The Drive's Daily Mileage Champion: Grandpa Finds The Right Stick For His Tightwad Tuchus

What Does A Tightwad Grandpa Get As A Daily Driver For His College Age Grandkids? A Stick... With A Nice Thick Brick In The Glovebox.

Troy knew back in 2010 that the recession was going to be a pain in the tuchus for his grandkids. While his daughter was busy ringing up debts that would lead to multiple auto repossessions and her third Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Troy realized he would need to get a unique car that would keep those kids on the road and her away from the car in question.

He had two solutions. Make it a stick and keep the title in his name.

This 1998 Nissan Altima SE was bought in May 2010 with 208,000 miles and a brick's words of records in the glovebox in exchange for a $1500 cash dividend from the local utility.

Three kids would use it to get through school and their early work career. Now with six years and 361,535 miles on the odometer, Troy traded in the Altima for $500.

Troy found out that in a sea of negative to worse, the 1990s Nissan Altima didn't quite measure up when it comes to long-term reliability - except for this second generation which lasted from 1998 to 2001. There are a ton of Nissans that seem to fall into that '2nd generation is a charm' pattern, including the 2007 thru 2012 generation which benefited from several upgrades to the powertrain.  Troy was lucky enough to get a 2008 Altima last Christmas for all of $3000 with just over 200,000 miles, and he's planning on driving that to an even 300k  

He’s still a bit pissed off about the $500 trade-in he got for this older one. But he figures that 150,000 miles for $1,000 in depreciation is less than a penny a mile. Two-thirds of a penny to be exact. Troy came out ahead and the 30 mpg average for his grandkids certainly helped at the right time.

Troy is now trying to figure out how to get the same mileage out of a used pair of shoes. First they will get a heaping spoonful Gorilla Glue and after that, duct tape.