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10 Things I Wish I Had Know Before Trading a 2000 Honda in for a Classic Car

April 19th, 2008 at 11:44 am

My hubby and I moved to our current home in late April 2005. In July that year, we spotted a 1968 Mustang sitting in a parking lot of a grocery store. We bought it from the owner, who was a college student. In order to pay for it, we sold our Honda to a nearby car dealer. Here are 10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Trading a 2000 Honda for a a Classic Car.



1. I wish I had known how much "skill" my husband had in working on cars. While my husband professed to be a decent mechanic and could do much of the work the car, I discovered after we bought the Mustang that he is not really that good at it.

2. I wish I had known to be a little tougher and stand up to my husband and "no, we will not sell the Honda for a non-working automobile." This mistake alone has cost me more aggravation and money that I accurately calculate.

3. I wish I had known that you need space like a garage and equipment to work on cars. We also did not have the space or equipment needed to work on cars. Tools are expensive and we could not afford to buy them.

4. I wish I had known what poor gas mileage old classic cars get. My 5-year-old Honda was not the greatest car in the world. However, it got excellent gas mileage. We used to joke that the Mustang got about 19 gallons to the mile.

5. Except for a bent wheel which needed to be replaced, our 2005 Honda was in excellent condition. We had never had any major problems with it. Our Mustang was in the shop for over 3 1/2 months getting major work (replacing the engine, front end, brakes, power steering, fuel pump, gas gauge, and gas tank) completed. In the meantime, we had no other car and I had to take the bus to work and ride my bike to do errands and shopping.

6. I wish I had realized the stupidity of getting a $500 cash advance for getting repairs done on the Mustang. Mind you, this was not all the repairs that had to be done, only a small portion. Oh, my lord, the enormous interest rates! Because of charging many things to the cc, including the car repairs, I have a cc balance and practically no savings.

7. The cost of repairs for an old classic car can be enormous when compared to a car that is in good, running order and needs only minor maintenance and the rare major repair. In other words, old classic cars are like the house in the movie, "The Money Pit," starring Tom Hanks.

8. Old classic cars that are not in good condition are probably not good for long distance travel.

9. The hubby convinced me that we could fix up the Mustang, sell it, and then buy two in much better condition that even the first one. I learned as a result of this experience that unless you sell to a collector and the car is in excellent condition, getting any money of the deal is not likely.

10. I wish I had known that I have be more responsible for myself and to keep some money separate and hidden from my husband. I am not trying to be secretive and I am not doing anything illegal, but when he finds out I have money, it just vanishes to buy stuff we don't need. He does not even know how much I have in my retirement and I will not tell him. He does not even agree with me having a retirement account, but I am doing it anyway, as I don't want to be standing in the Salvation Army soup line and clipping coupons when I retire. Statistically, because he is older than I am, he will likely die first. Should it happen otherwise, though, his name is on the POD part of all of my accounts.

It took 2 1/2 years to truly convince my husband we had to get rid of the Mustang. We were able to trade it to for a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am that is in good working order. (This is an interesting story in itself, because the guy wanted the Mustang, a car that does not even run, for the car we got. It was a straight trade.) The Grand Am is not perfect, but it is very good. His desire to get rid of the Mustang arose out of us trying to get custody of his granddaughter. In his words, we need something more reliable and family-like to drive the baby around in. I don't car about the reason he finally agreed to do it. I am just glad to have that albatross off my back. I will never again allow him to convince me to trade a good working automobile for one that is in questionable condition.

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