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Thread: New/Young Guy looking to get into the Atom game

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by speerjr View Post
    I honestly beleive I could afford to own the atom when I am about 25, especially since the insurance drops. And I realize they are not practical, you have to have a second car... all that good stuff. But I used to drive a '99 miata for 2 years, and I would drive it everwhere, all the time as a daily, which was also impractical. No I wouldnt drive it in rain or snow, nor would I leave it sit outside, I would put it in a garage. But I also would drive it whenever humanly possible. I never understood the people who buy a sports car (ferrari, lambo, porsche, atom... etc.) just so they can let it sit in the garage and collect dust. If I am going to buy a car, I am going to drive it. But again, maybe I am just to young or naive.
    The insurance drops at 25 thing is now a dated practice and no longer applies (unless USAA lied to me on my birthday). I had a 90 miata before my Elise. Both were my only car, both were driven in upstate NY year round and the Elise was driven in Colorado year round. Practicality is what you make it. My trunk was my passenger seat and I never backed down from driving in the snow (I'm used to it growing up in NY). Atom seems a bit different without body work and all that, but I guess my point is do what makes you happy. Where there is a will, there is a way.

  2. #22
    Proton Terry Kennedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speerjr View Post
    I figure I would have about 25-30k that I could spend on a car after I graduate (assuming I make a good wage, and can get a good loan).
    But I have come to realize they are much more expensive than that. I think I saw one listed on Ebay once for like 28 0r 29, but that was about a year ago, and I have never seen one below 40 now.
    There are a number of reasons a car might sell for a low price - the seller may need cash quickly, the car may have been in an accident and repaired incompletely / improperly (there aren't that many places you can buy parts), or it may have been one of those multiple-owner cars that was never titled, never accumulated any mileage, and needs a bunch of retrofits that are no longer available (PCM, air intake, etc.)

    If you want a car you can simply pay for and then be able to drive safely, you're looking at one of the more expensive ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by speerjr View Post
    Also, why dont any of you guys put more miles on these bad boys, the highest I have seen on a used Atom was an '06 with 19k. Maybe I am just nieve in my youth, but I would drive it every chance I possibly could... Why not!?
    I have 34K+ on my 2006.

    The issue is where and when you're going to put those miles on the car. I generally take a month and drive cross-country the long way (my first one-way Oregon -> New York trip was over 7000 miles). That kind of time implies a fair amount of wealth or a very forgiving employer. And most owners have insurance policies with strict annual mileage limits and a "not for use as a primary vehicle" requirement.

    Not to mention, a few of these can definitely "dampen" your spirits:



    And I am just curious, what do most of you guys do for a living? Seems to me, a lot of the guys are this forum are pretty successful, just wondering at what exactly...
    I describe myself as "semi-retired Internet geek". I bought my Atom (one of the very first US ones) when I was 47.

    You may have ruffled a few feathers by dropping in and asking (though not in so many words) "how rich are you?". You'll find we're quite welcoming to new members, once we get to know you.

  3. #23
    Down Quark
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    Thanks for all of that Terry. Sorry I have been absent from the fourm for a week or so. Just saw your post. I value that input, that was really solid response. As for your ending remark, not in so many words, but yes I was more or less wondering.
    The only reason why, is because, in my opinion, people are the best resource, the ones who have first hand experience, not people who drive it once and write a review on it. So on that note, I like to do my "research" by calling on others in the community, and asking about their experience.
    I am wondering about the total cost to own-the simplest cost to figure out, is the initial cost to buy it, but from there it gets a little grey...
    How much do you spend on gas? How much maintainance do you have? Whats a good insurance rate? All that stuff.
    So the reason I ask, is to see if I could afford it all. If you are curious about the career path I have chosen, or what I am seeking to do with my future/how successful I believe I will be, I have no problem answering those questions. I dont see why people get so stuffy about that (I am not asking for your salary, or net worth, just how you started out, and got to where you are).

    But for instance, I have also been considering going after an NSX, or Supra when I graduate (If I found one for the right price). Found a great thread on reddit today detailing the cost to own an NSX. And I honestly believe if I had a similar mentality to his, I could afford one right out of college. The only problem would be, I wouldnt want to own an NSX, without having a garage of some sort to store it/wouldnt want to drive it through winter. So unless I lived in like cali, or florida or something like that, I wouldnt end up buying one (most likely).
    Here is the thread I am talking about:My NSX ownership costs (as suggested in the 348 thread), assuming you DIY. : cars
    I am more so interested in the information like that, than your personal wealth...

  4. #24
    Proton Terry Kennedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speerjr View Post
    I am wondering about the total cost to own-the simplest cost to figure out, is the initial cost to buy it, but from there it gets a little grey...
    How much do you spend on gas? How much maintainance do you have? Whats a good insurance rate? All that stuff.
    Well, at the start:

    • Shipping costs
    • Sales tax
    • Insurance
    • Any needed work, if buying used

    None of those can be given as a definitive number by anyone here. Some are easy to figure out ahead of time yourself (you definitely know what the sales tax rate is in your location), some can only be answered after you buy / receive the car (any needed work), etc.

    Ongoing costs are very low compared to most other vehicles, and even more so when compared against other track cars. All of the fluids you can easily do yourself. I get about 5,000 - 7,500 miles from a set of AO48 tires with my relaxed driving style and minimal track use. I'd guess about 33MPG.

    Insurance is a complex subject, as it depends on the driver as well as the vehicle. You'll find information in the forums here, and perhaps some people will share info on who their policy is with, so you can at least get some quotes and find out if it will be possible at all. I stopped saying who the carrier is on my policy, because somebody called up my prior carrier and demanded to know why the carrier would insure me and not them. This led to my carrier cancelling and refunding my policy after a month. So now I keep quiet.

  5. #25
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    Here is a simple comparison of ownership cost compared to the NSX or Supra:
    Initial cost of the Atom will be 2-3 times ($40K-60K used, if you can find one)) or 3-4 times ($60K-90K new) that of the NSX or Supra ($18K-$30K). Depending on what options available.
    Maintenance cost (assuming DIY), the Atom will be less than 25% of NSX/Supra. Tire cost will be your biggest concern as they will be no less than $1000.00 a set (yes you can buy and use cheaper tires with longer tread wear, that kind of defeats the purpose of ownership).
    You will not be able to drive the Atom as much as the others (weather, insurance, capacity etc. etc.)
    You may not even be able to get the Atom registered in your state, not a problem with NSX/Supra.
    You may not be able to get finance for the Atom, again not a problem with NSX/Supra.

    I get about 5,000 - 7,500 miles from a set of AO48 tires with my relaxed driving style and minimal track use. I'd guess about 33MPG.
    Damn Terry, I only got 3500 on my A048 rears and thats without the super charger. The fronts may last that long.

  6. #26
    Down Quark
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    Yah, I was hoping I would be able to find and atom for around 30-35k, and try and talk them down, but they just hold value to well, and most banks wouldnt likely give me an affordable loan (if one at all). Maybe I could get a loan from my credit union, but I dont think it would be affordable/realistic the more I have thought about it, at least for the first 2-3 years after college. Maybe I will just wait to purchase one until I am around 26 or 27. Or maybe, just maybe, I will wait until I am about 30, and just go after that BAC MONO.... yummy.

    But thanks for your guys' input. It is always much appreciated.

  7. #27
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    Hope you find a great job...BAC Mono is $200k in the USA from Sector111. The atom should be viewed as 100% toy...

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mini viper View Post
    Hope you find a great job...BAC Mono is $200k in the USA from Sector111. The atom should be viewed as 100% toy...
    Lol... PRIORITIES!

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