Another Round of HEMI-ng & Hawing

It’s the time of year when I ask you for your input about cars… again. But first, some rationale.

Over a year ago I wrote:

The Blackura has started to hurt… Should I cut my losses and ditch it?

All of the maladies of the ol’ Blackura listed in that post still exist except for the wheel bearing (which hasn’t gone out again since it got fixed… yet) and the transmission rebuild that set me back about 3 large last May.

Today, it’s in the shop again with yet another (different) problem relating to the brakes. I’ve had to fill the reservior with brake fluid twice over the last couple of weeks, so there’s definitely a leak somewhere in the system, but I haven’t seen any fluid on the ground to provide an approximate location. That’s the best possible scenario: a cracked line or hose or something like that which isn’t too expensive to replace. It could, however, turn out to be another fucking nightmare.

So, again—and at Erin’s behest, believe it or not—I’m thinking of replacing that beloved old sumbitch.

I will preempt my brother’s inevitable beatdown by conveying the following (actual) conversation between my betrothed & me.

Me: Oooh, I could totally afford a 2005 Mustang GT Premium or Deluxe at Carmax.
Erin: Oooh, no. The new Mustangs are ugly.
(end scene)

There aren’t a lot of new cars that I’d buy and drive in my price range, up to $35-40k because I’d only have to finance about $25-30k which would put me between $550 to $650 per month (at a realistic 6% rate). Of course, I’d like to find something cheaper, but that’s what I have to work with.

I did check up on used cars available at the local and transfer-fee-free Carmax stores. I could get this BMW or that Audi or a different Benz. Shit, a couple of Jags and Porches showed up, too. But, of course, the best ones are years old & I don’t get to pick the options or colors or anything like that… so I’d be strapped to whatever spurious and/or retarded decisions the previous asshole made at the lot.

Plus, I don’t want to be “that guy” driving the cock-show status car; I’m a black t-shirt and jeans man. I know what I like, and I know what type of effort will get me what I like; I don’t need anything more than that to make me (or others) feel like I’m a successful, contributing member of society.

Disclaimer: I love the ‘06 Corvette Z06. If I could afford that bitch—trust—I’d already have a black one. That doesn’t automatically mean that I have a small dick or that I’m a 50+ balding retiree asshole looking for early-twenties pussy. The ‘06 Z06 is a fucking beast.

cars2006.jpgMoving on.

I’ve chosen some shade of gray for the new sled, since keeping my first true love (a wet, shiny, luscious black car) clean has proven to be a motherfucker… and I figure gray still looks badass but might hide some dirt. Working in order of the graphic to your right:

2006 Dodge Charger SRT8
6.1L HEMI V8 w/ 5-speed automatic trans
425 horsepower & 420 lb-ft torque
MSRP w/ options: $38,010 or ~$610/mo

Nothing on my list compares to this one as far as power, performance, the sheer intensity of balls-twitching it induces… and price. I backed out one of my previously-chosen options to get the MSRP below $40k, since upon hearing the monthly payment Erin said, “Wow. You can’t have one of those.” I know… but a man can dream.

2006 Mazda RX-8
1.3L two-rotor rotary w/ 6-speed auto
212 horsepower & 164 lb-ft
MSRP w/ options: $31,195 or ~$470/mo

Sure, low-ish torque number, but a flat torque curve means that power is available across a large range of revs, unlike every other car on this list. It’s one of C&D’s 10 Best, weighs less than your mom after the all-she-can-eat early-bird at Perkins, and would probably kick the shit out of every non-HEMI on my list, 0-60.

2006 Acura TSX
2.4L inline 4 w/ 5-speed auto
205 horsepower & 164 lb-ft
MSRP w/ options: $34,290 or ~$540/mo

I wish they offered a V6 for this model, but you have to pay out your ass for the TL ($40k+ w/ options) if you want those two extra cylinders and 53 additional horsepower, which makes the Charger look like a steal. Additionally, the TSX is a luxury car that looks pretty sharp, would offer a smoother ride and greater comfort… but would only offer the benefit of less-frequent maintenance schedule than the current Blackura. A C&D 10 Best, but I’m not sure it’s worth it.

2006 Honda Accord Coupe
3.0L VTEC V6 w/ 5-speed auto
244 horsepower & 211 lb-ft
MSRP w/ options: $32,840 or ~$500/mo

I hate the ass-end of the 4-door Accord sedan; it looks like shit (read: Nissan Altima/Maxima) compared to this coupe. In the ‘99-‘00 days, the V6 Accord and the Acura CL 3.0 were the exact same machines, with the exact same 200hp/195lb-ft VTEC engine, suspension and auto trans, but with different bodies. This equates (for the most part) to the ‘06 Accord being latest model of my current car. It’s another C&D 10 Best. Note: The rims in the photo are not the rims I’d select.

2006 Honda Civic Si
2.0L i-VTEC inline 4 w/ 6-speed manual
197 horsepower & 139 lb-ft
MSRP w/ options: $26,320 or ~$370/mo

This one’s new for 2006, and the whole Civic line won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year for ‘06 (read: not this particular model alone). It’s an afterthought as far as my new-car contenders. The monthly payment is the only car listed here that’s lower than the Blackura’s fee back before it got paid off (hardcore props to my sugarmomma Erin). It does look kinda’ badass, but I never fancied myself a riceboi. You’ll note the exclusion of the aforementioned Scion Tc and Acura RSX Type-S from my list of courters.

Looking back at my own shit… I’m thinking RX-8 or Accord coupe. What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “Another Round of HEMI-ng & Hawing

  1. Will car seats fit in it?

    Or – Big house payment, mom raising kids with no extra income, second van like car payment (for the little Perez – soccer playing kids) and new expense of children right around the corner – I would pick the lowest payment.

    But then again I hate debt.

  2. RX-8 bad ass and I say screw the car seats (but that could be considered a Ray thing…) Long gone are the Power Pig days-huh?

  3. I say, long live the Power Pig days. It’s all in the timing baby…enjoy it while you can and be the MAN. And then bow down and make your fam proud by giving it up and showing that your pride can take it. Rock on my GM. And I need you to send me your life in visual aid form, so I don’t feel left out. Rock on. I miss you. UD is excited that he knows which one you are. AK

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