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December 20, 2005

Which Leads Us to a Question


As part of our Red Hook living negotiation (in which Lex worried that I would feel isolated in the neighborhood and have trouble coping with the lack of amenities-- a good concern but one that is livable until the Fairway arrives, if it ever does), we agreed to entertain the purchasing of a used car. This probably will not happen until the spring, however we have already begun researching what type of car that we might need and how to acquire it.

What kind of car can withstand the wilds of Brooklyn? Which is the least likely to be broken into? Furthermore, which is the cheapest to repair?

Posted by callalillie at December 20, 2005 9:55 AM | Random , Red Hook


The entire time I lived in Brooklyn I had a 1994 Oldsmobile Achieva. No one bothered it...but I did put the club on it and not keep a stitch of anything IN the car that you could see. At some point when I had some issues with the car doors not ahem unlocking...I left it unlocked. No issues. But I lived off Ocean Parkway near Coney...and it was a pretty good area. I'd go with American made, 6 thousand dollar car or something that is hardworking and dependable but not pretty. But I must say in the's all about luck.

Posted by: Sue at December 20, 2005 10:08 AM

What kinds of cars do folks in your neighborhood have?

Posted by: jenn at December 20, 2005 10:17 AM

unfortunately, your three questions are somewhat mutually exclusive.

- most any decent car can withstand the wilds of Brooklyn if the diver takes care to avoid 40 mph pothole excursions - a humvee will stand up better than a yugo, however.

- not leaving ANYTHING out in view and not having a radio/cd player will lessen your chances of getting broken into (though not being stolen), but not having music makes for fairly tedious road trips. there is no make that might be less a target than others - a few years back Hyundais were popular for break-ins because they used generic radios that could be installed in other cars. most any car is a target for the airbag to be ripped off as many cost over $,1,000 to replace.

- hondas and toyotas will be the least repair prone and (possibly) cheapest to maintain, but they are also the more popular cars for theft.

Posted by: bobtrancho at December 20, 2005 10:18 AM

That's a good question-- there are a variety, from brand new Passats to your general shitboxes. There's a lot of parking here and car generally look untouched...though every so often you find a burned out car somewhere, probably stolen and then torched after a joyride, etc.

Posted by: corie at December 20, 2005 10:19 AM

hondas seem to last forever.

Posted by: tien at December 20, 2005 11:05 AM

I'm all about the used Honda Civics. You can beat them up to hell and they keep running. No car is safe from being broken into, I'm afraid to say.

Posted by: phc at December 20, 2005 11:14 AM

I'd go for an old honda...with worn looking exterior but sound engine. They do last for many, many miles if you take care of them. I had a friend whose Honda got over 300,000 miles and THEN he sold it for about $400. Gotta love a car like that.

Posted by: xath at December 20, 2005 11:33 AM

I have a 1999 Daewoo which I street park here in the Slope. No club. Barely an alarm. It's a standard transmission (most thieves can't figure out how to work it). It's a bit rusty and beat up. I got it for $1600 (I paid a bit too much). Insurance is about $600 annually. It's great on gas BUT the exhaust system was so cheaply made that it got very very rusty and I have had many a problem trying to keep it patched together just to pass inspections. This past summer I spent about $900 merely trying to pass the inspection. Since I plan on moving in a year, I just need to get 1 more year out of the car to justify the recent repair expense. So though the lil Daewoo has served me well, and I know that NO thief in their right mind would steal it, if I had to do it again, I would have purchased a Dodge Neon or someother small American shitbox.

Posted by: Nick at December 20, 2005 12:04 PM

Hmm. Is there any info out there on how to buy a used car if you don't know anything about cars?

Posted by: corie at December 20, 2005 2:51 PM

I know I live in LA so my advice may not be of the best use, but I live in a rough area of the city. I drive a 1994 Nissan Maxima purchased for $2000. She has 230,000 miles and once I fixed her up she really runs well, though gas mileage is not that great. There are several early nineties Nissans in my neighborhood parked on the street and they never seem to have problems. I would reccommend mid to late 90's Nissans, they're not as popular as Hondas or Toyotas but they're cheaper and seem to do just as well.

Posted by: Anika at December 20, 2005 2:55 PM

Older hondas have worked out well for me in the past. I had an '83 accord that I put over 90K miles on. Parts were cheap and easy to find.

Posted by: Dennis at December 20, 2005 3:47 PM

check craigslist or

Posted by: phc at December 20, 2005 3:54 PM

My boyfriend had a '90 Taurus for four years before it died on him. No one touched it, nor were there ever any signs of it being touched.

Posted by: astrid at December 20, 2005 6:39 PM

Mid-90s ford escort station wagon. Lugs, chugs, and has nothing a thief wants. Fixes are cheap and it's good in snow, strangely.

Posted by: Will at December 20, 2005 6:57 PM

what about an old Renault LeCar? automotive perfection!

Posted by: jamie at December 20, 2005 7:46 PM

I had an Escort in Wisconsin and it was awesome in the snow.

I have a piece of shit Neon now. Don't get one. it'll break down. A lot. They are also easy to break into, not that anyone has ever broken itno mine given that it is a piece of shit Neon.

Posted by: biz at December 20, 2005 10:25 PM

I'd have to say if you're looking for dependable you must go with either honda or toyota.. both companies produce fantastic cars that will go a loooong way for your buck.. especially if you're looking into used. i'd suggest getting a manual over automatic though, to avoid potentialy costly transmission problems.

Posted by: Jessica at December 21, 2005 10:14 AM

i used to park my old 1992 saab 9000 cse in the slope when i would visit sam (pre-prius days) and it was always fine. i never even bothered to put the club on, even though i had one.

it was kind of pricy to fix though.

and actually, its sitting in my parents driveway in mass. waiting to figure out if we want it back or not (i don't think we do), so if you're looking to buy, you could get a good price on it I'm sure.

Posted by: dahl at December 21, 2005 4:49 PM

I'm partial to a late model Hyundai Excel with no reverse. However, a 1989 Navy Blue Mercury Cougar is always fun...

Oh yeah, I took it back... waaaaaaay back...

Posted by: Jason at December 22, 2005 5:50 PM

Jason, I was just singing the following this afternoon and thinking of you...


Posted by: corie at December 22, 2005 6:22 PM

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