When you get right down to it, you’re looking for one type of car, and one type only: the Old Fart’s Car (OFC).
These are the cars old folks buy a few years before they pass on into the fullness of life. These cars were carefully selected by their original owners to be dependable, comfortable, and oftentimes graceful. In our modern day world, the key to being independent in old age is to be able to own and operate a vehicle.
For this reason, the original owners took fastidious care of their prized possession – cleaned, maintained (often by the dealer) and garaged when not in use. These cars were driven regularly, but regularly meant 3-5 miles to the grocery store and another half dozen miles to church and back. Ten miles a week, not counting trips to the doctor and to visit friends and family.
One to two thousand miles a year is commonplace amongst OFC’s. They’re easy miles, careful miles. When coupled with regular washings and garage storage, finding a good OFC is possible anywhere in the country – even in the Rust Belt! Out West where UV radiation reduces interiors to tattered, cracked shards of vinyl and foam, the garaged OFC is out in daylight only a few hours a week thus keeping vinyl fresh and supple after a quarter century (or more) .
The only real problem seen on OFC’s is parking lot damage. When you’ve shrunk to the size of the Lollipop Guild, it’s hard to see over the steering wheel, much less find the corners of the car in a busy parking lot. Bumpers, trim, sidemarker lights – it’s more common to find some of these damaged on a OFC than it is to discover one in pristine condition. And then there’s the right front hubcap and rim – in urban areas, seniors with failing vision drive and park by sound; I followed one old gent for a couple of miles who used the curb as guidance whilst navigating home. You can only imagine what that rim looked like.
So – its an OFC you want. Brand? Color? Trim? Options? Not important. You want the bestest OFC you can find; if it’s a model/color you’ve secretly coveted, then so much the better!
Up next: How to become a Craigslist expert.