Mid Week Match-Up: A Daily Driver For Adalberto

Today’s Mid Week Match-Up comes to us from Adalberto who writes:  I found your site through the link on rusty but trusty…Don’t know why i hadn’t clicked on it before, but now i have wasted a lot of time looking at your website. I am a car fan boi. I used to work for a car company in Detroit (that shall remain nameless, but has been passed around between the italians and germans like a cheap bottle of booze amongst winos ). i am back in my native SoCal now. My newest car is a 1995 Miata . My Stable also includes a 1978 C10 with a straight six and T5 (I did the swap). My daily beater is a 1988 BMW 528e (born as an auto, fixed with a 5 speed, by me). I broke the ignition tumbler on my 528e, so i have been driving my wife’s discarded 205k miles 16mpg 2003 Mitsubishi montero. I have a long commute on the freeway, and i can’t drive the Miata because soccer moms tailgate me in their big SUV’s and i get scared. I have been given an edict by the boss to cull the herd.

The Miata will always be mine. But I would like to replace all the other cars with a used minivan. I have been looking at 1999-2002 (sliding doors on both sides) Nissan Quests and Villagers. I have a 17 mo old baby, and i am also a landlord, so i need a car that can carry a baby and drywall, and not break down. I have considered a used Mazda 5 or Toyota Sienna from Hertz used cars…but I would rather spend car payment money on other things…I would like to get a car for $5000 or less…but i would be willing to make monthly payments on something newer if the trade off was less time wrenching on a car that isn’t fun. Any suggestions?

My suggestion is to avoid the life sucking experience of driving a minivan, and get a wagon instead. Hunsbloger has been singing the praises of the Taurus/Sable wagon for years, and today I join his lonely voice to make it a duet! This 1999 Ford Taurus SE Wagon found here on eBay bidding for $797 with a few hours to go features the rare 3rd row seat, a 3.0 liter V6, and less than 100k miles…all for under a grand.  Can’t go wrong with that!  Throw your plywood on the roof, kids in the back (or vise versa) and enjoy!

What do you think Adalberto should get for under $5k?