Friday, November 14, 2008

I Guess I Can Fix Up the Old One

I drive an old 1957 Chevy. It's a hot rod, but it's reaching a need for some reconstructive work, and it can be made to get much better gas mileage with a few updates.

The plan was to buy a new car, put the ol' Chevy in the back yard and start wrenchin'. I'm not quite as enthusiastic about diving under the car as I used to be, but with the ability to take my time and do it right, it might be fun!

The Chevy needs transmission work, so my plan is to replace the three speed with a newer four speed overdrive transmission. The differential is wearing out, plus it has station wagon gears (similar to pickup gearing) and I can replace it with a newer one with sedan gearing. More gas mileage savings! New rear springs and new shocks.

I'll need to redo the windshield wipers and fix a few minor things in the dash. The power steering needs work. I could go on, but that's most of it.

So, I've been researching new and late model used cars that I can afford and that can carry my work tools. I'd settled on a Chevy HHR, with a second choice of a Dodge Magnum, if I can find a nice used one. Well, maybe the Dodge is my first choice. They're pretty cool.

Well, thanks to the whims of government parasites and the clutching hands of the non-productive of Stalag California, America's network of carmakers and dealerships will have to do without my money.

The non-productive of the Stalag have voted to saddle the productive with an additional 1/2% sales tax. Herr Schwarzengroper, Guber of the Stalag, seriously threatens to add yet another 1%, as well. That puts us on the high side of 10% sales tax on top of a 11% (more or less) state income tax.

The buck stops here. I can't quite angle my way to move out of the Stalag right now--though it's not for want of desire, but I can refuse to pay an extra $80 to to $240 for sales tax on it to pay for Sacramento's insane excesses.

I'd rather spend those thousands of dollars on the above-listed repairs to the ol' hot rod. I'll still have to pay sales tax on the parts--unless I buy them on the I-net, but labor and service work isn't subject to sales tax--yet.

I'll have the hot rod shop do the work--it'll cost more but get done much more quickly, and I'll still pay less than $100 a year for tags.

Mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be politicians!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


steveintx said...

Well, you could always buy your car in Texas, tag it here, garage it in SOC for insurance purposes. The only downfall is that you would have to visit your little bro once a year to get it inspected & tagged. :-) 6% on cars eh?

MK said...

She's a looker C.H. hope you won't have to tinker around in there too much, instead get to spend more time behind the wheel of that classic.

Col. Hogan said...


I used to have a friend, when I lived down in Jamul, who bought a hunting cabin in Idaho. He registered all his cars and trucks to that address, even though he lived and worked in San Diego.

$18 a year--any car, any color. I don't know if it's still that way, but Stalag California is the worst state I know of for the government ripoff for the purchase and ownership of a car--even though you pretty much have to own one here.

Col. Hogan said...


There are a lot of good shops around here that do work on old cars, including modifications. It shouldn't be too bad.

I'll still do some of the work myself, such as the windshield wiper work and the dash work.

the Wine Commonsewer said...

The problem with registering your car out of state when you live in Californicate is that the law presumes if you have a Ca driver license that your car should be registered in Ca. I know any number of folks that have run afoul of that little law. And it is enforced.

You could get around it by getting a DL in another state as well, but if you see the same cop twice on your daily commute you're in deep doo doo. Cuz Ca only gives you 14 days to re-register your car and get a Ca DL after you land here.

Back in the day, I kept my El Camino registered at my place on the river in Arizona. I got away with it, partly because I didn't drive much and partly because the laws were more lax. Today the laws have become ever so much more restrictive in the last two decades.

The other problem with buying an out of state vehicle is that you can't register it in Ca for six months without paying sales or use tax on the new price. If you're buying an out of state used car, they'll expect you to pay use tax when you register it.

Here's how to get out of it.

Have a close relative buy the car for you, preferably in another state. Then, have him gift you the vehicle. No sales tax. You have to get a letter from him or her stating that the car was a gift.

Col. Hogan said...


Thanks for the info. It actually sounds doable, but unless I have a change of mind, I think I'll just fix up the ol' hotrod.

I don't particularly like the idea of $300 or $400 a year for tags, either.