Five or More Free (Hypothetical) Cars

Just suppose you opened the mailbox and found a book of ten coupons amongst the J-mail. This is an unusual coupon book. The bearer may present the coupons therein to any car dealer or seller and recieve any car (no fewer than four wheels, must be registered for use on public roads). The provisos are [ol][li]you must use at least five coupons (five cars)[]The total (bluebook) value of the cars may not exceed $50,000, and[]You may not subsequently sell these cars for profit.[/ol][/li]
You check out the offer and discover it is legit. What cars do you get, and why?


(I’m still researching my own list.)

I buy one Lexus Rx-300 with all the bells and whistles for about 44k. I want it because it has the laser assisted cruise control which matches my speed to the car ahead of me.

If I can get change back from the 50K. I buy 4 $100 beaters and spend the rest on beer. If not, I buy the best used small high-mileage car I can find, maybe a Corolla, and 3 $100 beaters.

The beaters I just dump.

Four parts cars and a Prius, most likely. Given the stellar lack of public transportation, the rising cost of gas and the fact that we are all basically bent over saying “no, please, no more” … yeah.

#1 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger w/ Slant 6. Approx $15,000 restored.
Why? Cause it was the last vehicle my parents had together before they got divorced. (Totaled right before they seperated.) I loved that car.

#2 Full-sized beater pickup for use as work truck. With tool rack and boxes. Approx $5,000.
Why? I work construction.

#3 2002 Subaru WRX Approx $20,000
Why? Zoom!

#4 1970-72 MGB convertible, red. Approx $5,000
Why? 'cause everybody needs a little red convertible.

#5 1979 Checker Marathon Taxi Approx $5,000
Why? Why not! (mostly cause I already have all the other cars I want)

I don’t know anything about cars, so I can’t say which ones I would choose. However, what I would probably do is keep one and give the others away to people who need them.

I’m gonna weasel a bit and translate that USD 50k to Canadian dollars: 68 000, more or less.

I scream out of the apartment lobby (dropping the rest of the junk mail), head to the bus stop, head for Downtown Toyota, and request a Prius. That’s 32 000 spoken for (with a two-month waiting list). I head over to the Mercedes dealer and put my name on the list for a Smart fortwo, the Pulse trim level, with various go-faster accessories (to be delivered in early fall when the cars arrive in Canada). That’s about 25 000, leaving me with 11 000 in credit.

I head up north, to a small-town used-car dealer with a good reputation. I get:

  • a full-size working pickup truck in serviceable but not pristine condition: $5000.
  • A Jeep. S5000, a present for friends whose own Jeep just died. And,
  • Another truck of the same model, as a parts vehicle. $1000, whatever is left over.

You know, when speaking of 5 cars, USD 50 000 is not that much!

Firstly, I think people are breaking the ‘rules’ of the scenario by using these like cash. One car per coupon, right?

Seond, what’s the expiration date on the coupons? If possible, I’d simply use them one at a time for the rest of my life (or however long 10 brand-new cars in a row would last me).

I’d like to get distinctive cars - ones that had limited production.

  1. No Question KAR120C - seen each week in “the Prisoner”. I believe it is called the Lotus Super 7 and seems (to me anyway) THE coolest car anyone could possibly drive. Even the Elephant Man could pick up chicks with this car.

  2. British Leyland about 30 years ago produced 6 cars called the Probe (which should NEVER be confused with the Ford Probe). It was built similar to race cars but definitely for street use. Steering column and driving position were nearly horizontal.

  3. About 30 years ago, American engineer John Fitch designed one very sharp-looking car called the “Fitch Phoenix”. Classy, understated elegance. This car might be difficult to obtain because only 2 were ever built - unlike the ubiquitous Probe (see above).

  4. First year Thunderbird (1955 ?) - small but very stylish. Could any of these be obtained for $50,000 ?

  5. 1967 Corvette - I don’t know if this would be within the $50,000 limit either. I think of all the muscle cars, the 1967 Corvette had the most muscle ever seen in a production model. The people who never owned a Corvette are always quick to joke - “It passes everything … except a gas station”.
    Well, those are my choices. I’m sorry but except maybe for the 1967 Corvette, I don’t think Blue Book values are available.

And sorry for choosing an “ordinary” car for my fifth choice.

In keeping with the international character of this message board, feel free to convert $50k into the equivalent value of Euros, Yen, Zlotys, or whatever, as the need presents.