Brougham being similar in their driving characteristics .... definitely points for keeping the Eldorado!

ga_etc
02-28-11, 03:21 AM
The Roadmaster is kind of an odd situation. TECHNICALLY it's my grandmother's car. She bought it, but she's never had a license and has never driven, anything. LEGALLY the Roadmaster is mine. When she bought it she had me sign the title and put it on my insurance, plus transfer the tag from the Camaro. So the state of Georgia says it's my car, my conscious says it's her's.

What I'm thinking about doing to try to ensure I don't get too far ahead of myself, is drive the Buick for a week and avoid the Eldorado completely. I'll let mom drive it and stay out of it. That way I can get more of a feel of how it would be living with a Fleetwood on a daily basis.

Gary, I don't like the grille either. It would have to go, ASAP. The wheels are Vouges, so I could deal with them for a little while until I could find a set of Impala SS wheels to go on it.

OffThaHorseCEO
02-28-11, 03:04 PM
To purely answer your question. Today i wouldnt, when i was younger yes. What do i have to show for it? an uphill battle to fix my credit and tons of money down the drain.

Today, I would not buy a car if it meant having to get rid of the Saturn. To be honest, the SRX can go, the allante isnt going anywhere regardless of its reliability or lack thereof. However, if getting a car i like meant getting rid of the Saturn, no way. (The saturn looks like sh** anyway so noone would wanna buy it.)

To add to that, I CURRENTLY would not buy a car i couldnt get without having to get into payments. Its so nice to be able to pay all the bills with the first or second weeks paycheck and bank the rest.

Now to offer an opinion based on the content of the thread. I have no doubt you can make the car payments. Being able to make the car payments doesnt mean you can afford the car though. You still have to feed yourself,put gas in the car, worry about what would happen if a tire (or 2) blows and worry about what would happen if work slowed down drastically. Reliability isnt the only factor either. Your current car is paid in full. that means you could stop working today and only have to worry about gas and incidentals. Nobody can take that car away from you now.

If you get the fleetwood and finance it, and end up not being able to make the payments, you lose the fleetwood and still dont have an eldo

Playdrv4me
02-28-11, 03:33 PM
There is no financing involved here in any way shape or fashion. I thought I mentioned that earlier. He would trade or sell his Eldo to get the Fleetwood he wants.

OffThaHorseCEO
02-28-11, 03:39 PM
ah ok. scratch anything in my comment relating to payments

ga_etc
02-28-11, 04:55 PM
The Fleetwood would be bought outright. I know the last thing I need right now is a car payment, plus I have no desire for one.

Destroyer
02-28-11, 10:40 PM
Your "want" car is a better and more pratical car than you "known good car". It will prove to be this way in the upcoming years. Get rid of the Eldo now while you still like it or it will make you turn to the dark side like it did me and countless others. :sneaky::bonkers::cool2:

ga_etc
02-28-11, 10:49 PM
It would break my heart before it made me so jaded.

Aron9000
03-01-11, 01:26 AM
Does your Eldorado have those expensive electronic struts? At 130k miles, its probably going to be sooner rather than later that those will need to be replaced. Not to mention the ever looming headgaskets that will need attention. I'm convinced those eventually fail on every Northstar, it might be at 50k, 150k, or 250k, its just a roll of the dice you take with these things.

As far as that FWB, if its got maintenance records and its a good price, jump on it. Don't care for the grill or wheels, but its the right color and low mileage. The LACK of a vinyl roof is another huge selling point IMO.

ga_etc
03-01-11, 02:28 AM
Yes, the Eldorado has the CVRSS. Standard on the ETC. I don't know if the Fleetwood has records or not, but supposedly it's a one owner car, 139k, Brougham package, factory sunroof, factory CD, and vinyl delete. Those option, plus the black over tan leather color combo make it a pretty damn rare car. I'm not completely sold though. To pick it up I would have to let the ETC go for way under what I know it's worth.

Aron9000
03-01-11, 02:58 AM
Personally I'd pass on it since it has a sunroof. The one in my 1991 rattles(I've fixed it two different times for two different rattles, now something else in the headliner is rattling) A gear stripped and it got stuck open. I managed to get it closed but it doesn't open now. The sunshade is now stuck open and is hanging up on something. Not to mention there is a ton of wind noise with the sunshade open above 50mph.

Playdrv4me
03-01-11, 04:07 AM
Personally I'd pass on it since it has a sunroof. The one in my 1991 rattles(I've fixed it two different times for two different rattles, now something else in the headliner is rattling) A gear stripped and it got stuck open. I managed to get it closed but it doesn't open now. The sunshade is now stuck open and is hanging up on something. Not to mention there is a ton of wind noise with the sunshade open above 50mph.

If there's one thing I've strangely never EVER had break on any car it's the FACTORY sunroof. You sure that's not aftermarket? I've never had sunroof leaks either.

Aron9000
03-02-11, 02:18 AM
If there's one thing I've strangely never EVER had break on any car it's the FACTORY sunroof. You sure that's not aftermarket? I've never had sunroof leaks either.

It is indeed the factory astro-roof. Thank god its never leaked, knock on wood. I think the main reason I'm having so many issues is that it was one of the first cars ever offered with a sunroof. The car was originally designed in 1977, I know Cadillac/GM didn't bother to change much with this car. I doubt they'd change anything on a complex option that was ordered on only 2% of an already low volume car.

mhamilton
03-02-11, 10:20 AM
The Astroroof was around long before the 1977 models... as to whether they changed the design, I don't know...

ga_etc
03-02-11, 05:39 PM
I like the open air feeling it gives the car without having to fight with a convertible. However, on a day like today I would LOVE to have a 'vert. Perfect weather for one. *sigh*