We sold my car today. It was a 1996 Ford Escort.
I realize this isn't particularly interesting to anyone else, but since it was the first car I ever bought on my own -- heck, I even moved it with me from Virginia -- it is kind of significant to me.
Anyway, I bought it for $9800 back in 1995 and it is still running well at 154,000 miles. I sold it today for $700 (thanks to craigslist!). That means, excepting gas and maintenance costs, the depreciation was $9100 over 12 years or approximately $760/year. Given that the car got 32 miles to the gallon new and has lately been averaging around 29, it even got good gas mileage (by today's low standards, anyways).
In fact, if I assume an average of 30 MPG over the life of the car, and an average of $2.00/gallon, that comes to about $10,300 in fuel costs. You may think $2.00 a gallon seems low, but a good number of those miles were driven in Virginia, where the price of gas fluctuated between $0.85 and $1.35 before we moved to California. The price of gas has certainly been higher here in California, but I've been riding CalTrain and/or walking to work since long before the recent surge in gas prices, so I think $2.00 a gallon may be pretty close to our average per-gallon price.
Ignoring maintenance costs, which weren't extraordinary, that is $19,500 to own and fuel my Ford Escort for just over 12 years. I'd say it was all around a good purchase. I certainly won't badmouth Ford cars anymore. A hybrid will cost you more than that just to own, not to mention fuel costs.
It certainly didn't turn any heads, but then again, I never once worried about anyone stealing it, dinging it, or hitting it. In fact, I would say that having a dumpy car has its own value -- in peace of mind.