T' ings dat doe...
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T' ings dat does bu'n me ass

Posts: 219
Estimable Member

It's an interesting social discussion, though, about assimilation. When do you move here and just buy a 'car' vs. an 'island car.' ?? Unfortunetly, the people that I know that moved here and purchased a car new from a dealer like they would stateside ended up
paying a large overhead and then moving off island, taking the loss.

Posted : February 2, 2011 3:24 pm
Posts: 74
Trusted Member

I haven't been to STX yet so I can't comment personally on the road situation there, but many of the driveways/roads/main thoroughfares on STT are garbage. If you have a low slung car with tight suspension you'd be smashing your oil pan or transmission case open on a regular basis. If you have a Lexus LX450, it was designed to run on highways not up and down craggy hillsides. I don't think cars are an image one way or another on the islands as a whole. If anything it's the trash buildup, sewage runoff issues, dilapidated, run down buildings and almost complete lack of civil engineering that push any 'substandard' image of the island, not the quality of automobiles that leave a lasting impression.

If I lived in Grand Cayman, I'd have a nicer car. Why? Because their roads are smooth and well maintained and are laid correctly on every bit of the island. Keep in mind, GCM is also flat which I'm sure makes it easier to maintain, but there's clearly also a lot more $$ going into infrastructure on Cayman than here. I have a very decent SUV and love it because it takes the punishment of what the STT roads and grades throw at it. I keep it maintained as well I can but it has door dings everywhere and has been rubbed 3 times in parking lots. Both things I cannot control.

I think it's valid to caution possible continentals thinking of bringing their nice vehicle here for several very important reasons:

1. This is an island with salt air and moisture everywhere, not to mention substandard roads and constant construction zones--most cars start to get beaten up quickly because of these factors.
2. Who will work on it? If it is exotic, especially newer where you need sophisticated, proprietary computers to even diagnose a problem, who will have access to that equipment? [BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, most post 2000-imports have very complicated electronics and computers that they only allow their dealers access to, or independent specialists for $100,000 or so]
3. If it is under warranty, the warranty is VOIDED the minute you put your car on a boat with most manufacturers [if not all], even though this is a US Territory.
4. Cost and complexity of shipping and registration to get the vehicle on the road in the VI.

Posted : February 2, 2011 3:26 pm
Posts: 1428
Noble Member

If you choose to define "Island Car" to mean sub-standard, that doesn't mean that the rest of us do. For me, an Island Car is less pretentious and less of a drain on the bank account than trying to own the latest model of a fancy car I don't need. I still expect a vehicle to be mechanically sound and to reliably get me from place to place, preferably with working A/C. But it doesn't have to be "pretty" or less than 3 years old to do that.

Posted : February 2, 2011 3:40 pm
Posts: 312
Reputable Member

Jahrustyferrari ...... and I are not related;)...:P Ican only imagine if I descibed my vehicle how many bullet holes would be added recently*-)

Posted : February 2, 2011 3:43 pm
Posts: 531
Honorable Member

I consider my car to be road worthy anywhere. I take care of it, have fixed what goes wrong, and it's been nothing but great.

I wasn't particularly talking about my car, as I don't have a roll cage, my seat backs work, and I keep the interior clean. I was just throwing out some examples that I experienced when I caught rides to work with my friends. It's a wonder that I continued to live here and remain friends after seeing their "substandard" island cars!

I've thought about sending my car up to the states if/when I decide to move back.
I'd happily drive it anywhere, and it's far from substandard. It's 18 years old and is just now hitting its stride!
You couldn't offend if you tried

Posted : February 2, 2011 4:15 pm
Posts: 3111
Famed Member

We knew an extremely wealthy lady over in the BVI. You would definately recognize her family name. Well, she drove an old jeep, painted pink. Old, so she didn't care if it got beat up and pink, so the punks wouldn't steal it.

Not making any point one way or the other here. I just always thought that was clever.

Posted : February 2, 2011 4:54 pm
Posts: 956
Prominent Member

Some good points here on both sides actually amongst the hyperbole and some anger.

I get what JahRustyFerrari is saying, moving to St. Croix shouldn't mean that you stop having pride in yourself. And part of having pride in yourself is looking nice, possibly driving something nice etc.

One thing that bothers me as someone who moved here, but would probably bother me even more if I was "bahn here" is that people come here intent on losing their sense of values, work ethic, morals etc. Too many people come down here for a permanent vacation, not wanting to do anything to better themselves. It's sad to see, and its sad to live around, and one way this may manifest itself is, as JahRustyFerrari says, in the idea that its ok to not have any pride in your car.

Note though that there are a lot of people "bahn here" who also are on permanent vacation, its not just limited to people who moved here. They annoy me just as much, I could care less where someone comes from, laziness is not a virtue and it drives me crazy when people treat it as such.

I see the other side that says that your car doesn't reflect who you are though too. Just because I drive a crappy car doesn't mean I'm lazy. I say this as someone with a 2001 Ford Focus that I bought from Hertz...an island car.

Personally I think a little bit of "keeping up with the Joneses" is a good thing as it motivates to work harder which benefits us all. It can get out of hand, but I think here we could use a little bit more materialism to drive people to acheive more through hard work.


Posted : February 2, 2011 5:08 pm
Posts: 72
Trusted Member

Thank you!! I feel a little better about bringing my 95 Honda Del Sol across the big pond! I love that car and it finally looks at home in its new island setting. Fading paint and all!:-):-)

Posted : February 2, 2011 5:43 pm
Posts: 695
Noble Member

beachy wrote:


ROTFL! Is THAT what happens to some of the produce before they put it out? I seriously do wonder how stuff gets in the condition that is does sometimes...



Posted : February 2, 2011 5:58 pm
Posts: 497
Reputable Member

My daughter, who has lived on STX some 20 years, really loves her BMW. Oh and she parks it everywhere. Its a personal choice.

Posted : February 2, 2011 7:35 pm
Posts: 44
Eminent Member

An island car is essential. I call my car the ultimate Chicago-STX Island Car. 2003 Olds Alero.....I drive all over the big city. There is not a corner or side panel without a dent, mark, or scratch. I am guilty of some of the abuse, but usually it is done by the kindness of others who prefer to remain nameless.

The car is sound mechanically. She is like a wallflower at a high school dance. Nobody ever takes a second look at here and I like it that way.....She is trustworthy and loyal and I really do like her a lot....

Posted : February 2, 2011 9:02 pm
Posts: 2259
Noble Member

I tell people to bring their car, if they feel uncomfortable when they get here with it, sell it, they could get more doing that. I agree with jah. that island car thing is wrong. If we had a great police department, a lot of them won't be on the road anyway. That would solve that problem!
Vento, cars with warranties are honored here. The local laws say they have to. Now, if there is no dealer for your Jaguar of Lamborghini, you could get one they would accept of pay the cost to bring the tech down to fix your problem. I know the MB dealership in PR routinely send their mechanics over here to St Thomas.

PS I would love to bring my '52 MG over to St Croix to run on your terrible roads!

Posted : February 2, 2011 9:48 pm
Posts: 495
Reputable Member

I'm with Sean until the last paragraph. Pinning one's self esteem on anyone else's achievements is an unhealthy practice.

Posted : February 2, 2011 9:51 pm
Posts: 59
Trusted Member

the 95 escort will always be cool....always

Posted : February 2, 2011 11:02 pm
Posts: 1495
Noble Member

*shrug* my father had at least one new car every year for the 10 years we were on STT. Usually within a year they would be scratched, dented, need repairs of some sort (usually the suspension) and the strong salt did not help at all. For my family there, repairs were not a big deal, because one of his businesses was one of the largest chains of auto shops on STT. Personally, I loved the first car I had, a 1980 Toyota Corolla. A true island car - it was durable and would get you just about anywhere on the island, and dents and scratches didn't matter to me. Even in its condition (at about 8 years old,) I still had West Indians regularly offer to buy it from me, I am sure because of this cars notorious reliability.

Bottom line: for STT at least, I would pick a car for reliability over all else combined.

Personally, I would never bring my 2000 convertible Trans Am there (46k miles, all stock, all original, runs looks & drives like new, kept in a garage with a cover, and there will be no more made!) If it was worth it, I could see bringing my beater 1999 Toyota Camry, but I would just rather buy a car there.

It seems that in my city they repave the roads whether they need it or not - like my neighborhood, not one pothole and they redid the whole area recently. I suppose one of the reasons is because some guy managed to get the telco to tear up the road and put fiber optic to his house, so they decided to just repave the whole neighborhood. Add to that it being a southern city, they don't use salt on the roads because snow storms are so rare...

Posted : February 2, 2011 11:28 pm
Posts: 1842
Noble Member

Every 5 Years I buy a new Ford Van F350 Eight Passenger.When not in use I keep it covered. I wash it once a week and wax it every three months. When I go to the store I Park away from most of the cars closest to the buildings. I Change the oil every three thousand miles and all fluids every sixteen months. I drive the speed limit and avoid the pot holes. I always buy a white Van (it's better in the sun less wear) and material seats. I check the tire pressure every other time I get gas. Many people can't afford to live on the islands, that doesn't excuse them from living like a slob.

Posted : February 3, 2011 12:57 am
Posts: 956
Prominent Member

I'm with Sean until the last paragraph. Pinning one's self esteem on anyone else's achievements is an unhealthy practice.

I didn't mean that, you are correct, self-esteem can necessesarily only come from your self. What I meant was that seeing other people working hard and achieving things often motivates and inspires one to do more.


Posted : February 3, 2011 3:13 am
Exit Zero
Posts: 2460
Famed Member

I have lived here well over 30+ years and have owned a number of cars -- from a Moke to many VW's to a brand New BMW 2002 to Toyotas and Hondas and once a Chevette -- Every One was predicated on " Can I Get This Car FIXED'??"- Now with the internet parts are much more available and quickly shipped.
I still would not have an exotic and I am a car guy -- I want a ride in Ronnie's MGTC _ I have driven XKE's here but would never own one --- {sorry Art} --- Love Vettes -- wouldn't consider it! -- have an Allante stateside and do not mind paying storage - less than a rental car when I am there -- I love seeing the MB's but wouldn't consider it here -- {missing Monty} -- An Island Car is fine for most people for a few years -- Just keep the Brake Lights Working Please!!

Posted : February 3, 2011 4:46 am
Posts: 2259
Noble Member

Every One was predicated on " Can I Get This Car FIXED'??"- Exactly

That's MG TD Zero. Still waiting to hear where you scalped that picture of Normandie Bar from?

Posted : February 3, 2011 10:12 am
Posts: 988
Prominent Member

I keep my car maintained, no smoke and 25 MPH. A few months ago the roads were wicked. Were you here for that? Plenty of damaged front ends and bent rims but I guess that's cool, you can just buy new ones, right?

For true...

The late model SUV I bought when I got here already has a messed up front end.
Everytime my axle squeals, I say to my wife, "aren't you glad this isn't your Lexus 350 making that noise?"

And have you ever noticed the large number of NEW LOOKING cars on island that have a big dent in them?

Posted : February 3, 2011 10:41 am
Posts: 3111
Famed Member

Another point....for every "island car" that someone moves here and buys, that's another car NOT abandoned on the side of the road. Think of it as recycling. If you can get a half-way decent running car and put a little work into it, you may still come out better than shipping a car here, and it keeps one more car running instead of junked and keeps one less car on the island.

Posted : February 3, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 631
Honorable Member

just had to order new front end parts for one of our trucks...again...stx...

Posted : February 3, 2011 1:37 pm
Posts: 876
Prominent Member

PS I would love to bring my '52 MG over to St Croix to run on your terrible roads!

Ronnie, your MG may be exactly the right size to fill up some of the pot holes on this island so bring it on over! It'll give the rest of us a way to safely cross over them! 😀

Posted : February 3, 2011 2:11 pm
Posts: 2259
Noble Member

PS I would love to bring my '52 MG over to St Croix to run on your terrible roads!

Ronnie, your MG may be exactly the right size to fill up some of the pot holes on this island so bring it on over! It'll give the rest of us a way to safely cross over them! 😀

Funny. Guess I have not been there in about 6 months. Will be over in March.

Posted : February 3, 2011 10:01 pm
Posts: 3111
Famed Member

Ronnie, after all that record breaking rainfall a couple of months ago our roads became unliveable! I'm starting to see some repairs and improvements around island. Going slowly and still a long way to go.

Posted : February 4, 2011 11:21 am
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