TMBA542: The Entrepreneurmobile Revisited

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Whether you’re saving a runway for a new business, or you need to cut your expenses to the bone due to the current economic climate, we know a lot of people are being forced to make some difficult financial decisions right now. 

On today’s podcast, we are revisiting one of our most popular concepts, and something that we’ve discussed many times over the years as a sure-fire way for an entrepreneur to live a little more frugally.

We’re talking once again about the “Entrepreneurmobile”, or how you can get a reliable car that is generally inexpensive to buy, maintain and fix, and that can save you a lot of money.

In this episode, we take a comprehensive look at what makes a great Entrepreneurmobile, which cars you should avoid, 10 cars that are great deals under $10K, and some luxury vehicles that are extremely affordable as well.

See the full transcript below


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • What makes a good Entrepreneuermobile. (2:45)
  • Which cars you should avoid at all costs. (16:34)
  • Some of the most practical low-cost vehicles on the market. (21:40)
  • The most fun cars you can get at a great deal. (33:00)
  • Our favorite luxury cars that won’t break the bank. (40:01)


Mentioned in the episode:

Before the Exit – Our New Book
TMBA Masterminds
Partner With Us
The Dynamite Circle
Dynamite Jobs
Dynamite Deals
Tropical MBA on YouTube
The Entrepreneurmobile 
Kelley Blue Book
Canary Yellow Mazda M3
Toyota Camry
Toyota Corolla
Honda CRV
Toyota Rav4
Honda Civic
Honda Accord
Acura TSX
Ford F150
Chevy Silverado
Toyota Tacoma
Honda Odyssey
Toyota Sienna
Chrysler Pacifica
Jeep Wrangler
Jeep Cherokee
BMW E46 m3
Porsche Boxster
Mercedes E350
Suzuki Sidekick
Porsche 996
BMW 330
Porsche Cayman
Corvette C5
Toyota Prius
Cadillac CTS-V

Enjoyed this podcast? Check out these:

TMBA425: Meet The Deal Master
TMBA514: Mailbag: The Complexity of Cashflow
TMBA521: Is the RV Lifestyle Right For You?


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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.


Dan & Ian






Full Transcript

Dan: Audi/VW?

Ian: Total trash.

Dan: Audi/VW. This is where people are going to start getting mad.

Ian: Get mad. And then you know what, when you buy one, you gotta be even madder.

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Dan: Welcome back to the TMBA Podcast. I am joined as always by the Bossman, the captain in a captain’s chair. The rancher, the racer, the legend, Mr. Ian Schoen, welcome to the podcast, my friend.

Ian: Wow, that’s quite an introduction. Thank you so much. Happy to be on the show.

Dan: Today’s show is really about you, and your alternative career path. What you could have done instead of all this entrepreneurship stuff is you could have been anything to do with cars.

Ian: I had a mentor early on, though, that steered me away from that path. Thank god, sat me down and he said, ‘You do not want to be wrenching on other people’s cars. You want to be wrenching on your cars’. And I thought, ‘Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah’.

Dan: It’s like a case of the cobblers shoes right? This idea a lot of times, in certain niches, people get into them because they love that thing. Like you love hiking. And so you start like a hiking guide business and you realise, ‘Well, I wasn’t into it for the hiking guide part’.

Ian: Yeah I liked hiking on Saturdays, now I’m hiking every day.

Dan: Well, we know so many of us around the world right now are suffering, you know, unprecedented challenges because of the Coronavirus pandemic and we want to cover issues relevant to that on the pod every week. But this one is sort of this is like an oldie but a goodie, like a TMBA classic idea.

And I think that it ages really well, especially in times like this, when people are facing economic challenges. Yes, today, we’re going to do our first full blown TMBA episode about ‘the entrepreneurmobile’.

Ian: What’s an entrepreneurmobile?

Dan: Well Bossman, you’re bringing the content today, I’m bringing the questions, because entrepreneurmobile is your concept, so take us through this idea of an entrepreneur, mobile.

Ian: Here’s the idea – when I was dead broke, and that wasn’t too long ago, I was into cars the same way that I’m into cars now, but I couldn’t really afford them. So I was always trying to figure out a way, like how can I own these cool cars for basically nothing. And so I went out deal hunting, and I would find cars that were priced lower than they should be. And I knew that if I drove this car for two or three years, and I bought it at its sweet spot, meaning it had new tires on it, new brakes, new shocks, I could probably sell it for the same amount or more two years down the road, when I was ready to get something new.

And so this is something I’ve been doing for for years and years and years. And when we started our first business, I was doing it then and the requirement was really to spend as little as possible. And to do that, most of times you have to find these vehicles that are like fully depreciated, meaning they have like gone through all their depreciation cycle. Someone bought a Mercedes Benz for $65,000 in 10 years laters where it’s $6,000, that’s a fully depreciated asset.

And so I’d go around, you know, picking the coolest fully depreciated assets, these cars, and I would drive him for a couple years and have a blast. And then we started talking about that on the podcast because this is like the number one way that people lose their ass, is getting into something that they shouldn’t be buying, seeing depreciation, maintenance, all this stuff. And when you’re starting a business like this stuff is critical, like you can’t just lose $20,000 on a vehicle.

Dan: And compare this with how many people around the world think about car buying, which is, ‘Oh, I’ll buy something that’s new, safe, reliable won’t break down on me make sure it gets me to my job or my business. And I’m going to finance it so that I’m only paying $250 a month on this car’. Now, what’s wrong with that logic?

Ian: I wrote an article, it’s called ‘The Entrepreneurmobile’ and we’ll link to it, and that’s what this is all kind of based on. I showed projections if you went out and bought a 15 year old Honda Accord versus a new one what you would actually be paying, and there’s always this fear and that’s what drives people do a lot of things, there’s always this fear that if I buy an older car, it’s not gonna be reliable.

Dan: Or safe or that I won’t have the cash to pay for it.

Ian: There’s all that yeah, so this method does require that you have a little bit of cash, you can’t do this on payments. You need to save up and it could even be as little as $2,500. I mean, I bought you an entrepreneurmobile one time for like $400.

Dan: You did.

Ian: Embarrassing. Yes. Did you have any debt? No. Did you own that car outright? Yes. Did it break down? Yes. But in this article, basically, I’ll walk you through depreciation cycles, and also just how your emotions can get the best of you when you’re thinking about this stuff. You know, for example, with this Honda Accord, you could literally replace the engine in this thing five times over the life of the car, which was you would just never do, for the price of a new one.

The idea that these things are less reliable is just not necessarily true. The idea that you’re going to be stranded is not necessarily true, you know, that’s something that can be solved with $150 AAA membership. So, my aim with this concept really is to debunk the idea of old car ownership being a problem.

Dan: There’s a few things that this depends on. Number one is the reliability of a few select types of cars versus others. And we’re going to reveal what models and makes those cars are here today so we can all get geared up in a reliable, safe and affordable way so that we can put more money and time into our businesses ultimately. That’s what today’s list is all about. But there’s a few objections to this idea of the entrepreneurmobile that commonly come up. The first is: what if I don’t know that much about cars?

Ian: That’s why you should listen to the show. I’ve done all the work for you. I’ve owned a lot of cars a lot, a lot of cars over the years and I know what the stinkers are and I know the good ones are.

Dan: Just don’t violate the rules.

Ian: Don’t violate the rules. And yes, of course, I will preface this with ‘there are exceptions to the rules’. But if you don’t know anything about cars, that’s the whole point of this, you don’t have to know anything, you just have to follow the rules.

Dan: What about people’s fear of getting ripped off? You know, at least when I go to the dealership, there’s a number on the thing and I pay that number. What about when I go to the private market, which the entrepreneurmobile relies on this idea of websites that connect you with private sellers? How do you know if you’re going to get a good deal or not?

Ian: Well, there’s a couple ways that you can navigate that. Number one, you’re certainly getting ripped off probably if you’re going to a dealer because that’s the business that they’re in, not necessarily ripping people off, but they’re in the business of margin. So they bought that car that they’re selling you from a private seller – you could do that on your own – or they go they went and bought it from an auction house. Either way they have margin built into their price.

So how do you not get ripped off for the private seller? Well, you should definitely run a Carfax report or some report that you put a VIN number, every car has a VIN number, it’s an identification number, you put that number in there and you can see if it was a car that’s been wrecked or stolen or caught on fire and maybe somebody cleverly fixed it, you should definitely run that for every car that you buy.

You should look for a car that has maintenance records, you should look for a car that has long term ownership. You should just talk to somebody, you know, see if they’re honest or not. A lot of times you can get a good vibe when you’re with somebody. The other thing that you can do is you can bring these cars for pre inspections. Most repair shops will offer a pre inspection report, you can bring it in there for somewhere between $75 and $150. They will check the car out for you.

Dan: As a convert to the religion of entrepreneurmobile-ism, I’m a convert. I will say my strongest emotional reaction, and one that based on my results over the past decade and I’ve totally overcome, but the hardest part about this for me was the time involved.

The reality is – getting a entrepreneurmobile transaction could take you two weeks of part time effort, you know, that could be anything from 15 minutes a day to a few hours a day, depending on how many people you’re speaking with. I think one of the biggest drivers, why people just go to a dealership and pick up something new or used and get a loan and everything is that the promise is you can get out of that dealership in four hours rather than two weeks. Now, the problem though is that trying to save just a few hours, if you flipped it around and said, ‘Well, that’s going to cost you $10,000 or $20,000’. You would take the savings every single time.

Ian: Well, some people would, some people wouldn’t. You know, a lot of people say, ‘I could make more of that more than that in my business’. And if that’s the case, certainly, if you can make that kind of money, then maybe you should be doing that. But that isn’t the case with most people that are running small businesses and that are starting out.

So I think that a lot of people, especially in America, they spend the least amount of time on the biggest purchases that they make, which is fascinating to me. You know, they walk into a house and 30 minutes later, they decide to put an offer for $500,000. Or they walk into a dealership because it’s all commercial and then all of a sudden they put down, you know, $10,000 on a $60,000 car and make payments for the next five years.

This is one of those things where you do not have to get into cars, you don’t have to like cars, but you do have to somewhat take part in the process of buying a car and I promise you, if you do spend the two weeks to find this car, this entrepreneurmobile, this is a repeatable process. This is something that will stick with you for the rest of your life. It’s repeatable. You can do it time and time again, every car that you buy.

Dan: Totally and one of the things is if you have expertise in a narrow niche of cars, so we’re gonna list off all these cars today. Some of these cars are what you call ‘shit boxes’. Some of these cars are family cars, some are utility vehicles. Some are sexy, cool race looking cars.

There’s like a whole broad range of cars we’re going to talk about today. If you find a niche, or a model that you really like, doesn’t really take that long to learn about, ‘What are the major issues with this car’? And by the way, if your buns gonna be sitting in that seat for the next five years you might as well know these things about it. And then like you said, it’s not that hard to tack on some extra knowledge and pick up the best in class as your business progresses, and as your purchasing power increases.

Ian before we get into our list, a few more questions I want to ask you. This strategy, in brief, the entrepreneurmobile strategy demands that you avoid dealers pay in cash, know the vehicle history, which you’re going to ask for from the seller and that you buy from ideal owner profiles. Now what would be an ideal type owner?

Ian: So it’s generally speaking somebody that can afford a lot more car than they’ve bought into. So my favourite ideal owner is rocking up to like the million dollar house and then seeing the 20 year old Honda in the driveway that’s been lovingly owned and dealt with at the dealership the whole time and then park right next to it is a brand new Honda. That’s only a half a year old. It’s like yeah, we didn’t want to bring this thing to the dealership because they’re gonna give us $500 so I put it on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace and now I’m asking you know, $4,000

Dan: So this is a fun, entrepreneurial exercise where a lot of us are entrepreneurs during the day, well now you can be a trader at night and and start to figure out who your mark is. On the opposite side of that is like the really fancy sports car that’s sitting in a parking lot in an apartment complex. It’s like, why did this person buy a $30,000 sports car on payments? You know, there’s like leaves falling on it and stuff like that.

Ian: Yeah, I mean, I’ve seen pretty much all these different profiles. There’s like only like 10 different reasons you know why somebody is selling a car, there’s actually probably less than that now I’m thinking about it. But you know, people are in distress people trade it up, people got a new job. There are a couple more, but there’s really when you start buying as many cars I have, there’s really only a couple of reasons why people sell a car and if you talk to enough people, you understand that the reasons are pretty limited.

Dan: All right, one thing I want to note In terms of where to buy these cars, we have a shortlist your Craigslist, Facebook, eBay, Autotrader. How to get a sense of values? You can use or KelleyBlue

One more thing I want to reference before we get in today’s conversation is that if you’re really getting down to the nitty gritty and you’re on your way driving out to a potential purchase or deal, fire up TropicalMBA 425, where our good friend Corey is on the show, that one’s called ‘Meet the Deal Master’ and you two guys treat this as a science and it’s really cool. What you’re about to hear today, I just want to reiterate, this is from an exceptional amount of experience, you guys have been involved in in hundreds of these transactions.

Ian: Final thing to note, Dan, and this is just relevant to what’s going on right now, depending on when you’re listening to this podcast. We’re kind of in the middle of this COVID pandemic and the reason this is important is because I’ve never once considered buying a car from a dealer. But I’m starting to see interesting deals happen at these dealerships because I think they’re getting desperate because they have this inventory, and because they need to move it. So if you’re listening to this episode in the COVID pandemic is going on right now, I wouldn’t necessarily go to the dealer first. But certainly look around because a lot of these guys are going to be trying to unload these cars. I think the first place you should look though, is always Craigslist and Facebook.

Dan: I think it’s fair to say that generally speaking, if you want to buy a car, there’s probably never been a better time in the past decade. Okay, so in today’s episode, Ian, we’re gonna bring you some categories of cars, including makes and models. And we think these are these are the models specifically worth calling an entrepreneurmobile again, a vehicle that is fully depreciated. Maybe you could even sell it for more than you bought it for some day, or even when you do the amortisation over the years you’ve driven it, it’s very appealing, like, ‘Well, my car was beautiful and useful and safe, and it only cost me a couple hundred dollars a year to drive’.

We have to admit that the models listed in today’s show are a little US focused. But definitely the insights revealed today will be relevant for our non-US listeners. And if you give us a shout out in the comments, we would be happy to help you find sort of parallel models that might exist in your country.

Ian: Again, go over to the article and we’re gonna link to it ‘The Entrepreneurmobile’ because if you scroll to the bottom, you’re gonna see all these people that chimed in in the comments with their entrepreneurmobiles. It’s just super cool to see what other people have been driving.

Dan: It’s like a status symbol, so cool. We’ve split these into various categories including practical, fun, and affordable prestige. So links to all these cars, if you want to take a look at them, will be in the show notes because these originally aired on our live stream just a few days ago that we flashed them up on the screen. Okay, so we’re going to warp you guys into our YouTube feed which was recorded live, and which we also responded in real time to some questions that listeners posted so you hear some of those too. And we started with ‘The shit list’, a definition of which cars you should not touch for reasons which will become clear


Dan: Let me know when we’re good to go.

Ian: I think we’re good to go. Yeah, we have slides very excited about the show. This is something that we’ve talked about a lot. We’re gonna talk about even more – entrepreneur mobiles.

Dan: All right, so here’s the, here’s the pitch. Ten cars that are that are under $10,000 that are great deals for entrepreneurs. Of course, we were not able to restrain ourselves, just 10 cars. And also, we’re gonna talk about some cars that are more expensive for those of you who want to ball out. All right, so no talk of the entrepreneurmobile can start without the ‘shit list’.

Ian: There’s a lot of makes and models that you shouldn’t buy. The reason you shouldn’t buy these cars, because they’re unreliable that they, they’ll drop in value too fast, they’re expensive to maintain. Just don’t touch these cars. I mean, a lot of people get into situations with cars, they think they got a good deal, maybe they did get good a good deal on the price. And then they got to maintain right? And then that’s where you’re going to lose all your money.

Dan: I’ve had multiple experiences where I’ve sent Ian a link to like the bad ass car. The market knows things that I don’t know. And it’s like, ‘Dude, I can get this like BMW with like this huge 500 horsepower engine. It’s like a 2014 and they’re only asking for $14,000 for it’. And he’s like, ‘Dude, you know why? Like the moment they put that thing on the machine that’s going to cost you two grand a month’.

Ian: You know, I love me an M5, the BMW M5, the V10. It’s total dog and it would be on the shitless. It’s gonna cost you three times more to maintain it than it would to buy the car, right?

Dan: So, so we want to avoid that kind of stuff, because we want to keep you on the road. Also, safety is a big concern in this list. Something we can address model by model, but like safety and reliability, like if you don’t have those two things, then what’s the point of having the car. ‘Shit list’. Let’s just go over it. Hyundai, KIA, it could be any Hyundai or KIA even though they’re not bad cars, the newer ones.

Ian: Again, yeah, they’re fine cars, alright. They’re they’ve gotten to the point where they’re keeping up in a lot of ways with Japanese engineering. The problem with these Korean cars is that they lose half their value basically overnight.

Dan: Dodge, any Dodge.

Ian: Any Dodge product is a piece of junk. We’ll talked about prestige here in a little bit. If you want to go out and buy a Viper at a good price, I would endorse that. But there are very few Dodge products that I would endorse.

Dan: And Ford or GM car, caveat, not truck or high performance version.

Ian: Correct.

Dan: Any GM car?

Ian: Yes.

Dan: That’s like most cars in America, right or a huge percentage?

Ian: Middle of America not really on the coast.

Dan: Audi/VW

Ian: Total trash.

Dan: Audi/VW. This is where people are going to start to getting mad.

Ian: Get mad. And then you know what, when you buy one, you gotta be even madder. Because you’re gonna have to fix it. Look, there’s a couple of German auto manufacturers Porsche, BMW, Mercedes. Audi VW is at the bottom of that list, the absolute bottom of that list. They are total garbage.

Dan: Chrysler. Volvo. What about Volvo this sort of image of the reliable family station wagon?

Ian: Look, Volvo is not made by the Swedes anymore. The older Volvos are tanks from the 80s and even 70s. I think it was like 1995 or something like that, they partnered with Ford and then they started doing their own thing. Volvo is one of the safest cars on the road. There’s a lot of other cars that are safe that are also reliable.

Patrick says, ‘I drive an Audi 3 couldn’t be happier’. Look, there’s going to be people that have cars on the shit list that couldn’t be happier. I’m being a generalist here. And the reason I’m being a generalist is because everybody needs to be able to digest this information and make good decisions with it.

I can tell you a couple Audis that are okay, that you’re probably not going to get a lemon. Maybe the A3 is one of them. I haven’t done a bunch of research on that car and I haven’t owned it. The reason we’re putting this together and the reason we’re making it simple as because a lot of people don’t want to put a lot of energy into this. They want to be able to just go to this list, pick out a car, say like, Yeah, ‘I like the Mazda 3. This has everything I want’, boom, it’s on the approved list, and you’re not gonna get screwed. Are there some exceptions certainly.

Dan: And a lot of people love their car brand image so much that it’s worth it to them to pay hundreds of dollars a month to drive a car and that’s totally cool. This is about people who both want a great deal, want to make an investment and also people who want to baseline because look, it’s like after your rent, it’s like your car payment, that’s the biggest thing for a lot of people.

Here’s how these cars are gonna get broke down, the first are the most boring. They’re gonna be based on price and practicality. Then we’re gonna have a utility list, so a useful car list. Then we’re gonna have a fun car list for those of you who love driving, and then we’re gonna have affordable prestige. We’re gonna have a list of cars for you guys that look really expensive and classy, but actually don’t cost that much, in part because some of these cars that retailed for $100,000 or $80,000, often they have a sort of a softer secondary market. You ready to get on the price and practicality?

Ian: Let’s do it.

Dan: Okay, so here’s our price and practicality list, our very first car Boss Man, this beauty is it canary yellow Mazda 3, kind of a cool little kit.

Ian: I’ve owned a bunch of these cars on this list and I’ve definitely owned this one. Again, there are other cars that could be on this list, I just want to create a simple list for people that are looking to get it done. And this is definitely one of the cars that’ll get a done.

This is a Mazda 3. This is a little four door what I call a ‘shitbox’. This thing gets you from point A to point B, it’s completely bottomed out in terms of its value. You can get these things from anywhere from $2,500 to $9,000 if you wanted to get a newer ish one, but I think the real value in this car is $2,500 to $5,500. This is the most fun car to drive in this class. Okay, a couple of ..

Dan: Front wheel drive car.

Ian: It’s a front wheel drive car, a couple things that are unique about this car. When you talk about like major maintenance events on these little four cylinder shit boxes, a timing belt is one of those things that can cost you between $400 and $800 replace, and you got to replace it every 80,000 miles. This thing has a timing chain. So that means it’s not going to need that kind of maintenance ever in its life. It’s going to need all the other types of normal maintenance that you’ll find in a car, but it’s not going to need that.

One thing about this car this Mazda 3 is it’s like notorious for blowing up AC compressors. So the thing that drives your air conditioner, not a big deal. It’s like $300 to $500 every time it does it. That’s just something to know about this car. If you find one, and AC is dead, that’s probably the fix. But in general, this is a very reliable car that’s bottomed out and it’s fun to drive.

Dan: The next price and practical. This, you might recognise as the Toyota Camry.

Ian: That’s a Corolla.

Dan: Sorry.

Ian: Yeah. Dan’s learning as we go along learning as we go. But here’s the thing, Toyota Camry and Corolla pretty much interchangeable. Go for the four cylinder, it’s a simpler engine. This is like the most boring car you can buy, but it’s a Toyota product, it’s gonna last forever, probably get 300,000 miles out of it.

The other thing about this category that’s important to note is that all these cars are fairly lightweight that makes them probably not the safest. But that makes them very good on consumables. And when I say consumables, I mean tires, brakes, shocks, things like that. You have to change them very infrequently. When we start talking about things like Mercedes in the prestige category. You got to change those things more often because you’re driving a 5000 pound car. So not only will these cars be cheaper, they’re going to be a little bit less safe, but they’re going to be cheaper to maintain.

Dan: Personally, this would be like a good little city ripper for me, but I feel less comfortable if I was doing a lot of road trips.

Ian: I love it. Eric says, ‘Ooh, sexy’. Yeah, I totally agree.

Dan: All right, we’re getting to the sexy part. Eric. Don’t you worry. All right, our third on the price and practical aka boring cars. We got a Honda CRV.

Ian: Okay, Honda CRV and a Rav4 around this generation 2001 are pretty much interchangeable as far as I’m concerned. They are four cylinder cars, a lot of them use the same four cylinder that they use in the car and the SUV. This is just a little bit you know, you’d have to look at the safety of these things is probably a little bit safer because it’s a little bit bigger, certainly you can put more crap in it. But you know, if you want to drive an SUV or a mini SUV, I would recommend the Rav4 or the or this CRV.

Dan: Also we’ve got to give a nod to the other Honda products that make some sense from this era. The Civic, the Accord. Even the Acura TSX you mentioned would be a decent buy.

Ian: Yeah, I’d said the TSX can be on this on this list too, so for those of you that don’t know Acura and Honda are the same company. Acura as the luxury brand of Honda, I would tend to stay away from the V6 models of all those just because there’s a bit of complexity, like unless you want the power, just stay with the four cylinder and the TSX is that car. It’s got a inline four dead reliable motor, and it’s got leather in it. It’s teetering on the prestige level, you know. But it’s basically completely bottomed out. But you really cannot go wrong with a Honda or a Toyota product at this at this level of car. They’ve been making quality vehicles forever. And you can pretty much pick any of them.

And, you know, again, that’s why Dodge isn’t on this list. Yes, I could pick one or two Dodges over the past 15 years that would go into this category, but I’m making blanket statements here. You have two manufacturers that have provided us with great quality engineering for like decades, right? That’s why it’s so easy. Honda, or Toyota, and yes, some Mazdas, and a couple of Nissan’s, but I don’t really want to go into that because again, I want this to be simple.

Dan: One thing before we get moving on to the utility category, which is our next category. For you business nerds out there, part of the cool thing about buying a used car is that they’re Lindy, which means that we have all the advantage of seeing how these cars have behaved over the years and so you’re buying into that behaviour just like you do when you hire an employee.

Ian: Totally right.

Dan: You want to see the sort of things they’ve done over the past five years. Whereas if you go out and buy the greatest and latest BMWs wacky new computerised engine, well, it’s a crapshoot. But what when you say things like, ‘That engines, you know, robust and powerful’. That information is in the marketplace, and we see see how those engines have performed?

Ian: When’s the last time you saw a Dodge Avenger? 1995 Dodge Avenger on the street? Never because they’ve been at a junkyard since 1996. All right. When’s the last time you saw a civic a Honda Civic 95 on the street, yesterday. This is the Lindy principle.

Dan: That’s the Lindy principle. This is our utility list. So these are vehicles that are for those of you who have a specific use case in mind, sporting, business, stuff like that. So the first is, can you guess, the most popular car in America for millionaires?

Ian: Yes, I know the answer.

Dan: This car is is a little bit counterintuitive, but exactly what you’d expect. It’s the most baller car on this list?

Ian: Pick up truck, you’re getting closer.

Dan” A pickup truck can actually make you money. That’s why a baller would buy it.

Ian: Okay, but the real reason why the F150 is the number one car among millionaires is because it has a gross vehicle weight that allows it to be tax deductible.

Dan: Boom there you go. So you make money when you buy this car. That’s right, your car has to be a certain weight to be listed as a commercial vehicle. So why is the F150 such a great buy?

Ian: Well, the F150 and we’re going to go to the second one which I prefer over the F150. Let’s just go to it now.

Dan: You mean the Chevy Silverado?

Ian: Basically interchangeable. I like the Chevy products in the trucks a lot better though. Just you know the fit and finishes a little bit better. I like the powerplant. From this year range I’ve owned probably three of each. You really can’t go wrong. This is Ford’s number one product that they’ve been manufacturing over a long time. I mean, this in the Mustang are what they what they’re known for, I think if that car company imploded overnight, they would still make those two products, the F150, F250 a little bit and then the Ford Mustang. So you really can’t go wrong in this make and model, in this year kind of era. I prefer the Chevrolet.

Dan: This is a 2001 right here, is that correct?

Ian: Correct. This is a 2001. Generally speaking, the four by fours are going to be worth a little bit more than the two wheel drive. If you’re not going off road, don’t worry about it but just know four by four is going to be worth a little bit more. Not really that much more maintenance, but it’s going to be more valuable to somebody down the road probably. These are full size trucks. You know, if you’re in Asia, you see all these like midsize trucks and certainly here in America like we call them …

Dan: You’re talking about the Tacoma or a Colorado?

Ian: Yeah actually the Tacoma should be on this list. The Tacoma is a good truck. So if you want a midsize truck think about the Tacoma. That being said, I would not buy a midsize Chevrolet, like I wouldn’t buy the Colorado. I think if you want a midsize truck something to add to this list that we should do Dan is add the Tacoma.

Dan: Cool. So if you want your bed covered, our next Utility Vehicle would be the Honda Odyssey. I have a 2011 pictured here.

Ian: Which is probably actually a little bit new for this list.

Dan: Yeah I mean, this is like at $8,500-$9,000. So you will suffer some depreciation because this this automobile will bottom out around $4,500-$5,000. So I’ve own two of these cars, they’re just amazing cars. In fact, you know, I think they’re nicer than the Toyota Sienna. But I don’t think the Toyota Sienna would be a bad buy.

Ian: Totally, the deal with the Toyota Sienna, as far as I can tell, is they made less of them. There’s less available. The Honda Odysseys. there’s a million of them.

Dan: If you look at the production volume of these, they make like 350,000 in a year or something ridiculous so they’re everywhere. Again, you can be patient and find the exact one you want. Now If you go on the YouTubes, and you tend to like watch mom blogs, here’s what you’re going to see. You’re going to see some mom with some fancy, shiny Chrysler Pacifica. And she’s going to say, ‘We just had to go with the stow and go seats’, she’s paying $20,000 for those seats.

Ian: She’s paying more than that buddy. It’s $80,000 when that thing’s out of warranty, and it takes a dump. You know, she’s gonna wish she bought that Honda.

Dan: So no Chrysler, stick with the Honda and the Toyota and the minivan category. And for those of you, like me, don’t think of cars as an extension of identity and don’t use cars that way. I think minivan is the most practicality you can get for your dollar in the entire car market. And I’ll argue that to the death.

Alright guys, our next category, now we’re starting to get to the good stuff. These are our fun cars. The first one, an absolute classic, this is my favourite configuration right here you’re looking at a 1999 inline six, so that’s pretty powerful little beast.

Ian: That’s important, four litre.

Dan: It’s a four by four hard top black on black, that’s a Jeep Wrangler that’s a sexy car.

Ian: This generation Jeep started in 1998 I think but certainly the older jeeps are cool as well. The Jeep has a cult following. So these Wranglers are always going to be worth $5,000.

Dan: I want to upgrade the Jeep following to religious following.

Ian: It is, they have like a wave and everything. If you’re gonna buy a Jeep Wrangler, you have to get the inline six with the four litre. They’ve made a four cylinder in these jeeps for a while. Really enthusiasts don’t want this.

So here’s another thing about this list, is you want to buy cars, especially in this fun category that are appealing to other people so you can offload them when you want to offload them. Also, the four litre is a great engine. You know, another Jeep that we can include on here is definitely the Cherokee, the older Cherokees are fine, too. They have the same engine in them, if you want one of those. I mean, I see this thing sometimes for like$1,500. It’s crazy how they bottomed out. The Wranglers not so much, especially with the hardtop, the hard tops probably worth $1,200.

Ian: Let’s talk a little bit about the costs involved here because this first lot of have were completely depreciated. I’ve had it so they pay me, like I buy the car for $3,000. And I sell it for $5,000 and I put $200 a maintenance into it. When we start to get into this fun category, there could be an element of cost depending on how you buy it. But here’s the idea. This car is badass car. It’s got 333 horsepower. Because of that it’s a little headstrong. You’re going to need to look for a couple things when you buy, you’re going to want to see maintenance records and things like that. It might cost you $20 to drive a month. Think about that in the grand scheme of how much cars actually cost if you pay retail and you walk up to a dealer that has a ridiculous price.

Dan: I’ll tell you this too think about all your fun expenses in life. Playing an arcade game. You know $2 go into the driving range $10 you know, go to the bar $25. This is a good bang for your fun buck for 20 bucks a month is what I’m getting at.

Ian: It totally is the reason why I’m excited about this car right now because I’m starting to finally see these cars be sub $10,000 and tried to buy one a couple months ago for six. It had a bunch of miles on it but for $6,000 this is an ultimate machine.

Dan: Alright. Next fun car, guys.

Ian: So this is a Porsche Boxster. This is a mid engine Porsche.

Dan: And again, we’re still under the $10,000 which is crazy.

Ian: Potentially.

Dan: Because this car we’re gonna branch off from the $10,000. But we’re still under 10k here. a Porsche. You can drive a Porsche. You say Porsche, Porsche?

Ian: Porsche. Yeah, American. And when I go to Europe, I say Porsche Of course, I don’t want to be outed. These cars have completely bottomed out. It’s amazing to see. I see these cars all the time for like five grand. If you want to Porsche with a convertible, Porsche Boxster is the car to buy. There’s some things that you need to look out for, the S model is definitely the more sought after. But the base model would be totally cool too.

Dan: More fun. Everybody ready for it? This one, I love this car. This is a Mustang GT. This is a 2005 year model. You got a convertible, you got those incredibly cool grille lights. I mean, what are they for? I don’t know probably lighting up some field where you and a bunch of youths spontaneously bust down into a party. This car is amazing. In terms of fun to drive for the amount of money that you got to spend. They are so torquey that you don’t need to drive fast in order to feel fast.

Ian: That’s the word that we’re all looking for when we think about the Mustang is torque. The way that torque works, you got horsepower, and you got torque, okay? Horsepower is a whole different story, right? This is the reason why the Tesla is so exciting, if you’ve driven it, because it has so much torque, so it just like rips you in the back of the seat. That’s what you get in the Mustang. And you can basically do the speed limit and rip yourself in the back of the seat while doing it, that’s why the Mustang is so fun.

Dan: You can be at 2000 RPM, shift into second gear and push the gas down and you’re at 25 miles an hour. You go to 30 miles an hour and you have the time of your damn life. And that’s why people love Mustangs, and you can get this car for under $10,000.

Ian: You can do. And this is a 2005, I will mention 2011-14 has a has the Coyote motor and it’s like 400 horsepower. Man, that’s a heck of a machine. Those are starting to get to you know, $11,000, $14,000 $15,000 I’m starting to see those almost dip down into this category. But for now, this would be the generation, I believe this the SM197 platform.

Jeff says, ‘What about the 80s Fox Body with the five litre engine’? Here’s the thing, Jeff. There’s a lot of cars not on this list. I’ve had three of those. They’re amazing machines. The problem with those things is that they’re starting to become collectibles now. So you can still find good deals on them every once in a while, but they’re really climbing in value. So if you wanted an appreciating asset, that’s probably one of those.

Dan: I saw a nice one the other day here in Austin go on the market for $10,500, for example. I mean that is a lot of money for a really old car.

Ian: Well, that’s basically around what they were new between 10 and 15 to dependent on the year. So yeah, I agree with that they’re becoming very collectible, these 80s Mustangs. The Cobra being the most collectible 1993. I mean, I’ve seen those with low miles for $40,000 to $70,000. If you can find yourself a GT or an LX, gotta be the VA, for sub $10,000 in really good shape it, there’s a good chance it’ll be worth $20,000 five years.

Dan: All right, everybody, are you ready to put on your fancy pants? Because we’re about ready to go above the $10,000 mark. So we’re going to go from deal seekers to balling out, just a little bit of balling out intelligently.

Ian: There are a couple of these cars that are going to be on the sub $10,000, I will point them out, but some of them are above $10,000.

Dan: Right and it really depends on the model year and stuff like that. Affordable luxury. Here we go. Number one. One of Bossman’s all time favorite car, there’s one sitting right in front of us.

Ian: Ooh, this is a beaut.

Dan: And this car has such a timeless design. If you ask the average person, what year.

Ian: Mine’s a 2006.

Dan: This 2006 year. A person off the street would say this car is five years old, three years old, whatever it looks timeless. You get inside of it, you shut the left door, and it’s like ‘clunk’, you ain’t getting out of here unless you’re sure.

Ian: And then you hit your leather seats, your heated leather seats, then you turn up the 25 speaker sound system in it.

Dan: What is this an $85,000 car new?

Ian: $65,000. Okay, mine’s a 2006, W211 platform, $65,000 new. I bought it with 65,000 miles on it for ….

Dan: Wait for it, he fudges this number a little bit sometimes, give us the real one.

Ian: 6000 bucks

Dan: $6,000, that’s a beautiful car.

Ian: Dude, the amount of luxury, and I’ve done absolutely nothing to it, like that’s the truth. And here’s why this car is on the list. Mercedes has been putting this 3.5 litre V six in cars for a long time. And that’s again the Lindy principle. It’s like which cars, which engines have been around the longest which will continue to be around. There’s a lot of other Mercedes that I like. The problem is that a lot of them are one-off the engines. They haven’t been around that long. They’re massively complex. This E350 is as simple as it gets. It’s a luxury vehicle with a dead simple, powerful engine. And that’s why it’s on this list.

Dan: And honestly, if you’re talking about prestige here. You look good in this car this car makes you look classy, it makes you look thoughtful, successful.

Ian: I’m starting to see these around $10,000, really nice one of the $15,000 with maybe 70/80,000 miles on it. Let’s say this about these Mercedes to their there are some of the safest cars on the road. Again, you can go online and you can look up the safety statistics of these cars. You can actually watch every single car get crashed.

Dan: Imagine your loved ones in the seats.

Ian: I do it all the time because they show the dummies like shaking around. You can see the difference. Go watch crash videos of Mercedes from the government getting screwed. And then go watch a video of a Mitsubishi whatever,

Dan: Suzuki Sidekick.

Ian: The people in the back again. So it’s interesting to me that this car being as almost is 15 years old, is still one of the safest cars on the road. Last thing about these Mercedes, this is one of the reasons why I love Mercedes in general. I got a letter the other day, like ‘Mercedes Benz USA’ addressed to me, I opened it up. They have a recall on the on the sunroof in this thing, like, ‘Hey, just want to let you know. There’s a bonding agent in the sunroof ear that could come on bonded, causing the sunroof to pop out. Please bring it into us. This is a recall. If we find a fault, we’ll fix it for free’. They’re recalling a 15 year old car. Not many car companies do that. Mercedes is one of the ones that does actually another car computer. Here’s the reason why they do it.

Dan: Honda does it.

Ian: Honda does it. The reason they do it is same reason that I like it, when I open that letter I think, ‘I’m buying another one of these’.

Dan: I know what you entrepreneurs out there are thinking, ‘Great direct response follow up sequence’. I get letters from Honda about my old vans as well citing the most ridiculous things that don’t need to get fixed, but offering to fix them 100% free. ‘Bring that down to the Honda dealership, you’re a part of the Honda family because you bought some $6,000 beater from some bro off the street two years ago’.

Ian: It’s totally cool. So you know who doesn’t do that? My last Chevrolet truck, brand new truck, developed a shake, well documented on the internet. Go into the Chevy dealership, ‘We don’t know what you’re talking about’. I mean class action lawsuits, all this stuff. Some of these car manufacturers Mercedes and Honda of being one of the really stand behind their products.

Dan Alright, next car on the list. Whoo. This is the Porsche 996 we put this, we’re gonna put this .. can’t get for under ten grand.

Ian: Oh, yeah.

Dan: Really?

Ian: Yeah, you can.

Dan: So this is a Porsche 911.

Ian: Yeah, 996 This is the point where the prestige category, the last one, so those are more than $10,000 too. That’s, that’s part of the defining feature of this category is like, you’re gonna have to spend a couple of dollars to maintain these thing.

Dan: Yeah, so these cars are more expensive than 10,000. But you can ..

Ian: I’ve seen a couple of these go for less than $10,000 but most of these are in the teens.

Dan: These cars are experiencing a little bit of a rebound because they are when they came out. If you look at the headlights here, this is like the flagship Porsche sports car, the classic, the coolest car of all time if you ask me.

Ian: It is.

Dan: But then, in this model year, the 996 they have these, what do they call them, fried egg headlights?

Ian: They’re called ‘runny egg’ headlights, this is ridiculous everybody’s gonna forget about this.

Dan: The problem was, when you look at the range that year, they shared the same headlights as cars that were much less expensive.

Ian: And the Boxster and everything else so it kind of sucked for the 911.

Dan: If you’re gonna have a high end product you got to differentiate it, Porsche failed to do that.

Ian: And Derek is absolutely right. He says, ‘Check the IMS bearing’, and he’s right. There is a fault in these motors, it’s called the IMS bearing we don’t need to get too much into it but basically if the IMS bearing has been upgraded or repaired, that is one of these cars that you want to buy. And these went from 1999 to 2004, this generation. Again, this is a lot of car for a little bit of money, especially if it’s had the upgraded IMS bearing that is definitely what you want to look for in these cars. And yeah, I have seen it for less than 10 grand, but I do think that these things are rebound. I think if you can find a really nice 911, 996 which I’ve seen for $12,000 to $15,000, there’s a good chance a couple years from now it’s going to be worth 20. In fact, I’ve seen like pristine examples, like 2004 for a little bit of a different motor in it, going for like upper 20s.

Dan: Again, what’s crazy about some of these cars, you can actually make money off buying a used car. So cool. All right, here we have a BMW X3, arguably, you could put this bad boy in the fun category.

Ian: This could be in the fun category. It could also be in the first category, which is less than $5,000 although I would not probably advocate buying one of these for less than $5,000. This is the first generation X3. Again, you know, BMW and Mercedes, these engineers, they just think they’re so damn smart, and they just start over complicating over engineering shit that doesn’t need to be engineered, it’s awful to try and repair these things. But the first generation X3, the three litre motor, the 2.5 Stout, they’ve been making this motors forever. I would advocate for those. The newer ones, I probably wouldn’t own without a warranty. I mean, there’s just so many computers and sensors in these things.

Dan: Okay, so you’re saying the model years that we recommend are 2003
to 2010?

Ian: Yeah, unless you want to, you know, buy one with a warranty or expect a little bit more repair bills that that the first generation.

Dan: Well say I’m on the market say for a 2008 X3 what kind of cash we talking about ballpark?

Ian: Oh man, I see these things for sub $10,000 all the time.

Dan: Ah, what do we got here? This is the BMW 330. This is a four door.

Ian: This is a four door. Somebody actually mentioned this in the comments earlier. So I’m glad that we get to surprise you with this, specifically the 2006 I think is the best year for the 330, there’s a bunch of different variations. There’s a 325 there’s a 323 in Europe. I don’t really think that was a popular version.

Dan: They have a two door version.

Ian: But here’s the thing about this 2006 330 Stout motor and it was a last year before things got crazy. When I mean crazy in 2007, they went to a different motor, they added turbos and all this complexity, this is the last analogue very simple BMW to work on. So if you want something four door and you want some fun, if you’re like a BMW person instead of a Mercedes person, this would be the BMW that I would buy.

Dan: All right. Here we got a Porsche Cayman. So Cayman was this model that sort of sits in between the 911 flagship and the small Boxster convertible.

Ian: Correct. So the Cayman is interesting. When the Cayman first came out a lot of people were scared that it was gonna sabotage the 911 because it had very close fingers to it like horsepower, acceleration.

Dan: Power to weight ratio.

Ian: Yeah, it’s a very, very good car, mid engine car. I would recommend it. You’re starting to see these Caymans actually go for the teens now, like, you know, middle teens, Cayman S, again, S models in all the Porsches are like the upgraded models, not necessarily in trim, but in motor. If you’re looking to spend a little bit you know, you don’t want the normal Boxster, you can’t afford the 911, Cayman’s a good place to land.

Dan: Cool. Next car And depending on the circles you run in this may or may not be a prestige car. This is the classic Corvette. This is the C5 model here. And personally I love what Corvette does. I love how much power and handling they give you for the money, you know, I don’t really love the look of this car. I don’t really like the interior of this car.

Ian: The interiors dogshit let’s just get right to it. I mean, it’s just absolutely awful. Most GM interiors are awful, though, right?

Dan: You almost feel like this is the top of the line sports car from GM
and you feel like you’re getting into some sedan.

Ian: The seats are awful, everything about It’s awful. But you driving a Corvette and here’s the thing, it’s like the Mustang, it’s got tonnes of torque and you’re seeing these things completely bottomed out. Corvettes are one of these cars that loses value, just like ‘boom, just fall straight to the ground. You know the new generation Corvette came out everybody’s like super excited about it mid engine only comes in automatic, so I won’t be buying that.

Dan: It looks like a Ferrari.

Ian: It looks like a Ferrari. It’s a tonne of car for the price. But again, everything just gonna bottom out. I see these cars all day long for less than $10,000. This is a C5. The C6 is also dropping down into the teens, which is the newer generation that didn’t have the pop up headlights.

Dan: All right. This car right here. The Toyota Prius.

Ian: This is on the prestige list.

Dan: This is on the prestige list. Yeah, because this is a car that let’s face it, says something about who you are, that you care about the environment that you care about, companies taking on progress. It challenges a lot of people by the Prius, for that very reason. And I think it does signal those things. In fact, I can think about my friends who drive Priuses and they are conscientious people.

Ian: It’s a signalling mechanism. Like it, that is exactly what it is. And here’s the thing. I’ve never owned a Prius. I don’t know much about them, but they get great reliability reports, I still see first generation Priuses on the on the road. The biggest thing to think about with these hybrid cars is the battery. The batteries are what’s expensive. But here’s the good news. Toyota has been making the Prius for so long now and there are so many companies that support it that you can get a new replacement battery for relatively not so much money. So first thing you want to check is like, when was the battery replaced on this thing? How old is it? If it’s got an original battery I think there’s ways to tell, like what the charge capacity is within the interface and all that. But you know what? This is actually the only hybrid car on the list but the reason it’s on the list is because they retain their value and because they’re relatively inexpensive to fix

Dan: Cool, great gas mileage, it goes without saying. Final car on the list. I always think of this as like the ‘Matrix car’. It might not be the exact one that movie but the Cadillac CTS-V this is a Cadillac. This is a GM car.

Ian: Correct you’re right, I was gonna say this is confrontational man. And here’s a reason on the list is because they don’t seem to be losing their value. It has an LS motor in it again. So very reliable motor. Yeah, fit and finish is GM. But here’s the thing. If you have always wanted to drive a Cadillac, if you like the way that they look, if you like the way they sound, they’re fast. CTS-V is the way to do it, because that’s our flagship Cadillac and for whatever reason a lot of people like this thing and I’m seeing him for 25 grand, like 10 years old.

Dan: They’re fun to drive. Very, very fast cars. Okay, so that concludes the list of cars.

Ian: Cool.

Dan: Well, geez, anybody surprised? We went long.


Dan: I know you enjoyed that one Bossman.

Ian: I could talk about this forever

Dan: Yeah, I mean, this is nerdville, USA. What I love about the entrepreneurmobile concept is you’ve taken your extreme nerdiness and you’ve produced a concept and a method that the rest of us can apply, save a tonne of money and drive really awesome cars. And that’s cool.

Ian: We were down riding bikes bicycles the other day, and I noticed that .. and I don’t know if you saw it you probably didn’t. I mean, it’s just one of these things that only I noticed but this guy drove by in like an older Honda Civic, you know, the paint was peeling and everything and I go, ‘That’s my people right there. That’s my guy. That’s that’s a financially responsible guy driving a very good car. I like that guy’.

Dan: That’s very cool. Well let us know if you have an entrepreneurmobile. Or if you have any agreements or disagreements with today’s list, we will check the comments to this episode if we can help any of you who don’t live in the USA, we love to talk cars, hit us up in the comments and hit us up on the live stream as well, which is where this originally aired. That’s over at YouTube, just go to YouTube and type in TropicalMBA. We’re doing a lot more of those now that we’re locked up, not as much driving, as we used to do, but we’re planning for the future.

That’s it for this one Bossman. Thanks for your thanks for joining us. We’ll be back as always, next Thursday morning. 8am Eastern Standard Time.