Survival DEALS ON WHEELS

The financial fast lane may have sent you on a sudden detour, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the appearance of status and style.

● Star Carz in Arlington, 2019 East 1-30,rents exotic and classic cars, perfect foralleviating withdrawal symptoms onceyou’ve sold your Rolls. Star Carz will lendyou a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow for $150per day. Or, if you’re feeling sporty, it’s $300per day for a Ferrari 308 GTSI. Fbrsche rental rates range from $125 per day for a 944 to$200 per day for a 911 Cabriolet.

Of course, if you want to actually go somewhere in a Star Carz car, tack on 50 cents per mile {25 cents per mile for the BMWs).

● Japanese plumbers have been toolingaround in jeeps for years, but stateside, theSuzuki Samurai has become the vehicle ofchoice for those on the cutting edge. Metro-plex dealers describe typical Samurai buyersas “young, affluent intellectuals.”

The good news: a status car has never been so cheap. Prices begin at $7,085 for a Samurai JA convertible and $7,985 for the deluxe Samurai JX convertible. Hardtop models begin at $7,290 for the JA and $8,140 for the JX. Like all classic cars, the Samurai will retain its basic design from year to year. On the *87s, Suzuki has made only slight modifications: new sport mirrors, a lock on the gas cap, a different side stripe, and an upgraded soft top. Also, they’ve added two more colors-Sahara tan and teal green-to their basic seven.

Samurais have been available in the Met-roplex only since mid-May, and by June, some thirty to thirty-five had been sold. By late October, that figure had climbed to well over 1,000.

● Some of the best car deals in town are available by phone. Local banks have seen an amazing increase in the number of “voluntary repossessions,” often brand-new cars, by owners who can’t make the payments. Some banks send repos to a wholesale lot or put them on the block at dealers-only auctions. (RepublicBank hosts a public auction, usually on the third Thursday of each month. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., interested buyers may inspect cars and submit sealed bids, which are opened at 1 p.m.) A few banks advertise repos, and some simply park the car on their parking lot and stick a “for sale” sign in the window. Many banks do none of the above, but finding out about repos they have for sale is just a matter of picking up the telephone, calling, and asking. Banks are required by law to take at least three bids, but repos are usually a good bargain.

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