The Perils of Buying a Used Car (Or, Why Beggars Who Are Choosers Die Young)

So I got rear-ended by a 40+ year old learning driver with a bunch of previous accidents last month.

Not including pics of the damage, because honestly the exterior damage was superficial – it was all under the skin, so to say, so you’ll just wonder wtf I’m talking about.

Insurance is fixing it, yes, but:
A) I was actually thinking of selling it this summer anyway
B) While I do love it, I was never attached to it like my first car. I guess it’s not my true love.
C) I need something with more oomph.

So with that in mind I decided to buy a

Subaru Impreza


I’m currently looking at a few. One option is an older one that has had a newer, hotter engine swapped in. Test drove it yesterday and HOLY CRAP that thing pulls. The things that give me pause are a rust problem of indeterminate severity, no A/C, and a kind of ratty ugly tan interior.

Another couple options are stock Imprezas, which on their own are a bit Coroll-lame. I mean they have AWD, which is awesome, but 140 hp is rather meh in a 2800 lb car. So what happens if I get an unmodified Impreza?

The engine bay goes from this... this.


And more than doubles the car’s power. Anyway, in looking for a used car, I’m having some issues, being a picky person and all. A choosy beggar if you will. The car must:

-be without a sunroof! (it lessens headroom, and I’m 6 feet tall)
-not have too much rust if at all (and only cosmetic at that)!
-have folding rear seats! (makes a trunk so much more useful)
-NOT have that ugly-tan-interior! (come on, it should be obvious. Pic below)
-have a manual transmission (automatic is for cattle. If you’re my girlfriend, you’re going to learn stick)!
-be coloured World Rally Blue (WRB is so hot right now. WRB.)

Finding all of these in a used car is not possible.

Rust is an issue on most of these cars. Finding one without is a superhuman task in Canada.

There is a model that had a black interior, was blue, with a manual transmission… but it had fixed rear seats and a sunroof.

I’ve seen many that had a 5-speed, no sunroof, had folding seats, and weren’t terribly rusty, but the interior and exterior colours were all wrong.

That said, I’m not opposed to getting the car re-painted, so throwing money at that problem is a solution. Minor cosmetic rust can be fixed while the car is at the body shop getting resprayed (again, money). Fixed rear seats can be swapped out for the folding ones, but that will take some money and some elbow grease… and the new seats may not match up exactly with the rest of the interior!

Yeah, lots of money can solve anything in car land. Even the sunroof… although screw welding the panel in place and all that bs.

When it comes down to it, the transmission only matters for as long as I keep the car stock. When you’re swapping out the engine, you can also change the transmission, so an Auto could easily become a 5- or 6-speed post-swap.

It's like drowning in non-tasty breadcream or something! Ughghgbnegrbknfd


I guess all I REALLY need then, is a car with minimal rust and no sunroof… and the non-tan interior. Yes, moneychuck again, but damn that’s just such a PITA. Seating, carpets, and trim I’m comfortable removing and reinstalling – I do NOT want to have to pull the dash – or pay someone else to do it.

So okay, 3/6 is maybe doable. ;)

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