Hooniverse Weekend Edition: Hooniverse Asks – What Car Should Kris Buy?

Please allow this olelongrooffan to offer my apologies to both my fellow Hoons and my fellow contributors for my lack of posting here in the Hooniverse lately. A couple weeks ago I received a distress call from a friend (unfortunately without benefits) of nearly ten years. Kris had relocated from MickeyMouseLand to the the Land of Pretty People and Even Prettier Cars, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. She had accepted a stressful position as an Operations Manager and as she put it, “Can you come down and be my wife for a few weeks?”

And I agreed. You see, as the mother of five grown boys she has had a busy life and just needed someone to “do this and do that.” She had left the bulk of her furnishings with her son at her old condo in MickeyMouseLand, moving only two beds and two dressers to her new abode. Kris, whose brother owns the medical practice she is the manager of, had spent three months staying with he and his family in her own wing of their 15,000 square foot McMansion and about five weeks ago had leased a condo of her own.
As I mentioned, when she moved in she had minimal furnishings and with her working 70 hours a week implimenting a new software system at the office, she has had no time to get her personal home in order.
That is where this olelongrooffan comes in. As projects in the Birthplace of Speed have been rather limited, I accepted her offer and drove my ole Comanche down. Yeah, that’s it resting comfortably between an A6, a Range Rover, and an undetermined Mercedes in the parking lot outside Smoke’s favorite big box retailer. And, upon arrival my first day here, the first car this I noticed after exiting 95? A vintage RR Corniche convertible. Ivory over tan leather and of course, the top was down.

Now down here in Palm Beach Gardens, it seems every other car is a Range Rover, Mercedes, BMW or the like. The second day I was here, I spotted a Maybach out in the wild. Well, Kris’s 2003 Acura TL has seen better days thanks to her two youngest sons and while it drives wonderfully it needs some cosmetic attention. About $4,000 worth on a vehicle with a buck twenty on the clock and it’s KBB value is just under 7K.

Her brother, who can and does perform excellent cosmetic surgery, does not possess the cosmetic surgery skill set to get her TL back to its previous glory. As his clients tend to drive Jaguars, Mercedes, Range Rovers and Bentleys to their appointments at Kris’s office, her tattered TL in the parking lot sticks out like the proverbial black eye in that sea of botox and silicone.
As a result, he is pressuring Kris to let that quasi crumpled TL go to her youngest boy and step up to the Palm Beach Gardens status of motoring. Now Kris is perfectly happy with her Acura, in fact, the last three vehicles she has purchased were of that division of Honda origin.

Her brother is leaning towards a late model BMW 5 series as would be befitting an operations manager of an upscale cosmetic surgery clinic. This olelongrooffan? I want her to get this vintage Mercedes diesel.

Or maybe a vintage 911 like the one I spotted the other day at the local Publix Greenwise grocery store.
The week before last this olelongrooffan spent buying furniture, last week I spent it shopping for clothes (buy 20 return 15) and next week I am buying a car.
And here is the question. What car should Kris buy given the following parameters:
$30,000 budget…possibly 35K
Preferably a Certified Vehicle…means probably dealer sold
Foreign or Domestic is acceptable….she loves her Acura
Sedan or possibly an SUV….she is an outdoors woman and loves trucks but not SUVs
A killer two seater would also be fun…must be rare but readily serviced
Must not be nicer than her clients cars…
And while I am certain to get every concoction on earth from my fellow Hoons, this is a serious dilemma for me. 5 series are everywhere down here and, as a Hoon, this olelongrooffan wants my good friend Kris to get something Hoonworthy.
That’s it my fellow Hoons. What say you?

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  1. PrawoJazdy Avatar

    Buick Regal Turbo. Can be had under $30K and I will even give her the GM Friends and Family code.
    A nicely used Audi A4. I took one for a demo from our previously enjoyed lot and I enjoyed that car a lot.

    1. JayP Avatar

      Only if the A4 is CPO or has an iron clad warranty. Those cars can be nightmares as they get older.
      Regal is a good option… the new GS looks great.

    2. vwminispeedster Avatar

      When I first read "Buick Regal Turbo" my mind went to… http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/1859… Further reading of your comment made me realize you were talking about the new one.

    3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      My first thought was also the new Buick Regal. Other than not being particularly "rare," it meets all th criteria.

  2. dculberson Avatar

    One and done: 1st gen CTS-V. She could get an immaculate one for that price.

    1. PrawoJazdy Avatar

      Is that with or without the busted rear end? The rear diff in those likes to not work.

  3. tonyola Avatar

    2006-2008 Acura RL, the last of the pre-beak models. 300 hp, good performance, excellent AWD handling, very nice interiors, tons of goodies, very reliable, and high quality. People didn't buy them because of the slightly bland looks and it didn't say Lexus or BMW, but the AWD RL was a really good car. She should be able to find a certified example in the 30K range.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1d/05-08_Acura_RL.jpg/800px-05-08_Acura_RL.jpg&quot; width="500/">

  4. Feds_II Avatar

    XK8. Adjust year and condition to budget..
    Any vintage of that car still looks wonderful and would blend in anywhere.
    Scratch that noise, bid on this AIV:

  5. muthalovin Avatar

    GXP G8. Its a Pontiac, so it will not be nicer than her clients cars, but it will have PAH!, and room for 5.
    <img src="http://images.dealerrevs.com/pictures/7773120.jpg"&gt;
    Also, YAY! weekend!

  6. Frick Avatar

    The CTS-V would be a great choice, but I doubt you could get a Wagon for less than 35k.
    If she isn't a hoon herself, a non-V version can be had almost new for her budget.

  7. Maxichamp Avatar

    Get this VW Phaeton W12 for $24,000. If her MD bro will pay for gas, I'll deliver it from the left coast posthaste. And if absolutely necessary, delete the VW badges so those philistines in Florida will think it's an A8L.

  8. Charles_Barrett Avatar

    Sorry, but the whole concept of Kris being pressured to 'upgrade' her ride so her car doesn't sully the sacred parking lot of a high-dollar beauty school for pampered folks from the world of smoke-and-mirrors, hey-look-at-me faux glamor makes me feel more than a little sick to my stomach.
    Kinda sums up all the wrong reasons to select a new car… Just sayin'

    1. Maxichamp Avatar

      In theory, I whole-heartedly agree with you. But in this economy, and especially in Florida's economy, she is incredibly fortunate.

    2. Alff Avatar

      In some roles, it's part of the game. People getting cosmetic surgery are more likely than the norm to be aware of such things.
      I have a friend whose boss insisted he replace his Chrysler Pacifica with something more appropriate to courting investors, in this case a CLS55 AMG. I'm not feeling bad for him.

      1. ptschett Avatar

        OTOH, the chief engineer at my last project had a Pacifica, and when he needed to transport our then-new (south)Korean overlords they reportedly loved his car.

        1. Alff Avatar

          They also like moldy cabbage.

    3. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      Also getting a free car is not right for the sons either. It just enables the entitled attitude of the brother. I'm glad she is doing well, but it's not right for the future of the boys. Unless the kid just finished college and has a job he needs wheels to get to, but there's no way he gets it for free either. He should pay each month her mom.

  9. P161911 Avatar

    BMW Z4 M Coupe.
    <img src="http://automobilio.info/auto/BMW-Z4-M-Coupe-E85.jpg&quot; width="500/">
    Rare, but easily serviced.

  10. TurboBrick Avatar

    Understated and elegant choice: CPO Volvo V50 or V70 if she needs to go up one size. Cadillac CTS is a good choice too, very classy look. I think Tonyola up there has the best suggestion with that Acura, she might be happiest with another Honda product.

  11. Feds_II Avatar

    Also: do we hate the Lexus CT200? Good badge, practical, not horrible looks or dynamics, and *OH NOES!* good fuel economy.
    For a mom of 5 who may or may not care about hooning too much, it's a pretty good answer.

    1. SSurfer321 Avatar

      I've heard it drives rather sprightly. And it's a bit of a looker.
      I don't hate it. Its the least beige of anything coming from Toyota.

  12. dukeisduke Avatar

    I'm thinking BMW 3-Series E92 or E93: Like this 2008 328i convertible, with automatic, in Pompano Beach:
    Or this 2008 335i coupe, with a 6-speed, in Coconut Creek:

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Not bad choices except for one thing – 3-series are as common as Civics in South Florida. Tons of people lease them.

  13. OA5599 Avatar

    65-66 Mustang convertible. Easy enough to get parts for, simple enough that it can be worked on by any shade tree mechanic, timeless enough that it still turns heads. A nice driver should be well within her price range, assuming you don't look for matching number highly-sought versions.
    <img src="http://images.classiccars.com/preview/215190_11695920_1966_Ford_Mustang.jpg"&gt;

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Sorry, but if you're wearing business clothes in South Florida while commuting every day, you need air-conditioning. Sitting in traffic in sweltering July heat with the top down is no joy.

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        Of course. If she finds a car that doesn't already have air, it can be added pretty inexpensively.
        Usually, even on the hottest days, mornings are still top-down weather. You can put the top up for the drive home, or leave it down and sweat if your day is done.

  14. dukeisduke Avatar

    She looks great, so I don't think *she* needs any upgrading.

  15. SSurfer321 Avatar

    Killer two seater that's easily serviced….
    <img src="http://www.autospecifications.org/car-reviews/wp-content/uploads/lotus-elise.jpg"&gt;
    It's a Toyota motor after all
    IMG from AutoSpecifications.org

  16. OA5599 Avatar

    I agree with everything you say, but Kris's situation takes it up even a notch higher.
    The banker and DJ have their own images to cultivate, true, but their customers may or may not care about appearances. A friend used to have a regular customer who dressed like he shopped for clothes at Wal Mart, but the guy was on the Forbes list with nearly a billion dollars in net worth. Appearances probably didn't matter much there.
    With a plastic surgery office though, convincing customers that image is everything is pretty much the whole reason the business exists.

  17. highmileage_v1 Avatar

    I'm veering back and forth here. Because of the nature of the cosmetic surgery business I'm thinking she could go monster truck (Frankenstein) or a Nip-and-Tuck-esq Porsche (maybe a 930?).
    However, due to the financial climate in the States and the fact that she still has a gaggle of offspring to deal with on occasion, something more utilitarian and brick reliable is probably in order (as Tonyola suggested). Acura, Lexus or Infiniti?

  18. Alff Avatar

    The Official State Car of Florida, mainly because nobody else would want it.
    <img src="http://cache.jalopnik.com/assets/resources/2007/09/Zimmer.jpg"width=500&gt;

  19. owlman Avatar

    Being in good old blighty I haven't the slightest idea what you can get for the budget but, hey olelongrooffan, I would have thought that 08 328i drophead would be the blindingly obvious car to plump for, given your history…and may I say your good friend looks like a lady who would look right in place in a Beemer

  20. PFG Avatar

    "$30,000 budget." "Loves her Acura." "Killer two-seater." "Rare but readily serviced."
    Is there any answer OTHER than NSX?

    1. SSurfer321 Avatar

      We have a winner!
      Although I'm surprised Muthalovin did reach this conclusion first. Maybe if Longroofian had posed the question as a mystery car.

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      You forgot the "certified used" part.

      1. PFG Avatar

        Not so much "forgot," more like "selectively omitted." And anyway, if you want to get technical, I'm sure you could find a mechanic or a notary who would certify that a car had been used. Semantics FTW!

  21. Devin Avatar

    My first instinct is a '60s Merc SL, since they're so high on style, but that's probably not practical. Maybe some kind of Jag XJ? They've got that certain class and "this is not a boring 5er" thing that really helps one stand out, and you can probably find a really nice used one for $35k.

  22. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    First generation Bronco. But it need AC. Phaeton would be good, as would an lightly used A-6. But she likes her Acura's, so why not just get a newer one, it fits the budget?

  23. Lotte Avatar

    <img src="http://images.craigslist.org/3m13o23l45T15Z25X4b6705e95c5b3e3c1ac5.jpg"&gt;
    Ad: http://miami.craigslist.org/brw/ctd/2450919972.ht
    If she gets lucky, she might find a used Audi A5 for that kind of money; higher trim levels cost more but look about the same so she'll look like she's driving a 40-50k car. Around here it's the bourgeoisie car of choice. She'll blend right in! Wonder if it's reliable?…
    I also don't like the "gotta look rich" premise of the question, but yeah, cosmetics industry. I get it, but I don't like it one bit.

  24. Spencedaddy Avatar

    CTSV practical, fast, easily serviced, manual or auto. perfect tier of luxury compared to the clientele….
    I don't see any other option other than an NSX or an M3 E36 or 46

  25. dragon951 Avatar

    Why should she break the Acura tradition?

  26. muthalovin Avatar

    Indeed, this is probably the correct answer.

  27. dragon951 Avatar

    To stay in the Acura genre (but for some reason not get an NSX), I would say:
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/HondaS2000-007.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Which you could find a low mileage 08-09 CPO for that price.
    Outside the realm of reasonable:
    <img src="http://www.cantonia.com/images/968turboS.jpg"&gt;
    Get a 968, do a complete overhaul, and turbo conversion

  28. McQueen Avatar

    This is the first car I thought of as I read .

  29. Sam Avatar

    Late model CPO Lexus IS350.
    Very reliable and fun to blast around in, even if it's an automatic.