My First Chase Vehicle: Whaddya Think of It?

The flood incident left a lingering residue of stinging stupidity. I simply was driving too fast to see it and lacked experience in recognizing that flat pool of water until it was too late. It did generate a nice tsunami, though. I had declined the insurance, but the rental agency (Budget, back when it was attached to Sears Roebuck) even paid for the tow.

This perhaps underscores the experience factor mentioned above; even though I was 40 and had been chasing for a few years, I was unprepared for conditions left by storms. I was fortunate to have not damaged another vehicle or have caused an injury.

The van is simply miraculous---it looks every year of its age, but keeps my business (which involves a lot of interstate driving) rolling without car payments or high insurance premiums. I figured it would make 600,000 miles this year, but now it looks like it will be January 2006.

Other than keeping it oil-changed and tuned, I deserve no credit for this longevity. Support your local machinists and mcehanics; they are artists, in my opinion.

Dave Gallaher
Huntsville, AL
Originally posted by nickgrillo

My future car (05 GT $20K) -- I will be riding this the next time anybody sees me :)
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And a couple of months later:

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FWIW...The base model is $20,000. The GT is significantly higher. If a dealer is offering you a GT for $20,000, you need to check the deal over really close and see what you are getting.
Alright, here's an excellent example on me buying a crap <$1,000 car with 200,000 miles:

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Naw, I think I'll buy a better car... I don't plan on dying right now.
Why do you (and everyone else) equate buying a good used car as buying a POS? Make's no sense at all. OK, reasons not to buy a Mustang (or any sport car) as a chase vehicle:

1: Horrible performance on wet pavement.
2: Even worse performance on dirt and gravel roads.
3: Wet dirt and gravel roads, or muddy roads...don't even try.
4: No room for anything as far as equipment goes.
5: Poor visibility (small windows and numerous blindspots).
6: Did I mention horrible performance on wet pavement? The rear end, like all Mustangs since the introduction of the Fox Body in 1979.
7: Poor gas mileage. (very important with todays gas prices)
8: This (2004 Mustang GT)

Mustangs are just not built for chasing. They are built for cruising chicks, racing, getting poor gas mileage, expensive repairs, and good roads...and except for the cruising chicks part, chasing does not involve this.

One of my neighbors has an 04 Mustang, and I have driven it out here on the gravel anything greater than 30MPH, every bump sends the rear end jumping. But's your money and your decision. Sometimes people only learn from experience. Good luck.
Well, several other chasers besides Mike Hollingshead chased in stangs (and I know them too)... No problems that I've ever heard of.

Originally posted by Mike Hollingshead
I will say that I've liked the sporty cars for chasing(01 Mustang now and my old 96 Probe GT). For all that driving it sure is nice to feel glued to the road. I can think of a few corners I probably wouldn't have made in any other kind of car.

It's safe to say Mike has chased quite a few times in his stang.
Yes Nick...what was I thinking. Only 22 years of driving, 20 years of chasing, and 17 years of building and driving performance cars (not to mention rally and circle track racing), including 3 seperate Mustangs that I have owned and performance built myself here. I guess I have no clue at all what I am talking about. I apologize for offering you any advice.

Have fun.
Originally posted by Chris Sokol
Yes Nick...what was I thinking. Only 22 years of driving, 20 years of chasing, and 17 years of building and driving performance cars (not to mention rally and circle track racing), including 3 seperate Mustangs that I have owned and performance built myself here. I guess I have no clue at all what I am talking about. I apologize for offering you any advice.

Have fun.

I don't even know why I post here.

Chris, no... I didn't mean that. I like Mustangs. I like sports cars. I like fast things. Numerous chasers have chased in fast things. They have the same problems with stangs as they would with a Ford tempo. I'm not saying you know nothing... I'm just mentioning how I don't want a cheap car... I'm not a creative person when it comes to cars / fixing them up. I'm sure you know a lot about cars, and I am surely not knocking you down--I'm just stating that I like these cars a lot. That's all...
I'm gonna chime in on this since I bought a used "POS" car... my 1999 Mercury Tracer; the Ford Escort in disguise, was bought with 35,700 miles on it in April of 2002. She's been a great car and reliable and now with a newer engine, hopefully surviving for another couple of years.

My thoughts on a car; you can chase in anything with wheels, regardless of what it is. People chase in SUVs and vans for space, but I've effectively proven that even in a small car, you can comfortably chase with two people and all your gear ready to grab. While it takes a little creativity, it can be done.

When I looked for my first car (after my van), I wanted something easy and inexpensive to maintain, something I knew would be reliable with good gas mileage, and obviously something I wasn't worried about physically beating to death. Thus came the Tracer.

Obviously there are better choices out there in terms of traction, road handling, towing, yaddi yaddi yaddi, but for my money, I was concerned with something that wasn't going to cost a fortune (including insurance), and something that would get me out and back safely each time. Granted, it doesn't 4 wheel through the mud and may not handle as well on wet roads as a sports car, but if you know how to drive, then those issues won't arise (i.e. avoid mud roads and don't drive like an idiot on wet roads).

I'll keep her til she ultimately dies, and I'm hoping that'll be another couple of years. My next car, I'll put a little more dough into, but for the considerations listed above, I'll definately be basing my choice. A vehicle is whatever you make of it; how you treat it, and how you drive it. Do those things well, and anything will work for you.

My two-cents... sort of! :lol:
Originally posted by rdewey
Here in Rochester Hills, Mustangs aren't cool anymore. We all drive Rolls and Bentley's now... :lol:

Actually... If Nick can afford to buy a Mustang, then more power to him. I hate when I see kids driving around \"daddy's\" car and acting like it's theirs...

Thanks... :lol:

And, please remember, I am NOT trying to offend people whom buy cheaper cars. I am not that kind of person who knocks people down for no reason. I am just stating that I don't wanna get myself stuck in the rocks in the middle of nowhere, in the path of a gigantic supercell (just out the cute little comic above) in the middle of southcentral KS.
Originally posted by Mickey Ptak
Nick quick question here, are you going to be paying for this vehicle and the insurance to cover it?


You bet I am... Just like I did with all of my equipment, my chasing costs (and yeah, that includes everything) and all the related. I make decent money...
Chris is right about the new Rustangs....the GT's sticker around $29k, and all the local dealers here in WI are tacking on a local mark-up of some kind, usually $1k. I've been looking hard at them, but I can't talk myself into $500 a month car payments.

If you find a '05 GT for $20k, run away from away. It's been stolen, joy-ridden, chased and crashed or just crashed. The used car market is going to be flooded (no pun intended) with cars from the Gulf Coast and Florida after this hurrican season. Buyer Beware.

However, what's so wrong with powerful RWD cars for chasing? Yuppy SUV's and FWD tin can's are about the only things people seem to think about these days. I've got two B body GM's...a 1990 Caprice 9C1 (cop car) and 1995 Impala SS. Both are "evil" RWD cars that handle the road and have predictable performance. I wouldn't give them up for anything. My Caprice has over 185k miles on it, with no mechanical issues to speak of...and it was in police service for the first 2 years of it's life.

If Nick wants to buy a Rustang and chase with it, then let him. He can pay the $30k for it, 'cuz I'm not until they hit the used market for ~$15-20k. I chase here in the midwest with my 10 year old Impala SS, which I've lightly modded but it's still very streetable and is a great car to chase in...tons of room, tons of power and still gets 25 mpg with a 300+ hp 350ci V8. My 9C1 is the weekend driver, since it's in too nice of shape to go core punching with.

Moral is: who cares? It's not our decision. Nick, if you want to get a 'stang GT and chase with it then more power to you.
Nick, I am honestly just trying to help you out here.

If you like fast cars, want something reliable, and want it to look good for cruising, and also perform for chasing, then I have the perfect solution. Subaru WRX or WRX STI. Hot performance, all wheel drive, looks good, and buying a used one (yes used...not POS, but used) is not too cost prohibitive.

This car is available in Chicago for $18,995:


2004 Impreza WRX Turbo/AWD

Miles: 47883 Doors: 4 doors or more
Transmission: Manual Interior: Gray
Engine: 4 - Cyl. Year: 2004
Warranty: No VIN Number: JF1GD296X4G506444

Title: Clear Exterior: Blue
Condition: Used
Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged H4 DOHC 16V FI Intercooled

CD Player Passenger Airbag Driver Airbag Anti-Lock Brakes
Cruise Control Power Windows Air Conditioning Power Locks

That is a perfect vehicle for you. The upgrade options, both in performance and looks, are almost limitless. With a little work:


Perfect car for work and play.