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Help Me Decide - Senior Citizen trying to revisit my youth

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Greetings!

 

My lifelong best friend of 50+ years (back to high school age) bought a 2015 GT350 when they first came out. He's owned Mustangs since they first came out, including his favorite - the Boss 429 bought new back in the day. He's had every muscle car version of the Mustang, and also a 2005 Ford GT. I've had the pleasure of driving all of them.

 

The issue is that I've been an "anti-muscle car" guy - preferring handling to power. Instead of his Mustangs I've owned cars as diverse as Fiat 850 spider (my first toy in 1968), several Alfa Romeos (GTV-6, 164LS, 1991 Spider), several BMWs (all manual tranny except for my wife's 2011 335d with 430 ft/lbs torque), a Miata, and my "dream car" a Ferrari 360 spider (manual of course). My friend is begging me to buy a new Shelby. I must admit the new convenience pack option has my attention. I'm a senior citizen, with all that implies - a bit overweight, slower reflexes than I had 50 years ago, and I now admit that I enjoy comfort and luxury over pure speed. I'm also not likely to use anywhere near the capability of the Shelby, but I do enjoy a true manual car, and from what I see there is little about the GT350 that isn't wonderful.

 

So, my question finally: Should I "pull the trigger" and get a Shelby? It's likely to be an occasional ride, especially since my wife has pretty bad arthritis and anything that isn't comfortable won't work for her. I tried the standard Recaro seats and she hated them. The comfort option should at least give her more comfort, and frankly I like the toys that the comfort package offers.

 

My concern is that I'll find that I'm not using the car as intended, and I'll have to resell it. I'm not too concerned about resale risk - I imagine that it will continue to hold value pretty well, but if the new car is a significant upgrade I expect to drop $20K or so. That's not great, but that's not my focus. I'm more interested in getting the fun of my old Ferrari (I do love the sound of a FPC engine), without the hassles of high upkeep costs and the constant concern about where to park it and all the rest.

 

Will the Shelby be "the one"? Who knows, but before I pull the trigger I welcome your thoughts about your ownership experience, fun to drive factor, any problems you've had, and knowing all you know now would you buy your car again?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I agree Carnut a 2017 G.T 350 awesome cars or you can opt out for a 2017 Super Snake .

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The 2017 GT350 is an awesome car but you could also look at the 2006-2009 run of GT-H's and Shelby GT's ... I am partial to the black and gold but a well balanced car as well.

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The OP sounds like a perfect candidate for a Shelby GT. A little more "go" from a GT/SC or a 07-08 GT500. The factory GT500 and the GT/SC have similar horsepower but the GT/SC will handle better on the track.

Edited by twobjshelbys

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Thanks for the comments - anyone have any problems with their GT350? Any "buyer's remorse" or options you wish you ordered but didn't?

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Thanks for the comments - anyone have any problems with their GT350? Any "buyer's remorse" or options you wish you ordered but didn't?

You will enjoy the car. They are a joy to drive and the soundtrack is pretty awesome too.

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Love my car! In SPORT mode, it's a melodic tune like NO OTHER!! I have never driven the car more than 10 feet without being in SPORT mode.

 

Recaros are a must have for resale, IMHO....but not gonna lie...they are a PITA getting in and out of, and I'm narrow. :lol:

 

These cars are getting a load of bad press, mainly by haters. If you get a chance to drive one, you'll be taking it home. :thumbsup:

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The GT350 will make you forget that you are 50 years older now and make you feel like you're back in high school again - every time you take it out. I'm no spring chicken anymore myself and I love my '15 GT350.

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Agreed I'm 72 and drive my 2017 mostly in sport mode and it does get my adrenalin going. Have a lot of younger women smile and wave. I think ah! the day. If only I was younger. If only I'd had this back in the day cruising trying to pick up girls. Ha ha


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Love my car! In SPORT mode, it's a melodic tune like NO OTHER!! I have never driven the car more than 10 feet without being in SPORT mode.

 

Recaros are a must have for resale, IMHO....but not gonna lie...they are a PITA getting in and out of, and I'm narrow. :lol:

 

These cars are getting a load of bad press, mainly by haters. If you get a chance to drive one, you'll be taking it home. :thumbsup:

I agree with this, from the therapeutic melody of sport mode to the Recaros being a pain to get in and out of (I'm also narrow)...

 

I don't really drive mine much, 2600 miles in 16 months so I've considered selling it... if I were to sell it, I'd certainly want to buy another when I could easily justify the $ sitting in the garage gathering dust (literally) :)

 

I don't think I can find one fault with the car.

Edited by freakyjoe

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Agreed I'm 72 and drive my 2017 mostly in sport mode and it does get my adrenalin going. Have a lot of younger women smile and wave. I think ah! the day. If only I was younger. If only I'd had this back in the day cruising trying to pick up girls. Ha ha

:hysterical:

 

I agree with this, from the therapeutic melody of sport mode to the Recaros being a pain to get in and out of (I'm also narrow)...

I don't really drive mine much, 2600 miles in 16 months so I've considered selling it... if I were to sell it, I'd certainly want to buy another when I could easily justify the $ sitting in the garage gathering dust (literally) :)

I don't think I can find one fault with the car.

June will be a year for me Joe, and I have 960 on mine. Partly because I was waiting for the recall parts to show up, and partly because it's at one of three places that I travel back and forth from.

 

Johnny, it is funny tho, as you mention.... Everyone stares at these cars and when you go by a group of folks while in SPORT mode, it's impossible for them not to look!! :rockon:

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:hysterical:

 

June will be a year for me Joe, and I have 960 on mine. Partly because I was waiting for the recall parts to show up, and partly because it's at one of three places that I travel back and forth from.

 

At the risk of hijacking the thread, I'm not the exception then but the rule? Which is funny, these are such great cars yet people seem to drive them so little.

 

Next year I'll be dropping the lease on my daily driver and plan on using the Shelby as my daily car... hopefully that won't take the "magic" away :)

 

On another note and even further off topic, are there are meetups for Shelbys in the CA area that people attend? I would love to see more 350s.

Edited by freakyjoe

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Guest markham51

I have a bunch of Mustangs etc. 2016 GT350 is most fun car I have ever owned. No disappointments. Unless you track...get comfortable seats. I like to drive mine long distances and like to get there with my spine intact. :shift:

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Thanks for the comments. Checked out the car in person with my wife. Some observations and challenges;

 

1) My wife HATES the Recaro seats. She is 5'1", very petite and has arthritis challenges. She doesn't fit in the Recaro seat very well, hates that she can't see over the hood (the Recaro is very low in the car), and the bolsters drive her crazy. "It's the most uncomfortable seat I've ever sat in. If you buy this car I'm not sure I'll want to ride in it!"

 

2) She also isn't a fan of the "over the top" stripes. "Are you 27 or 67? Didn't we do this 40 years ago? Why don't you get something 'age appropriate'?" (PS: She enjoyed my Porsche Carrera, and Ferrari Spider - and she drove them both very well - she shifts aggressively and accurately).

 

3) "I don't think I can drive this car - I can't see the fenders or line it up in the lane". Similar to item (1) - she REALLY hates the Recaro seats.

 

4) She doesn't love the sound of the car. The Ferrari had a FPC, but it was a spider and the higher RPM wail was diffused by the open top. In the GT350 the sound "echoes" and "reverberates" inside the cabin. She isn't being "an old lady", she just is pointing out that for her the car "will get tiring as we drive to see our kids after a 3 hour drive".

 

These may not be significant concerns for most owners, but I value her opinion, and I'd like to have her enjoy driving. For me it seems that we'd have to have the "comfort seat" option, giving her easy control of seat position and height. The "sound" can be handled by shifting lower in the RPM range, especially on the highway, and not using the "flow through" setting on the muffler. The stripe delete isn't a big deal - I'll just order a solid color car. So far, I think I have workarounds, but we'll see.

 

As for me, I noticed:

 

1) Low RPM torque doesn't seem to hit until 3500 RPMs or more. I was a bit disappointed. Her car is a BMW 335d - 429 pounds torque, and it comes on and remains on from 1600 RPM to 4500 RPM. It's ALWAYS there - VERY enjoyable.

 

2) The seats are a bit of a challenge - even for me. The height adjustment is a PITA - manually pumping it up and down is very annoying. The bolsters are aggressive, but not unexpected (at least to me) for a higher performance car.

 

3) Seating position a bit odd. I'm "vertically challenged - 5'7"). To get a good view of the road, and line of sight for the fenders, I need to pump the seat up fairly high (also to clear the hood bulge). That puts me higher in the seat than I'd prefer. It gives me the feeling of sitting in a SUV, not a sports car. In the Porsche the seating position was perfect. In the Ferrari it was equally adjustable and perfect. The GT350 disappointed a bit.

 

4) Steering feel. The Ferrari had the best steering feel of any car I've ever driven - there is no comparison. Perfectly weighted, immediately responsive, immediate turn-in and control. I could lap Virginia International Raceway lap after lap and place my tires within inches of my target lap after lap. I clearly haven't taken the GT350 to a track, but the line of sight after adjusting the Recaro height makes it feel like I'm "floating" in my seat, not nestled lower in the seat like the other sports cars. The steering is not as good on the GT350 - not that I expected it to be. The GT350 tires are much wider and lower than the other cars. That makes them transmit good traction, but they feel heavier when steering. Not a deal breaker, but surprising a bit.

 

5) Sound. My wife didn't like the sound, but I overrule her here. I'm a big fan of FCP engine "noise". The difference to me, is that the Ferrari catches revs faster. I checked some specs and the Ferrari crankshaft is about 20 pounds lighter than the GT350 -- it seems the extra weight takes a bit longer to rev - I prefer the Ferrari, but I don't want to say that the GT350 is terrible - it isn't. It's just not the same as the Ferrari - and for the price difference I didn't expect it to be exactly like a Ferrari.

 

6) Fit/finish. The Ferrari was an "occasion" to drive - partly because of the way it felt, the sight lines, and the "pride of ownership". The GT350's interior isn't a nicely appointed as the Porsche or the Ferrari (plastic feels less substantial), and the leather in the higher end cars is a softer/better finished quality. On the other hand, the GT350 leaves both the 2001 Ferrari 360 and the 2015 Porsche Carrera in the rear view mirror for acceleration. The GT350 has a lower top speed, but it gets there faster than either of the other cars. I'm not a big fan of loud exhausts, but I must admit the GT350 gets your heart pounding. The GT350 is less of an "occasion" car - for me - but I've been a Ferrari fan since Farah Fawcett's poster came out in the 1970s.

 

7) Value - it there is a better value than the GT350 I've yet to find it. I drove the Camaro SS, and while it gets rave journalist reviews, I didn't like it. The view out the car is terrible - the door sills are almost at my shoulder - ridiculous. It also didn't feel as responsive without downshifting at "normal" highway speeds/acceleration.

 

 

Overall - The GT350 is quite a package, but it does have some limitations, at least for me. I'm also unsure about the "pricing". Seems to me with another full year of production, as well as an increased production for 2017, prices should begin to fall below MSRP. All cars depreciate, so that isn't a major factor, but it makes me want to be absolutely sure that the GT350 "is the one" before I pull the trigger. I'm also thinking about waiting for the 2018 model. By the time I place an order (dealer says that they'll continue production into August), and get it delivered, it will be very late in the year. The new ones will be out only a few months later. May be worthwhile to wait and see if there are any changes, or if pricing moderates a bit.

 

I welcome your observations, comments, etc.

Thanks to all.

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Don't do it. There are too many other cars out there. If she is this opinionated NOW.....you will be riding alone! :)

 

Not worth it.

 

Just a personal observation from reading (your very eloquent description of the car), your expectations are too high for an American car and its fit and finish, given the experiences with the other cars you mention. I have been blessed to own LOTS of cars in my lifetime. All kinds of brands, and I've come to "settle" with American cars and what they offer, knowing full well you cannot compare them in "every" way to more expensive foreign cars. They're slowly getting better and better, but they still offer a few models with tremendous "value" if you can live with a few faults. :victory:

 

Good luck in your search!

 

BB

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Thanks for the comments. Checked out the car in person with my wife. Some observations and challenges;

 

1) My wife HATES the Recaro seats. She is 5'1", very petite and has arthritis challenges. She doesn't fit in the Recaro seat very well, hates that she can't see over the hood (the Recaro is very low in the car), and the bolsters drive her crazy. "It's the most uncomfortable seat I've ever sat in. If you buy this car I'm not sure I'll want to ride in it!"

 

2) She also isn't a fan of the "over the top" stripes. "Are you 27 or 67? Didn't we do this 40 years ago? Why don't you get something 'age appropriate'?" (PS: She enjoyed my Porsche Carrera, and Ferrari Spider - and she drove them both very well - she shifts aggressively and accurately).

 

3) "I don't think I can drive this car - I can't see the fenders or line it up in the lane". Similar to item (1) - she REALLY hates the Recaro seats.

 

4) She doesn't love the sound of the car. The Ferrari had a FPC, but it was a spider and the higher RPM wail was diffused by the open top. In the GT350 the sound "echoes" and "reverberates" inside the cabin. She isn't being "an old lady", she just is pointing out that for her the car "will get tiring as we drive to see our kids after a 3 hour drive".

 

These may not be significant concerns for most owners, but I value her opinion, and I'd like to have her enjoy driving. For me it seems that we'd have to have the "comfort seat" option, giving her easy control of seat position and height. The "sound" can be handled by shifting lower in the RPM range, especially on the highway, and not using the "flow through" setting on the muffler. The stripe delete isn't a big deal - I'll just order a solid color car. So far, I think I have workarounds, but we'll see.

 

As for me, I noticed:

 

1) Low RPM torque doesn't seem to hit until 3500 RPMs or more. I was a bit disappointed. Her car is a BMW 335d - 429 pounds torque, and it comes on and remains on from 1600 RPM to 4500 RPM. It's ALWAYS there - VERY enjoyable.

 

2) The seats are a bit of a challenge - even for me. The height adjustment is a PITA - manually pumping it up and down is very annoying. The bolsters are aggressive, but not unexpected (at least to me) for a higher performance car.

 

3) Seating position a bit odd. I'm "vertically challenged - 5'7"). To get a good view of the road, and line of sight for the fenders, I need to pump the seat up fairly high (also to clear the hood bulge). That puts me higher in the seat than I'd prefer. It gives me the feeling of sitting in a SUV, not a sports car. In the Porsche the seating position was perfect. In the Ferrari it was equally adjustable and perfect. The GT350 disappointed a bit.

 

4) Steering feel. The Ferrari had the best steering feel of any car I've ever driven - there is no comparison. Perfectly weighted, immediately responsive, immediate turn-in and control. I could lap Virginia International Raceway lap after lap and place my tires within inches of my target lap after lap. I clearly haven't taken the GT350 to a track, but the line of sight after adjusting the Recaro height makes it feel like I'm "floating" in my seat, not nestled lower in the seat like the other sports cars. The steering is not as good on the GT350 - not that I expected it to be. The GT350 tires are much wider and lower than the other cars. That makes them transmit good traction, but they feel heavier when steering. Not a deal breaker, but surprising a bit.

 

5) Sound. My wife didn't like the sound, but I overrule her here. I'm a big fan of FCP engine "noise". The difference to me, is that the Ferrari catches revs faster. I checked some specs and the Ferrari crankshaft is about 20 pounds lighter than the GT350 -- it seems the extra weight takes a bit longer to rev - I prefer the Ferrari, but I don't want to say that the GT350 is terrible - it isn't. It's just not the same as the Ferrari - and for the price difference I didn't expect it to be exactly like a Ferrari.

 

6) Fit/finish. The Ferrari was an "occasion" to drive - partly because of the way it felt, the sight lines, and the "pride of ownership". The GT350's interior isn't a nicely appointed as the Porsche or the Ferrari (plastic feels less substantial), and the leather in the higher end cars is a softer/better finished quality. On the other hand, the GT350 leaves both the 2001 Ferrari 360 and the 2015 Porsche Carrera in the rear view mirror for acceleration. The GT350 has a lower top speed, but it gets there faster than either of the other cars. I'm not a big fan of loud exhausts, but I must admit the GT350 gets your heart pounding. The GT350 is less of an "occasion" car - for me - but I've been a Ferrari fan since Farah Fawcett's poster came out in the 1970s.

 

7) Value - it there is a better value than the GT350 I've yet to find it. I drove the Camaro SS, and while it gets rave journalist reviews, I didn't like it. The view out the car is terrible - the door sills are almost at my shoulder - ridiculous. It also didn't feel as responsive without downshifting at "normal" highway speeds/acceleration.

 

 

Overall - The GT350 is quite a package, but it does have some limitations, at least for me. I'm also unsure about the "pricing". Seems to me with another full year of production, as well as an increased production for 2017, prices should begin to fall below MSRP. All cars depreciate, so that isn't a major factor, but it makes me want to be absolutely sure that the GT350 "is the one" before I pull the trigger. I'm also thinking about waiting for the 2018 model. By the time I place an order (dealer says that they'll continue production into August), and get it delivered, it will be very late in the year. The new ones will be out only a few months later. May be worthwhile to wait and see if there are any changes, or if pricing moderates a bit.

 

I welcome your observations, comments, etc.

 

Thanks to all.

Have you look at the G.T 500?

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FREAKYJOE, I HAVE BEEN DRIVING A 65 GT350 CLONE; NO AIR, NO POWER/ALL MANUAL FOR 11 YEARS NOW AS A DAILY. BELIEVE ME, THE MAGIC WILL NEVER GO AWAY AS LONG AS YOU LOVE THE CAR AND ITS THE RIGHT CAR FOR YOU!

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I totally agree with BIKE BOY on this topic.....well stated. Same, Same.

Edited by Altruism

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It sounds like a 2017 Super Snake from Shelby might be your answer. Sure, no FPC, but the sound is awesome on the 5.0 with the right set up. You can actually get much more power with the SC 5.0 and have all the low end toque you want. You can get any of the power seat combinations when you order your base car. You can pretty much solve all of your wife's observations and challenges if you go that route. Just a suggestion which you may want to consider.

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Guest markham51

I am 66. Car purchasing is one of the most "personal" of all purchases. For that reason my wife and I have our own cars.

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FREAKYJOE, I HAVE BEEN DRIVING A 65 GT350 CLONE; NO AIR, NO POWER/ALL MANUAL FOR 11 YEARS NOW AS A DAILY. BELIEVE ME, THE MAGIC WILL NEVER GO AWAY AS LONG AS YOU LOVE THE CAR AND ITS THE RIGHT CAR FOR YOU!

Nice, and thanks!

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Thanks again for the comments/suggestions.

 

I'm still trying to be very clear about what I want/expect in a new car. Your help has made that an easier task.

 

Right now, I'd love to have a Ferrari F430 coupe, but reality makes that a bit challenging. The GT350 is still in the decision pool, but I found out that Ford stopped producing the Convenience Pack in March. That means if I can't find a car with the Convenience pack in stock (which provides the powered heated/cooled less aggressive seats), it will be difficult to have my wife comfortable on longer rides.

 

So, my search is narrowed to the Convenience Pack, preferably a solid black car without stripes. If I can find that, I think everything else will fall into place. My wife is willing to give it a go, if I can find non Recaro seats.

 

Thanks again:

 

PS: I don't know why Ford discontinued the Convenience Pack - it's EXACTLY what I want.

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Its unrealistic for the OP to expect the fit and finish of a Mustang to be on par with a Porsche or Ferrari. The Porsche and Ferrari are way higher price points. Porsche and Ferrari prices gets you better fit and finish , better leather and more sound deadening and accoutrements. The GT350 emphasis is track car performance so you are going get plastic and limited accoutrements. The GT350 is designed to wrap you in the growl of American Exhaust Sound and the smell of oil, gas and plastic. The Ferrari is going to surround you with the sound of a can of angry bees, the smell of leather and a side order of smugness.

In your post you spent more time listing what you and your wife dont like about the GT350 than what you did like. If you want an almost equal performance of the GT350 and better fit/finish and creature comfort, then you should just go out and buy an BMW M2 (or M3,4 or 5) and get it over with.. rather than mulling every little detail all the way down to crankshaft weights. The M series have the fit and finish you are evidently wanting, plenty of torque across a broad band, comparable 0 to 60 times, they are well balanced and have plenty of accoutrements..plus in the M2 both of you will be able to see over the hood without sitting on a stack of phone books.

Edited by mhr1961

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I agree go with a M3/4 or an Audi S5. I would even take a really good look at the Audi TTRS coming out, Porsche performance for a sharper price.

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My thanks - especially to MHR1961, who gently suggested that I get my head out of my .....

 

That post made me realize the issue - I'm trying to logically deal with an emotional decision - it can't be done. So I either decide to get the GT350 or I don't. It meets my needs/wants, or it doesn't. Pretty simple really.

 

So today I began looking for a 2017 GT350, solid black, with the Comfort seats. That gives me what I'm looking for. If it works, great. If not, still great. Either way I'll know if it's "the car" or a very nice car, but maybe not "the car".

 

The two largest Ford dealers within 100 miles of me are "sold out", suggesting I wait for a 2018. Another dealer has a car, but not with the seats I want.

At least now I know what I'm looking for.

 

Thanks.

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My thanks - especially to MHR1961, who gently suggested that I get my head out of my .....

 

That post made me realize the issue - I'm trying to logically deal with an emotional decision - it can't be done. So I either decide to get the GT350 or I don't. It meets my needs/wants, or it doesn't. Pretty simple really.

 

So today I began looking for a 2017 GT350, solid black, with the Comfort seats. That gives me what I'm looking for. If it works, great. If not, still great. Either way I'll know if it's "the car" or a very nice car, but maybe not "the car".

 

The two largest Ford dealers within 100 miles of me are "sold out", suggesting I wait for a 2018. Another dealer has a car, but not with the seats I want.

 

At least now I know what I'm looking for.

 

Thanks.

Wasn’t implying that you had your head up your ___. You just seemed to be looking more at the things you didn’t like about the GT-350 and it seemed like you listed way more that you didn’t like than what you did like. One of the beautiful things about a Mustang/Shelby is if there are things you don’t like about it, there are literally hundreds of manufacturers that make thousands of aftermarket parts so you can make it like you want it to be. Good Luck in your search.

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Thanks MHR - I didn't mean to imply that you were being rude or mean; i thought you were trying to get me to focus, which you did. Thank you.

 

As of now, I've had little luck finding a black no stripe comfort seat car, but I'm still looking. Likely I'll wait for the 2018 allocation.

 

Thanks to all for the comments/help.

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