I’ve finally done it. I’ve finally bought another car. Notice I don’t say “a new car”. I’ve really, really bought another car – another Mitsubishi station wagon in white.
Except this time, it’s a Verada station wagon, a 2004 Ei Series 2 model. So much for all my talk about buying a Mercedes? To be honest, I’ve been put off by all the horror stories about unreliability and parts costs. Lotto.
For years I’ve been thinking what a pleasure my 2001 Magna is to drive, but seeing it slowly deteriorate. It was all those years of being parked unprotected in the sun at the old house. It’s faded the paint and allowed some rust spots to form, including a big one on the roof. The windscreen was sandblasted when I bought it and has always been poor. But the engine was great and I didn’t want to give it up.
I always wanted a Verada, but afaik, they never made a station wagon Verada. I was wrong. I saw this one on Facebook’s Marketplace. It’s 3 years younger and looks good in these photos (the advertiser’s a dealer called Cheap Cars). It was advertised at $2490. I thought I should be able to haggle it down to $2000, which I was prepared to pay.
But when I enquired, he said he had to withdraw it because it needs new front tyres, new brakes and it has an oil leak. He couldn’t justify the costs and was going to send it back to an auction place.
I was very disappointed. I thought about it for the day, then called him back and asked if it was legal to drive. Yes, so further enquiry resulted in him saying he just wanted to get what he paid for it. That was? $1200! So that’s what it cost me. I am very pleased.
Now that I’ve got it, it’s got quite a few things needing fixing, but nothing I can’t handle. Lots of tar spots; a broken rear tail-light lens; a small dent and scratch on the right front guard; corrosion and paint loss on the roof rack mounts; a hazy left front plastic headlight cover; a muffler leak; and lots of paint blemishes. Also the interior roof lining has fallen down (just the cloth, not the whole thing). And the radio/6stackCD has no security code, so it stops working after 5 mins. But at last, I’ve got something I’ve always wanted – a co-tanger radio antenna. Yes, the antenna is snapped off so there’s a bent up coat hanger stuffed in there. Plus the tyres, brakes and oil leak to fix. There’s a few weeks work there.
But it’s got: wood grain! Yeah, it’s plastic wood grain, but I like it. Velour upholstery. It’s got a leather bound steering wheel and handbrake lever; buttons on the wheel for the radio/CD controls; a 5 speed auto gearbox; a semi-manual gear shifter; TCL traction control for the front wheels; alloy (mag) wheels, yay, my first ever set, including on the spare!; lights in the footwells; map reading lights; extra grab handles and coat hangers; a 10 speaker sound setup; a roof rack; a tow bar, again yay, I’ve never had one.
The engine bay looks a lot cleaner and neater than mine, even though it’s the same engine.
So I need to spend a few hundred dollars, maybe more, but it will give me a car worth keeping to enjoy for another 5-10 years, maybe see me out.
I’ve still got my old one, the 2001 TJ, and I’ll hang onto it while my partner is here for the summer so she can be independent. She likes that idea. Then I’ll give it to a friend who really needs a bigger car to hold all his tools and machinery for his work. A Mazda 2 is just too small.
I’m not finished yet. Once the “old” Magna is donated away, there are some very tempting bargains. I never knew this marketplace existed until a month ago, and now I’m addicted.