My First Chase Vehicle: Whaddya Think of It?

Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
558
Location
Independence, MO
Well, it's done. After months of searching and having two cars that I really wanted to purchase get sold out from under me, I have found my first car, as well as my first chase vehicle. Here it is:
CLICK HERE
It's a burnished gold 1990 Mercedes Benz 300TE wagon with 4Matic all wheel drive, power everything, leather and wood interior, third row seat that folds out of the load floor to carry 7 in a pinch, heated front seats, sunroof, just had $4500 in maintenance done on it (which I means I shouldn't have to put anything into it for a while, which makes me very happy) and 66,266 certified original miles. It has a clean title, never having been involved in any accidents. You'd think this would be like a nine or ten thousand dollar car, right? Well, I got it for a grand total of $7,400 after taxes. :shock:
It is a really nice one owner car, and the price was right too! The nice thing about this is with the low miles I should be able to drive this car through college, and with the 4Matic option the dealer told me resale should level off at about $5,000 and not depreciate any further even if I put 200,000 or more miles on it, the higher resale will be very nice when I sell this car down the road.
With the 3.0 liter V6 it gets about 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway for an average of 22 mpg, which is pretty good mileage for a mid-sized wagon that weighs in at just under 4,000 pounds. It has a 19 gallon gas tank and a range of almost 400 miles, which is a good thing to have for those long chase days when you need to get from here to there without having to stop and refill too many times in between. The only thing it doesn't have is a keyless remote entry/start system, but I'm going to get an aftermarket one (good ones run about $80, they're pretty inexpensive) and install it. The bottom line is this: It won't eat me alive in gas commuting back and forth to school or chasing like a Pathfinder or Explorer would, since it is a fifteen year old car I don't need to be too concerned about hail dents, it has all wheel drive to cope with greasy, sloppy dirt roads during chase season and icy, snowpacked highways during the winter, and with 77 cubic feet of cargo room, I can haul a ton of friends, a ton of stuff, or a combination of both. I'm pretty happy that I got such a nice car so dirt cheap. :D
 
Mark:
That might possibly be the longest URL I have ever seen!
Congrats on the new chase vehicle - looks comfortable and should be very roomy for all your equipment.
15 years old and still has styling effects similar to current models. That's what I like about the Mercedes/BMW/Jaguar, etc., they don't look obsolete two years after you buy one.
Enjoy!
 
Mark:

Wow...a VERY nice ride for your first car. Germans sure know how to build one. My comment is that I hope nothing serious breaks on the road, as it might cost a bit more to fix on the road. Sounds like it's fixed up pretty good, so there shouldn't be any issues.

Congrats!

Man, when I turned 16, my first car was a yellow 1967 Ford Farelane four door with an in-line six for $600. Horrible car to take on a date, as somebody threw up on the carpet in the rear seat area in it's previous life, and when it got warm outside...hooo boy.

Oh, that and my monster Heathkit 20 meter tube-type monobander bolted under the dash in the front kept the girls away.

:roll:

Tim
 
Sure beats my first car...a 1968 Pontiac Catalina.

If I were using that for chasing, my only concern would be....can you get parts for it if you break down in the plains?
 
I thought Nick was just the only person who would chase storms in a Mercedes! Looks very good....just watch out for those volleyball hail stones! :wink:
 
Agreed, very nice car at a great deal! Take care of it and it'll take care of you. Just remember though, all-wheel drive isn't the same as four wheel drive, so don't overestimate it's ability to tackle muddy roads. I've gotten stuck before in mud that didn't look that bad, but once I hit it, I just couldn't get any traction (with 31" mud tires and in low gear four wheel). In all, I think that's probably one of the best cars you coulda gotten.

My first car was a '96 Nissan Hardbody truck. Always been a Nissan buff, but you just about can't beat a Benz. If I could get one for chasing, definately would have to be a G-wagon. German military knows how to get through tough roads.
 
Sure beats my first car...a 1968 Pontiac Catalina.

If I were using that for chasing, my only concern would be....can you get parts for it if you break down in the plains?

At least you wouldnt have to worry about hail dents on that tank, David!

Mike R.
W4UAV
 
'67 Cadillac was my first car. Man was it a tank...huge, solid stell machine. It smoked like a chimney. I sometimes wonder if that car alone caused global warming.
 
You guys better watch out for the thread jack sirens to start sounding, lol. I can feel it coming.

When I bought mine I was thinking chicks. A lot of good that did.

The awd wagon should be good for chasing.
 
That's a pretty chi-chi ride for chasing. My question is - how do you feel about hail damage? If you're trying to avoid hail, you'll be adding a ton of difficulty to an already difficult activity, especially for a new chaser.

On the other hand, if hail isn't a concern, then sweet. You'll be the pimp daddy of the new class :wink:
 
Seriously, that is not a bad price... $7,500 is a fair price for your first car. As for me purchasing a Mercedes, no -- I plan on buying a Mustang GT in the next few monthes. You can get a brand new 05 model for like $20K -- which isn't that expensive -- considering that most NEW cars are that price anyways.

My future car (05 GT $20K) -- I will be riding this the next time anybody sees me :)
<img src=http://bradbarnett.net/mustangs/timeline/05/05/0914-45.jpg>
 
Nick you have to be sure to plow through the first core possible so you know you won't be a pansy with it while chasing. I bought mine new and had hail damage before it was even licensed...in October no-less. Buying a real nice ride for chasing that you don't want any dings in is silly imo.

Also, I don't really have any plans on buying something brand new again. 5 years of car payments really sort of sucks(have fun). I've had car payments for the last 11 years straight now. When mine is paid off I'm driving it till the doors fall off. Errrrrr wait, no I'm not. I'm trading it for something that is not rear-wheel drive as that was the dumbest thing I could have done as a chaser(did it twice too).
 
Even if you can afford a new Mustang, the insurance (at your age) will practically double your car payment. Over the course of your payment period, between financing and insurance, you're paying for two brand new Mustangs.

Something to think about before you end up in a 5-12-05...cause eventually it will happen.
 
Seriously, that is not a bad price... $7,500 is a fair price for your first car.

Not to pick on you but IMHO that really is far to much. The fact that you are a 16-year-old male you have one of the highest chances of getting into an accident and that being due to your experience behind the wheel or the lack there of. Now, that is statistically speaking of course. You also have to consider your insurance cost. It is going to be VERY high and again it's because you are 16 and you are a male.

When my son turns 16 I'm dang sure not going to buy him a $7,500 car. Nope he is going to get $1,500 to $2,000 car. At least until he gains some experience behind the wheel. Then I might buy him a better car pending is maturity level and accident history.

Unless you have a money tree in your back yard (If you do what is your address LOL) then $7,500 is way too much for a first car.

Mick
 
LOL... I can understand that a lot of kids my age can be bad drivers, but we are all individuals too. I'm not gonna be drag racing my ass on Gratiot Ave. and get my car smashed up and thrown in jail for reckless driving. I never understand why kids my age bother with the POS $1,000 cars... Your gonna end up spending thousands to get the pieces of crap fixed / redone -- only to end up getting another car soon after. It always seemed like that to me (everybody I know)... So, screw that -- get a nice car and stay with it for >4 years. I just don't see the reason to throw out a grand to buy a POS car, spend thousands to fix it up, only to probably still send it to the junkyard soon after -- makes absolute ZERO sense.
 
I'm in agreement with Mickey.

I have two daughters in college, and I got each of them a 1991 Chevy Cavalier when they turned 16. Why?

1. Cavaliers are INCREDIBLY cheap to fix when/if they have a "little problem" Engine parts cost are next to nothing, and all the auto parts houses have what I needed.

2. I paid $250 for one, and $500 for the other. Throw away costs for a car.

3. They are VERY reliable.

Only issue I had was with the boss (my wife). Her comment:

"Well....I see you went out and spent $$$$$$$$ on that fancy new CAMCORDER you just HAD to have...and our precious daughters are driving THIS???....You are so cheap!!"

Actually, it was the best thing I ever did...what I had forecasted....happened.

8)

Tim
 
LOL... I can understand that a lot of kids my age can be bad drivers, but we are all individuals too. I'm not gonna be drag racing my ass on Gratiot Ave. and get my car smashed up and thrown in jail for reckless driving. I never understand why kids my age bother with the POS $1,000 cars... Your gonna end up spending thousands to get the pieces of crap fixed / redone -- only to end up getting another car soon after. It always seemed like that to me (everybody I know)... So, screw that -- get a nice car and stay with it for >4 years. I just don't see the reason to throw out a grand to buy a POS car, spend thousands to fix it up, only to probably still send it to the junkyard soon after -- makes absolute ZERO sense.

That's because you have no appreciation for fixing up vehicles and customizing them. I personally like my vehicle with a little character; not some bland piece of stamped out crap. I like to put my heart and soul into my vehicle.

A $7,500 vehicle may be a bit 'spensive, but it is a station wagon, and not some sports car, which may help...I thought Mercedes were also safe, as well. Besides being 16, the only thing I can think of that would jack the prices up is because of parts (in the event of an accident) due to it being a foreign vehicle. Could just get liability only.

My first truck was a $500 1986 Chevy S-10 Durango. Still own it; however the first vehicle I drove on the road after I had my license is my even older 1973 Chevrolet crew cab; also $500. Still driving it, and hopefully will for a very, very long time. I have no interest in newer cars or trucks. They are rather boring.
 
I just don't see the reason to throw out a grand to buy a POS car, spend thousands to fix it up, only to probably still send it to the junkyard soon after -- makes absolute ZERO sense.

We just "blew" a grand on a "POS" car. It's a car I've been driving over a year, already put 20,000 miles on, and has 135,000 overall miles. It gets about 400 miles to the tankful, which means I can fill it up for under $30 even with gas over $2/gallon. It's a Nissan, which means, with regular maintainence, it will run...forever. Because it's a 1993 Sentra, my insurance is cheap as well. Is this car much to look at? No. But it's cheap to fuel, comfortable on long trips, doesn't cost me out the butt to insure, and it's the last car a cop would look twice at. Oh yeah, the only thing that's had to be replaced on it in 135,000 miles is an alternator.

Your inexperience in life shows well in this thread. Your perceptions of what is and isn't regarding the purchase of a vehicle are black and white. Cars are a tool, not a fashion statement or accessory. Most people who live on Earth worry about reliablility first. Because a vehicle isn't much to look at doesn't mean it's a POS. What's UNDER the hood is what counts, regardless of the package. Not every car for a grand is a waste of money, and NO car for a grand is waste for a teenager.

Just like you say - you get one shot (4 years) with a new car. If you wreck it, if it gets stolen (2005 Mustangs are a wonderfully popular target in the great city of Detroit), or you simply do what every adult on here knows you will, and just run it into the ground so far the resale/trade value plummets to subterrainian levels, you're done. You're walking, and still paying thousands on a car you no longer have. Or at least your parents are.

When my car dies, I'll be walking too....to the dealership to get another one.
 
Man, I should have known not to reply to this type of thread... I got several replies to my original post on how buying a new / nice car is a wrong choice for a 16 year old, so I replied to that. To be honest, can you name me ONE SINGLE teenager who DIDN'T want a nice car? No, every single damn kid wants a nice car... The problem is, who can afford and be able to get one. I'd like to have a new car (or close to one, with low mileage) so I know for a fact my ass will NOT be breaking down in the path of a gigantic supercell. Anyways, there is no point arguing... So bye!
 
I have to question parents in this situation too. Who will allow their teenage son to buy (or finance through them) a brand new, or older nice, car knowing full well that car will end up in the middle of the plains on a chase day getting the crap thrashed out of it?

An additional question I pose is who here had parents who would let them drive out to the plains to interact with something as potentially dangerous as a severe thunderstorm and its related driving conditions, let them stay in motels in the middle of nowhere, and be gone to do all of this for multiple days?
Am I too conservative?

I still like the Mercedes and congratulate you on your ability to get one at 16 years old. Enjoy it!
As for the Mustang, you can have it - those things are death traps in the rain.
 
I have to question parents in this situation too. Who will allow their teenage son to buy (or finance through them) a brand new, or older nice, car knowing full well that car will end up in the middle of the plains on a chase day getting the crap thrashed out of it?

An additional question I pose is who here had parents who would let them drive out to the plains to interact with something as potentially dangerous as a severe thunderstorm and its related driving conditions, let them stay in motels in the middle of nowhere, and be gone to do all of this for multiple days?
Am I too conservative?

Gee, I dunno... Maybe the parents of smart kids, who knew what they are doing when it comes to chasing severe storms? Please don't even get started on that subject...
 
An additional question I pose is who here had parents who would let them drive out to the plains to interact with something as potentially dangerous as a severe thunderstorm and its related driving conditions, let them stay in motels in the middle of nowhere, and be gone to do all of this for multiple days?
Am I too conservative?

I don't think you are to conservative Steve. I wouldn't let my son go out for weeks on end chasing at the age of 16. Not that I am judge Nick's parents because granted Nick was with a responsible adult. But again not my son there is now way in hell.

Nick

I was not picking on you just giving you advise because I too was once a 16 year old and I know what was on my mind then. I can just see you focusing on the storm and not the road. I would rather not see that happen to you man.

Mick
 
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