Welcome to $100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge Week
In place of the usual Monday discussion-starter, we're going to try something completely different.
In the comments to my Chrysler 300 review, reader "Hiptech" provided a link to a video review of the 300's Dodge platform mate at Everyday Driver. I got to rooting around on the Everyday Driver site and discovered that they'd had a "Dream Garage" reader contest a few years back. That gave us the idea to try one of our own.
Car Lust proudly announces the $100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge. (Insert brass fanfare here.) The concept is simple: pretend that a generous but reclusive billionaire who reads Car Lust has given you $100,000 to spend on motor vehicles for you and your family. To answer the challenge, tell us what you'd buy with that kind of scratch.
We the Car Lust contributors will be taking turns for the next few days describing what's parked in our fantasy garages. If you'd like to play along too, the official rules are after the jump.
1. You must spend the entire $100,000 if possible, but in any event no less than $97,500 of it. (No fair buying a $500 beater and investing the rest.)
2. You must buy vehicles that will be sufficient to serve the reasonably forseeable transportation needs of you and your household. There should be at least one vehicle in the mix that is identified as your daily driver. Once you've met the basic needs of your household, you can buy road toys with whatever's left of the $100k.
4. At least one vehicle must be a new model presently on sale in North America.
5. Assume that you will pay straight MSRP for a new vehicle--we'll ignore tax, title, trade-in, rebates, Auto Show Bonus Cash, the salesman's brother-in-law discount, your mad bargaining skillz, and all that stuff just to keep it simple.
6. For a used vehicle, use NADA Blue Book value or the asking price in an online ad. (A dealership's online listing counts as an "ad" for this purpose.)
For NADA Blue Book purposes, assume a car in "clean retail" condition which has accumulated 12,000 miles per year from the year of manufacture through the end of 2012, to a maximum of 150,000. (Example: a 2010 model year car would be valued as if it had 36,000 miles.)
If you're using an ad price, your response should include a link to the specific ad.
If you can't find an ad and the car isn't priced on the NADA website, estimate the price by any available reasonable means, but explain how you made the estimate.
7. If you will be modifying one of your selections, the cost of the modification should be added to the price. Include a source or other justification for the price of the modification.
If you are selecting a car from overseas that is not presently street legal in the U.S. (example here), include the cost of "federalizing" it.
Repainting or major body repair/restoration counts as a "modification," but do not factor in scheduled maintenance or running repairs.
8. If you want to keep your current ride(s), you have to charge it (them) off against the $100,000 at the current NADA "clean retail" price. (Example: my GTI has a "clean retail" value of $13,800, so if I'm keeping it that amount gets subtracted from my $100k.)
9. For each vehicle you select, give us a brief (sentence or two) explanation of why you picked it.
Leave your response in the comments, or e-mail it to the Car Lust Global Operations Center mailbox, email@example.com. I'll compile the reader responses into a follow-up post sometime next week.
Have fun shopping!
--Cookie the Dog's Owner