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I think the key to this is the saying - attributed to Oscar Wilde - "A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

Financially speaking, the time and effort that some people on here put into their cars would make an economist laugh his head off. It makes no economical sense to be spending hundreds of pounds on a bodykit for a 16-year-old car with 5 previous owners which pops out of second and takes 3 minutes to get into reverse on a good day. And yet that is exactly what many do. There are several owners on here who have auto gearboxes and are very happy with them. There are many manual owners who say the auto box is the invention of the devil, and most of them haven't even driven one.

The manuals are pretty fragile, it's true, but as a general statement a manual box offers more performance and a more involved driving experience. The manual boxes had a strengthened pinion bearing (a traditional weak spot) in later years, so aim for one from 1990-1993. Additionally, Saabs policy of stating that the gearbox oil never needed changing (by failing to put in a drain plug on later boxes) probably hastened the demise of several cars. I doubt very much a rebuilt or second hand transmission would only last two years, but you never know. It might go on for another 16 years if you treat it well.

In summary, economically it makes no sense at all to even own one of these cars, let alone do any major work on them. But it makes no economic sense to buy a new car and drive it off the forecourt, thus reducing it's value by 50% at a stroke. If you really want the manual C900 experience, do it for emotive, not economical reasons. Personally I think it's crazy :D .

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Siggy said:
1. Europe has a lot of [public transport]...You give a small amount of money and you can totally go places without a car! :cheesy:
This is a fairly common misconception about Britain. I've been to many other European countries where it certainly applies, even defying geography in a country like Norway where one ticket will take you on a tram, bus, trolley bus, train, subway and ferry. They even work in the snow, which is handy in Norway. The Netherlands probably has the best integrated transport network in the world, and they have even made provision for the fact that some people cycle. The UK system is a joke, and a bad one at that. While there is an element of integration in London and other metropolitan centres, out here in the countryside you are seriously stuck without a car. In my village, people volunteer to go shopping for each other or take people to the post office as the nearest shop is 7 miles away. There is one bus a day but it goes in the wrong direction. Even between urban centres it would be wrong to assume some kind of economical incentive to use public transport. A friend was recently quoted a fare of £170 to travel by train between London and Manchester. That's almost one pound a mile. Assuming of course that the train arrived, or even managed to depart.

It means that to a low income person in America -- with much greater distances to travel -- the affect of a higher fuel price is far more disastrous to their lives than to a person living in most places in Europe.
Again I'm not sure how valid this is. As I've said, in rural Britain you are pretty stuck without a car in that village shops have closed so supermarkets (nearest to me: 7 miles) outside the towns are the main option. Post offices (11 miles) have closed. Bank branches (17 miles) have closed. Petrol stations (12 miles) are not common. The average commute in east Suffolk is about 25 miles. Petrol costs the equivalent of $1.68 a litre. The average annual wage in this county council is $25,500. So there's a lot of people struggling with the fuel price, and getting very angry because the tax they are paying doesn't seem to be put back into the transport system.

Gasoline prices should be going down, not up.Americans shouldn't be paying more, you should be paying less.
Strongly disagree. We should be paying what we are, but seeing that money accounted for. And you should be paying the same. The rate at which America guzzles oil has a profound affect on global stability, quite apart from the ludicrous short-sightedness in terms of environmental accountability. Opening up wildlife refuges in Alaska is farcical. America has never been self-sufficient in oil and never will be. It will always depend on imports and therefore will always be trying to control the market to its advantage. Only by adjusting the preconceptions of citizens, by subsidizing public transport and taxing oil to the same level as Europe will America finally be acting in the interests not just of its own citizens, but of the rest of the world as well. No coincidence that of the countries which according to the UN development index for quality of life have a higher standard of living than America, with the exception of Australia and Canada, all are European. Link

Anyway, enough on that topic. A lot of people here in the US are angry and frustrated on this subject.
Same here. We do this one every now and again. What happens is someone in the US posts about how their gas prices have gone up, then the Brits start saying you don't know how good you've got it, then the Americans say but you just had an election, vote them out of office, take to the hills, etc, etc. We could say the same thing. That's why it's generally safer to stick to Saabs :) .
 
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