Reviewed: mistakes to avoid while looking at JDM classifieds_
Yesterday I was on the internet trying to find homemade cures for hangovers and I found the least effective one. I did what you shouldn't do but you do: I began looking at classifieds for cars I can't afford.
I'm a huge fan of JDM so that's where I started. I set out looking for a Nissan GTR, 29 on sale in Italy right now, including an apparently spotless grey one in Rome, yours for 44,900€, which is great value, I'm sure, but still more than I can afford, I think.
While I was looking through the Nissan ads I thought I might as well treat myself to a Skyline, the R34 we all fell in love with thanks to the Fast and Furious franchise, and I found one, good condition, 60k on the clock, two owners, yours for 30k near Milan, sold by a private owner. 30 grand for a Skyline sounds good but honestly, I'd go the extra mile and get the GT-R for 45 grand. I know it's 15 grand more but then again, it is a better car, you know for sure it's going to last longer and, because it is sold by a registered dealership, you can probably get a good deal and pay with installments. Then, after toying some more with the idea of buying cars you know for sure are a bad idea like the 350Z, the 370Z and the Silvia, I moved on a brand that no longer exists: Daihatsu.
I was obviously looking for a Copen. The Copen is the first press car I ever tested: in 2010 I sent an email to Daihatsu's head of PR and wonder whether I could borrow a Copen for three weeks. Amazingly, even though I had nothing to show for but my (then) few months old blog, they said yes. I fell in love with it. It is still to date one of the most entertaining cars I've driven and that's mainly because it is very light. Carmakers seem to have forgotten this but power-to-weight ratio is irrelevant unless the car is light. The Copen was lighter than anything, including the Elise, which meant that it gave you 100 % of what it had 100 $ of the time, and it felt like a RWD even though its power went through the front wheels.
It's become somewhat of a classic and this was confirmed by the fact that only seven are for sale, average price around 7k, which is not inconsiderate considering what it is and what it isn't (practical, mostly. And good luck getting it serviced).
I moved on. To Mazda.
I've owned an RX8, which I sold out of desperation, and an NB MX-5, which I sold because I seem to be the only person in the history of the world that managed to suffer a breakdown with an MX-5.
You can get an RX8 for a packet of biscuits these days and that's because the word spreads fast and now everybody knows it's trouble. Obviously some didn't get the memo and still buy it and sell it for unreasonable amounts. For example, I found one for 22k, sold by a dealership in Milan, with more than 30k on the clock and you must be barking mad to buy it at that price. I don't care how "well maintained" or "unique" it might be. Then we get to the mileage and again, you also must be barking mad to buy an RX8 with more than 30-40k on the clock. Which only leaves us with one RX-8, sold by a private owner near Bologna, for 6,500€ and 49,000 km (about 30k miles) which is almost reasonable. But precisely because I've had one, I've loved one, and I damn nearly cried when I sold it, I'm fully entitled to tell you that the only reasonable thing to do with an RX-8 is to never ever buy one.
Then I started looking at MX-5, and that was a dumb idea. I knew what I'd find so I went looking for it. I selected "year of make: 2001", then I selected colour "green", then I selected mileage, I didn't know for sure but I knew for sure it had to be more than 60k miles, because that's what it said when I sold it.
And there it was, for sale by dealership in Milan, 4,900€, 2 owners (that's a lie, it has to be at least four because I was the third owner when I bought it), in mint condition, 110k miles on the clock.
It's my MX-5. Spotless exterior condition (I made sure of that), custom made leather seats (I made sure of that, too) that still look new, xexon lights (yes, me again), blue calipers (yes, that's also me) and new engine (yes, that's also because of me. Because I broke the old one).
Dammit. Should I buy it again? Dammit.
My advice to you: never get drunk on NYE, you end up looking at stupid s**t on the internet.