Thread: My Red '97
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Old 01-02-2020, 01:45 PM   #1
Motorist & Coffee Drinker
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 2,887
My Red '97

I was looking on Craigslist and the Facebook market for a cheap Honda Fit for my youngest daughter. She's been driving one of my '99 Boxsters and I thought that a Fit would be more practical. For a couple weeks, I ignored the $3,000 1997 Boxster that came up in my 'peripheral' searches. The last thing I needed was another Boxster and at $3k, it was bound to be junk. Let some other sucker buy it. I finally found a couple decent looking Fits for under $3,000 and forwarded them to her.

"What do you think Nikki? I hear that these are good little cars. Lots of space inside and great gas mileage."
"Um, no dad. They're ugly and they look cheap. My Boxster is just fine thank you."

So, I had my 'Fit money' in hand and remembered that sad little red '97 somewhere past Oklahoma City. By now it had been on Craigslist for about a month. I expected that it would be sold, but went ahead and emailed the seller asking for some basic info. I immediately received an email back with a phone number to call.

In summary, the seller said: 5 speed manual, hardtop included, soft top is broken, big stack of maintenance records, 184,000 miles, interior '9 out of 10', some hail damage easy to see up close, but not bad from a few steps away, runs and drives fine, but the new coolant tank he just installed is leaking from the hoses. "Make an offer I just want it gone."

I said I wouldn't be available to get it for about a week, but that if he still had it on the day after Christmas, I'd bring cash and a trailer. On the 26th, I called to verify it was still there and got the address. About a three hour drive. My wife and dogs stayed at the house eagerly waiting my return.

The car looked better in person than I expected. From the front, the hail dents are hard to find and the ones on the rear trunk can probably be leveled out with some PDR. The seller had owned it for about 7 years and had really enjoyed it most of the time he had it. Now it had high mileage and minor problems starting to accumulate. After messing with the coolant tank, he didn't want to keep trying to DIY and the cost of taking it to a shop would quickly surpass the value. I paid $2,500 and broke it down on the receipt as $1,300 for the hardtop and $1,200 for the car. I may use it in the future in the "Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge" and need to keep the receipt for the car under $2k.

It took most of the day, but it was all smooth travels with no surprises. Home at dusk, I unloaded the car from the trailer and parked it in the garage after taking it for a quick drive around the block.

I am not an attorney, mechanic, or member of the clergy. Following any advice given in my posts is done at your own peril.
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