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I am a -year-old college student who is about to...

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Dear Tom and Ray:



I am a 23-year-old college student who is about to graduate. I am about to make
a huge investment in a sport utility vehicle, as I am moving to Montana after
graduation. I really want a Land Rover Discovery but am skeptical about their
reliability. I have had poor luck trying to find out if they're durable over the
long haul, and I also wonder if many mechanics know how to work on them. I want
a vehicle that performs well off road. It's a big decision for me and I could
really use your help. Thanks a bunch. -- Paul

TOM: Paul, are you nuts? You're moving to Montana, you want reliability, and
you're lusting after a British car?

RAY: I suggest you sign up for the following courses for the spring semester ;
"History of the British Computer Industry," "Lucas: a Biographical Portrait "
and "Intro to Wilderness Survival."

TOM: You'll find that the British never really entered the computer industry in
the same way they entered the auto industry for one reason: They couldn't figure
out how to make computers leak oil.

RAY: You'll learn about Lucas Electronics. Sir Lucas was so infamous for the
electrical failures he caused on British cars that he was given the nickname The
Prince of Darkness.

TOM: And finally, the wilderness survival course will help you if you ignore our
advice and buy a British SUV anyway.

RAY: Seriously, Paul, the Discovery is a nice vehicle, but it's expensive to buy
and fix, it does not have the world's best reliability record, and almost nobody
in Montana is going to have any experience fixing it (for more details on repair
costs, see the Survey Results at the Car Talk section of www.cars.com. It's an
SUV for wealthy urban and suburban types, not real back-road Montanans.

TOM: You need a good old American SUV. A Ford Explorer, Chevy Blazer, Jeep Grand
Cherokee or Dodge Durango would be the vehicles to look at, Paul. And rather
than making a "huge investment," consider buying a newer used one that's just
coming off lease. It'll serve you just as well, and allow you to start saving up
for graduate school.

* * *

Are you inadvertently wrecking your poor car? Find out by reading Tom and Ray's
pamphlet, "Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even Knowing It!" Send
$3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No. 10 envelope to Ruin, PO Box
6420, Riverton, NJ 08077-6420.
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