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It really is. By me, most kids at least get some help with their 1st car and some have really nice cars. When I was young (graduated HS in 1986) you could get a derivable car you could maintain yourself for $500. I had a friend that had multiple cars he bought between $100-$300. My 1st car was a rusty 73 Monte Carlo. I lost enthusiasm for it when I figured out it was a 2bbl. I sold it for a 71 442 that never ran right.
My wife wanted my son to have a new car. We got him a Camaro RS on a year end type deal. He's been very responsible with it, takes great care of it and loves it, and it gives us something to do together
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Different world now.
 

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You can still maintain cars yourself these days if you have a decent OBD scanner (if you have an FCA vehicle alfaOBD is hard to beat). Most people chose not to just like they chose going to a shop to get their oil changed because it is less of a hassle. Heck I do repairs on all my own cars...never used a dealer unless the car was under warranty.

That is what is nice about getting a new car is you don't have to wrench on it for a while until the warranty expires and would be a good arguement for one.

Getting a beater usually means you need to get things like the AC to work or replacing torn CV boots which I remember doing on my first car when I was a teenager. When I was growing up all my buddies worked on their cars. Because I had to go down that route (4 kids in my family and my parents were immigrants with just enough money to live comfortably) I have become quite the wrencher....a skill set I still use today (saved me thousands...probably tens of thousands over the years). Most likely also one of the reasons I hold an advanced degree in mechanical engineering today (wanted to go in the automotive industry but did not want my hobby to be my job). I even help my friends diagnose and fix their cars...and it is part of the reason I post on this forum so I can share the knowledge.

I guess what I am trying to say is a beater can build character. :)
 

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At 16, my first car was my Mom and Dad's car to let me go to work! I had to save and buy my own car (kind of ratty 68 Firebird with no motor. Then I saved and saved and built my first big block Chevy with a tunnel ram intake and two Holley 660 center squirters. It took me two years to save and build it too and to save for gas to drive it :D).

I agree with the Guys here, that while you want an R/T, you might try to look into a V6 Challenger. They have good power, better on gas and probably insurance too. You still get your Challenger and then you will get more behind the wheel time and learn to become a better/safe driver and then jump up to another Challenger (if you want to because you might actually just enjoy your V6).

Another point is that the V6 will be less expensive to buy too.

There are plenty of A Guys ;) on this forum that have Nice V6 Challenger's and can give you advice/reviews on how/what they like or dislike about their Challenger's.
 

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You know that height line that they have at theme parks, where one must meet that standard to proceed? IMO, for many reasons and the safety aspect, a little time on the roadway getting the feel of things and then proceed to Hemi time. These cars can sometimes in certain conditions be a little to much to handle with inexperience and I was guilty of that in the beginning with 1/3 the HP and no seat belts, duh. Either way you end up, a little time on a snow covered parking lot or dirt area can sure give you more ability and confidence behind the wheel of that Hemi...



HOT ROD ON
 

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I’m sure that your tired of reading all these replies by now. My first car was a 1988 Camaro, my Dad got me for $3k. I was lucky enough to grow up 20 minutes from what was Morosso drag strip in S. Florida, so I would go there Friday or Saturday nights and race legally. So I never did stupid stuff on the street. I also was the smart one/leveled headed one out of my siblings.

The deal was I had to pay for gas insurance and maintain my grades in school. So I started working at what was Discount Auto Parts, now owned by Advance Auto Parts, while still going to School (Sophomore year). Not only did I pay everything myself by working, but I kept my grades above a 3.5 GPA and was taking College classes every other night at the HS in my Junior and Senior year.

My point to that part of the story is that my son (will be 16 this fall) will be given the same opportunity that I was. He will not get a $15k car though. I also won’t get him an unreliable vehicle. So as I’ve been researching I may end buying something between $5-10k. Preferably on the low end. Best would be if I could find decent and reliable for less than $5k. He will have to work hard and earn whatever his preferred car is on his own.

There is something to be said for earning something on your own. The Hs I went to was full of rich kids that all had BMWs, Mercedes, etc... Not that a $15k Challenger is the same, but my point is it’s a lesson learned when you have to work hard and earn something. Which is what I did. Twenty years ago at 18 I joined the Army and it wasn’t until I was at 13 years (many many deployments later) that I got my SRT. Don’t ask your parents for a $15k car.

As far as driving a RWD in the snow...it can be done. My first duty station was in upstate New York at Ft. Drum. A kid from S. Florida and his rear wheel drive 88 Camaro that was delivered the second week of January. Guy pulled it off the truck and there was 6 feet of snow on the ground. I had to learn real fast how to drive that 5 speed manual in the snow/ice and with hill starts in a manual. Guess what....never an issue. I have also gone through my whole life with not tickets period. Except for speed cameras in Germany that get you if you are even 1km per hour over the limit, which was usually the case. But that’s another story.

Just because your young doesn’t mean you won’t be responsible and that you couldn’t drive it in the winter. However, like I said already you should wait on that type of vehicle for now. More for the life lesson aspect. Ok, my rambling is over. Good luck either way and stay safe.


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@hemi1031 So your son is all set to drive your SRT and take it to the track? That's great at 16.

To be 16 and have a Challenger of any condition would be amazing.

If you have the money you should buy what you want (what your parents are going to pay for). Good Luck convincing your parents.

What kinda car does your Dad and Mom drive?
 

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I still have my first car I bought in 1978. It's a real beater I had to replace most of the floor because of rust. rebuild all 3 carbs and put all new brakes, shocks and a new clutch just to get it back on the road. when I had earned the money to get a nicer car the sales man asked if I was going to trade in my 1957 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. That it being a manual shift he could only give me $1,200 off the new 1989 Firebird Formula I was buying new in 1988 for cash after saving for almost ten years I told him no I plan to keep it and redo the body and paint someday to a much better quality than the first time high school kid with a part time job budget I did the first time. Funny thing is I said I would keep my first new car the Firebird Formula TPI 5 speed manual for ever too, but I sold it 12 years later when repairs to the electronics in it like 3 new ignition switches 11 new fuel injectors and fuel pump and a bunch more smaller things. That firebird and maybe a dozen or so cars later the old Rocket 88 has never left me stranded or needed anything but tune ups and fluid changes in 42 years. Here are my 2 Rocket 88's next to my 2 Challengers. The J2 engine in my 88 coupe the intake manifold carb's and factory air cleaner were worth about twice what I paid for the whole car. View attachment 992516 View attachment 992519
Beautiful cars man
 

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Haters gotta hate :rolleyes:. Maybe, just maybe, he's a responsible kid and that won't happen. At the least, lets not wish it on him.

Insurance is largely regional and can vary greatly not even from state to state but town to town. Read the policy over carefully and make sure you know what you are getting.
I have three cars in my house (plus the Challenger on a separate policy) for three drivers including my 17 yo son. I'm with Allstate and all three drivers are on all three vehicles. No car is designated to a specific driver. All cars have full coverage. We had all three cars on the policy before my son got his license. When I added him, the insurance doubled.
its not Hate its fact. We all know it is highly more likey that a car like a challenger and peer pressure can lead to trouble. I think its best to wait, but also i think they should do what they want. Me wanted a muscle car as a first but i was denied even though i was paying it glad i was. I went through a 95 Camaro, 2012 charger, 06 STI , 14 RAM, and now my 17 Hellcat. loved all my cars and I come from a Muscle car building Family and my brother and Dad raised me around Lead footing so I know I personally would of gotten killed or in trouble. Im not afraid to admit i wouldn't be responsible with a V8 early in life they knew better and i know better. Hell I still had fun in my cars. I hope kid gets what best and enjoys it. IM sure he'll be in a SRT soon enough.
 

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My 1st car was a 1978 Trans Am, I never even scratched it. Good luck


A Guy
This right here. dude if you got a job and have your own money and your only 16, good for you. Spend it on a nice car. I tell you the same thing I told my daughter. A v8 for your first car is over kill however most people on this forum that was also their first car. Just the car weight less and had less HP. If you respect the car and learn on it before you go ripping it up you should be ok.
the only thing you really worry about is all the other stupid people on the road that want to door ding or worse you.

Ron
 

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Pics in my showcase


I'm 59 1/2, lol

If I had a garage, I'd have kept it when I got all responsible and got my Grand Prix with anti-lock brakes and airbags :)

A Guy
That Trans Am brings back great memories. You’re only a few years behind me, I was imagining you much younger. You do a great job here, I appreciate all your input.
 

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Don't mistake immaturity for age :p

A Guy
 

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As I said at the beginning of this thread, if it's on the kid's dime, he can do what he wants with his parent's permission. However, if the parents are paying for any of it, especially adding him to their insurance policy, then it's entirely up to them what he gets. Buying a used car doesn't mean it has to be a beater, and it's the best way to learn all about owning, maintaining and driving one. It's all about being responsible. And for the record, I'm the grandpa in this thread. I bought my first muscle car, a '68 GTO, at the age of 21 when I came back from Nam...
992555
 

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@hemi1031 So your son is all set to drive your SRT and take it to the track? That's great at 16.

To be 16 and have a Challenger of any condition would be amazing.

If you have the money you should buy what you want (what your parents are going to pay for). Good Luck convincing your parents.

What kinda car does your Dad and Mom drive?
I never said my son would be driving my car and taking it to the track. I said he will be given the same opportunity that I was. I will get him his first car. Ideally below $5k, but I want it to be functioning and reliable. If I find something cheaper than $5k like my first car that was only $3k, then great. The point of that was I will not by him a $15k+ car for his first. I will get the car but he will have to work to pay for gas, insurance and whatnot like I did.

Guess I need to read what I wrote again. Maybe I’m and idiot a mis-wrote something. Not sure what you mean by him driving my SRT on a track. He will drive it while I am giving him lessons, once he is at that point. So that he learns to drive a manual. He started in our SUV with a 5.7 and has progressed to my Wife’s 392 Charger, but he will not drive the Charger or Challenger on his own anytime in the near future.

Heck he has only gotten 20 hours of driving in since he got he permit late January. He is still a nervous driver. I’ll get him there though... I’ve gone the several various driving courses for my line of work. Some more painful than others, but all allowed me to do things most people don’t normally. Which I feel adds to my ability to teach him and make him a well rounded defensive and offensive driver.


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Different world now. My HS parking lot was full of pickup trucks with rifle racks in the rear window and a chainsaw in the truck bed. The show-offs would leave just after the school buses and pass them on the highway two miles away.

And there is a lot to be said for earning something on your own, especially during the teenage years. A parent's job is to work themselves out of the job of being a parent. Making a teenager work for the things they want is preparing them to become a self-sufficient adult. Giving kids everything they want only results in kids still living at home in their mid 20's.
Yeah.... We had the pickup trucks as well. The way the school districting was all of us from the boonies went to the HS with all the wealthier folks. Closest HS for us to attend.

My point exactly about kids. Mine have to earn things...trying to reduce the whole entitlement thing. More difficult with my Daughter though.


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You can still maintain cars yourself these days if you have a decent OBD scanner (if you have an FCA vehicle alfaOBD is hard to beat). Most people chose not to just like they chose going to a shop to get their oil changed because it is less of a hassle. Heck I do repairs on all my own cars...never used a dealer unless the car was under warranty.

That is what is nice about getting a new car is you don't have to wrench on it for a while until the warranty expires and would be a good arguement for one.

Getting a beater usually means you need to get things like the AC to work or replacing torn CV boots which I remember doing on my first car when I was a teenager. When I was growing up all my buddies worked on their cars. Because I had to go down that route (4 kids in my family and my parents were immigrants with just enough money to live comfortably) I have become quite the wrencher....a skill set I still use today (saved me thousands...probably tens of thousands over the years). Most likely also one of the reasons I hold an advanced degree in mechanical engineering today (wanted to go in the automotive industry but did not want my hobby to be my job). I even help my friends diagnose and fix their cars...and it is part of the reason I post on this forum so I can share the knowledge.

I guess what I am trying to say is a beater can build character. :)
Agreed! This is another reason to not get something so new. I love the fact that I had an old Camaro that seemed to always need something done. Between that and working at an Auto Parts store is how I developed my mechanical skills. Obviously not a qualified technician, but I can do a lot. Built my love for cars and knowledge level.


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As I said at the beginning of this thread, if it's on the kid's dime, he can do what he wants with his parent's permission. However, if the parents are paying for any of it, especially adding him to their insurance policy, then it's entirely up to them what he gets. Buying a used car doesn't mean it has to be a beater, and it's the best way to learn all about owning, maintaining and driving one. It's all about being responsible. And for the record, I'm the grandpa in this thread. I bought my first muscle car, a '68 GTO, at the age of 21 when I came back from Nam... View attachment 992555
Also agree with your statement. It’s the parents decision if this is the situation. I know I may have said beater myself as others have. I personally use the term beater vary loosely. I consider anything that is not my Challenger a beater. LOL! Just kidding, honestly to me a beater is the blah car that gets you from point A to B.


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Don't mistake immaturity for age :p

A Guy
Everyone one matures at a different rate, some sooner than others. I hope I made that point in part of my post. Just because someone is 16 doesn’t mean they couldn’t handle a V8. As someone else mentioned, the parents are the ones that are best suited to make that call.


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I meant me ;)

A Guy
 

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As I said at the beginning of this thread, if it's on the kid's dime, he can do what he wants with his parent's permission. However, if the parents are paying for any of it, especially adding him to their insurance policy, then it's entirely up to them what he gets. Buying a used car doesn't mean it has to be a beater, and it's the best way to learn all about owning, maintaining and driving one. It's all about being responsible. And for the record, I'm the grandpa in this thread. I bought my first muscle car, a '68 GTO, at the age of 21 when I came back from Nam... View attachment 992555

Excellent point.. saw 68 GTO mentioned. Here’s my 70.

992565
 
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