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  • teen driver car and training?

    hi,
    my 18 year old son starting college next year and will need to do some commuting back and forth home, work, school (I5 and local). has relied a lot on buses until now and just starting to drive (!). any suggestions on:

    1. safe, economical, reliable car, easy cheap parts etc. expect it might get bent and bruised a bit, so dont think I will sacrifice a mini!

    2. drivers schools locally focusing on teens

    want to keep safe and fun

    thanks
    -cliff


    Seattle WA 98103

    1967 Austin Cooper S
    1967 Morris Mini Disco-Van
    1972 2002 Tii "LIMONE"
    2012 BINI Countryman S All4

    2013 Ducati Multistrada S
    1967 Triumph Bonneville
    1981 R80 G/S PD

  • #2
    If you can find an early 80's SAAB 900, go for it. Up side is that they are extremely well built, integral roll cage, 4 wheel disc brakes, good visibility. The down side is that when they break, it can get expensive. There is a SAAB shop, I think that it's named Scan West, on Greenwood, about N 85th in Seattle. They are very highly thought of in the world of SAAB -might be able to steer you in the right direction.

    Comment


    • #3
      A plain, super cheap to operate and maintain first timer is the Nissan Altima. 1993 to 96 ish are super cheap, but have slight "needs". 97 up thru approx 2001 are also good. If the long term owner has had the auto trans "checked under Recall", it can save you 600 bucks for a valve body replacement. ( since the recall probably no longer applies.) Very plain brown wrapper type of car. Good for a first time driver and many spares available at Pick n Pull outlets.
      I may have an 86 Volvo 244 GL available in 3 - 4 weeks. They are famous as near bulletproof. But, please note, certain aspects of volvo ownership can be challenging, (see note about Swedish brands and costs in prior post from Jerry. )
      If you'd like to take a look into the world of the 240, be sure to check the IPD web page as they can show you kits of replacement parts for usual needs.
      Cruise craig s list for a little flavor of the Volvo love. ( specially prominent in ballard! )
      I agree that it might not be best to start them in a Mini, but hey, long ago, that was how it was done! Not now, with availability issues and all.
      Best,
      MSH
      All Together Now..... Everybody.......

      Comment


      • #4
        Scan West is at about 93rd and Greenwood in Seattle. They are also work on Subaru's and are a competent shop.

        Re the main focus of the thread, another Brand to look at are older Subaru's. While not as overbuilt as SAAB's and Volvo's (which I'd also recommend), they are good cars that are well built and long lived. I had a Legacy SW for 5 years (stolen, unfortunately) and it was basically bulletproof. You see a lot of 20+ year old Subies still truckin along every day around here - that says something about them..

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        • #5
          Cliff, just about any of the popular Japanese compacts meet your criteria.

          One of my kids got a Nissan Sentra; the other a Mazda 3. The Nissan made the trip to college in Nashville and back several times, then went to L.A. and lived there for a couple of years. It cost very little to maintain, and when my daughter finally sold it, she still got a couple of thousand for it.

          The Mazda still makes the trip across the state every so often, and gets 36 mpg doing it. Again, it hasn't cost an arm and a leg to maintain.

          And I don't think you can go wrong if you decide on a Honda or a Toyota. They're all pretty safe, economical and reliable these days.

          As far as a driving school, I'd have him ask his high school friends where they learned. Because you want one fairly local to where you live, their recommendations could tell you a lot.

          Of course, Bob Bondurant or Skip Barber will be more than happy to help your son.

          Dan
          Dan

          "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison

          Comment


          • #6
            A friend of mine owned and operated an auto repair shop. Hated Japanese cars. His observation was that as long as there was oil in the crankcase, 'the damn things ran forever'.

            Comment


            • #7
              64 GTO Tri Power - tough car and your son will have fun smoking the tires through 50 mph. http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/ctd/3853863218.html

              Sorry, I agree with the Jap car responses, unless you go with a VW bug. A VW bug is good training for basic mechanical skills, but still economical. Newer bugs seems very safe and reliable. The German electrical systems will keep him scratching his head and give him some puzzles to figure out.

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              • #8
                Toyota Honda.

                I'm with Dan on the Toyota and Honda. Bullet proof cars and trucks.
                It's all part of life's rich tapestry.

                Comment


                • #9
                  thanks!
                  -cliff


                  Seattle WA 98103

                  1967 Austin Cooper S
                  1967 Morris Mini Disco-Van
                  1972 2002 Tii "LIMONE"
                  2012 BINI Countryman S All4

                  2013 Ducati Multistrada S
                  1967 Triumph Bonneville
                  1981 R80 G/S PD

                  Comment

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