After 10 years and 147,000 miles I have retired the 1999 Mustang. I did feel bad about letting it go. It was my first brand new car and I really kept it nice. It had a few scrapes and bumps along the way - all of which I had repaired by my Dad. I only replaced one major component - the alternator. It once let loose the exhaust system from the manifold and sounded like a Harley for a little while until I could get it welded back on.
But, it had replaced a 1993 Taurus which became more miserable to drive with each succeeding month. I remember the final straw with the Taurus was when I had loaded it up with all of the meeting materials for a Comprehensive Plan meeting and it died in the parking lot adjacent to the mall. I had to call my boss to come get the stuff while I waited for the tow truck to pick up the car and take it to the shop.
The Mustang was an object of desire for several years previous and when I bought it, my sister was really impressed with it - she was only 16 at the time.
But in the later years, it had its electrical problems - the windshield wipers would come on by themselves occaisionally, the clutch started making noises which could lead to a $600 bill - almost half of the value of the car itself by that point. Plus, my wife wouldn't drive it as she didn't like the rear-wheel drive coupled with its habit of breaking loose every once in a while. I couldn't easily take the family anywhere in it. It was just too small.
So, last Saturday I took Meredith to Huggins Honda in North Richland Hills and we test drove a 2008 Accord EX-L (the "L" stands for leather). We liked the sales guy and the car. He quoted a price that was quite reasonable. We went back to the house and I looked up the car on the dealership's website which was quoted for $2,000 less than they had quoted me at the dealership. I also compared that price with the average sales prices of other used Accord EX-L.
After much agonizing (hey, its me!) I went back to the dealership by myself and asked for my sales guy. His name is Jeff Fisher (look for him in the new cars sales area). He had left the dealership to go get a burger, but they called him back since I was waiting there for him. That kind of made me feel for the guy a bit. We then started talking back and forth with the used car manager. It turns out that the online posting price had been intended for an Accord LX-P and not an EX-L. The LX-P has the lesser 4 cylinder engine (177HP as opposed to 190HP), no leather or any of the other electronic extras. They told me they would let me have the car for that advertised price - which was a full $4,000 less than the Edmunds.com dealership price. I only found one other 2008 Accord EX-L with less mileage and a better price in the Metroplex.
So I came home with the new car. My parents-in-law, visiting at the time, were very impressed with the car. It's sporty - without feeling loose, and I can get the whole family in it without feeling cramped inside.
I'll post photos when I get a sunny day to take them.