So, hear me out. The Disco is done or soon dead. Cliff’s notes:

- Been nursing a pressurizing cooling system (head gasket leak, more than likely) for a couple weeks. Been adding around a gallon of 50/50 every day and a half since the system kept purging itself.

- Last week driving to work from my new place (longer, more highway-speed commute) in the uber cold my cooling fan exploded, and took a couple hoses out. Got the Disco home on a flatbed.

I replaced the hoses with spares I had, and I’m waiting on a new expansion tank cap to come in a day or so. Going to see how it goes but I doubt it is any better. I’m not dropping $600 minimum doing the head gaskets myself on a truck that is worth only $2000 on the high side to someone, west coast Discos are much more desirable (in the Rover world, at least). So I’ll probably end up parting it out as it has some good stuff on it and scrapping the rest.

So here lies the battle. I have a family friend’s spare car (99 Civic) to drive until whenever. Money is tight because I just bought a house, so I’m really not looking to spend much, I’m thinking $3-4k max. Said house has a 2 car garage (yay!) so I have a place to turn wrenches. So do I get myself a stick shift Honda, be boring and enjoy the reliability? Or get weird? My $2000 Disco was very good to me for almost three years.

Things I’ve been checking out:

- 6th & 7th gen Civics. BORING. Stick shift and VTEC though.

- Ranger/B3000/B4000. Practical. 4x4. Available stick shift makes it fun to drive, good fuel mileage.

Advertisement

- 1500 Chevys & Tahoes. Practical. Meh fuel mileage. Undeniable reliability (save for the trans and rust issues). Clean square body Chevys are on the table too, but those usually command more dollars.

- Jeep Grand Waggys. But rust and that 360 V8 is a pile of trash. J Trucks are hard to find around here clean but I’d get back into a Jeep for one of those too.

- MB W124 and W210 wagons. Seem to be reliable, prices are in my range. Needs to be 4Matic because I need to get to work (save the snow tire argument, I’d still rather not have a rear wheel Kraut wagen in the winter).

Advertisement

- First gen Volvo V70s.

- E34 wagons, only stick shift. There’s maybe like one for sale anywhere.

- Isuzu Trooper, 2nd and 2.5 gen Monteros, and Montero Sports. Pretty rare here; My dad had a 97 Sport with the offroad package and a 5 speed so I have a nostalgic tick for that. I’ve always liked the 2-2.5 gen Montys and they’re a logical next step from the Disco.

Advertisement

What say you?