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$45,000 For Two-Door Money-Pit GT Car! What Car Should I Buy?



Griff is all about that #Jaloplyfe and has a decent chunk of change to blow on something with two doors, solid performance, and highway comfort. Reliability is a bit lower on the list. He is torn between offerings from Germany, Italy, or Britain. What car should he buy?

(Welcome back to What Car Should You Buy? Where we give real people real advice about buying cars. Do you want us to help you find a car? Submit your story on our form.)

Here is the scenario.

I’ve got $45,000 to blow on a two-door, four-wheeled money pit GT car. Do I go German, British, or Italian? I want Fast. Mostly impractical. Comfy at 85 all day. This is purely a fun car I have no kids and I like road trips. I also like cars that have dedicated, if not eccentric, communities. I have 2 other cars for daily driving and driving in inclement weather.

Quick Facts:

Budget: up to $45,000

Location: Washington State

Daily Driver: No

Wants: Two doors, fast, long-distance cruiser

Doesn’t want: Fewer than 6 cylinders, more than two doors

Expert 1: Tom McParland – You Asked For it

I try my best for most of these What Car Should You Buy cases to look at it from the perspective of the buyer and take my own preferences out of the equation. I can’t do that this time around because if I were to drop money on a GT coupe without any concern for reliability there is only one choice… the Maserati GranTurismo.

This car has been an absolute favorite of mine ever since I saw one in person and got to hear the glorious Ferrari-sourced V8 rumble many years ago. Maserati has just gotten around to updating this model with new powertrains making it a bit more modern. I’m sure the new car will be fine, but it won’t be like the original.

The great news is that there are a ton of sub $45,000 GranTurismos with that timeless style that will look like you dropped six figures on an Italian exotic. I know reliability isn’t a key concern, but I imagine you would at least want something with a clean history and a solid maintenance record. Here is a nice example in CA sold by a Maserati dealer that was regularly serviced in-house.

Expert 2: Andy Kalmowitz – The Cadillac of Grand Tourers

Griff, my friend, I envy the position you’re in. I hope to one day be right where you are, and because of that, I’m going to suggest to you the car I would buy if our roles were reversed.

Behold: the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe… with a manual transmission. It may not be the most exotic car in the world, but it’s got everything you’re looking for. There’s big power, striking looks, so-so practicality and a dedicated community around it.

If 556 horsepower isn’t enough for you, there’s always room to improve the GM supercharged LSA engine. That thing is a beast. All that power going to the rear wheels is nothing to sneeze at in terms of fun, but when you want to just cruise the CTS-V can do just that. Put her in 6th gear and let that V8 burble guide you down the highway. In a word, Griff, it’s perfect.

The exact car I’ve found for you is a 2013 listed on Carvana for under your budget. Coming in at $38,590, this example has just 73,000 miles on it. That’s nothing for one of these bad boys. It also boasts zero accidents during the tenure of the previous two owners. Enjoy it, Griff. I know I would.

Expert 3: José Rodríguez Jr. – Money Pit Starts With “M”

Griff, common sense as it applies here brings to mind either Italian or German performance coupes. Really, there is no “money pit” common sense, but if there were, it would dictate falling in love with a car that’ll break your heart once its cost of ownership is revealed. That’s an Alfa or a BMW M car. Maybe an Alpina since you’d prefer a highway cruiser.

The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider fails on cylinder count (and price,) while a BMW M3 with a naturally-aspirated V8 is better suited for carving than cruising. Well then, M6 it is. This 2016 BMW M6 is under budget at $44,995, but is quite a drive away from Washington state; the competition package and ceramic brakes could be worth the road trip.

The BMW M6 is powered by a 4.4-liter twin turbo V8 making 560 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. The big Bavarian will sprint from 0-60 mph in just over four seconds, and sound lovely doing it — even if its exhaust note is a little fake. This M6 doesn’t come with a manual transmission, but that’s fine for a long-distance car.

For long trips, I’d prefer a bigger car so I’ll throw in a coupe with two extra doors. This 2015 Alpina B6 Gran Coupe is technically still a “coupe,” but it’s more concerned with comfort than outright performance.

Expert 4: Erik Shilling — Big Cat

It’s not clear to me how serious this question is, given that the questioner offers “Griff” as their name and also writes, apparently without sarcasm, that they have “$45,000 to blow.” I’m also a little dubious about why Griff here is only interested in German, Italian, or British cars. But I’ll play ball nonetheless, because Tom is right that Griff deserves a Maserati or similar, since Griff, if they’re serious, seems intent on owning themselves.

Griff also says he has two other cars for daily driving (?), and that he doesn’t have children, because perhaps Griff considers cars children. Anyway, Griff should probably just save some coin and buy a Volkswagen Phaeton, that would seem to quench his thirst for being extra but European. Several have sold on Bring A Trailer at less than $20,000 recently. Or, maybe, a 996 911, though that might be too reliable.

Instead, I will suggest a used Jaguar F-Type, which is a perfectly stupid car to own for someone who craves unreliability and hates money. Here is one for sale in New Jersey for $62,000, which is over budget but for people like Griff that is no hurdle. And Griff says he loves road trips, so driving it back to Washington state would seem no issue. It even has two doors.

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