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Old 01-11-2022, 01:05 PM   #1
qwikz28
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Worst Automotive Decisions You've Made

I saw a similar thread on another forum the other day and it has me thinking, what bad automotive decisions have you made? I'm curious as to your worst automotive decisions both with respect to your current or past F-Body or other vehicles and the lesson you took from that mistake. Here's mine:

1. Modifying my first car, a 2002 Camaro Z28, my father purchased for me brand new when I was 16 in stupid ways. First I spent a lot of time and money tearing apart the stereo system when all I wanted was a million dollar stereo system to blare music in. I ended up chopping up all of my stock wiring in the process. Second, I spent a ton of money trying to turn this thing into a race car multiple times over. Lessons are still being learned to this day because I've now owned the car going onto 20 years and I plan on spending even more money this winter (see you soon, Josh) turning the car back into a relatively comfortable cruiser for swift backroad blasts around the area with the kids. I think all in, even after reducing for money earned from the sale of parts taken off the car, I'm probably out over $50,000 in mods and costly repairs to this car caused by the mods. I'm an idiot. Lesson learned here is to enjoy what you have, get the right tool for the job, and realize major mods won't increase your enjoyment of the car proportionate to the cost (other than the little things like suspension, exhaust, wheels and tires).
2. Selling my 2011 Saab 9-3 XWD and leasing a 2016 Cadillac CTS. Nothing wrong with the Cadillac, but I loved that Saab and it really just needed some minor engine work to last me another 80k miles. Since then, I've really only been driving stock commuter type cars that haven't been fun or eye-catching. Lesson learned here is that I enjoy quirky cars more than I enjoy good cars and leasing sucks.
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Old 01-11-2022, 03:25 PM   #2
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Similar with my '01 SS. I put a ton of work into it, then it ended up getting parked while I was in the army. I was barely able to enjoy it so I decided to sell it. Sometimes I wish I kept it but if I had, I would have never got to experience other cars I owned after that. Over the years I got to have all types of cars, v8, v6, I4 turbo, auto manual 4x4 etc etc.. and I really got to learn what I liked and didn't like.



I think I also recently avoided another bad automotive decision... LS swapping my 88 GTA. Yes, everyone loves a good ole LS swap, but for me, I realized I didn't need it. The car is very original, even though it needs a few things, but with all the money to get it LS powered, and even if it had 500+hp to be fun, it wouldn't be practical. I couldn't daily drive it, I couldn't put my family in it, and once again it would sit in a garage, not at my house and collect dust like my SS did. That's why I'm no longer concerned about a project car(I have enough already) and I want a car that I can go to shows with, where i can bring my family IN the car itself. I want to be able to go on trips to visit family/friends in MY car, not always having to take my wifes car.
My new car will be something that I hope to keep for at least 10 years.
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:32 AM   #3
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I don't really have any big regrets. Closest I got is when we were house shopping i passed on a mint 79 TA anniversary car. Easily my favorite firebird ever. They have jumped in value like 10x since then. I missed a deal on another one in 2020 but i was on vacation and could not act.
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Old 01-12-2022, 12:48 PM   #4
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All about perspective so tough to say given one issue could lead towards something good.

The Hellcat purchase was a mistake on paper as the car and service network left much to be desired. However, I met some great people from it and when the car worked it was damn fun. It led me to getting into the C7Z which I really enjoyed so again, all about perspective.

For my E55, I probably should have skipped that car as I got the bug for one and could have searched a bit more for a nicer model. Also, I should have delayed getting some of the cosmetic issues more up to my standard as it really didn't net any major value increase but did make it easier to sell. As opposed to going with replacing the failed cats which were a bit of a nightmare to swap (sorry Chris/Adam), long tubes would have been better overall. For all I know the manifold studs would have broken off so perhaps it still was the better of the options. I got a good taste of used german car ownership and unlikely I will get into one again unless "passion" takes over.

Moving on to the 81 TTA, I should have been more engaged on the project as the car sat and lingered for a bit as my Dad was doing what he could to keep it moving. Life happens and the car sat but as of this year, it's getting back on track and snowballing nicely. Also, should have ditched the carb on it very early but I did not know the full magic of Holley at that time. Don't half ass something, always whole ass.

Next, I got the itch to do some reasonable/simple mods to the V3. Expectations were set and a healthy amount of dollars spent for initially very meh results. Everything got sorted to a much more acceptable result but solidifies my notion that nothing is ever easy or goes as planned (regardless of how much you try).

The last item is not taking enough time to go enjoy my toys. Go driving, racing, etc.

Everything else I chalk up to knowingly wasting $ on the hobby which is just par the course.
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:08 PM   #5
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I've won some battles and lost some battles. In the end, no regrets worth getting into.
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:37 PM   #6
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1) paying carchex to inspect a car for me (they missed a 2nd gear grind and huge hesitation??)
2) buying bad cars
3) selling my cobalt SS to some teenage who wrecked it in a few months
4) letting my ws6 sit neglected for over, sitting kills all cars
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:49 PM   #7
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Both new cars I purchased. It was a terrible time to buy used though. My WRX put me in a financial situation which led me to working weekends. I still work some weekends because I've gotten used to it. I missed a ton of family time and compound interest. The WRX is a perfect car for a school kid and I got it as a college graduation present to myself. It wasn't comfortable, it wasn't fast, it wasn't unique. It also got terrible gas mileage for what I used it for. It led me to getting a gas saver Camry which I almost immediately didn't need. I just sold it to Carvana for $18k with 30k miles and a lot of damage. I'm rocking a beater now and love it.
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Old 01-12-2022, 02:58 PM   #8
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1) paying carchex to inspect a car for me (they missed a 2nd gear grind and huge hesitation??)
2) buying bad cars
3) selling my cobalt SS to some teenage who wrecked it in a few months
4) letting my ws6 sit neglected for over, sitting kills all cars



Not gonna lie, kinda disappointed. Was expecting a few paragraphs of reading on this one... lol
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Old 01-12-2022, 06:35 PM   #9
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Not gonna lie, kinda disappointed. Was expecting a few paragraphs of reading on this one... lol
Hahaha the only BAD car I bought was an 07 outback on eBay that was local and cheap. Found out bad trans and it wasn't even the owner. The guy got it cheaper on eBay and relisted it immediately with the old pictures from the old ad. at least I was able to get a cheap trans and throw one in and still made money on it
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Old 01-13-2022, 08:07 AM   #10
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I present you, the Audi B5 S4.

I picked up prob the cleanest mid mileage S4 in the try state area. 40k, complete service records from delivery. Silver w. white interior. 6 speed. Car was a dream.

The second i through mods, and started really pushing it, it started to fail. Miserably. And not even like real mods. Intake, exhaust, downpipes, tune. No motor work or anything. Every week there was a new leak, or new noise, or new sensor gone bad.

The cars killshot was the 1-2 shift collars being reduced to atoms on a nice spirit run through 7 lakes drive in NY(IYKYK) leaving me to get home, about 40 minutes, with no 1st or 2nd gear. The collar failure blows the syncros to pieces, so it ends up being a full trans overhaul. less than a week after completing that, i was greeting to nice plumes of smoke from the exhaust. Smoked the turbos.

Car was sold shortly after.
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Old 01-13-2022, 08:45 AM   #11
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So many regrets!

1. sold a very nice 69 Mach 1 because the auto trans slipped a little and I wanted a 4 speed
2. bought a 69 Camaro 327/4 speed and promptly cracked the block when it froze. I mean who checks antifreeze in Virginia! Found out later it was not original (which was a 307), all good!
3. Sold a 69 El Camino for very cheap because the engine crapped out one day and I never could figure what it was.
4. sold a 65 C10 step side for $500 (what I paid), cause it was just hard to drive. I think it was the Corvette 327/muncie 4 speed the PO put in.
5. Throwing away original parts from my 69 Camaro SS, because I was stupid.
6. Letting my sister in law borrow anything because she always breaks it. (I do not do that anymore!)

Then I think I wised up by then and managed to make better choices

Here are some of the cars since you might want to see them can't find a C10 pic)
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Old 01-13-2022, 09:58 AM   #12
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My biggest mistake was not seeking out a clean 6 spd car years ago. I'm never truly happy with the car, but otherwise I think I did well. I'm pretty cheap, being a finance major and all, and with many hobbies try to keep all of my toys plug and play.
I should have done the suspension years earlier, the Strano/Koni/sway bars setup totally changes the car for not a whole lot of money. It's fun for a short ride to dinner but I yearn to row my own gears.
At this point, for the handful of days a year I drive it, it's enjoyable enough and the memories from 2001-2022 make me want to keep it in the garage. Everyone always says they regret their "first car" or one that's been in the family that long. It's been a part of my life and memories for 2/3 of my life.
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Old 01-15-2022, 08:48 AM   #13
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when i was young id buy a car and keep it for a year and repeat. many good cars gone but they always lead to an upgrade, finally leading to my first C5. once i had that i started working my way backwards and keeping most of them. now im left with a bunch of semi decent 90's-00's GM (one MOPAR) performance cars and no real time or money to invest in any major projects.... BUT i bought a nice house on a decent plot of land so they are all at home in one place finally.
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Old 01-18-2022, 06:58 PM   #14
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Selling my z28, not so much regretting the fact that I sold it after owning it for over 12 years, but it was the sale itself. I strategically picked my buyer. He lived in the next town over from me and said he was in the process of moving to central PA. Perfect I thought. I’d never have to see the car again, because who likes seeing a car they've sold that they’ve put time, money, sweat and bloody knuckles into. He bought it, and guess what- he must’ve decided not to move to PA and I had to see him sit in traffic in front of my job just about every single weekday for several months. I literally saw it deteriorate in a half a year- dent on the driver door, plasti-dipped the torq thrusts, seen it parked at a local Walmart in a downpour with the t-tops off- and the icing on the cake was seeing a stock hood back on it (I had a VFN Sunoco hood on it when I sold it). Basically stripped it of its character. Thinking of it angers me a bit lol.
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