2016 Chevy Volt is sure to bring a surge of used electric vehicles to the market as early adopters trade their older models in. Many of these cars are selling for a fraction of their original price, thanks in part to federal and state incentives that lowered the initial cost to the first owner, which opens these cars up to a whole new class of consumers. While the prices are getting attractive, potential buyers are still hesitant to buy a used EV due to uncertainty about service and repair costs, but there may be some good news on the horizon.The Chevy Volt comes with a battery warranty that is good for at least 8 years and 100,000 miles, but many of the Volts popping up on the market have passed that 100,000-mile mark. The threat of needing a new battery can be a deterrent, especially with some dealers quoting prices as high as $34,000 for a full "drive motor battery replacement." That sum is more than the MSRP of a 2016 model.Some of the fear of EV maintenance and repair comes from … [Read more...] about The real costs of keeping a Chevy Volt on the road
Down on the junkyard
do work? Aircraft, sure, but light trucks? I’m putting this one down as a 1951 model, based on the lever-type door handles and lack of pop-out driver’s vent (yes, I’ve photographed a few of these things over the years), but junkyard parts swaps tend to blur model-year lines on workhorses like this; it might be a ’53 with ’50 doors, or it could be a ’49 with a ’52 cab… oh, hell, it could be a GMC with Chevrolet grille and emblems, and God only knows what weird engine is under the hood. I’ll leave that debate to the purists.does trigger the Model Bloat alarm). … [Read more...] about Down On The Mile High Street: 1951 Chevrolet Pickup
45-year-old Dodge van, I’ve been venturing out to the more traditional wrecking yards, where you haggle for every part and the inventory sits for decades while each and every salable part gets picked. A couple weeks back, I went on a quest for A100 parts at a breathtakingly vintage junkyard located about halfway between Denver and Cheyenne.REO Speed Wagon; I believe this is an late-30s REO 19AS.this. Flames, a Viking ship, and a berserker. I may have to steal this design for my van’s paint job.Nash Statesman project? This one seems just about totally complete.Pininfarina design.Weather Eye climate control.this semi-rat-rodded ’47. … [Read more...] about Down On The Junkyard: Time Stops At Ancient Colorado Yard
sad little yellow Fiat convertible in a Denver junkyard, let’s admire a happy little yellow Fiat convertible that’s still managing to evade the cruel jaws of The Crusher.These things didn’t change much during the first few years of production, and I’m not a sufficiently maniacal devoted Fiat aficionado to spot the subtle model-year identifiers on this car, but I’m going to guess it’s a ’70 or ’71 model. I found it parked in front of a Denver church on a Sunday, so it may be one of those much-sought-after “little old lady only drove it to church on Sunday” cars. If so, I’m impressed by the little old lady’s choice of a 40-year-old Fiat over, say, a Buick LeSabre.Hemmings Motor News Classifieds), but a lot rarer nowadays than its British competitor, the MGB. The ’71 124 Sport Spider listed at $3,382 and boasted 90 horsepower, while the ’71 MGB sold for $2,875 and had 92 horsepower. Having driven both … [Read more...] about Down On the Mile High Street: Fiat 124 Sport Spider
most recent installment of the Impala Hell Project series, I found these Ansco Pix Panorama camera shots that I took in gritty, grimy, industrial Hayward, California in 1993. They didn’t add anything to the Impala Hell Project story, so I’m sharing them in a separate post.the site of the now-defunct Hayward Pick Your Part, a yard I’d been visiting since the mid-1980s, and the stretch of West Winton Avenue right outside the junkyard gates was a popular spot to yank parts off stolen and/or unwanted vehicles. Nowadays, with scrap metal prices so high, you wouldn’t see a scene like this.still aren’t worth much.Rover P5! Anybody want to take a shot at identifying the ancient truck in the foreground and the sedan in the background? … [Read more...] about Down On the 1993 Hayward Street: Ripped-n-Stripped Victims
TTAC Commentator 28-Cars-Later writes:Sajeev,I’ve got a small conundrum for Piston Slap. Winter is fast approaching and for those of us in the mid-Atlantic states this is a serious affair. My winter beater has been my trusty (but not rusty) ’98 Saturn SL/auto/164K, which in the spring started showing its age and developed transmission issues after seven years (and roughly 80K) of ownership. I’ve let her sit most of the summer save starting her up and driving her around the parking lot every 7-12 days but I’ve been trying to put off the inevitable investment of Bennie bucks. This evening I was offered an ’00 Subaru Outback/auto/186K to replace it for $2500 inc four new cheap tires and inspection. The prospects of an actual [built in Japan] Japanese wagon are intriguing, the Subaru is 7/10 in terms of condition with some dings and several rust spots, it had no issue starting up and is throwing no codes. The catch is I have zero documentation on the car … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Bennie Bucks on the Winter Beater?
sharing what I find here on TTAC for several years now, and one of the best things about doing the Junkyard Find series has been reading the crypto-novellas (each a little story about the junkyard car I’ve photographed) penned by our own Crabspirits in the comments. We’ve already talked to Mr. Crabspirits about doing some writing for us under his own byline, and he says he’s up for it, but there’s no need to wait in order to enjoy his stuff. I’ve gone through some recent Crabspirits Junkyard Find Tirades™ and assembled them here for your reading pleasure.also go without saying that his team’s car is one of the head-clutchingest crazywagens in the series: the Charnal House Geo Metro, which features mid-mounted Ford Taurus SHO V6 power. Yes, Señor Crabspirits walks the walk. All right, let’s dive right into the promised Junkyard Find Tirades™!’85 Buick Skyhawk wagon Junkyard Find: Gabe and Darlene were human debris.Gabe … [Read more...] about The Junkyard Find Tirades™ of Crabspirits
This 24 Hours of LeMons thing seems to warp the minds of once-sane car builders more deeply with each passing year. We thought it would be impossible to top the brain-boilingly great race-car creations we saw in 2012, but we were wrong! To put a bow on the eighth season of 24 Hours of LeMons action, we’re going to share some of the best cars that debuted (or were revamped beyond recognition) during 2013. Here we go!We started off the ’13 season at Carolina Motorsports Park in South Carolina, and got knocked on our asses right away by the sight of Speedycop’s “Spirit of LeMons” 1956 Cessna 310 road-racer. Speedycop and his Gang of Outlaws began building their amazing LeMons cars during the 2009 season, and (as we’ll see shortly) they weren’t done once they put their road-racing airplane on the track.The Spirit of LeMons triggered a global media frenzy that has yet to subside, but things got even crazier when Porcubimmer Racing turned their BMW … [Read more...] about An Upside-Down Camaro, The Homer, a Cessna Plane, and Many More: Our Favorite Race Cars of the 2013 LeMons Season!
Here at Down On the Junkyard HQ, we’re all about American automotive history. We’ve seen one of the last of the GM J-bodies, evidence of how Ronald Reagan saved Ford from recall-induced bankruptcy, and Shelby-ized French Chryslers. Today we’ll be looking at one of the many cars that didn’t save Oldsmobile, a final-year-of-production Olds Aurora that I spotted last week in a Denver-area yard.This was one of three Auroras in the same yard, and I chose it because it was sold at a time when Olds shoppers knew that the marque was doomed. You could get a V6 Aurora in 2001 and 2002, but the ’03s all had the Northstar-based 4.0-liter V8 engine.The guys from Car and Driver entered an Aurora in the first-ever 24 Hours of LeMons race, and “won” the People’s Curse award for their trouble.This one looked pretty clean but had been rear-ended and wasn’t worth fixing. Now it will donate parts to nicer second-gen Auroras. The case can be made that … [Read more...] about Junkyard Find: 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora
It’s taken a while to get started on the project to make my daily driver Saturn SL1 into a better handling car. I had the parts but it took a few weeks to be able to get the work scheduled at a shop that was willing to install my own components. Now that the work has been done and I’ve been able to drive the car in varying conditions, it’s time for a progress report. The short version is that I’m pleased with the results. For the long version, continue reading after the break.With 100,000 miles on the odometer, it turned out that there was more work needed than I thought, though I wasn’t surprised. In addition to the struts, shocks and CV joint that needed replacement, and a perforated flexpipe in the exhaust system, I asked them to check on a noise that I thought was a groaning power steering pump but turned out to be a worn left front wheel bearing, which makes a lot more sense than a pump that made noise only when turning left. The work was done … [Read more...] about Saturn on the Down Low, a Progress Report