Home » I Bought My ‘Holy Grail’ Car After Searching For Four Years. Now I Don’t Want It Anymore

I Bought My ‘Holy Grail’ Car After Searching For Four Years. Now I Don’t Want It Anymore

Holg Grail Regret Vwe Passat
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Car enthusiasts love dreaming about the cars they could own if they had the money or were able to find one for sale. Everyone has their own “Holy Grail” — their automotive hero. I spent four years looking for my own white whale: A Volkswagen Passat TDI wagon with a manual transmission. Volkswagen never sold these cars in America with manuals, but some people went through the hard task of doing a swap. I finally found and bought my Holy Grail last year. I thought it was love at first sight, but after the honeymoon ended I don’t even want the car anymore. My Holy Grail is now buyer’s remorse.

If you haven’t noticed, we use the term “Holy Grail” around here a lot. In years past, David Tracy used to be obsessed with finding just one Jeep Grand Cherokee with a manual transmission. Then, he started finding bunches of them. It’s turned into a whole series here, Holy Grails, which is dedicated to highlighting the rare, weird, or special versions of often-common cars.

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Your favorite Autopian writers still have their own personal Holy Grails. David Tracy still loves those old Jeeps, but now he’s obsessed with the best versions of the BMW i3. I still have a fleet of Smarts, but Volkswagen, BMW, and Saturn have populated spots in my heart.

I spent four years looking for what I thought would be my ultimate diesel cruiser.

Why I Fell In Love

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The Volkswagen Passat TDI wagon sounds like the perfect car. In 1998, Volkswagen unleashed the B5 Passat on America. Volkswagen was going through its Ferdinand Piëch phase, which sent the brand upmarket. Volkswagen explains:

Based off the PL45 platform that was shared with the Audi A4, the Passat sedan and wagon were among of a plethora of great-looking Volkswagen Group products that were signed off by design chief Hartmut Warkuss—think Audi A4, A6 and TT, along with VW’s New Beetle, Mark 4 Golf and Jetta. This was another example of platform sharing, with the Passat being closely related to the Audi A4 and A6. The car was facelifted during the 2001 model year and was available with no fewer than four engines over its lifecycle: 134-hp turbodiesel four, 150-170-hp 1.8-liter turbo four, 190-200-hp 2.8-liter V6, and the ferociously complicated and slow-selling 4.0-liter, 270-hp W8. All-wheel drive was also offered late in the car’s life.

On paper, the Passat sounded incredible. It shares its bones with Audis! Plus, look at all of those engines! The Passat TDI was the only diesel-powered mid-size car for sale in America at the time.

I bought my first Volkswagen Passat TDI in 2019. It wasn’t just my first diesel car, but my first Volkswagen. I spent most of the years before collecting Smarts with brief breaks for a Ford Ranger, a Kia Rio, and a doorless Ford Festiva.

Merc Cars Passat Smart

The Volkswagen was something else. It could carry more gear and more people than two of my Smarts combined. It got 38 mpg on the highway, and its engine sounded like a baby Cummins. My Smarts didn’t have leather or heated seats but this Volkswagen did. And that fuel economy? It was just a few points off of my Smarts, but in a much bigger, more powerful car. Diesel was also cheaper than premium at the time.

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The engine in the B5.5 Passat TDI is the 2.0-liter BHW. It makes 134 HP and 247 lb-ft of torque. The BHW’s injection system shoots diesel directly into its cylinders at 30,000 psi, theoretically leading to more complete combustion. Since the Piëch era of Volkswagen had to be so weird, this engine wasn’t found in any other car. It was different and people were wowed to find out my generic-looking VW wagon took diesel.

Passat Engine

 

My Passat TDI wagon may have had a horrifyingly bad boost leak and a failing automatic transmission, but the seeds were planted. The Passat TDI was, in theory, the ultimate version of the kinds of cars I loved. It got great fuel economy, was comfortable to drive, and produced just the right amount of power.

Unfortunately, cars from the Piëch era have some quirks and features. The BHW engine has an infamous failure point with its balance shaft module. The little hex-shaped key that turns the balance shaft can fail, leading to a loss of all oil pressure.

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If that doesn’t get you, maybe a part of the car’s complex vacuum system will fall apart, causing a frighteningly hard brake pedal and low boost conditions. Finally, if you dodge all of that, you’ll have to deal with the automatic transmission. These TDIs weren’t sold in America with anything other than a five-speed automatic known for failing. Go ahead and search your local classifieds, you’ll almost certainly find one of these with a roached transmission.

Thus, the “grail” among some VW Piëch era diesel fans is a BHW Passat TDI, but with the balance shaft module deleted and that transmission tossed out for a manual box. There are a couple of ways to achieve that swap, including grabbing a manual from a gas-powered Passat or importing a transmission from a European diesel Passat. The latter is the “proper” way of doing a transmission swap on a U.S.-spec Passat TDI, but also the most expensive.

I spent four years looking for just that car. Manual-swapped Passat TDI wagons are out there, but they are rare. I saw one in 2019, but its $3,000 asking price was too much for me at that time. I then saw another in 2021, but it was a sedan, and I didn’t want one of those.

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Merc Vw Hero

While I searched for the Grail, I settled for other Passat TDI wagons. I sold my first Passat TDI wagon in early 2020 and bought a second one in 2020. As I detailed in my story about all of my Passat TDIs, that car grenaded its balance shaft module and its transmission, so it went to the scrapper. I then bought a third wagon in 2021, and that one worked fine for a while, but even it gobbled up its transmission, which was already the car’s second transmission since new. I knew the automatic transmission was a failure point for these cars and sure enough, all three of the automatics I owned had issues and a history of previous transmission replacements.

Finally it would come to an end because in 2023, four years after I started my search, I found The Grail. Sure, it had some rust and I couldn’t see out of the limo-tinted windshield at night, but it had that important manual transmission swap, a tune, and some bulletproofing done in the engine bay. This was the white whale.

The Honeymoon Turns Sour

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I tossed $3,500 at the seller, put on literal rose-colored sunglasses, and hit the road. I banged through every gear using up that whole tachometer, and doing what I couldn’t do in the previous three Passats. I hit speeds none of those other Passats hit and the car felt rock-solid. All of those worries about balance shafts and slushy transmissions were gone. One of the previous owners installed a five-speed manual transmission from an earlier gas-powered Passat. So, it wasn’t perfect, but this was what I was looking for.

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At first, I was in love. Working from home means I don’t have a daily driver, but I favored the Passat TDI whenever I took a drive. I excitedly rowed through the gears and heard that engine sing. One of the previous owners installed a polyurethane engine mount, which caused the whole car to shake, and I giggled it off. I even loved how the terrible engine mount allowed the car to flex when I revved at a red light. It was like driving the dumbest hot rod, and I loved it.

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But then…I just didn’t.

Less than a year into my ownership, or about after I wrote the piece about finding the grail, the novelty of driving sort of forbidden fruit wore off. I stopped driving the car, preferring to take a broken Ski-Klasse, the long-term Zero DSR/X tester, or something else.

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Aside from having a cool engine and a five-speed manual, I found myself bored. But wait, wasn’t this the car I’ve purchased four times over four years? It was, and yet I couldn’t find myself motivated to drive it. There wasn’t anything wrong with the car that wasn’t wrong before. I even swapped out the wheels for some Dieselgate-era Jetta alloys. Still, I ended up parking the car and letting it sit for long enough that someone egged the car and I didn’t even notice.

As a side note, who still eggs cars? There was so much egg on there someone had to have wasted a few bucks for no good reason.

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At home, I tried to figure out what happened. Why did I fall out of love with a car I wanted so much for so long? Soon enough, I found myself searching Facebook for other cars, dreaming about replacing my Holy Grail with a BMW Z3, a Mazda Miata, or a Volkswagen Eos VR6. That’s still happening right now and I’m considering trading the car for a 1980s Honda motorcycle that isn’t even special.

What happened to me?

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I’m Not The Same Person Anymore

 

I think I’ve figured out what happened. A lot has happened in those four years. I’ve driven a lot of different cars, I’ve collected a bunch of different cars. I’ve gotten to experience the thrill of a BMW E39 5 Series and the comfort of a BMW E61 5 Series. I got to hoon a Saturn Sky Red Line, drive a diesel-powered Smart, and bought my dream car: the Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI.

Likewise, through Jalopnik and now the Autopian, I’ve gotten to drive new cars and ride new motorcycles. My automotive world in 2019 was much smaller than it was in 2023. David got me behind the wheel of a Jeep XJ and a Plymouth Valiant. He also put me behind the wheel of his awful Nissan Leaf and the passenger seat of his excellent BMW i3.

I think what spoiled my love for the Passat TDI the most were the BMWs. My wife’s 2001 BMW 525iT wagon may be injured, but it’s so far ahead of my Passat that it almost boggles the mind.

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E39er

It’s comfortable, it’s quick, and it’s thrilling to drive, even with its automatic transmission. Her BMW may be a base model, but it’s still better than my top-spec and newer Passat. Everything I liked about my Passat was far better in her BMW. It was more comfortable, it handled better, the interior was a far nicer place to be, and heck, it even did better fuel economy.

Oh yeah, my Passat does about 25 mpg at about 80 mph and 40 mpg around town. That’s a bit odd as my other Passats did way better than that, but I didn’t really care. Maybe it’s the tune or the gasoline-based Passat gearing, but my TDI is thirsty for a diesel.

20231026 140016

Driving the E61 530xi I bought from the Bishop was perhaps the knife through the heart. Sure, the E61 was softer and not as sharp than Sheryl’s E39, but even this was out of this world compared to the Passat. Remove the diesel engine and the transmission and in my eyes, my Passat was just an old car that no longer hit the mark. The BMWs looked better, drove better, felt better to the touch, and somehow, cost less to run and fuel. The same goes for my $2,000 Phaeton. I’m usually the person who can save money by driving diesel, but this car wasn’t doing it.

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During these opening months of 2024 I’ve fought myself about selling the Grail Passat. On one hand, maybe this is just a phase and I’ll fall in love again. If so, it’ll be hard to find another manual-swapped wagon. On the other hand, I could enjoy a far better car if I sold it and freed up the space.

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What pushed me over the edge, aside from the thought of a quick convertible, was the car’s worsening condition. Now that I was no longer wearing rosy shades, I decided to take a deeper look into the rust. It’s everywhere and it goes deep.

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That said, the underbody was better than I expected, aside from the pinch seam above:

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I haven’t found any major holes, but the rust is bad enough in multiple places that we’re far beyond just grinding metal and painting. As Sheryl and I learned the hard way, there isn’t cheap rust repair anymore.

Do I want to put potentially multiples of this car’s value into fixing rust? Nah. I realize I could just ignore the rust for as long as possible, but such eats away at me.

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It’s Okay To Fall Out Of Love

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So, I’ve listed the car for sale. Given the time other Passat TDI wagons have been for sale in my area, selling this thing will take a while. I’ll also lose some money, but that’s ok. At least I got to say that I owned what I thought was my grail. I got it out of my system and now it’s time to move on.

I think the most important lesson I’ve learned here is that it’s not just possible, but perfectly fine for your car tastes to change. The cars you loved 10 years, 5 years, or even just a year ago might not be the cars you love now. That’s ok. I’ve expanded my car world since 2019 and what I used to adore now isn’t exactly the same as it was then. I still adore Smarts to the point of wanting to replicate a Smart dealership.

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I also still love diesel, despite everything that’s happened in the past decade. But a Passat TDI wagon is no longer on my list. Maybe I’ll give W8 ownership another chance, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

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Hopefully, my car will find someone who will appreciate it how much I thought I would. If you’re sitting on your own holy grail and don’t love it anymore, maybe it’s time to let it go. It can be hard to come to that conclusion, but you might be happier if you do. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to love the cars that you do.

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Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
2 months ago

Poly motor mounts are the freaking devil and I roll my eyes whenever forums suggest them as a good mod. I once replaced all 3 mounts on my engine instead of just the usual lower one that people do to tighten up shifting on FWD cars.

I thought all the glass in the car was going to shatter from those vibrations! I had to apologize to a coworker when I drove them to the bank it was so embarrassing. That woman though she just buckled into death trap.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
2 months ago

Caution !
Be easy on that 5 speed, and tell the buyer too.
I had a 97 VR6 Passat with 5 speed for a couple of years, and when I did a hurried reverse turnaround maneuver, it made a bad clunk, jammed, then louder bad clunk, was able to proceed in forward, couple of other ominous noises, then BANG as a gear broke hole in case. Found out from forums that U.S. spec. 5 speed is a known weak link, can’t handle high torque.

Last edited 2 months ago by Hoonicus
Matt A
Matt A
1 month ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

That’s a totally different transmission. Your vr6 was a transverse mount. The B5 Passat is longitudinal, shared with the concurrent Audi A4

Rob Schneider
Rob Schneider
2 months ago

I have a slightly different fall-out-of-love story with my Miata.

I’d wanted one ever since they came out in 1989, but college/life/wife/kids pushed that out of the realm of possibility. It took 25 years, but I finally managed to make it happen. It took the form of a 2008 Copper Red Mica GT with the retractable hardtop and a six speed manual. Beautiful car – the final year before they switched to the much less appealing shit-eating-grin, Joker-mouth grill.

Two and a half months later, I got rear ended by a Buick Enclave, driven by a gal more interested in her phone than traffic conditions. Her bumper slid over mine, pushed the trunk in about 10″ and then the cars locked together when she hit the brakes. I was stopped in traffic with the clutch engaged, so first it threw me back into the seat and then forward so hard my knee buckled and my wrist hyperextended against the steering wheel. I also strongly expect I got a concussion that went undiagnosed from my head getting whipped around.

This happened in June, and I got the car back from the repair shop after Christmas. It was in okay shape after the repair, save the slightly mismatched paint on the rear end and passenger door (not sure why they painted that, as it wasn’t damaged in the accident). In hindsight, I shouldn’t have protested when the insurance company first offered to total it out.

Several years on, my knee and wrist haven’t been so lucky. I walk with a limp and am probably in need of a knee replacement. The wrist pain comes and goes. I still love looking at the car but it is literally painful to drive it. Sadly I’m contemplating getting rid of it for an automatic.

Long_Time_Reader_First_Time_Poster
Long_Time_Reader_First_Time_Poster
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob Schneider

That’s a damn shame, but the 6AT in the NC and ND really aren’t bad at all. You can certainly do worse.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob Schneider

Life’s too short to not enjoy driving. If a car hurts to use, get one that doesn’t.

M K
M K
2 months ago

Yeah, you grow up, you move on. My first internship I spent a bunch of time around Jaguar XK8s (they were just out at the time)…and I was like “someday when I get some money…” Sixteen years later, I bought one, spent every spring, summer, fall daily driving with the top down. I loved that car, it made me like I had achieved something…but it eventually became just a car with faded paint. It needed tires, electrical gremlins were popping up as fast as I could fix them, it was a time bomb. I sold it after 4 years and moved on. After that, I really stopped hanging onto anything very long. I’ll buy something, enjoy it for a while and move on. You can’t keep them all and by trying to do so, you limit your other experiences. I have other things in my life that are more important now.

Widgetsltd
Widgetsltd
2 months ago

[Dad mode] It looks like our girl is growing up… [/Dad mode]

Huja Shaw
Huja Shaw
2 months ago

Sometimes it’s the hunt and not the prey.

Evan M
Evan M
2 months ago

There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a car, getting what you wanted out of it, and then selling it on when it is “time”. Absolutly worst case if you miss it enough to track down another, but more likely you’ll fill the car hole with something else, expanding your horizons and wrenching knowledge.
Godspeed little TDI! Wishing you a quick and straightforward sale! (Also might drop it over on Swappo as I’m sure one of us nutters would love to have it!)

Uberscrub
Uberscrub
2 months ago

Several years ago, my dad, brother-in-law and I all had mk4 golf TDI’s. My dads was and auto, and it grenaded, so he manual-swapped it from a Jetta. He replaced 5th gear with a way better ratio so he could cruise on the highway at lower rpm.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
2 months ago

Nice Air Supply hot air balloon you snuck in there.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
2 months ago

Ah the sad cycle of the used German car owner. Three BMWS, a Porsche, and especially having once owned a B5 Audi A4, I know what you’re going through-the cycle of love and hate and love again until one straw is too many. I tell myself BMW is a bit better than VW/Audi but as my e28 just started making a bizarre rumbling noise forcing me to cancel a weekend drive with some friends I’m not feeling too charitable towards them at the moment.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
2 months ago

It is like meeting your heroes. You learn the truth and why someone would get rid of such an awesome ride.

Stop Making Us Register To Comment
Stop Making Us Register To Comment
2 months ago

give me it then

Industrial_design_guy
Industrial_design_guy
2 months ago

That’s the way BMWs tend to affect people, once they’ve tried them. Of course, I’m talking about anything pre current era poop.

VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago

I fear this happening to me in the future.
If I finally get the high-roof conversion van that I want, but end up barely using it (what, annual summer vacations? the odd day trips with friends?), will I stare at it wistfully and contemplate selling it like I sold my last one?
At least I was still a DJ and band sound technician some of the time with my last one. That excuse is gone.

If I get another one, I’m even more leaning into “van fun because big, and V8 go vroom” which I have growing conceptual problems with.

At the same time, it’s nice to have one as a goal, because I am fast approaching “maximum reasonable modifications” on my Prius. And I’m not gonna be buying real estate anytime soon.

My Other Car is a Tetanus Shot
My Other Car is a Tetanus Shot
2 months ago

I don’t particularly like getting into the psychology of people via their cars too much. They’re machines at the end of the day and people are so much more than that.

Often it’s not the ‘Holy Grails’ that make the best long-term partners. Without stretching the analogy too much, they’re often fun to date for a bit, but not marriage material.

I’ve had a daily driver that’s been a faithful steed for the last 8 years. That Mazda3 has been a relatively mundane car measured against most of the more exciting possibilities out there. Not a Holy Grail of which I lusted, but a reliable partner on the journey of life. The older I get, the more I appreciate that, in both people and machines.

Luckily, monogamy doesn’t apply to car ownership. Have one car that one can be a trusted steed. Maybe one or two more ‘Holy Grails’ on the side that allow one to broaden one’s car horizons. Always onto the next junker Holy Grail as ‘The One’ mostly sounds like a version of misery to me.

I would be a terrible writer for this sort of site. I know this. But I’m glad you enjoy what you do.

Last edited 2 months ago by My Other Car is a Tetanus Shot
Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
2 months ago

I’m with you on this. While reading the article, a mantra kept playing through my mind: It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.

Outofstep
Outofstep
2 months ago

Yea I just need a reliable partner in life and on wheels. If I have an itch to try something exciting I could always rent a car for a weekend and get it out of my system.

I drove a 2006 Tucson for 12 years and 210,000 miles. Nothing exciting but for the first 205,000 miles it was reliable not once left me stranded and that’s what I needed. Now I drive a 2019 Elantra and am currently sitting at a little under 67,000 miles. Do I flirt with the idea of something else when something new and shiny gets announced? Of course because I’m not dead but at the end of the day I’m not switching cars just for the sake of switching cars. If I can hit 200,000 miles with my Elantra I’ll be a happy camper.

But just like you I can appreciate the writers here.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
2 months ago

Have one car that one can be a trusted steed. Maybe one or two more ‘Holy Grails’ on the side that allow one to broaden one’s car horizons.”

So what you’re saying is you’re an automotive WHORE!!!

LOL

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
2 months ago

Great article Merc! Indeed, it is OK to grow and change!

Bracq P
Bracq P
2 months ago

I went through these when they were new (2000-2004). Always 6l/100km (your economy hints at something major going wrong), great visibility, enough room to pick up almost anything while en-route and even comfortable enough for camping in. I haven’t seen your ad, maybe you can direct to it?

ChefCJ
ChefCJ
2 months ago

I had this for a bit with my old CC, and it turned out to be faulty injectors. At higher speeds, they (2 of them) just opened more than they were supposed to. I think I hit 9 miles a gallon on the highway for a couple of days before I figued out what the issue was.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
2 months ago

Yeah, the fuel economy is a mystery.”

My first thought is ‘suboptimal gearing’ given it has the gas engine gearing.

And apparently for max efficiency, you want to keep the TDI running between 1900-2200rpm
https://forums.tdiclub.com/index.php?threads/optimal-rpm-for-maximum-fuel-efficiency.87216/

Now having said that, ChefCJ’s comment about it being an injector problem is also a possibility.

CRM114
CRM114
2 months ago

Whenever I decide I need some exact configuration (always rare) and hunt one down, I end up regretting my decision. Whenever I just snatch up some deal that I come across, I’m always perfectly happy. I think it’s psychological.

Ben
Ben
2 months ago
Reply to  CRM114

Funny, I’m the exact opposite. I never think about how much a car cost (or didn’t) when I’m driving it, but I absolutely regret not finding one with the heated steering wheel (or whatever).

ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
2 months ago

They say “never meet your heroes,” and this probably applies to Grails too. Makes me wonder if I’d actually love a 1986 Taurus MT-5 wagon as much as I think I would.

IanGTCS
IanGTCS
2 months ago
Reply to  ColoradoFX4

Weren’t those only available with the 4 cylinder? I’d say this is a “don’t meet your hero” type moment.

ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
2 months ago
Reply to  IanGTCS

Yep, only with the 88-hp 2.5L. So incredibly rare there is no reliable number for how many were actually produced. I’ve never seen one in person.

Frank Wrench
Frank Wrench
2 months ago
Reply to  ColoradoFX4

I actually test drove one in the early 90s. I was shopping for my first car after landing my first decent job. I was used to underpowered hand-me-downs so I don’t recall the Taurus being particularly bad or why I didn’t buy it. I also checked out a mid 80s Subaru GL wagon (too rusted) and Olds Cierra Quad 4 (owned by heavy smoker.) Ended up with an 87 Ranger that served me well.

A Passat TDI manual wagon is still on my wish list. Maybe it shouldn’t be…

ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank Wrench

I’m sure that Taurus was slow as molasses, but like you said, there were plenty of other equally underpowered counterparts. So I don’t think it would be quite as bad to drive as would be assumed.

Just because Mercedes had a bad experience, doesn’t mean you would. Just stay away from a 525iT…

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
2 months ago
Reply to  ColoradoFX4

I used to ascribe to that mentality, but I think sometimes you have to. Otherwise, you just have an unrealistic idea of who your heroes really are. Maybe I’m just more in the “better to have loved and lost” camp.

ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
1 month ago

I’d kick myself for passing up the chance to own an MT-5, so if I ever actually have the chance I think I’d have to take it.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
2 months ago
Reply to  ColoradoFX4

The Taurus MT-5 had a crap OHV 2.5L 4 cyl that was derived from the Tempo engine, which in itself was derived from the old 3.3L OHV inline 6.

If you want a manual Taurus, get an old SHO. But be prepared for parts being hard to come by.

ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
1 month ago

SHO is great and I’ve gotten close to getting one a few times, but my love for the MT-5 (sedan, but especially wagon) is precisely because it’s “crap” that no one bought. I like oddball, rare cars, and my affinity for the first gen Taurus runs deep. Hence my desire for the oddest of Taurii.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
2 months ago

Do you still feel the same way about the Smarts? I had a friend with one and got to drive it often (and we rented them as zipcars when I lived in Denver). I thought them novel and kinda fun at first…then very much not. They were never any kind of grail to me, but the shine wore off kinda quick.

Certainly not trying to yuck anyone’s yum or anything.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
2 months ago

I am into those roadsters. two short years!

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
2 months ago

Is a Canadian Market Smart CDI part of your fleet yet, if not, get one.
Here’s one for CAD$4000
https://www.autotrader.ca/a/smart/fortwo/london/ontario/5_61676946_20181112150720353

And here is a cabrio for CAD$7900
https://www.autotrader.ca/a/smart/fortwo/north%20vancouver/british%20columbia/5_61806495_2022021414550413

0-60 in around 20 seconds and the automated manual was awful. I know since I test drove one. On the test drive, I recall thinking “this would be so much better if I could just shift it myself”.

Now having said that, I’m not sure if these would be legal for you to import into the USA until 2031.

But don’t worry about that! Just buy one. It’ll be fiiiine.

No way that purchase could go wrong.

No Ma’am…

Last edited 2 months ago by Manwich Sandwich
Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
2 months ago

Sometimes I think the same about the Honda Insight Gen 1 I have, getting 60mpg and all the quirk details of the car makes it interesting to some people but I don’t drive it much (Around 5k miles in two years), my kids cant ride with me, my spouse doesn’t like sitting so low to the ground or how slow the car is compared to the rest of traffic, the road noise. I haven’t sold it since everything works as intended and in case of an emergency I know I can just grab the keys and go, I dont have to deal with range anxiety or spending a lot of money on gas, but I understand your point of view, I dont have that connection with the car anymore : (

Alexk98
Alexk98
2 months ago

This is super encouraging to read given I’m going to be selling my NA Miata I’ve had for the past 2.5 years soon. It was my first project car, my first old car, my first car I was able to buy on my own terms, in cash, and do whatever I pleased with. I’ll lose some money on it, I knew that when I went to modify it, but I had the cliché enthusiast illusions of keeping it for an extremely long time and loving it forever.

Now I just don’t as much. It still drives amazing, always puts a smile on my face, and reliable as ever, but the tiny oil leak, busted soft top, terrible paint, and the thought of what else is out there and I’m just over it.

I’ve since had other projects that were pains, driven more interesting stuff friends own, and really gone down the JDM rabbit hole, and just don’t desire an NA the way I did before. It’ll forever be a chassis I love, and will probably go back to in the future when I have more space, assuming they stay affordable, but my current car for me just isn’t what it used to be, and I think I’m finally OK with that.

Sklooner
Sklooner
2 months ago

I feel that way about my manual swapped 850 Turbo, I loved it and now I don’t

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
2 months ago

Please post it over at tdiclub.com, us TDI fans there will go nuts for it!

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
2 months ago

I think you just need a nuttier Volkswagen. Is it aircooled time? It sounds like aircooled time.

RataTejas
RataTejas
2 months ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Mid 80’s Vanagon.

Swing_Axle
Swing_Axle
2 months ago
Reply to  RataTejas

My shitty, house-paint-covered ’82 approves.

RataTejas
RataTejas
1 month ago
Reply to  Swing_Axle

Had an ’82 Westfalia. Great to drive until there was an incline. Or a headwind. Or it was cold. Or it was hot.

SAABstory
SAABstory
2 months ago

Maybe a Thing. Those are always fun. Put the top down, fold down the windshield and eat some bugs. Then put the windshield back up and have a blast. Air-cooled fun.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
2 months ago
Reply to  SAABstory

Oddball garage put a GTR under a Thing. Its not air cooled anymore. But its certainly something

https://www.hagerty.com/media/news/the-manifold/2022-07-06/

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
2 months ago
Reply to  SAABstory

I briefly had a Thing Acapulco! It was a hoot and a half!

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago

What you need is a Tatra.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Can you beat a rear mounted air cooled V8? A brand whose off throttle rear end lift was so bad it killed enough Nazi officers to cause Hitler to ban driving them? No, no you cannot.

https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en/did-you-know/tatra-t87-1948

Bendanzig
Bendanzig
2 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

If killing Nazis doesn’t qualify a car for hero status, nothing will.

Jonathan Green
Jonathan Green
2 months ago
Reply to  Bendanzig

Along those lines, shout out to Citroen who intentionally marked the oil dipsticks incorrectly on vehicle made during the Nazi occupation so that they were constantly low on oil…

D-dub
D-dub
2 months ago
Reply to  Bendanzig

You just gave me an idea for a Holy Grail nominee: A Tatra with a Woody Guthrie “This machine kills fascists” bumper sticker.

Last edited 2 months ago by D-dub
Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
2 months ago
Reply to  D-dub

goals

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
2 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

nothing but respect for the Nazi-killing car

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

oh my gosh, that’s the stuff of STEF DREAMS

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
2 months ago

I just got suspended from a Ford forum for my less than glowing opinion of the latest Mustang trim package… Tempted to buy a Corvair for revenge!

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago
Reply to  Diana Slyter

Good for you!
Follow your own path.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
2 months ago
Reply to  Diana Slyter

Some folks have no sense of humor.

Millermatic
Millermatic
2 months ago

Good. Less competition for me. (My grail is a Westfalia Synchro).

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
2 months ago
Reply to  Millermatic

Good luck. There will be a line in front of you.

Michael Rogers
Michael Rogers
2 months ago

type 3 notchback.

Swing_Axle
Swing_Axle
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Rogers

I know the Notches are the rare ones, but personally, I will always simp for the Fastbacks.

Michael Rogers
Michael Rogers
1 month ago
Reply to  Swing_Axle

I had a 69 squareback for a couple of years. It was good (except in the rain or cold… but I was living in Santa Cruz, so those things were infrequent). For some reason it ate throwout bearings. Finally it broke its throwout arm and I replaced that and the pressure plate along with the bearing and greased the face of that bearing and sold the car. I felt kind of guilty, thinking it would fail again in the same way. But I heard a couple of years later that the person was still driving it and had never had a problem with it.

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