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What do you guys spend on your cars?

 
Old 07-04-2019, 07:18 PM
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I do not keep track of what I spend on my car.
I mean, I do not keep a spreadsheet on what I eat, either.

Working on my car and implementing harebrained ideas is something I really enjoy.
I enjoy eating, too.

Hell, between the garage rent, tools, upkeep, materials, parts, gas prices in Turkey, almost 6 to 1 currency rate, shipping costs and annual taxes, keeping track of costs would simply be demoralizing.
I am not in this hobby to get demoralized.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:01 PM
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Well said commie. I started keeping a spreadsheet and a wise man told me to just stop.

Fact is, every single sportscar around me cost 4x as much and I'm pretty certain I'm far prouder of my ride.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:46 PM
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More than any sane person would spend on a 29 year old non exotic car and WAY more than I'd admit to my wife.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
Nonsense!!! That's downright un-American!!



I pity my heirs.

The 1990 Turbo Miata is hands-down my favorite driver. If I feel like I've had enough go-kart, I'll take the Eldo for a couple of days. That balances things out. 500CID Eldos are surprisingly fun to drive in a different sort of way.

Love the answers guys. Hornetball...that garage...Much Jealous!!


How much time do you guys spend on the Miata / wrenching? As I'm in Boston, my interest in wrenching tends to ebb and flow with the weather. I can only imagine how much time I'll have to allocate toward hobbies after kids. I find that my project list is often exponentially more ambitious than my ability to execute.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by chitty chitty bang bang View Post
I find that my project list is often exponentially more ambitious than my ability to execute.
Same. Darn Craig's List!

I've got 3 simultaneous restorations going on right now, '74 Eldo, '66 Plymouth Sport Fury and '69 Lotus 61. Plus keeping everything else maintained and running.

I can't wait to get the '69 Lotus out on the track!
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:12 AM
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I used to buy/sell a lot of craigslist vehicles so I guess its second nature to track what I spend on all my cars.

A C5Z is one of the few cars I've considered moving into. I could buy a clean one with what I have into my NB (currently around $15k all-in for car + mods over the last 3 years), but I know I wouldn't be happy with one. The low running/maintenance costs of a Miata is one of the main reasons I love it. I can track it more often than I would be able to with anything else based on that fact alone. I also enjoy having something built by myself that is unique and different, even if it comes at a financial cost and isn't as fast in a straight line as other vehicles in its price range. I've thought about it a lot, but driving a stock C5Z doesn't really appeal to me. The only way it does is if I mod that car into the same expensive rabbit hole that my Miata is in with the major downside of vette parts being far more expensive (please refer to my previous running costs statement above on why this is an issue for me). I can’t count the number of times I've had people come over and say "Man, I usually hate miatas, but yours is incredible. Love what you've done with it!". That **** makes me happy. I love the thumbs up and smile reactions I get from kids and adults alike while street driving what everyone perceives as a "racecar" with all the aero bolted to it.

I daily drive the miata tow rig (a 2018 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 4x4) that I picked up last year for a steal with the heavy GM incentives. It’s comfortable, warrantied, can be driven year round in Wisconsin without issue, gets 20mpg hwy, can seat 6, tow whatever I need, haul whatever I need for home/yard projects. What more could you want? I've kept mods on the truck to very cheap and basic cosmetic items just to make it a little different than every other truck on the street and I'm happy with it.

Overall, I spend about $12k/year on cars in current state with a good chunk of that being payments on my truck to get it paid off early. On average I spend probably about $5k/year on what I'd call "fun car stuff" like track days or projects on the NB. It's a comfortable number to budget for me that still allows me to travel places with the GF on nice vacations, put away money in the 401k, build up the savings, and complete never ending home improvements.

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Old 07-09-2019, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by chitty chitty bang bang View Post
How much time do you guys spend on the Miata / wrenching? As I'm in Boston, my interest in wrenching tends to ebb and flow with the weather.
Luckily the weather has no impact on the majority of the wrenching I do as my garage is (primitively) heated and air conditioned. Time spent wrenching depends more so on time of year for me or depending on how much overtime I feel like working. The majority of the wrenching on the Miata specifically comes during the track off-season which is Dec-Feb for me. During the season it's just minor maintenance and small repairs. I do, however, have plenty of other vehicles that seem to always require some sort of fixing or maintenance, so I still feel like I never have enough time for everything haha.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by chitty chitty bang bang View Post

How much time do you guys spend on the Miata / wrenching?

There are times when I set foot in the garage and do not leave for 24 hours.

Ideally, I shoot for maximum garage time. There is a kitchen, a bathroom, tea making facilities, a pretty large ashtray and pretty well placed speakers, so I really do not suffer there.
A Piaggio Beverly 500 (also modded) comes in handy if I need to leave the car on the lift for a while.

I prefer making my own parts to purchasing kits and stuff, and that means my projects take longer, but as the Buddhists say, it is the journey for me.
I am just happy as a pig in mud when I am drawing, making mock-ups and wrenching...
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:42 PM
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Everything after rent, food and other life BS goes to entry fees, consumables, maintenance and occasionally upgrades. Seat time > healthcare
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBlack7 View Post
Seat time > healthcare
Seat time IS healthcare.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:50 AM
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I did 35 track days in the Miata in 2018 (plus three in my '07 S4). No way I could afford to do that with another car, so I don't really care how much it costs. I grenaded the oil pump at Summit Point in late September, and had already committed to a four day soiree at VIR at the beginning of November, to include a day on the Grand Course. I contacted The Parts Group and had them send me a partout motor. Cost was not really a factor. It was the fastest way to get her back on track. While I'd love to have a C7 Grand Sport, I'd rather have a **** ton of track time.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:16 PM
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I agree, that's a sharp looking NB.

I find myself browsing craigslist cars so frequently that the idea of buying and selling craigslist vehicles has entered my mind multiple times. What were your margins like? What price-points did you hover around? Did you carry debt or run it all cash? Did you get a dealer license? Was it worth the effort? Did you have the seller sign title over or simply pass it on to the buyer?


Originally Posted by Padlock View Post
I used to buy/sell a lot of craigslist vehicles so I guess its second nature to track what I spend on all my cars.

A C5Z is one of the few cars I've considered moving into. I could buy a clean one with what I have into my NB (currently around $15k all-in for car + mods over the last 3 years), but I know I wouldn't be happy with one. The low running/maintenance costs of a Miata is one of the main reasons I love it. I can track it more often than I would be able to with anything else based on that fact alone. I also enjoy having something built by myself that is unique and different, even if it comes at a financial cost and isn't as fast in a straight line as other vehicles in its price range. I've thought about it a lot, but driving a stock C5Z doesn't really appeal to me. The only way it does is if I mod that car into the same expensive rabbit hole that my Miata is in with the major downside of vette parts being far more expensive (please refer to my previous running costs statement above on why this is an issue for me). I canít count the number of times I've had people come over and say "Man, I usually hate miatas, but yours is incredible. Love what you've done with it!". That **** makes me happy. I love the thumbs up and smile reactions I get from kids and adults alike while street driving what everyone perceives as a "racecar" with all the aero bolted to it.

I daily drive the miata tow rig (a 2018 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 4x4) that I picked up last year for a steal with the heavy GM incentives. Itís comfortable, warrantied, can be driven year round in Wisconsin without issue, gets 20mpg hwy, can seat 6, tow whatever I need, haul whatever I need for home/yard projects. What more could you want? I've kept mods on the truck to very cheap and basic cosmetic items just to make it a little different than every other truck on the street and I'm happy with it.

Overall, I spend about $12k/year on cars in current state with a good chunk of that being payments on my truck to get it paid off early. On average I spend probably about $5k/year on what I'd call "fun car stuff" like track days or projects on the NB. It's a comfortable number to budget for me that still allows me to travel places with the GF on nice vacations, put away money in the 401k, build up the savings, and complete never ending home improvements.

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Old 07-10-2019, 03:22 PM
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I may have gone in a totally tangential direction.

I tracked down a Factory Five USRRC FIA 289 roadster still in project form with a coyote / getrag driveline for less than the price of a new kit. The cost is a little more than a miata v8 swap, with a space-frame chassis and 300lb weight loss to go with it.

This build also will be a great way to spend some time with my father, with whom I've discussed building a FFR vehicle for close to 20 years "one day". The fact that we will build the car will give me the satisfaction that it is built not bought, even if I keep it "unmodified", and I believe running costs are low, as the resultant product is far lighter than the original ~3500LB mustang the wearables are intended to handle.

I think I'm starting to fall down the N+1 rabbit-hole, as I will likely still keep the Miata.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:28 PM
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Start saving up for a proper garage . . . .
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:33 PM
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Your definition of proper may be different from my definition of proper!!!!
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by chitty chitty bang bang View Post
I find myself browsing craigslist cars so frequently that the idea of buying and selling craigslist vehicles has entered my mind multiple times. What were your margins like? What price-points did you hover around? Did you carry debt or run it all cash? Did you get a dealer license? Was it worth the effort? Did you have the seller sign title over or simply pass it on to the buyer?
You really have to stick to one type of vehicle if you want to be successful so you truly understand local market buy and sell price. Couple good friends of mine do really well with 99-02 silverados/sierras. I did 1000cc sport bikes for a while. Everything in cash. Title jumping is illegal and not really worth the hassle if you try it, so stay away from that. Didn't do enough volume in a year to warrant a dealer license in WI. I usually held myself to the "if I cant make $1000 on this minimum, it isn't worth it" mentality. I typically never spent more than a couple grand on any vehicle. Had one non-running bike I bought for $1800 and sold for $3500 after a $5 electrical repair and about 3 hours of diagnosing. Had tried a running Subaru Legacy GT that I picked up for $1900, it blew up twice in 8k miles, and I still sold it for $1500 not running after the second engine failure. Win some, lose some. Overall, I came out ahead. I just bought a house so I don't have the free flowing cash like I did back then, but I wouldn't mind dabbling in it again soon.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:27 PM
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I realize that I'm in the minority in this hobby, but I try to minimize my vehicular expenses. For a few years I was into sport motorcycles, including a VTEC VFR I bought brand new, but those were my only vehicles at the time, so still relatively modest. Then came the Miata as a toy/casual track car and convenient vehicle for someone who lived in a city where public transit is a viable option. I've used it to carry my mountain bike as well as a barbecue, and have driven it 600 miles in a day. It doesn't hurt that my work schedule has me commuting on average about 5 times per month. I lucked into a reliable but modest car that my parents gifted me after the dealer offered them $250 on trade. I drove that '04 Concorde to work, Costco, and as a general winter beater for nearly 3 years. Got $320 for it after a brake line blew.

Then I bought a house in the kind of suburb where people have horses, needed a more reliable car. Sought out a 2015 Mazda 3 Sport, found a nice one with RX-8 wheels on it whose first owner took good care of it and drove it little because he also owned an Audi and a Citroen DS.

My Swiss frugality took a hit in the shorts late last year when I decided to get into flying. Now I spend nearly CAD $300/hr to fly a 40 year-old little Cessna around in circles. If things go to plan, I'll one day be blowing my excess cash on a small sea plane or similar. Now that I'm a little older I have trouble justifying spending money on upgrading street vehicles which I'm forced to respect speed limits and surrounding traffic with.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by TalkingPie View Post
Now that I'm a little older I have trouble justifying spending money on upgrading street vehicles which I'm forced to respect speed limits and surrounding traffic with.
Ain't that the truth. For many years I wanted a 911. Now that I have the means to own one, I decided that they're no better for driving around in traffic than any other decent vehicle, and they're way too nice to work on the track the way that I want to do it. It's really just an ego thing, and I'm getting to the age where I don't really give AF what people think of my car.

My big-picture goal right now is to get a nice new truck to daily drive and tow the Miata to the track with. These modern half-tons are amazing technology. I took a rental V8 F-150 on a 500 mile trip earlier this week; got over 22 mpg, which is 3mpg better than the Sienna minivan I drive now. Capable of almost 2,000 lbs in payload, or towing 10,000+ lbs. Plus it was really fun to drive!
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:14 AM
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I also agree that spending money on street cars has very much taken a backseat as I've gotten older. More importantly, one reckless driving ticket could potentially be a career-ender for me. My "fast" street car sits in the garage more than anything as I now devote my time and money to the track car and am fine driving a boring commuter as I can get all my "aggressive" driving done on the track.

I occasionally consider selling all my cars (commuter, street car, older truck tow rig) for a nice new truck to daily drive and handle towing duties, but it's yet to happen. Too much sentimental attachment maybe? Either that or not having a car payment means I can spend more on the track car...
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:04 AM
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I agree, dumping money into a fast street car is somewhat pointless if it cannot be used to it's full potential, and the cost of reckless driving far out-weighs the fleeting burst of excitement it provides.

For me, a fun street car is still very important, and mostly that means something that I can have a visceral / emotional connection to. Part of that is the soundtrack from the engine and gearbox, and the only requirement is that it has to be topless. The reason is one can hop in and cruise at any given moment, rather than wait for the next event. For the limited number of track days that I attend, it can be excruciating to wait for the next event over the course of a year while juggling other hobbies and commitments.

Originally Posted by Quigs View Post
I also agree that spending money on street cars has very much taken a backseat as I've gotten older. More importantly, one reckless driving ticket could potentially be a career-ender for me. My "fast" street car sits in the garage more than anything as I now devote my time and money to the track car and am fine driving a boring commuter as I can get all my "aggressive" driving done on the track.

I occasionally consider selling all my cars (commuter, street car, older truck tow rig) for a nice new truck to daily drive and handle towing duties, but it's yet to happen. Too much sentimental attachment maybe? Either that or not having a car payment means I can spend more on the track car...
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