QotW: Do friends and family actually take your car advice?

Like it or not, as car enthusiasts we often serve as the go-to people among our normie friends and family for advice on cars. Some people do follow our recommendations, but others, after picking our brains for hours and asking zillions of questions, end up overpaying at the mechanic or buying a car no person in their right mind would pick.

Do friends and family actually take your advice?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “How would you spend $10,000 on a car in the year you were born?“.

We saw an amazing constellation of choices. Older readers definitely got the best deals, as $10,000 bought a lot more the further back in time you went. There may not have been many Japanese cars available, but Jim Daniels could’ve bought a split-window Corvette and BlitzPig could’ve had a Ferrari 250 Europa, both excellent cars and solid investments. steve n could’ve even bought AJ Foyt’s Offenhauser Indy racer. Crown takes the collector car cake though with a brand-new gull-wing Mercedes 300SL worth over $6 million today.

Those born in prime Japanese car times had some great choices as well. Taylor C. and f31roger had their pick of Datsun 280Z from the dealer lot. Alan could’ve had a plaid-seat SA22C Mazda RX-7. Bryan Kitsune would be rolling in an A60 Celica with plenty of aftermarket parts. M.R. and エーイダン could’ve had brand new AE86s decades before US drifters discovered them.

Once you get into the late 90s, $10,000 doesn’t go quite as far. Jonathan P.‘s impressively researched list landed him in a Geo Metro LSi. The Toyota Tercel, Dodge Neon, and Hyundai Accent were also contenders.

The winner this week is JJ, who took us along on a journey to the local dealerships:

I thought this was going to be a limited choice, as after doing a little research I found that the most popular car in North America in 1977 was a Chevrolet Caprice Classic. Seriously? In my mind, there’s only one clear choice.

SAAB – 99 Turbo, if I was fortunate enough to find one of the limited run cars they made in 1977. I’ll assume that I wouldn’t be, so let’s keep looking.

Honda – Big Honda fan but the Civic and Accord in my mind are decidedly ‘meh’ compared to the rest of the Japanese automakers.
Mazda – The Savanna/RX-3 looks interesting…
Nissan – 280Z… ok, now we’re talking. Not very practical, but god is it good-looking.
Toyota – Celica… ooooh, we have a contender for the 280Z…

But what’s this? One of my all-time favorites is available, the FJ40 for $6,078. Comes with the 2F inline 6 engine, and the cost leaves close to $4,000 for accessories and off-road goodies? SOLD!

With the way collectible car prices are going, mind games like these are the closest I’m ever going to get to owning one.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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8 Responses to QotW: Do friends and family actually take your car advice?

  1. Fred Langille says:

    Although actual wrench-turning isn’t my forte, I have amassed enough general expertise as to WHAT to do vice HOW to do it. Mostly, though I have become a gu-to (that’s half a guru!) as far as sales is concerned. I have successfully advised on when-where-what to buy/look for for those who have needed a new/old car. For the most part, as a former salesman at a Ford store, I’ve not done bad. My advice to all?
    1. Buy near EOM … salesmen want to deal then to mkae mission.
    2. Best month to buy December … especially new cars as dealers will practically pay you to take that ’23 (now) off the lot before it is taxed on 1 Jan 24. Goes for older as well.
    3. Do research. CARFAX is your friend.

  2. Ben E says:

    I have one bit of advice for friends and family that is never EVER heeded. If you want a reliable fuel efficient vehicle, buy a 1995 Corolla.

  3. JJ says:

    Thanks for choosing my contribution for last week’s QoTW, it’s very much appreciated!

    The primary advice I give family and friends has to do when it’s time for someone to purchase a new/new to them vehicle: “Buy from Japan.” The only people I’ve managed to influence so far have been my parents, who went from a succession of GMC products (Astro Van/Safari Van/Buick Rendezvous/Pontiac Torr[m]ent) to a Pathfinder. A vehicle they’ve loved so much that it’s turned my 70 year old dad into something of Nissan fan.

  4. Alan says:

    I love Japanese cars in part because we grew up with them. My mom had a string of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation Tercels that were durable beyond the point of absurdity – like the famous Top Gear Hilux but add Chicago winters.

    Mom met my Jeep-loving stepdad in the early 2000s and downgraded from a rusty, high-mile, late-production Trooper to a brand-new Jeep Liberty. Predictably it was a piece of shit, and less than a year in she asked me for a recommendation. “Buy a Mazda mom, they make a few different crossovers in the size and price range you’re looking for, and they’re really nice to drive, very reliable, and pretty too. Look at Toyota or Honda if the Mazda offerings aren’t to your liking.”

    She bought another Jeep, and this exact scenario has happened three times since.

    FWIW, I have worked as a professional car opionion-haver for close to 20 years now.

  5. streetspirit says:

    Strangely, yes.
    Being young in Europe the idea of owning a car is becoming more and more foreign.

    All the rideshare apps and private lease econoboxes are diligently eradicating any fun and excitement in motoring, not to mention all the ‘wise’ people telling us anything over 10 years old is no good.

    Riding along in our NA Miata build is usually enough to break years of Orwellian conditioning though.

    Hearing afterwards my fiancée does her daily commute in the little monster is enough for most to come around completely.

    A few days later the links to used car sites come pouring in.

    ‘hey streetspirit, how about this one?’

    Even my brother in law who’s not even of driving age has been gravitating towards E30 BMW’s, FC’s and Preludes.

  6. Michael K. says:

    No. Friends, family and coworkers come to me all the time as their resident ‘car expert.’ I’m really not… I know how to turn a few wrenches and I can ID makes and models without reading the badges and I guess in their eyes that makes me an expert. What I do know is that only around 1/10 people actually listen to your advice.

    Here’s some advice for the advice givers. Most people just want you to confirm what they’ve already chosen. Tell them they were so smart for figuring that out on their own. When you don’t, they get pissed and then usually go do what they were planning to anyway. That’s how they end up with a string of terrible cars. Numb SUVs or crappy luxury brands that will cost 1000s to fix after five years. Then they complain about the problems their cars have and ask me again. Rinse and repeat.

  7. Land Ark says:

    I’ve stopped offering advice after multiple attempts to get people to buy the right car for them only to have them buy something completely out of left field.
    A few years ago a buddy at work and I went test driving coupes – he really liked the FRS, we looked at the Volvo C30, and a BMW 335. He was young and single and wanted something fun.
    One day we were going to lunch and he sheepishly showed me his new GMC Terrain. He never made any indication that he would get anything like that – let alone one of the worst vehicles in its class (and it was hideous). I gave him crap and he said he didn’t plan on buying it, it just happened.
    He hated it and sold it 6 months later and bought a Ford Escape.
    I gave up.

  8. f31roger says:

    I always tell family and friends… I love older cars. 80s/90s are the best and what I like to enjoy.

    With that said, I try not to dole out mechanic advice because for those cars, it could be a lot of factors.

    I do tell people to look for TSBs, recalls and common problems (OG forums used to have all that info out there) for their specific cars.

    I just don’t want to be that guy that gives an opinion (usually on the phone) and they go after it like it was the diagnosis. I offere them my idea and tell them to get a mechanic to look at it.

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