I have owned many cars in my short life. If you know me well, you probably know I am phenomenally cheap. One of the manifestations of my frugality is the car I drive. Some people try to get the first two years of a cars life. Me, I try to get the last year. You will find that you pay far less for the last year than you would for the first year.
There are some issues with this strategy. One, it is difficult to know when to spend additional money on a repair. For instance, does it make sense to spend $400 on a car that only has three months of service left. That can be a difficult question.
If you would like to employ the same strategy, you must have an alternate vehicle, a membership in AAA, and a little mechanical know how.
The two Pontiac's were sacrificed to the my desire to race automobiles. I was never very good at that, but it was fun to wreck the cars.
The car I miss the most is the Nissan 200SX (actually it was a Datsun 200SX) It was comfortable, plenty of leg room, and was fairly quick.