I might buy this car from car max

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tc101
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I might buy this car from car max

Post by tc101 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:46 pm

I am thinking about buying this car from car max.

[Link containing personally identifiable info removed by admin LadyGeek. It's a 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis LS 4D Sedan, 54k miles, 2 WD, $12,998.]

I have a 2003 Ford Crown Vic now. I bought it 6 years ago and I like it, but now little things are starting to go wrong. The Mercury Marquis is the same thing as the Crown Vic. This 2010 Merc Marquis with 54K miles will probably last me another 6 years. Any thoughts?
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john94549
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by john94549 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:50 pm

Coming out of the Great Recession, the conventional wisdom is that used cars and re-leases will become more affordable.

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will98683
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by will98683 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:11 pm

My thought is you could (probably) make a lot of repairs to the 2003 Ford Crown Vic over the next 6 years for a lot less than $12,998 for the little things that are going wrong.

tibbitts
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tibbitts » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:18 pm

I forgot what the last model year was, but believe it was after 2010. If you really like this car, which you apparently do, you might try for the very last model year and lower mileage, since there aren't any new cars being made similar to this one. You're only updating by 7 years; if you could update by 8 or 9, and that could add another year or two to the remaining life of the new vehicle. Of course that depends partly on the condition of your current car (whether you need a new car immediately) and what you can find in the market. I assume carmax offered a wholesale/auction price for you old car, if you're going to sell it to them, since it's not something they'd resell (retail) themselves.

Just curious, was this a fleet car, or individually owned?

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ClevrChico
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by ClevrChico » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:30 pm

The price is good. Enterprise Car Sales lists a similar Mercury for about $1500 more.

You need to have an independent mechanic perform a pre-purchase inspection. Car Max's inspection process is worth zero. I inspected a CarMax car a family friend was considering, and there was significant rust on the underbody and underhood. I had never seen anything like it on such a new car, and I live in the rust belt. CarMax blessed this with their certification! On top of this, the CarMax employee was quite rude when we pointed this out.

I might consider keeping the current car. Enterprise Car Sales might be better. Or, consider a private party sale. Town Cars pop up on Craigslist from estates with very reasonable prices.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by abuss368 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:50 pm

We had a Mercury Cougar once. Nothing but problems. Worse car we had. Scared to buy a Ford again!
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tc101
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tc101 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:18 am

>>> Just curious, was this a fleet car, or individually owned?

I don't know. How do you look that up with the VIN?
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aja8888
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by aja8888 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:36 am

abuss368 wrote:We had a Mercury Cougar once. Nothing but problems. Worse car we had. Scared to buy a Ford again!


They stopped making Cougars 12 years ago (2002). Have all the 20+ million Ford/Mercury/Lincoln cars sold in the U.S, since then been lemons? :confused

Schu
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Schu » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:26 am

I looked for my car (2003 Honda Accord) online months ago and found one at the carmax site. They were way over ($5000) the range of what every other credible source would put the market price at. Their prices are too high for me.

Ted

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by goaties » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:34 am

Schu wrote:I looked for my car (2003 Honda Accord) online months ago and found one at the carmax site. They were way over ($5000) the range of what every other credible source would put the market price at. Their prices are too high for me.
Ted


I agree that no-haggle car places tend to overcharge, but I got a good deal on a car from Carmax once. It had sat on the lot for months. A few days after I bought it, I found out why: it reeked of cigarette smoke (they had used copious quantities of armorall to camouflage the fact while it was on the lot). Had to leave it, windows open, for several months until it smelled okay again!

Take away: if it's a good deal at Carmax, you might want to ask why?

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tc101
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tc101 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:48 am

Last time I was looking at used cars was 6 years ago. At that time, Carmax had prices better than or equal to most dealers. You can get a better price from an individual, but I can't find the car I want in the local market from individuals. Also, carmax has a deal that lets you return the car and get your money back up to 5 days after you buy it. I had a friend who did that, and there was no hassle.
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tc101
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tc101 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:05 am

will98683 wrote:My thought is you could (probably) make a lot of repairs to the 2003 Ford Crown Vic over the next 6 years for a lot less than $12,998 for the little things that are going wrong.


You are correct, but there is the hassle factor. It is unpleasant taking the car in for repairs, even possibly getting stranded and calling a wrecker. I know it is cheaper in the long run, but I can afford a newer car and don't want to deal with the problems of an older car.
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SquawkIdent
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by SquawkIdent » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:16 am

tc101 wrote:
will98683 wrote:My thought is you could (probably) make a lot of repairs to the 2003 Ford Crown Vic over the next 6 years for a lot less than $12,998 for the little things that are going wrong.


You are correct, but there is the hassle factor. It is unpleasant taking the car in for repairs, even possibly getting stranded and calling a wrecker. I know it is cheaper in the long run, but I can afford a newer car and don't want to deal with the problems of an older car.


Then go for it IMHO. :sharebeer

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by rec7 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:26 am

$12,998 divided by 6= 2166.33 a year or 180.52 a month sounds like a good deal to me.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by littlebird » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:06 am

will98683 wrote:My thought is you could (probably) make a lot of repairs to the 2003 Ford Crown Vic over the next 6 years for a lot less than $12,998 for the little things that are going wrong.

I'm thinking you never owned a 10 year old Ford.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by jlawrence01 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:19 am

littlebird wrote:
will98683 wrote:My thought is you could (probably) make a lot of repairs to the 2003 Ford Crown Vic over the next 6 years for a lot less than $12,998 for the little things that are going wrong.

I'm thinking you never owned a 10 year old Ford.


While I have been a major critic of Ford over the years for the disposable transmissions in the Taurus and Windstar, the tires on the Explorers and the like, The Ford Crown Victoria (non police interceptor models) have been some of the most reliable cars on the market for years. If properly maintained, they will last as long as a Honda Accord.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Ron » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:31 am

littlebird wrote:I'm thinking you never owned a 10 year old Ford.

You're correct. My '02 Mustang GT vert is 11 (soon to be 12) years old.

Runs like a top. Of course, I'm an old guy :beer who purchased it new, didn't beat the heck out of it, and adhered to the suggested maintenance services over the years.

BTW, the last car I traded was a GM product ('89 Olds Cutless Ciera). Purchased it new and drove it 19 years.

Not all "elder cars" (regardless of badge) are not good values. It all depends on how they were driven/maintained over their life.

- Ron
Last edited by Ron on Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Leesbro63
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Leesbro63 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:35 am

The Crown Vic, Merc Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Cars were all known as "PANTHER" platform cars. First sold as part of the 1979 model year. Updated over the years but basically the same underneath. And one of the best cars ever built by Ford. 54K is nothing on that machine. Taxi and Police cars get 10 times that mileage (albeit over a shorter time period). A newish used Panther is a great buy. Go for it.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tc101 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:54 pm

This car was a fleet/rental car according to the report. Is that a problem? Here is the report:

01/19/2010
Independent Source VEHICLE MANUFACTURED AND SHIPPED TO DEALER
01/25/2010 ORLANDO, FL
Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL (Leased Vehicle)
TITLED OR REGISTERED AS A RENTAL VEHICLE, OR PART OF A RENTAL FLEET
05/13/2010 ORLANDO, FL
Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
TITLED OR REGISTERED AS A RENTAL VEHICLE, OR PART OF A RENTAL FLEET
05/31/2011 ORLANDO, FL
Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
TITLED OR REGISTERED AS A RENTAL VEHICLE, OR PART OF A RENTAL FLEET
07/27/2011 FAISON, NC
Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/RENEWAL
08/01/2011 SOUTHEASTERN REGION
33,811
Auto Auction AUCTION ANNOUNCED AS FLEET/LEASE
08/04/2011 CLINTON, NC
33,949
Dealer Record VEHICLE IN DEALER INVENTORY (COLOR REPORTED AS WHITE)
VEHICLE REPORTED TO BE UNDER WARRANTY
10/05/2011 FAISON, NC
35,523
Motor Vehicle Dept. TITLE (Title #:778601112785011) (Lien Reported)
12/03/2012 FAISON, NC
Motor Vehicle Dept. REGISTRATION EVENT/REN
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Retread
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Retread » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:40 pm

tc101 wrote:This car was a fleet/rental car according to the report. Is that a problem?

I wouldn't touch a rental car. A leased car, yes, but a rental car has been driven by a different driver every day, fueled with the cheapest gas available, abused by hard acceleration and hard braking, and generally given much more wear inside and out than would be the case with a single owner car. You can be sure it has been smoked in and Cokes and cheeseburgers spilled on the upholstery while visiting Disney World. You can be sure it's had 54,000 of hard miles. Enjoy!
Bruce
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Leesbro63
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Leesbro63 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:28 pm

With all due respect to our seniors, I suspect there are lots of low mileage Grand Merqs and Town Cars out there. Lots of seniors bought them in the final years of production and many put few miles on them. And well maintained them. The end of the Greatest Generation moving up to the Lincoln Town Car for tooling around town and making the annual trek to snowbird in Florida.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by aja8888 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:02 pm

Those cars were the last of the long wheelbase, rear wheel drive cars made in this country at an affordable price. Many had the 4.6 liter V8 and smooth auto transmission. Great cars and lasted a long time if maintained properly. Very smooth highway ride with a ton of room inside and a trunk that could hold an entire funeral procession.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tibbitts » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:04 pm

Retread wrote:
tc101 wrote:This car was a fleet/rental car according to the report. Is that a problem?

I wouldn't touch a rental car. A leased car, yes, but a rental car has been driven by a different driver every day, fueled with the cheapest gas available, abused by hard acceleration and hard braking, and generally given much more wear inside and out than would be the case with a single owner car. You can be sure it has been smoked in and Cokes and cheeseburgers spilled on the upholstery while visiting Disney World. You can be sure it's had 54,000 of hard miles. Enjoy!
Bruce

I'm aware of three former rental-car used cars. All are/were in good condition, no indication of abuse even after many years of ownership - all comparable to leased or single-owner used vehicles I'm familiar with.

Having said that, 54k is a little old for a used rental car. Many rental companies are keeping cars longer than before (one rental we bought had only 10k miles), but you might consider holding out for a less-used example, or a privately-owned/leased vehicle.

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tc101
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tc101 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:56 am

I think I am going to wait on buying the Merc Marquis at Car Max. First I'll see what I can find from a local seller.

Somebody mentioned the possible problem of getting parts for a car like the Merc Marquis which is no longer being made. Is this a potential problem? Have there been problems in the past getting parts for cars that were out of production?
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aja8888
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by aja8888 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:02 am

tc101 wrote:I think I am going to wait on buying the Merc Marquis at Car Max. First I'll see what I can find from a local seller.

Somebody mentioned the possible problem of getting parts for a car like the Merc Marquis which is no longer being made. Is this a potential problem? Have there been problems in the past getting parts for cars that were out of production?


No problem. Parts will be available for these cars for many years as they made so many of them. Heck, China makes aftermarket parts for lots of out of production cars. My SIL can readily get parts for his 1985 Chevy pick up truck right from Autozone.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Info_Hound » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:03 am

We bought my daughter's car from Carmax, it is a 2008 Ford Fusion with low milage. Previous owner had been a smoker and it was disclosed by Carmax.

Some things we learned about Carmax:
They do go over the vehicle and replace anything they find that does not meet basic safety code. This includes replacing brakes, tires, tune up, emission tests, transmissions, etc.
They do a sliding scale on the vehicle's price - Full price for the first 30 days on the lot, a price reduction after 30 days and continued price reductions every 30 days until it is sold.
They (of course) do sell a warranty if you want it.

We were able to remove the smoke smell by first putting coffee grounds (unused) in small bowls under the seats (they absorb the smoke odor) and wiping down the interior with white vinegar several times. Keeping the windows down when parked for the first couple of months was helpful and the coffee smell kept the driver alert. :P

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by srd178 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:46 pm

A little tip about used rental enterprise cars - ask them for a car that an employee has. Enterprise gives out company cars to area, regional, HR managers and others and they are used as any other person would. My spouse works for enterprise and they usually take the car away at 10k miles and sell it...I guess they have actuaries that figure out the optimal time to sell. They go right into the drink with the other used rentals.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Dave76 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:26 pm

srd178 wrote:A little tip about used rental enterprise cars - ask them for a car that an employee has. Enterprise gives out company cars to area, regional, HR managers and others and they are used as any other person would. My spouse works for enterprise and they usually take the car away at 10k miles and sell it...I guess they have actuaries that figure out the optimal time to sell. They go right into the drink with the other used rentals.


I guess Enterprise does things differently. When I worked for AVIS, my boss (the 'station manager') had a different car every week. If a particular car was in high demand for any given day/week, and she had it, we would prep it and put in on the ready-line. She would then take another car or van.

AVIS managers didn't keep cars for any long period of time because the company wanted to keep them in circulation, to make money on them.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tim1999 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:42 pm

Info_Hound wrote:We bought my daughter's car from Carmax, it is a 2008 Ford Fusion with low milage. Previous owner had been a smoker and it was disclosed by Carmax.


You were lucky to have it disclosed to you. I once accidentally bought a smoker's car. Was a certified pre owned with only 10,000 miles on it. Very clean car with no stray ashes, no smoke stains on the cloth, no burns, etc. I thought it was smoke-free. I should have thought twice when I smelled the heavy air freshener during the test drive. Ten days after I brought it home, the air freshener faded and the smoke took hold again. Smelled like cigar smoke actually. I never did get that smell out, and I traded the car in a year later.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Greentree » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:37 pm

Ford has some dud cars but dont knock the Crown Vic / Marquis. That thing is reliable. There is a reason cabbies drive them, they last 200k+. And it gets surprising aphighway gas mileage.

I like to buy cars from private parties that are single owners of the car and have taken care of them. Many of the Marquis were owned by older folks who drove them easy and are looking for something new. Carmax is pretty good but they will charge a few grand extra over private. I would craigslist this one and find a nice, senior driven model.

But even if you buy through Carmax, that car will last a while and be cheap to repair.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tibbitts » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:56 pm

Greentree wrote:Ford has some dud cars but dont knock the Crown Vic / Marquis. That thing is reliable. There is a reason cabbies drive them, they last 200k+. And it gets surprising aphighway gas mileage.

I like to buy cars from private parties that are single owners of the car and have taken care of them. Many of the Marquis were owned by older folks who drove them easy and are looking for something new. Carmax is pretty good but they will charge a few grand extra over private. I would craigslist this one and find a nice, senior driven model.

But even if you buy through Carmax, that car will last a while and be cheap to repair.

I think you'll find a relatively low percentage of seniors selling cars on craigslist, or even having cars sold for them by someone else. They're more likely to dispose of their cars other ways.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by grok87 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:00 pm

how do you know the car wasn't flooded in superstorm sandy, dried out and shipped down to atlanta?
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tibbitts » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:39 pm

grok87 wrote:how do you know the car wasn't flooded in superstorm sandy, dried out and shipped down to atlanta?

You can never be 100% sure, but remember that there is no possibility of buying new, so you have no choice but to take your chances with used.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Dave76 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:41 pm

Here's one: http://www.gatewayclassiccars.com/displ ... cation=LOU

Mileage is claimed to be 7,900.

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tc101
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by tc101 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:30 pm

I think you'll find a relatively low percentage of seniors selling cars on craigslist, or even having cars sold for them by someone else. They're more likely to dispose of their cars other ways


What other ways? How would you look for a used car sold by a senior?
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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Leesbro63 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:52 am

Dave76 wrote:Here's one: http://www.gatewayclassiccars.com/displ ... cation=LOU

Mileage is claimed to be 7,900.


I would not buy this car, even though it's never been driven (much). First of all, even never driven, stuff still deteriorates over 30 years just from sitting there. Second, there are no airbags or other safety stuff that can be found in the later years Panther cars.

Look on Ebay. Lost of dealers post their wares there. Even the local Lincoln dealer (formerly Lincoln Mercury) might have a few Grand Marqs traded in.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by Dave76 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:13 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Dave76 wrote:Here's one: http://www.gatewayclassiccars.com/displ ... cation=LOU

Mileage is claimed to be 7,900.


I would not buy this car, even though it's never been driven (much). First of all, even never driven, stuff still deteriorates over 30 years just from sitting there. Second, there are no airbags or other safety stuff that can be found in the later years Panther cars.


I bought an '87 model year car three years ago and replaced a few wear-and-tear items. It wasn't a big deal. Airbags are nice to have, but I don't like the bloated look of the steering wheel. Besides, in a car equipped with a driver's side airbag, the driver is usually advised to hold the wheel at either 10 and 2 o'clock or 9 and 3 o'clock and form-feed the wheel. Otherwise, in the event of an accident, an inflating airbag can cause the driver's arm to strike his face. I like to hold the wheel at 9 and 12, which is dangerous in a car equipped with an airbag embedded in the steering wheel.
Last edited by Dave76 on Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I might buy this car from car max

Post by chrisjul » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:05 pm

I would choose a Crown Vic if you are over 80.

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