: Counsel Sought - 2001 Catera Sport

01-28-06, 05:56 PM
Am shopping a "2001" Catera Sport priced at $7700. Car has under 40K miles however Carfax is worrisome, at least to me. No accidents, but it was first on lease for two years and then bounced around a LOT, without a long term fixed owner. The car has been auctioned six separate times! Through it all, car has held its appearance for the most part. Both interior and exterior are in good shape with only minor exceptions. Car has had some dealer prep: some leaks fixed, new pads, cleanup no doubt. Tires are decent, not new. It has desirable bells and whistles: Bose, sunroof, and the rest. Car has spent its life in the rust belt, the NE. So it has seen only salty winters.

Another confusing issue for me: the car carries a build date of 05/00. Can that really be a 2001 Catera? Were the 2001 cars built that early??

I badly need input: How does this price sound to the group? Should I continue to search or grab this car? Is it really a 2001?


01-29-06, 12:24 PM
I rarely chime in here, but I would strongly recommend you pass this car up. Multiple owners and such low mileage on a vehicle like this is a sure sign that the car has had some sort of major trouble that no one has been able to rectify and its spent time changing hands from person to person as the issues were unable to be resolved.

The price doesnt sound bad for the year and miles, but otherwise the ownership history concerns me. My 01 Seville SLS, which I owned before my current 98 STS had had 5 owners and the car had alot of small issues.

The build date thing is not an issue. Car companies sometimes begin Job1 production on a model very early in the previous calendar year. Unless something really screwy has happened, like a VIN plate being switched... if the title says 01, its an 01. If the VIN on the sticker with the build date matches the VIN plate, there is basically no possible way there is a discrepancy.

01-29-06, 04:00 PM
Thank you so much for taking your time to respond. I could not be more in need of input on this. It's a very tough situation and decision for me.

I embrace completely the rationale of the first portion of your comment. The thoughts you expressed precisely mirror my own worries.

On the second item, build date, my concerns are more Catera focused. My understanding, subject to wiser heads here, is they were making improvements to the car in an ongoing way. My gut says build date is more important than nominal model year. I dearly would like to locate a car MANUFACTURED in 2001, assuming these exist. Also, it would be a great help to know the month and year Ruesselsheim production of the Catera was halted. These are really Catera-specific concerns. I should know these things but I do not. Had hoped to find help on such matters in this forum.

Thanks again!