Buying a classic car as a DD

04-25-2014, 02:22 PM
I'm curious what everyone's thoughts are on buying an old car as a daily driver. *I've been wanting to buy an old Datsun S30, (240z/260z/280z), and where I live, about $10k will buy one in pretty
decent condition. (not show quality or numbers matching, but pretty
decently restored)

I'm an ok weekend mechanic, so I can do most maintenance myself, and my commute to work is only about 10 minutes each way, so gas mileage is not a huge concern (not that old Z's get that bad of mileage). *I also still have my beater Ford Escort for winter use, so I can feasibly go without driving it in bad weather. *I guess my thoughts are more centered around the financial aspect of it.

The way I see it, let's take two different scenarios. Let's say I take
my $10k, and drop it on a used late model sedan
(Ford/Honda/Toyota/Hyundai/Kia/Chevy, whatever), with say under 30k miles on it. I drive it for 5-6 years, and then sell it. *I'm probably
going to end up selling it for at least $3k-$4k less than what I paid
for it. *So let's say my cost of ownership after selling the car is
around $3,000.

Let's say I plunk that same $10k down on a nicely restored, good
quality 1972 Datsun 240z. *Miles may or may not make a huge
difference, but let's just say it's got 150k on the clock. * I maintain it, take good care of it, drive it for those same 5-6 years. Chances are depending on the market, that I will sell it for around the same amount I paid for it. *I will spend more money on maintaining the Z, but not a huge amount (assuming there are no catastrophic failures). *Let's say I spend $1000 more on maintenance in those 5 years than I would on the newer car.

But the way I see it, I'm still spending around $2k more on a newer car than I will on the old one. *Is my justification flawed?

p.s. *Yes I would love to restore it myself, and may do that one day
down the road, but at my age and phase of life (kids), I can't afford
time or money to do that right now, so I'm looking at buying a turn
key car.

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