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What makes a good forever car? #5164889 07/19/19 05:03 AM
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Kurtatron Offline OP
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There’s these 2 famous car owners, one a lady that has driven her 1957 Chevy bel air since new. Another that has racked up 3 million miles on his 1966 Volvo. That makes me wonder about my camper van. I want to keep mine forever, but I wonder if it doesn’t really work as a forever car. It’s a Toyota Previa. A 90s car with an ECU that’s been discontinued from Toyota. I won’t be able to buy a replacement ECU from Toyota if the ECU dies. I will likely keep the thing until it dies, just to see. But if and when it does, I want to know what would make a good forever car.

I assume it really just needs to be a car which can be worked on easily and will always have market support for parts. Are the best cars for this older American cars? As in early 70s and prior? I wouldn’t mind owning an old station wagon and using that as my camper vehicle. I don’t need to tow anything. Just space to carry 4-6 people and enough supplies for tent-style camping. I have already been camping 3 times this year and am scheduled for 3 more times this year. I go camping a lot. The Previa of course is doing fine as of now. It’s got 200k miles on it now and no rust. Maintained immaculately with top notch fluids.


Last edited by Kurtatron; 07/19/19 05:05 AM.
Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164899 07/19/19 05:40 AM
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MrHorspwer Offline
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The best thing for a forever car? A good climate.

Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164902 07/19/19 05:45 AM
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exranger06 Offline
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A bad ECU wouldn't necessarily end the car's life. You can always get a junkyard unit, used one on eBay, a remanufactured one from a parts store, and there are even companies that will repair your unit. The transmission control module in my old Accord just died a few weeks ago (common problem on these cars). Honda discontinued them. I could've gotten a used one or a reman unit, but I decided the best option was to have mine repaired. They supposedly upgrade the common failure items with better components so it shouldn't fail again. It has a lifetime warranty. Only cost $117 including shipping both ways from CT to CA.


2006 Ford Ranger Sport
1992 Honda Accord EX
2013 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD
1994 Ford Bronco XLT (project)
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (wife's)
Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164914 07/19/19 06:03 AM
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atikovi Offline
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Forever car? You serious? You're not talking about a Porsche Ferrari or Corvette. A 200,000 mile Previa is a $1000 or $2000 beater. Easy to replace if wrecked or breaks down.

Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164917 07/19/19 06:04 AM
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bullwinkle Offline
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A forever car is one that's stored in a humidity controlled museum and never used around here!


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164924 07/19/19 06:15 AM
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90’s Previa? The kind of cool mid engine one?? I wouldn’t let that go either!

You’re going to get a wide array of answers... most because our wants and needs are different than yours. I personally want RWD or a RWD based AWD system/4x4, but I need a decent amount of legroom in the driver seat for instance. But in my opinion, a forever car is a car that not only fits your criteria for a vehicle, but is also one that you love. There’s always an aftermarket for parts, as mentioned above, to keep older vehicles on the road.

Last edited by Skippy722; 07/19/19 06:16 AM.

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Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164929 07/19/19 06:23 AM
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rooflessVW Offline
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A forever car is something you want to and are willing to keep in the road indefinitely, regardless of the economics.

Needs paint? You paint it.

Needs an engine? You buy/build one.

Needs some insecure part that no one has? You learn to make or repair it and become an SME or you get in touch with the small network of other weirdos that stock parts for your particular weirdness.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164949 07/19/19 06:46 AM
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I think it involves too many variables. Luck of the draw probably being high on the list.


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30

Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164953 07/19/19 06:48 AM
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It's easy to make a car a "forever" car. The question is if you want to put the time and resources into it, especially if it's a vehicle that has little market significance.

You can always purchase a few spare parts that you may need in the future, or have a mechanic that has the resources when those parts fail.

Grace Braeger's 57 Chevy was also never driven in the rain and tucked away in the winter. It was also extensively restored inside and out a few years ago, the transmission has been replaced, as well as most of the exterior engine components. It's also a relatively rare vehicle, and it's value makes it worth it.

Irv Gordon's 66 Volvo also had the engine rebuilt at 690,000 and the engine was replaced in 2009. He was constantly maintaining the car, but there was decent aftermarket support from Volvo. The advertising was also a boon for Volvo, and they capitalized on it. It's also a rare vehicle and it's value makes it worth it.

Are you willing to put the time and effort into something like a Toyota Previa, which is not a rare vehicle and has very little value or appeal? Will it have that level of value and appeal in 40 or 50 years time?

You also have to question driving a very old vehicle in today's traffic if you live near/in a big city. I enjoy getting both the 442 and T out for a Sunday afternoon drive, but I'd never want to use either as a daily driver-they simply aren't as suited to be around modern traffic. Both are far more maintenance intensive than either my modern pickup or our Equinox.


2014 Silverado
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Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164958 07/19/19 07:02 AM
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I have 2 of those kind of vehicles. My 65 VW bug is number 1. You still buy nearly any part. Easily repaired. I keep mine inside and do not use in the winter. My 3 sons all learned to drive a stick with it and it survi ved with the same transmission. I did bring it up to 12 volts and a 1600 single port motor, but I kept the original one. Also I have a 1975 Westfalia camper. It has the 2L carbed motor. Parts are still available and the body is from New Mexico. Maintenence manuals are simple as is the electrical.


Don't waste your time on a slipshod repair.
Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164961 07/19/19 07:04 AM
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I never said I would keep the Previa as long as possible. I just like the charm of seeing someone driving around an old car every once and while. When I see some old 70s station wagon in a grocery market not meant to be a show car, I kinda wish I had that. My friend’s dad has kept his ‘74 Toyota pickup, and it’s the car he had when he met and married his wife. His son gave me a ride in it. I really liked the idea of keeping around an old sentimental car, like never saying good bye to an old dog, no matter how slow, inconvenient, outdated it may be. Yes, I am willing to put in money and time, but I can’t fix some things, especially a niche car like a Previa. So I’m wondering what kind of car COULD survive a long time with parts support and diy repairs. It would only be used for weekends for recreational purposes only, and not for show.

Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: vwmaniaman] #5164967 07/19/19 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by vwmaniaman
I have 2 of those kind of vehicles. My 65 VW bug is number 1. You still buy nearly any part. Easily repaired. I keep mine inside and do not use in the winter. My 3 sons all learned to drive a stick with it and it survi ved with the same transmission. I did bring it up to 12 volts and a 1600 single port motor, but I kept the original one. Also I have a 1975 Westfalia camper. It has the 2L carbed motor. Parts are still available and the body is from New Mexico. Maintenence manuals are simple as is the electrical.


See, I think that is cool. Keeping those old vehicles around and fun memories that come with them. But I bet a 70s VW is a better choice for longevity than a 90s ECU controlled car.

Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164975 07/19/19 07:13 AM
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atikovi Offline
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Originally Posted by Kurtatron
I never said I would keep the Previa as long as possible. I just like the charm of seeing someone driving around an old car every once and while. When I see some old 70s station wagon in a grocery market not meant to be a show car, I kinda wish I had that. My friend’s dad has kept his ‘74 Toyota pickup, and it’s the car he had when he met and married his wife. His son gave me a ride in it. I really liked the idea of keeping around an old sentimental car, like never saying good bye to an old dog, no matter how slow, inconvenient, outdated it may be. Yes, I am willing to put in money and time, but I can’t fix some things, especially a niche car like a Previa. So I’m wondering what kind of car COULD survive a long time with parts support and diy repairs. It would only be used for weekends for recreational purposes only, and not for show.


I have my father's 72 Dart he bought new. It's been sitting outside and hasn't been driven since 2000, not that it's driveable anyway now. Does that count?

Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: Kurtatron] #5164982 07/19/19 07:21 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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Chevy Nova and Dodge Dart. L6 from around 1970s,
Maintained a fleet of these for a driving school. Simple easy reliable. Dodge slant six had that exhaust manifold cracking issue but otherwise solid.

Now rust control is another issue.


2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#1 5885mi-Castrol Edge Prof? VW508+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#7 52665mi-Castrol GTX Magnatec 5W20 + SOA Filter
Re: What makes a good forever car? [Re: MrHorspwer] #5164984 07/19/19 07:22 AM
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BMWTurboDzl Offline
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Originally Posted by MrHorspwer
The best thing for a forever car? A good climate.


And an obsessive owner with financial means.


“It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you’re going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.”

435i
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