Can Buying New Get You the Best Deal?

the joy of car buying

I got asked a question this week that gave me pause. Typically, when someone asks me a car question, I’m ready with a quick, educated and, if I’m feeling really good, witty response.

This question, though, left me silent for a few moments as I pondered my potential responses. My gut reaction and my logical mind weren’t cooperating with one another, and the resulting battle left me momentarily speechless. The question, in theory, should have an easy answer.

But all I could muster in the early moments of my response was a half-hearted, “Well, it depends, I suppose…”

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Costco Fulfills F1 Racing Dreams… For a Price

Costco F1 racing simulator

Costco: the land where dreams come true.

Assuming, of course, your dreams include 50-pound bags of sugar, gallons of mayonnaise and full access to all the toilet paper you’ll ever need.

Bulk discounts on household staples are enough to keep some people coming back every Saturday. Every once in a while, though, Costco surprises by offering something so over-the-top extravagant or absurd that it blows our little minds. That includes million-dollar diamonds, caskets stacked near the TVs, and now, F1 cars.

Kind of.

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The Petersen Automotive Museum’s 10 Best

Petersen Automotive Museum Streetscape

All Photos Courtesy of the Petersen Automotive Museum

On the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, at the beginning of Los Angeles’ “Miracle Mile,” sits the Petersen Automotive Museum. Founded in 1994 by magazine magnate Robert E. Petersen, the Petersen Museum rose to become one of the world’s premier automotive museums and today attracts visitors from all over the globe to view the approximately 150 cars on display at any given time. With an inventory ranging from Ferraris to Fords, the Monkeemobile to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s custom 1942 Lincoln and a countless number of rare and classic cars that come through the museum on loan, the Petersen Museum has something for everyone.

Founded with the idea that all the museum’s cars would not be on display at the same time, the Petersen Museum has 8 permanent exhibitions that it compliments with a variety of temporary exhibits. Given the principle of not putting all its cars on display at the same time, the museum rotates cars in and out of exhibits to keep the museum feeling fresh every time a visitor returns. With permanent exhibits including the famed “Streetscape: The Car and the City in Southern California,” “Hollywood Gallery: Cars of Film and Hollywood” and “Discovery Center” as well as temporary exhibits like “Braving Baja: 1000 Miles to Glory” and “Fins: Form Without Function,” it’s lucky for our boss that the Petersen Museum isn’t located in New England, as it’s doubtful CarGurus employees would ever show up to work with such a collection in our backyard.

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Forgotten Car Concepts from an Unexpected Source

A 1958 Kaiser Waimea concept

If things had been different, I might be living near a Washington State auto production facility today instead of an abandoned aluminum factory.

Washington is home to a couple of automakers, one being SSC North America, the maker of the Ultimate Aero and Tuatara, and the other being Commuter Cars, maker of the tiny-but-crazy-fast electric Tango.

Both companies are vanity automakers, producing a very small number of vehicles per year. What if there was a third Washington automaker? I’m sure many people outside the state couldn’t possibly care less, but if some car concepts from Kaiser Aluminum in the 1950s had gained traction, maybe we’d be talking about Ford, GM, Chrysler and Kaiser as the Big 4 American automakers.

Probably not, but keep reading anyway for a peek into what could have been.

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Cars Coming Soon: Mitsubishi’s Offensive Includes Subcompact Sedan

Mitsubishi G4 Concept

Mitsubishi G4 Concept

Last year, two car companies in America were on death watch.

Suzuki closed up shop on its North American operations not long after speculation of impending doom began, while Mitsubishi looked to be close behind on the way to the exit.

As we’re closing in on the midway point of 2013, it seems Mitsubishi could be on the verge of a turnaround. The company will need a pretty intense product offensive to lure customers back into showrooms, but a couple new Mitsubishi vehicles coming down the pipe could be just enough to save the brand.

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Japan’s Supercar to Become All-American Brute

Acura NSX concept

An almost mythical beast born in Japan had its legend sealed on the streets of the world.

The Acura NSX (sold in other markets as the Honda NSX) proved that Japan could dominate in the world of performance supercars. One could argue that the NSX spawned the Nissan GT-R and even the Lexus LFA. It disappeared from the market in 2005 and has since been the subject of countless rumors of impending return.

The latest news on the return of the beast has it pegged for a 2015 return, a full decade after the car retreated back to where it came from and left many enthusiasts in mourning.

When the NSX does come back, it will be almost unrecognizable compared to its former self. The biggest change, perhaps, will be that it’ll no longer be from Japan.

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Lamborghini Parodies Itself with Egoista Concept

lamborghini-egoista

Things are going crazy in Sant’Agata, otherwise known as Lamborghini’s hometown.

The Italian automaker just might be going off its rocker. I’m all for a slick white Gallardo or murdered-out black Murcielago, but some recent designs coming from the Raging Bull are leaving a lot of people with dropped jaws and shaking heads.

Lamborghini has always existed on the edge of what is acceptable for automotive design. Stark angles and heavy creases have defined the brand for the last few generations of cars, but that’s recently been taken to a whole new level.

The results of these changes seem to cross the line of cool and wade into the dangerous waters of the comical.

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Your Next Radio Station Change, Brought to You by Allstate?

Cadillac XTS CUE display

Inside my car is about the only place left where I can find complete solitude and turn off the outside world if choose. I can either play my Korn albums as loud as I want, listen to NPR if I choose or bask in the glory of silence and a pleasing exhaust note.

As Frank Costanza used to say, it’s my “Serenity now!”

Aside from the outdoor advertising along the roads I travel, when I’m in my car I can be completely free of ads from companies hungry for my money. Soon, though, even the sacred space inside our cars may be fertile ground for new advertising opportunities. One of those could be ads built right into the infotainment systems of new cars.

Want to turn up the air conditioning? Doing so could be brought to you by the good people at Jiffy Lube. Changing a radio station could come courtesy of Allstate.

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When Supercars and Classics Get Abandoned

Could you abandon this? 1968 Jaguar S-Type

Could you abandon this?

You missed a car payment.

If you live in the United States, you’ll say some curse words, call the bank, and make arrangements to get back on schedule. Aside from a hit to the credit report, there’s no real harm done. But if you live in the United Arab Emirates, you could go to prison.

There are no bankruptcy laws in the UAE, and not paying a debt is considered a criminal offense. Bottom line, if you take out a loan in the UAE, you either pay, go to prison or flee the country. When the first two options are out of the question and the third becomes reality, whatever possessions you had in the country stay there.

That’s partly the reason behind some high-profile abandoned supercars in the deserts near Dubai. The U.S. has some abandoned cars too, though they tend to mostly be forgotten classics. Keep reading for some pictures that contrast the abandoned cars of the UAE with the ones in the USA.

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Cars Coming Soon: The Terrafugia Flying Car, Version 2.0

terrafugia_TF-X

I spent the final night of 1989 at a bowling alley. At 12 years old, my parents wanted to make that New Year’s Eve memorable and took my brothers and I midnight bowling.

I remember feeling a sense of awe that the calendar was about to switch the 1990s. It sounded so futuristic and had the potential to be the decade that would bring on the realization of a future I’d seen in the movies. I half expected to see flying cars in the sky on the ride home in those first hours of the 1990s.

Of course, all the 1990s brought us was email, the Internet and Vanilla Ice. Not a single flying car anywhere in the world.

If only the 12-year-old me from 1990 could have seen what Terrafugia has planned in the second decade of the 21st century!

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