Dear DT: Truckless in Seattle

Dear DT,

I am a mostly work from home artificial tree designer who needs reliable transportation to get around on the weekends and occasionally drive into the office. I’ve owned a quad-cab Toyota truck for many years, but was recently in an accident with a tractor that totaled my truck. Now I need a new car, but the prices for new cars are nuts and slightly used ones are expensive as well. I want something more sporty that the truck, fun to drive around, but I also need something that I can drive in the winter snow occasionally and it needs to fit my two step-kids. Oh, and it needs to be cool/unique, not in my neighbor’s driveway and comfortable on long trips and my wife won’t hate. What do I get for my $15,000 budget?

Sincerely, Truckless in Seattle

Dear Truckless,

Wow. That is quite an ask for your budget. Used car prices are insane right now because the OEM supply crisis and Carvana/Carmax/Hertz bidding up the prices of used cars to increase their book values…and you are asking a lot from a single vehicle. But don’t fret. There is light at the end of the tunnel. No it isn’t a train, but that light is coming from the single functioning headlight on a $1500 ’94 Dodge Dakota that you are going to use for basic commuting and snow days. Next, you are going to get a $6950 ’91 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz (not Barrettes) for your comfortable cruising and step-child hauling. Maybe for date nights with your wife. Finally, with your remaining $6500 you are going to get a divorce attorney ’04 Subaru Impreza WRX . And if you claim that you don’t have anywhere to park all of these vehicles, just remember that there is the street, your neighbor’s lawn, and nearby elementary school playgrounds all available for your parking pleasure.

All the best in your marriage, DT

Dear DT,

I need your help. I recently retired from my job as a Costco receipt checker and part time highlighter enthusiast and have some disposable income to spend on a fun car. I am looking for a classic car where I don’t have to do a bunch of maintenance, but is fun to cruise around and makes other people smile. My budget is $35,000. What do I get?

Sincerely, Retired Looking for Tires

Dear Retired,

You must have indiscriminately smeared highlighter over folk’s receipts and backed-up shopping carts past the optometry section for years to save that much money for a used car, but kudos for your dedication. I wish that Costco made cars, because I’m confident there would be an off-brand Chevy with a Kirkland Signature badge on the hood that would fit your requirements, but we will need to head over to Hemmings Auctions and find you something fun. How about this 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback bidding for $25k with a day to go? For a few more bones you can get a different green Mustang, this ’65 Fastback bidding for $38,500 on eBay. If you want something a little more classic, you could get a 1947 Lincoln Continental convertible with a 460V8 bidding for $30,500 with 5 days to go.

All the best advice is free, DT

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