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Well i suppose it depends on your mechanical aptitude … you could always buy a complete car from the factory if you didn’t want to bother trying to put it together.
>How reliable were they?
Well, like I said a team of three Metzes won the 1913 Glidden Tour, an endurance/ reliability road rally, with a perfect score (aka no breakdowns). That being said, I’ve got a friend who has a 1912 Metz and apparently the [friction-plate transmission](http://metzauto.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/1915-metz-model-25-30419-2.jpg) has a nasty habit of sliding out of position.
>What about spares?
spare parts? it depended on the company, really. some of the nicer cars had incredible warranties and customer service – a man in my hometown ordered a car from the [Corbin Motor Vehicle Company](http://www.kitfoster.com/images/2011-1-19_1908CorbinRWeb-Large.jpg) in 1907, and the head mechanic for the company drove the car up from New Britain, Connecticut to his house in suburban Boston, showed him how to drive it, and took the train home; two years later, when he got thoroughly sick of the car (it was an air-cooled model with a tendancy to overheat), they swapped it with a brand new model for free. Now, Metz wasn’t a luxury marque like Corbin, so I doubt you’d be getting a personal visit from the head mechanic, but they would probably replace a broken part free of charge.