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Should I get the Meade LX200GPS 10"?

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#1 cchilds

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 12:03 PM

I recently was looking around and I found a Meade LX200GPS 10" for a very nice price. I was wondering if it is worth getting.

 

Thank you,

Conor


Edited by cchilds, 22 March 2023 - 12:04 PM.


#2 SoCalPaul

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 12:14 PM

I have observed through 10" LX200 specimens that had very good optics and delivered excellent views.

 

YMMV, whether buying new or secondhand.

 

If buying new, your chances of getting a good specimen are good, and you are covered by a warranty.

 

If buying secondhand, you must conduct a reasonable amount of due diligence. If the seller is local, you can meet up and test out the scope including the electronics/GOTO as well as the optics.

 

If not local, then you have to ask many questions to try to gauge the likelihood that the scope will perform to your expectations:

 

Some examples that come to mind:

 

Are you the original owner? If not, from whom did you get it?

Can you send photos of everything so I can determine condition?

Why are you selling it?

If selling on a website, what is their rating/reputation?

Do they seem to be knowledgeable about their equipment?

Are all the parts included?

(These last two can be potential indicators of someone who inherited a scope, or even possibly stolen, e.g. parts are missing and the seller seems ignorant about telescopes.)

Etc.

 

Clear skies,

Paul


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#3 cfosterstars

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 12:41 PM

The Meade LX200 10" ACF F/10 was my first scope. I still have it as my long F/L OTA. What do you want to use it for? The LX200 mount is basically useless for imaging in my opinion. I deforked my OTA and have it on an EQ8 GEM mount. The mirror focuser for the F/10 OTA is also not usable for any sort of autofocus but with mirror lock, it has no mirror flip issues. The backlash is basically not fixable. I have tried several upgrade and even a complete feathertouch replacement with no real improvement. The F/8 OTA focuser is supposed to be better but I have no direct experience. For visual, well I used it for a while, but the long and slow optics mean that without very dark skies and lots of patience, well, I stopped all visual quite a while back and no longer even own an eyepiece.

 

What are you hoping to do with the rig?


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#4 cchilds

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 12:45 PM

I have observed through 10" LX200 specimens that had very good optics and delivered excellent views.

 

YMMV, whether buying new or secondhand.

 

If buying new, your chances of getting a good specimen are good, and you are covered by a warranty.

 

If buying secondhand, you must conduct a reasonable amount of due diligence. If the seller is local, you can meet up and test out the scope including the electronics/GOTO as well as the optics.

 

If not local, then you have to ask many questions to try to gauge the likelihood that the scope will perform to your expectations:

 

Some examples that come to mind:

 

Are you the original owner? If not, from whom did you get it?

Can you send photos of everything so I can determine condition?

Why are you selling it?

If selling on a website, what is their rating/reputation?

Do they seem to be knowledgeable about their equipment?

Are all the parts included?

(These last two can be potential indicators of someone who inherited a scope, or even possibly stolen, e.g. parts are missing and the seller seems ignorant about telescopes.)

Etc.

 

Clear skies,

Paul

It's local and they are only selling it for $400. They say it was used only used it about 40 times from 2 different owners.

 

If they respond and I visit it,  I will test it out and ask some of those questions. It just confuses me why they would only sell it for $400.

 

Here is the link:

 

https://cincinnati.c...7602022282.html

 

 

Thanks,

Conor



#5 cchilds

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 12:49 PM

The Meade LX200 10" ACF F/10 was my first scope. I still have it as my long F/L OTA. What do you want to use it for? The LX200 mount is basically useless for imaging in my opinion. I deforked my OTA and have it on an EQ8 GEM mount. The mirror focuser for the F/10 OTA is also not usable for any sort of autofocus but with mirror lock, it has no mirror flip issues. The backlash is basically not fixable. I have tried several upgrade and even a complete feathertouch replacement with no real improvement. The F/8 OTA focuser is supposed to be better but I have no direct experience. For visual, well I used it for a while, but the long and slow optics mean that without very dark skies and lots of patience, well, I stopped all visual quite a while back and no longer even own an eyepiece.

 

What are you hoping to do with the rig?

Visual and some basic imaging. I have a Z10 Dobsonian and and old Criterion RV6 so this would be the first "goto" system I would have. 

 

Would this be an upgrade from the Z10 dob?

 

Thank you,

Conor



#6 vtornado

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 01:53 PM

Would this be an upgrade from the Z10 dob?  -- optically no.

 

You do get goto and tracking which your dob does not have, does your RV6 have a working motor?

 

If the scope works it is a steal at $400.00

 

Beware the focal length is 2500mm.


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#7 Shed9

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 02:23 PM

$400 is out and out theft. Seems very low given the seller can easily google an approximate selling price which would be typically higher. I'd be a little cautious here personally, not enough to stop me but enough to be more careful than usual.

 

I'm picking up a (non-LX200) M10 this Friday morning myself, I have been after one for an age.


Edited by Shed9, 22 March 2023 - 04:04 PM.

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#8 SoCalPaul

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 02:28 PM

It's local and they are only selling it for $400. They say it was used only used it about 40 times from 2 different owners.

 

If they respond and I visit it,  I will test it out and ask some of those questions. It just confuses me why they would only sell it for $400.

 

Here is the link:

 

https://cincinnati.c...7602022282.html

 

 

Thanks,

Conor

You may be onto a great  bargain, but please be cautious and careful. I assume you know all the usual precautions to take when meeting someone unknown. I usually meet at a police station.

 

Most bargains that appear too-good-to-be-true, turn out to be just that. But not all, sometimes you get lucky.

 

I am curious about how he knows that it was used about 40 times between himself and the previous owner? That could represent a significant amount of use. If he used the scope 2x/month for 6 hours per use, that's a total of nearly two years and 240 hours.

 

Hope it works out for you.

 

Paul


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#9 rkinnett

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 02:48 PM

The LX200 mount is basically useless for imaging in my opinion. 

LX200s work fine for planetary and lunar imaging.

 

Last year I spotted a 10" LX200 on the offerup app, listed for $500 which also seemed too good to be true.  Turned out the scope was left in a foreclosed home and a realtor was trying to get rid of it.  The scope looked perfect on the outside.  When I took the cover off, I found the secondary was completely missing.  There was a dent on the dust cover.  Apparently the whole thing had fallen over at some point.  I basically said the thing is useless and started to walk out, and the lady just gave it to me.  Didn't want to dispose of it.  I took it home, cleaned it up, replaced tantalum caps in the HC as recommended, and posted wanted ads for a secondary assembly but never found a match.  I also emailed Meade who suggested it's not practical to replace the secondary.  So I listed the whole thing as-is for parts and found someone who was very excited to use it with Funstar.  It was initially a sketchy situation but worked out in the end.

 

Anyway, don't be surprised if the seller plays dumb and it turns out there's something fundamentally wrong with it.  On the other hand, you can certainly get lucky and find nothing wrong with it.

 

If the optics look decent (maybe dirty but no cracks or major scratches), and the focuser works, then it may be worth picking up as a project scope, even if the mount or HC don't work.  The common problems with these mounts aren't too difficult to fix if you're somewhat handy with a soldering iron and screwdriver.  You can operate the mount through a PC without an HC, or you might still be able to get a third party HC.  Worst case, if the OTA is decent, you can defork it and use it or sell it for slight profit.  There are also folks who would be happy to buy a defunct mount from you (lx200-classic or lx200gps groups.io) for parts, if you find the mount doesn't work and isn't easily reparable.

 

Good luck!  I would definitely go see it if I were you and if the drive isn't too bad.


Edited by rkinnett, 22 March 2023 - 02:53 PM.

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#10 cchilds

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 03:25 PM

Th

 

Would this be an upgrade from the Z10 dob?  -- optically no.

 

You do get goto and tracking which your dob does not have, does your RV6 have a working motor?

 

If the scope works it is a steal at $400.00

 

Beware the focal length is 2500mm.

My RV6 motor is "working". It was not an original motor so I am still figuring out how to attach it. The guy responded and told me some problems with it. I will post that.



#11 cchilds

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 03:29 PM

Thank you all for responding. It sounds like this guy is has found new hobbies and doesn't want it anymore.  I will copy and paste what he says below:

 

Known Problems:
1. There's a short in C Size Battery Packs in the fork arms. This can probably can be fixed. I only used that option a couple of times. The batteries only last a few hours so I never fixed the wiring.
Best Solution: I own a portable 12v power supply with a cigarette lighter plug, and a cigarette lighter extension socket adapter cable cord lead plug 12V. The power supply easily gets through a long night of observing.
Alternative: AC to DC Converter 110V to 12V

2. Micro focuser: the wire that goes into the adapter plug pulled out the first time I used this scope. It was already loose, and probably got damaged by the previous owner. This can probably be fixed fairly easily, but I never got around to fixing the problem. There are other fine focusing options available. I was considering a couple of these options.

3. Mirror flop: This is a known problem with this size LX200, but there are a few solutions. The cheapest is a $30 EZ Focus Kit from Peterson Engineering. If I was going to continue using this scope, I would probably consider this solution first.

4. A couple years ago GPS signals were updated, and this may have affected the Autostar Software. Meade has a frame ware update for the Autostar II handbox. I have not used the telescope, since this GPS change so I'm not sure the Autorstar was affected. You can do manually setup the scope without using the GPS functions. The Meade #505 cable set can be used to update the frame ware.

 

 

Is this still worth $400?

 

There is another telescope being sold for the same price. If the Meade telescope isn't worth it would this C8 be better? It's older I understand.

 

https://cincinnati.c...7600561926.html

 

Thank you very much,

Conor


Edited by cchilds, 22 March 2023 - 03:32 PM.


#12 12BH7

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 03:40 PM

IF the optical tube is in good working condition then it's worth $400. As for everything else on it you could go broke trying fixing it. The LX200 is a great scope but seems to be prone to  have electronic issues.

 

IF you  have plans to defork it and use it on another mount then I say go for it. If not then pass.


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#13 DAVIDG

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 04:05 PM

 LX200GPS have a couple of known problems. Go over to  the Meade Forum and see a number of threads on owners asking for help on how to repair them The Autostar II handcontroller are know to have the displays go bad. The MOSFETS on the motor control burns out.  Parts are difficult to find and expensive if available. The firmware needs to be updated to fix many bugs including the GPS rollover issue. You want to StarPatch to do the updates and not the Meade Autosuite downloader  or the Meade firmware which is known to have major bugs and over write part the memory in the Autostar II controller.

   On the positive side I repaired one that was donated to my club and now it works very well. Mounted in one my clubs observatories it has very good GOTO pointing accuracy and we use it with a wifi adapter I built to control it using SkySafari which makes it very simple to do GOTO's to put objects in the eyepiece.

 

                   - Dave 


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#14 Shed9

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 04:21 PM

3. Mirror flop: This is a known problem with this size LX200, but there are a few solutions. The cheapest is a $30 EZ Focus Kit from Peterson Engineering. If I was going to continue using this scope, I would probably consider this solution first.

 

That LX200GPS model in the ad has a mirror lock to deal with mirror flop already??? I appreciate the Peterson fix will take the slop out of the focuser but mirror flop in the context of the description is an odd one. That said, there is clearly some specific knowledge here of a kind.

 

I wouldn't discount the ad and at $400 it is worth exploring further, as others have eluded to, even if the mount electronics are dead, the OTA is worth the asking price. You could feasibly still sell the mount separately even if it does have problems as people will want to resurrect their own failed LX200 mounts if in a similar situation and buy it for parts. 

 

Just be careful is all, use common sense, don't part with cash until you see it and be very careful where you meet if you do. I'm a little surprised no one else has snapped it up yet but then it could still be genuine, it does happen.


Edited by Shed9, 22 March 2023 - 04:23 PM.

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#15 cchilds

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 05:31 PM

That LX200GPS model in the ad has a mirror lock to deal with mirror flop already??? I appreciate the Peterson fix will take the slop out of the focuser but mirror flop in the context of the description is an odd one. That said, there is clearly some specific knowledge here of a kind.

 

I wouldn't discount the ad and at $400 it is worth exploring further, as others have eluded to, even if the mount electronics are dead, the OTA is worth the asking price. You could feasibly still sell the mount separately even if it does have problems as people will want to resurrect their own failed LX200 mounts if in a similar situation and buy it for parts. 

 

Just be careful is all, use common sense, don't part with cash until you see it and be very careful where you meet if you do. I'm a little surprised no one else has snapped it up yet but then it could still be genuine, it does happen.

He said a few people asked for it in the first 20 minutes (one of them being me). The post has only been out for a little bit so it makes sense. 

 

Conor


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#16 cchilds

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 05:32 PM

 LX200GPS have a couple of known problems. Go over to  the Meade Forum and see a number of threads on owners asking for help on how to repair them The Autostar II handcontroller are know to have the displays go bad. The MOSFETS on the motor control burns out.  Parts are difficult to find and expensive if available. The firmware needs to be updated to fix many bugs including the GPS rollover issue. You want to StarPatch to do the updates and not the Meade Autosuite downloader  or the Meade firmware which is known to have major bugs and over write part the memory in the Autostar II controller.

   On the positive side I repaired one that was donated to my club and now it works very well. Mounted in one my clubs observatories it has very good GOTO pointing accuracy and we use it with a wifi adapter I built to control it using SkySafari which makes it very simple to do GOTO's to put objects in the eyepiece.

 

                   - Dave 

Ok thank you I will consider buying it now!

 

Conor



#17 cchilds

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 05:33 PM

IF the optical tube is in good working condition then it's worth $400. As for everything else on it you could go broke trying fixing it. The LX200 is a great scope but seems to be prone to  have electronic issues.

 

IF you  have plans to defork it and use it on another mount then I say go for it. If not then pass.

I will check it out first and if the optical tube looks good I might sell the mount or something.

 

Thanks,

Conor


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#18 rmollise

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 05:57 PM

It's local and they are only selling it for $400. They say it was used only used it about 40 times from 2 different owners.

 

If they respond and I visit it,  I will test it out and ask some of those questions. It just confuses me why they would only sell it for $400.

 

Here is the link:

 

https://cincinnati.c...7602022282.html

 

 

Thanks,

Conor

 

If this is for real and the scope works, hell yeah, jump on it. ;)


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#19 carolinaskies

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 06:06 PM

$400 is an immediate drop everything and go look at the scope if it's local.  The OTA is worth minimum $800 on current market without blinking if it's standard SCT (Not an -R or ACF).  The external focuser is an easy $150 as is the tripod. 

GPS models are NOT prone to the same capacitor issues of the non-GPS LX200.  

If you can run it through it's paces with the hand control legible with N-S-E-W working at all slew speeds the basic other thing is looking at the primary down the front and the secondary through the back.  Mirror flop on a GPS with mirror flop is likely from a malfunctioning mirror lock which can be reset with a little work.  Not necessary for visual at all.   

The battery box in the fork arm only works if nothing is plugged into the power port on the main control board.  

I'd be all over it for $400!


 


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#20 jgraham

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 06:21 PM

The telescope tube by itself is worth a heck of a lot more than $400. I own several examples of the 10” and they are all excellent performers. The LX200GPS is a particularly solid platform. All of the issues that you described are fixable. If the offer is for real it’s a great opportunity.

 

Good luck!


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#21 cchilds

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Posted 22 March 2023 - 06:57 PM

I'll try to get it. If it ends up being broken but the OTA seems to be good I will still buy it!

 

Thank you all!grin.gif

 

Conor

 

$400 is out and out theft. Seems very low given the seller can easily google an approximate selling price which would be typically higher. I'd be a little cautious here personally, not enough to stop me but enough to be more careful than usual.

 

I'm picking up a (non-LX200) M10 this Friday morning myself, I have been after one for an age.

 

 

You may be onto a great  bargain, but please be cautious and careful. I assume you know all the usual precautions to take when meeting someone unknown. I usually meet at a police station.

 

Most bargains that appear too-good-to-be-true, turn out to be just that. But not all, sometimes you get lucky.

 

I am curious about how he knows that it was used about 40 times between himself and the previous owner? That could represent a significant amount of use. If he used the scope 2x/month for 6 hours per use, that's a total of nearly two years and 240 hours.

 

Hope it works out for you.

 

Paul

 

 

LX200s work fine for planetary and lunar imaging.

 

Last year I spotted a 10" LX200 on the offerup app, listed for $500 which also seemed too good to be true.  Turned out the scope was left in a foreclosed home and a realtor was trying to get rid of it.  The scope looked perfect on the outside.  When I took the cover off, I found the secondary was completely missing.  There was a dent on the dust cover.  Apparently the whole thing had fallen over at some point.  I basically said the thing is useless and started to walk out, and the lady just gave it to me.  Didn't want to dispose of it.  I took it home, cleaned it up, replaced tantalum caps in the HC as recommended, and posted wanted ads for a secondary assembly but never found a match.  I also emailed Meade who suggested it's not practical to replace the secondary.  So I listed the whole thing as-is for parts and found someone who was very excited to use it with Funstar.  It was initially a sketchy situation but worked out in the end.

 

Anyway, don't be surprised if the seller plays dumb and it turns out there's something fundamentally wrong with it.  On the other hand, you can certainly get lucky and find nothing wrong with it.

 

If the optics look decent (maybe dirty but no cracks or major scratches), and the focuser works, then it may be worth picking up as a project scope, even if the mount or HC don't work.  The common problems with these mounts aren't too difficult to fix if you're somewhat handy with a soldering iron and screwdriver.  You can operate the mount through a PC without an HC, or you might still be able to get a third party HC.  Worst case, if the OTA is decent, you can defork it and use it or sell it for slight profit.  There are also folks who would be happy to buy a defunct mount from you (lx200-classic or lx200gps groups.io) for parts, if you find the mount doesn't work and isn't easily reparable.

 

Good luck!  I would definitely go see it if I were you and if the drive isn't too bad.

 

 

Th

 

My RV6 motor is "working". It was not an original motor so I am still figuring out how to attach it. The guy responded and told me some problems with it. I will post that.

 

 

If this is for real and the scope works, hell yeah, jump on it. wink.gif

 

 

The telescope tube by itself is worth a heck of a lot more than $400. I own several examples of the 10” and they are all excellent performers. The LX200GPS is a particularly solid platform. All of the issues that you described are fixable. If the offer is for real it’s a great opportunity.

 

Good luck!

 

 

$400 is an immediate drop everything and go look at the scope if it's local.  The OTA is worth minimum $800 on current market without blinking if it's standard SCT (Not an -R or ACF).  The external focuser is an easy $150 as is the tripod. 

GPS models are NOT prone to the same capacitor issues of the non-GPS LX200.  

If you can run it through it's paces with the hand control legible with N-S-E-W working at all slew speeds the basic other thing is looking at the primary down the front and the secondary through the back.  Mirror flop on a GPS with mirror flop is likely from a malfunctioning mirror lock which can be reset with a little work.  Not necessary for visual at all.   

The battery box in the fork arm only works if nothing is plugged into the power port on the main control board.  

I'd be all over it for $400!


 

I'll try to get it. It seems that a lot of people want it so the chances I have are super slim.

 

If the mount ends up being broken or unfixable but the OTA seems to be good I will still buy it!

 

 

Thank you all!grin.gif

Conor


Edited by cchilds, 22 March 2023 - 08:39 PM.

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#22 cchilds

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 08:01 AM

Someone got it before mefrown.gif

 

I'm still not sure why he sold it for so little!

Conor



#23 SoCalPaul

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 08:39 AM

Someone got it before mefrown.gif

 

I'm still not sure why he sold it for so little!

Conor

Bummer, sorry! :-(

 

Paul


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#24 12BH7

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 09:36 AM

Someone got it before mefrown.gif

 

I'm still not sure why he sold it for so little!

Conor

When I was 17 I wanted to buy this particular used Volkswagen. The seller ended up selling it to someone else that I knew. As expected I was upset. A few weeks later I heard that the guy who bought the VW ended up junking it after he dumped a lot of money into trying to fix it.

 

Sometimes the best deal is the one you didn't get. $400 for a LX200 - somethings not right because it's worth more in scrap parts???????


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#25 cchilds

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Posted 23 March 2023 - 12:31 PM

When I was 17 I wanted to buy this particular used Volkswagen. The seller ended up selling it to someone else that I knew. As expected I was upset. A few weeks later I heard that the guy who bought the VW ended up junking it after he dumped a lot of money into trying to fix it.

 

Sometimes the best deal is the one you didn't get. $400 for a LX200 - somethings not right because it's worth more in scrap parts???????

I was thinking that because why they would sell it for only $400 is crazy. Either a really nice guy or something is very wrong with it. If I did get it I would have checked it out first to see because some people where saying the OTA was worth as much as he was selling, if not more. 

 

I might get the old C8 that is listed near me...for the same price. Seems to be a decent deal tho! 

 

Conor




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