In 2012, a Michigan man purchased a 2004 Mazda MPV minivan — a vehicle that most folks rarely see today, and frankly rarely think about at all. Over the next 11 years, the machine would blow him away with its unrivaled reliability, racking up 200,000 miles on the already 130,000 mile total, and rarely requiring any significant mechanical repairs (besides rust). Here’s the story of this incredible minivan, and of the family that grew up in it.
This 2004 Mazda MPV minivan was featured by our one and only David Tracy way back in 2018 on Jalopnik. Those of you who fan-girl over DT content will recall that he actually drove this MPV as the first installment of High Mileage Heroes, a segment I hope to continue in his legacy (he’s still alive, don’t worry). At the time, our hero Jamie Anton had amassed an impressive 140,000 miles on his MPV for a total of nearly 270,000 miles.
He originally purchased the vehicle in 2012 when it had 126,050 miles on the clock; he picked it up for $6,200 at what DT called “a sketchy used car lot.” Jamie has gotten his money’s worth out of this MPV, conducting only simple maintenance on the 330,000-mile, 19-year-old car, in addition to some rust repairs. The van has been everywhere, Jamie told me over Facebook Messenger. It celebrated its 300,000 mileage anniversary in Big Sky, Montana back in August 2020!
Anyway, besides the fact that Jamie still has his MPV, five years after DT drove it, and 11 years after he bought it, why is it making a reappearance? Well take a look at this .gif Jamie sent me:
He’s taken an annual picture of his children growing older each year in the back of their family MPV. That’s dedication! Might as well count the MPV as a child. There’s a gap between 2012 and 2016. I guess Jamie shipped his daughter off to some ultra-worldly expedition to find a higher mileage MPV. She came back with a brother, whom Jamie drove home from the hospital in this van.
Hi Autopians, it’s David Tracy, here. I sent our weekend youngster, Rob, this story to write up after my friend Jamie messaged me that he “Had [his] 11th vanniversary this week.” He continued: “Old girl just keeps on going.” Then he sent me the .gif of his family (shown towards the top of this article), and I knew we had to share it with you all. That’s some wholesome stuff that we all need to balance out all the negativity we’re getting from the media.
I drove Jamie’s van three and a half years ago, and wrote a whole article on it (see screenshot above). At the time, I noted just how few repairs Jamie has had to make:
What’s incredible is how few mechanical repairs Jamie has had to do to this machine in the roughly 140,000 miles he’s had it. “[I have never touched] ANYTHING related to suspension or driveline,” he me.
“Struts/shocks/axles/axle boots/axle seals/ball joints/swaybar links/wheel bearings/etc… I’ve never touched,” he continued, before saying that, other than the sway bar link boots being cracked, the rest of the car is in “like-new shape.”
I also described what it was like to drive the thing:
And after driving this amazing high-mileage MPV, I can say: Jamie’s statement is no exaggeration. The machine is incredible. The engine—the 200 horsepower, 200 lb-ft Duratec V6—is so quiet, I literally couldn’t tell it was even on. The transmission shifted beautifully through all five gears, and when Jamie told me to “floor it,” the acceleration actually felt more lively than I expected.
Though I didn’t throw it into any turns at high speeds, my time behind the wheel had me thinking that this thing was meant to be more of a cruiser than a canyon carver. With its front MacPherson struts and rear torsion beam, the MPV’s ride quality was great, and equally as plush were the wonderful leather seats.
I don’t have much to say about the brakes or the steering, as I didn’t exactly take this thing on a track, but they were good. (I know bad brakes when I use them, going back to my various sketchy Jeeps brought back from the brink.) The MPV felt brand new. Truly. Which is remarkable, since Jamie says he thinks the engine and trans are original.
The engine under the hood is a 3.0-liter “Duratec 30” V6, which you might also find in a Ford Escape, Ford Taurus, Lincoln LS, Mazda 6, Jaguar X-Type, or any number of Ford-family cars. Apparently co-developed with Porsche, and largely considered underrated by those in the know, it’s largely free from major weaknesses, with the biggest problem being catalytic converter ingestion (I did find a video about loose cam bearing cap bolts, though Jamie hasn’t had that issue).
You can see the valve covers off Jamie’s engine in the image above, as he replaced the leaky gaskets (it was a simple and dirt-cheap job). Here’s a look at Jamie’s van’s camshafts with 200,000 miles on them:
Jamie tells me he replaced the timing chains/guides as a preventative measure. He also took care of the seals while he was at it:
As for the issue of the engine sucking in bits of catalytic converter and then destroying itself, Jamie checked his exhaust early-on. “When I disconnected it from the front header, it then emptied itself out.” You can see that here:
Hopefully that’s all of the catalyst in that housing; given that Jamie has put 130,000 miles on it since, I think it is.
Jamie has had to do lots of bodywork on his van. You can see in the image above that the thing got sideswiped (he also had his front left side hit by a rogue tire, though he fixed that with junkyard parts). Jamie luckily found a silver parts van nearby for only $400:
The Michigander engineer and proud human-and-car-dad removed the parts van’s doors and hacked off its rear quarter panel:
Unfortunately, even though the replacement front door was dent-free, it did have some rust. Jamie hacked that out and welded in some new sheetmetal, then he sanded, bondo’d, primed, and painted it:
He also fixed his car’s rusty rocker pael/B-pillar base:
Luckily, the piece on the donor car was in much better shape. He cut that out:
He hacked/drilled out his old piece, then welded in the new one:
After sanding, bondo-ing, priming, and painting, things looked good:
Jamie even fixed some rust around the rear wheel well, though to hide what he thought were less-than-ideal results, he installed a flare from a Pontiac Vibe:
Jamie also mended some rust holes he found in his floor; this required dismantling much of the interior:
And after knocking on some brown spots, he found quite a bit of metal with almost zero structural rigidity left:
Jamie’s an engineer, so he’ll gladly admit that his repair is a bit janky. He ground down the rust and screwed on some patch panels, using sealant to keep moisture out:
An ideal fix? No. But it’ll hold.
Below you can see Jamie’s van’s maintenance log from 2012 to present, and directly above that is a plot showing how many miles he puts on the vehicle as a function of time:
|date||miles||driven||til 300k||MPY pace||MPD total||MPY total||MPD recent||service||category||cost||notes|
|4/13/2012||126,050||173,950||purchased, Chicago, IL|
|6/11/2012||131,245||5,195||168,755||88.1||32,139||tire fix in Fort Collins, CO|
|4/1/2013||147,167||21,117||152,833||59.8||21,835||29.2||add 1 quart oil|
|5/30/2013||151,082||25,032||148,918||60.8||22,176||58.2||8 quart trans fluid|
|6/3/2013||152,273||26,223||147,727||63.0||23,008||297.8||4 quart trans fluid (old stuff for Scott)|
|6/6/2013||152,642||26,592||147,358||63.5||23,165||123.0||add 1 quart oil|
|1/27/2014||164,306||38,256||135,694||58.5||21,351||40.3||add 1 quart oil|
|3/6/2014||166,215||40,165||133,785||58.0||21,185||50.2||oil check – 1 qt low|
|5/14/2014||170,129||44,079||129,871||57.9||21,142||58.8||add 1.2 quarts|
|9/3/2014||177,152||51,102||122,848||58.5||21,366||63.5||4 new tires – Sumitomo HTR Enhance|
|9/10/2014||178,000||51,950||122,000||59.0||21,547||121.1||oil change (estimated)|
|1/9/2015||184,354||58,304||115,646||58.2||21,260||52.5||oil change (was 1 qt low)|
|1/31/2015||185,443||59,393||114,557||58.1||21,191||49.5||front brake pads|
|2/22/2015||186,456||60,406||113,544||57.8||21,099||46.0||rear brake pads, full flush and bleed|
|3/15/2015||187,550||61,500||112,450||57.7||21,058||52.1||rear air bag suspension|
|3/19/2015||187,727||61,677||112,273||57.6||21,039||#DIV/0!||spark plugs, 3 rear coils|
|4/4/2015||190,447||64,397||109,553||59.3||21,644||232.2||Home from MS|
|4/13/2015||190,893||64,843||109,107||59.2||21,614||49.6||3 year vanniversary|
|8/24/2015||198,303||72,253||101,697||58.8||21,476||#DIV/0!||12k timing chains, timing cover seals|
|9/1/2015||200,000||73,950||100,000||59.8||21,838||212.1||Big 2-0-0 in Jackson, WY||info|
|11/28/2015||207,639||81,589||92,361||61.6||22,492||#DIV/0!||front brake pads||maintenance||$29.00||22,196|
|11/29/2015||207,639||81,589||92,361||61.6||22,475||0.0||1 quart oil||maintenance||$2.60|
|11/29/2015||207,639||81,589||92,361||61.6||22,475||#DIV/0!||coolant top off||maintenance||$2.00|
|4/13/2016||216,116||90,066||83,884||61.6||22,501||54.6||4 year vanniversary||info||25,223|
|7/18/2016||221,256||95,206||78,744||61.1||22,319||#DIV/0!||water pump tensioner delete||info||53.4||miles per day|
|7/28/2016||221,750||95,700||78,250||61.1||22,291||49.4||water pump replacement, 1 gal coolant||repair||$50.00|
|9/20/2016||226,604||100,554||73,396||62.0||22,642||89.9||front brake pads from Autozone||maintenance||$30.00||18,965||since last set|
|11/7/2016||229,356||103,306||70,644||61.9||22,592||57.3||Mileage check||info||83.6||miles per day|
|11/25/2016||230,500||104,450||69,500||61.9||22,599||63.6||oil change, no filter||maintenance||$16.00|
|12/6/2016||231,000||104,950||69,000||61.8||22,560||45.5||rear brake pads & rotors||maintenance||$61.00||44,544|
|12/22/2016||231,800||105,750||68,200||61.7||22,520||48.1||front motor mount||repair||$22.00|
|3/3/2017||234,555||108,505||65,445||60.8||22,187||38.8||front pads & rotors, tire rotate||maintenance||$80.00||7,951||since last set|
|3/19/2017||235,200||109,150||64,800||60.6||22,121||39.1||water pump (warranty replacement)||repair||$0.00||57.33333333|
|3/19/2017||235,200||109,150||64,800||60.6||22,121||40.3||10 qts dex-6 trans fluid change, oil change||maintenance||$59.00|
|4/13/2017||238,119||112,069||61,881||61.4||22,402||116.8||5th vanniversary||info||22,003||annual miles|
|6/20/2017||240,061||114,011||59,939||60.2||21,971||#DIV/0!||installed used fan module, patched rear ac line||repair||$5.00|
|8/21/2017||243,106||117,056||56,894||59.8||21,843||49.1||oil change plus filter.||maintenance||$19.00||3,045||oci – dang|
|9/18/2017||248,089||122,039||51,911||61.5||22,452||178.0||oil change plus filter.||maintenance||$19.00||4,983|
|11/1/2017||250,857||124,807||49,143||61.5||22,463||59.0||4 new tires – Uniroyal Tiger Paw||maintenance||$369.00||73,705|
|11/30/2017||253,097||127,047||46,903||61.8||22,544||77.2||oil change no filter||maintenance||$15.00||5,008||oci|
|12/5/2017||253,500||127,450||46,500||61.8||22,560||80.6||front brake pads – Raybestos||maintenance||$30.00||26,896||since last set|
|1/28/2018||257,000||130,950||43,000||61.9||22,588||67.3||Tire rotation||maintenance||$0.00||6,143||rotate interval|
|2/4/2018||257,532||131,482||42,468||61.9||22,605||76.0||oil change plus filter.||maintenance||$19.00||4,435||oci|
|3/26/2018||259,500||133,450||40,500||61.4||22,416||28.0||replaced 2 front exhaust studs||repair||$0.00|
|4/13/2018||260,479||134,429||39,521||61.4||22,395||54.4||6th vanniversary||info||22,360||annual miles|
|6/23/2018||262,995||136,945||37,005||12,934||60.5||22,098||20.1||oil change plus filter.||maintenance||$19.00||5,463||oci|
|8/22/2018||265,500||139,450||34,500||13,990||60.1||21,920||41.8||rotate then balance 2 front tires||maintenance||$20.00|
|8/25/2018||266,216||140,166||33,784||15,627||60.3||22,005||238.7||balance 2 front tires (again) Walmart MO||repair||$20.00|
|9/23/2018||268,150||142,100||31,850||17,177||60.4||22,033||14.9||RF balance all 4 tires… FFS||repair||$85.00|
|9/27/2018||268,245||142,195||31,755||16,974||60.3||22,011||23.8||oil change plus filter.||maintenance||$19.00||5,155||oci|
|12/9/2018||270,370||144,320||29,630||15,043||59.4||21,669||33.6||rear brake pads||maintenance||$25.00||39,370||since last|
|1/6/2019||271,680||145,630||28,320||15,255||59.2||21,616||50.4||add 2 qts oil, trans cooler to radiator||repair||$6.00|
|3/12/2019||274,002||147,952||25,998||14,823||58.6||21,396||24.0||trans fluid 9 qts flush||maintenance||$36.00|
|3/23/2019||274,316||148,266||25,684||14,682||58.5||21,348||28.5||left for MS||info|
|3/30/2019||276,696||150,646||23,304||16,864||59.3||21,631||222.5||home from MS||info|
|4/5/2019||276,840||150,790||23,160||16,728||59.2||21,601||24.0||passenger side sway bar link||repair||$16.00|
|4/13/2019||276,897||150,847||23,103||16,418||59.0||21,541||90.5||vanniversary 7||info||16,418||annual miles|
|5/20/2019||279,100||153,050||20,900||21,732||59.0||21,544||50.8||mileage check||info||6,055||since OC|
|6/11/2019||280,067||154,017||19,933||19,611||58.9||21,498||44.0||oil change 5w20 supertech w MC 820s filter||maintenance||$19.00|
|7/13/2019||281,950||155,900||18,050||20,268||58.9||21,497||58.8||4 tires from silver2||maintenance*||$350.00|
|9/17/2019||284,411||158,361||15,589||17,469||58.4||21,305||26.5||passenger side body panels replaced||body||$85.00|
|9/25/2019||284,645||158,595||15,355||17,140||58.3||21,274||29.3||oil change 5w30 meijer MC 820s filter, blue van air filter||maintenance||$18.00||5,545||oci|
|10/19/2019||285,300||159,250||14,700||16,228||58.0||21,175||27.3||brake pads, caliper brackets and rotors from S2||maintenance||$0.00||31,800||since fronts,|
|12/10/2019||288,120||162,070||11,880||16,997||57.9||21,150||86.7||mileage check||info||2790||7.64||days / years since 200k|
|1/27/2020||291,134||165,084||8,866||17,981||58.0||21,179||46.8||oil change 5w30 s-tech, m-craft filter||maintenance||$18.00||6,489||oci|
|2/17/2020||292,411||166,361||7,589||18,266||58.0||21,187||60.8||mileage check||info||310||15,514||since vv7|
|3/10/2020||293,333||167,283||6,667||18,070||57.9||21,142||41.9||mileage check||info||0.85||18266.48||pace for vv8 🙁|
|6/30/2020||294,740||168,690||5,260||4,324||56.2||20,524||6.0||2 lower control arms, driver sway bar link||repair||$80.00|
|7/29/2020||297,076||171,026||2,924||11,121||56.5||20,609||80.6||Rear Air bag set #2||repair||$92.00|
|7/31/2020||297,085||171,035||2,915||10,947||56.4||20,596||4.5||Left for UP||info|
|8/4/2020||298,162||172,112||1,838||14,038||56.7||20,699||269.3||Back from UP||info|
|8/14/2020||298,204||172,154||1,796||13,021||56.5||20,636||4.2||left for yellowstone||info|
|8/16/2020||300,000||173,950||0||18,057||57.1||20,837||898.0||Big 3-0-0 in Big Sky, MT||info|
|8/20/2020||300,799||174,749||-799||19,758||57.3||20,906||195.0||Oil change, Napa 5w30, no filter||maintenance||$25.00|
|8/23/2020||302,610||176,560||-2,610||24,317||57.8||21,102||603.7||back from yellowstone||info|
|1/25/2021||305,567||179,517||-5,567||14,945||55.9||20,419||18.0||4 new tires – Sumitomo HTRs||maintenance||$537.00|
|2/10/2021||305,850||179,800||-5,850||14,496||55.8||20,349||17.7||oil change + filter||maintenance||$18.00|
|6/23/2021||308,200||182,150||-8,200||12,042||54.2||19,799||12.1||driver side outer tie rod end||maintenance||$23.00|
|6/30/2021||308,940||182,890||-8,940||12,461||54.4||19,838||105.7||pass side inner & outer tie rod||maintenance||$45.00|
|7/9/2021||309,400||183,350||-9,400||12,584||54.3||19,835||51.1||rear engine mount||maintenance||$30.00|
|7/11/2021||309,700||183,650||-9,700||12,770||54.4||19,856||150.0||front brake pads, LF brake hose, LF 1 piston clean, RR piston clean||maintenance||$55.00|
|8/5/2021||311,858||185,808||-11,858||13,748||54.6||19,941||86.3||oil change +filter||maintenance||$18.00|
|12/13/2021||314,200||188,150||-14,200||12,217||53.3||19,449||14.5||Replaced alternator, used w 165k from S2 van||repair||$0.00|
|2/26/2022||315,802||189,752||-15,802||11,732||52.6||19,207||17.8||Oil change, no filter||maintenance||$14.00|
|6/8/2022||317,515||191,465||11,005||51.6||18,847||16.8||floor rust, LR caliper & pads, RR caliper bracket||maintenance||$0.00|
|8/31/2022||320,859||194,809||11,346||51.4||18,751||39.8||Oil + filter change||maintenance||$26.00|
|12/10/2022||322,850||196,800||10,914||50.6||18,452||0.0||valve cover, timing cover and oil pan seals||repair||$42.00|
|12/20/2022||322,852||196,802||10,803||50.4||18,404||0.2||Oil + filter change||maintenance||$26.00|
Jamie has been road-tripping this van all across the country, oftentimes towing a camper. It’s an absolute highway-crushing machine:
When it hit 300,000 miles, it was a big deal for the whole fam:
Here are some pictures of the Anton family’s latest road-trip this past Christmas, which took the van from Michigan to Key West and back without any issues:
Jamie’s got loads of albums filled with every bit of work he’s done on the van, his service logs, and all the big road trips the thing has taken his family on. He’s also got this collage in there:
And he’s got this fake-advertisement that he made:
Jamie uses the van to each his children how to wrench:
And he even takes it to car shows:
“Most of the body panels from the silver [parts car] went onto mine after [mine] got sideswiped” Jamie told me, saying the hood, front bumper, front fenders, passenger doors, rear passenger quarter, and the hatch of his car are not the originals. Just the driver’s side sliding door and driver’s rear-left panels are original “due to a combination of rust and when that guy hit me.”
Still, though a Ship of Theseus it may be, it just keeps trucking along, taking Jamie, his wife Sarah, and their kids across this vast country in reliable comfort.
What a machine.
All Images: Jamison Anton
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I had a 2000 mpv and i really liked it, got it with 150k and put 70k on it. Being in Oregon where we don’t salt the roads it had zero rust anywhere when I junked it. A friend of mine put new spark plugs in it and cross threaded one on the back side of the v and it ejected itself on the freeway. We replaced it with a 2007 Odyssey and while the Ody was objectively better at everything, I missed the feel of the mpv. The feedback through the steering, and how you could get just a little drop throttle oversteer in the rain. It was just more alive. I still think about that van sometimes.
I’ll never tire of the wrencher mentality of this community. To wit:
“I haven’t had to do anything to it!”
*next part of story contains dozens of photos of major reconstructive work*
I currently have a 2004 MPV and love it! It feels way faster than you expect, and is small enough to toss around on twisty roads and park easily in town. A perfect sized people transport. At 150K I’ve had no issues at all. My only complaints… it has a lot of road noise at higher speeds, and the rear spark plugs on the V6 are hell to change.
I have 2004 Toyota Sienna with 321645 k and no rust. This guy has me beat.
I had a 2002 and the Jatco 5-speed on these had a flaw that caused one of the pistons to crack and then burn up the associated clutches.
Mine failed around 150k miles. There was a good post on the mpv forum explaining how to repair it, without removing the transmission. It took me a few tries because I switched two seals that were almost the same size, but I was able to eventually figure it out and fix it.
I had a plastic PCV elbow fail (common problem) and some coils go bad, causing misfires.
I also had an oil leak from the timing chain cover, and the timing chain tensioner seemed like it might be on the way out when I sold it at 180k.
I replaced it with a 3rd gen Odyssey (2005). The Odyssey is a much better minivan than the MPV! Yes, it’s bigger, but even the non-VCM Odys actually have better EPA fuel economy than the Mazda, so there isn’t much downside. It hauls more people and more of their stuff and it does it with better comfort.
Had a 2004 MPV. Only for 5 years, so cannot speak for long term durability. But certainly the best driving minivan ever.
Kept waiting to see the Ship of Theseus reference. Not disappointed.
Truly a labor of love.
Folks, just buy the damn minivan.
Seriously. My eldest (of 3 at the time) was already in a booster seat by the time we got our first minivan, and I didn’t know how we had lived without it. Because I love oddball cars, we got a 2005 Nissan Quest 3.5(VQ) SE in metallic orange with an orange leather interior that looked kinda like a basketball. It had a center-mounted gauge cluster perched atop a barrel shaped center console, glove boxes on both sides, five sunroofs, and the back two rows of seats folded 100% into the floor. It was awesome. I like the cars I have now, but my wife and I both miss that minivan sometimes.
Wow, that’s a dedicated owner, and a great purchase.
But, how can those struts not be a floppy mess after 300k on upper midwest roads? I rarely get more than 100k out of any “dampers”, front or rear, thanks to Chicago’s plethora of transverse cracks and displaced expansion joints.
Had the same question, after 300k and towing duty the struts (at least) are not doing their job to OE spec anymore and there’s probably a few random links and bushings with rubber that’s about to crumble out. But with two decades of Midwest salt, maybe he’s better off not touching those bolts.
We had a 2005 MPV equipped about the same as this one. Kept it for about 10 years and brought 2 of our kids for their first ride home from the hospital in it. (The two older ones got to ride in the old Elantra station wagon for their first ride). It was my wifes car at first and when she moved up to the Odyssey (more space for 4 kids) I inherited the MPV.
We kept it for about 12 years and put maybe 165k on it before trading it in. It still ran great but can confirm, the rust is a nightmare. It was just falling apart everywhere and I wasn’t nearly as ambitious as this guy is. Also, while I’m pretty skilled turning wrenches, I have zero skill with bodywork. I’ve tried… it was bad.
Also the 165k wasn’t really representative of the abuse my poor van took. As a civil engineer, I tended to use the van a s a mobile office and the engine racked up hundreds of hours idling for heat/ac and power for my laptop while I was working at remote locations away from the office. It was probably the only Lazer Blue MPV out there with a big amber LED flashing lightbar and a bike rack on the roof.
Awesome story. The MVP was basically the perfect minivan, in that it was the right size. Outside of the southwest, this is the sort of work that needs to be done to keep an ’00s Mazda on the road, unfortunately. I really respect the commitment though.
Reminds me that I need to get the kids into the newly acquired van for a photo-op.
Agreed on the size. Really wish they would remake a real “mini” van that’s 2 feet shorter than the current crop.
Yeah since the MVP, the 5 and the Chrysler shorties there hasn’t been anything like that available since 2015 when the 5 went out of production. I would have gone with something that length over what I had if it were available.
I have a friend who wanted to get a van, but it would barely fit into the garage to the point where they’d be parking it outside or having to squeeze around the damn thing. They also wouldn’t be able to open the tailgate without opening the garage first. Not something you want to have to do in Upstate NY if you don’t have to. They decided to just hold onto their small hatchbacks (a Fit and an Elantra Touring). But if someone was willing to make a van that wasn’t enormous they’d be all over it tomorrow.
My ’86 Range Rover Classic might have suffered quite badly from rust (I’ve replaced most of the floors, sills, rear crossmember, etc), but I’ve got feeling that these ’00:s cars are even worse. My brother had ’06 M-B A-series hatch as second car. It was totally rusted, several holes in the floor, etc. Very often one can see audis and vw products from the late 00:s with rust patches. Sprinter back doors seem to be hydrophobic. Etc. And the 90’s Volvo’s have no rust issues.
I went to go scroll to the end of the article somewhere around the body work section, wow!
This is a lot of work to keep a loved vehicle on the road.
Grade A+ Autopian.
I briefly had a 2002 MPV. Bought it dirt cheap. Well, it was dirt cheap for a reason. Finding replacement parts was almost unobtainable in South Western Ontario. Managed to sell it for almost double what I paid for it, during the pandemic, to a Mazda enthusiast.
Another angle on this great story: think about the sheer amount of money this family has saved on their transportation over the last 8 years. They bought their van fully depreciated already and then got another 200k out of it, without feeling like they were missing out. After reading about how so many people take out 7-year loans on $60k pickups and then roll over the negative equity before it’s even paid for, this story is such a breath of fresh air. This guy may be a car nut, but he’s also a financial genius.
This is dead-on. Not only is it easier on the wallet, it’s easier on the planet because he didn’t cause a new vehicle to be manufactured.
The planet? Not really. Every car in service is part of the overall market for automobiles, new or used, and buying a used vehicle just ensures that someone else can buy a new one to replace it (and must, or there won’t be a supply of used vehicles). What this guy has done, is perform heroic accident and rust repairs to extend the usable life well beyond the usual scrap/recycle point for the vehicle. But even then he scrapped out another complete vehicle to make that happen.
Every car that is saved from the crusher reduces the demand for a new one by just that tiny amount. If everyone could delay scrapping their vehicle by just one year, it would definitely have an impact on the number of cars built and ultimately help the planet.
Hopefully he spends his savings on autocrossing Miatas.