How to make a car last nearly forever
This node is for people who want to make their favorite car last 20, 30, even 40 or more years. While still driving it everyday. Much of this information came from a man I know who has been driving the same 1966 Ford Mustang convertible since the day it was new, it had over 400,000 miles the last time I talked to him, (that was in 1996). The basic idea is to have a good supply of spare parts, and fix all problems quickly. That way your car will remain in tip top shape forever
It is important to choose a car that you will be happy with when it is 30 years old. Don't pick a Ford Escort or a Geo Metro. The best cars to choose are mid sized or larger, (preferably a model that has been in production for a while). You are probably going to want to get a 2 door model, (2 door cars are worth a lot more when they get older). Almost any convertible is a good choice. You should avoid any cars that use nonstandard technology, (turbochargers, all wheel drive, air suspension, etc etc), nonstandard parts like that are difficult to replace.
The Parts Car
You should try and get at least 2 parts cars rather early on, (before they become rare). (It is much easier to find a good 8 year old parts car than it is a 35 year old one). The first parts car you get should be a low mileage, (but totally wrecked), car with the same engine, transmission, and interior color as your car. This first car will provide you with lots of miscellaneous parts for years to come.
The second parts car should be one with a great body, (but a blown engine). Eventually most of this cars body will end up on your original car as time and rust takes its toll.
Prepping the parts cars
You should begin preparing for future repairs, (while your main car is still shiny and low mileage). Pull the engine and transmission out of the wrecked parts car. Then rebuild the engine and transmission from the other parts car, (these 2 spare engines will probably be all you ever need in that department). Do body work on the parts car with the good body, then paint it to match your other car. (That way most body damage to the main car can be quickly fixed with a body panel swap). Remember you don't have to do all of this at once, you can take years to get your parts in order. You probably won't really need to start dipping into your parts until your main car gets over 150,000 miles. By the time you are done here you should have 2 of everything ready to be quickly swapped.
This is where most people have problems. Follow yours owners manuals scheduled maintenance list. You should fix things as soon as they go wrong. Before they start to add up. Always buy the highest quality parts, the ones with the lifetime warranties, (when you don't already have the part). Those lifetime brake pads may cost twice as much, but you will be able to get free replacements as long as you own the car, so that will be the last set you will ever buy.
What Not To Do
Don't do "quick fixes" on things, (its only going to break again later). Don't do any custom work to the car, aftermarket body kits and other such items quickly go out of production, (once that item breaks you are stuck without a replacement for something that you probably already drilled holes for). Do not repaint the car every 3 or 4 years. Do it once on the cars 20th birthday, and again on the cars 30th birthday. (If you get too many layers of paint it will crack over time).
Follow these simple steps and you will have a car that will last forever. This is a lot cheaper than buying a new car every few years. Plus your car will begin to gain value around its 20th birthday, (and will continue to grow in value forever).