The Volvo PV444/544 was affectionately called the “Swedish 1941 Ford” even though sales of this 4-cylinder equipped Volvo started in 1947 in Sweden (1958 in USA) and continued through the 1966 model year. It was known for ruggedness, vintage styling, and some surprising wins at SCCA class racing and at the 1965 East African Safari Rally in Kenya. Today’s example is about as cheap as you get for a car that isn’t a total basket case…which means this car is only a partial basket case. If the car is a weekend away from being a drivable restoration candidate…then I think is a steal. Find this 1958 Volvo PV444 offered for $2,400 in Long Beach, CA via craigslist.
The Jensen GT is a shooting brake version of the Jensen-Healey that was produced from Sept of 1975 through May 1976 in limited numbers before Jensen Motors went belly up. According to various internet sources, a total of 511 GTs were produced during the year of production. You don’t see these very often and this one is offered for a decent deal for such a rare bird. Find this 1976 Jensen GT offered for $9,500 in Oakley, CA via craigslist.
One of my siblings (who shall remain nameless) sent me a video the other day of a guy named The Weeknd (s.i.c.) who was singing a song for the Grammys or some awards show. The music video is conspicuously repulsive — the Weeknd looks like a burn victim and sings like a castrato, and the music is a bunch of over-produced autotuned pop garbage with a catchy ear-worm chorus — but the cars. And the car choreography for a “live” show was impressive. The singer is flanked by a fleet of de-badged red and white Mercedes-Benz SL coupes (most are USDM R107 convertibles with hardtops, but I spy at least one W113 and somebody sporting Euro seal beam units) and the singer is riding in a sweet 1968 or 1969 Mercury Monterey convertible. The best part is that all of these cars are affordable (aside from the W113 SL) and you even get to see one of the SLs leave a trail of thick black smoke in the face of the happy troubadour. You can watch the video here, but I recommend putting it on mute if you enjoy your sanity, and you can enjoy a cool 1968 Mercury Monterey offered for $14,350 in Staunton, IL via Hemmings.
Street/strip cars were a big thing back in the 1980s/1990s. You’d take a cheap 60s muscle car (hah, remember when they were cheap) and shove a big engine under the hood, wide tires out back, skinnys in the front, replace some of the sheet metal with fiberglass and cage it. Modified, but street legal. You’d take it to the drags a few times to get that 10.99 ET and then it would become your Friday night car show car. Car customization is different today and most of those 1/4 mile drag strips have been turned into strip malls or condos (at least in the area of SoCal that was the hot rod capital back in the day), but you can relive the glory days when you had hair on the top of your head and could tuck a shirt into those 32 inch waist Levis without needing a mirror. Find this 1965 Mercury Comet offered for $10,500 in Hillsdale, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car comes as a tip from Rock On who writes: Nobody will question your ability to grow chest hair when they see you driving this! Yes, this next car is like a Rogaine infused wife beater for the guy who needs something to haul around old dirt or gypsum or whatever. You just gotta fix it first to prove your man cred and then you can drive it. Find this 1969 Dodge Power Wagon W100 offered for $5,000 in Hollister, CA via craigslist.
I hate to see another Jaguar XJS ruined with a cheap Chevy V8 swap…but this one isn’t as bad as the typical small block with slushbox setup because it has a 5-speed manual. The under hood wiring could using some cleaning up, but the giant aluminum radiator/fan shroud seems purpose built and the Hyper-S body kit is interesting because there is some history behind a fellow name Paul Hands who built some Hyper Jags back in the day, there was even a Hyper Register alive at some point in time, but it seems gone now. Anyway, find this 1985 Jaguar XJS offered for $8,500 in Albany, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The Mercury Capri is one of those cars that people don’t understand. Or at least they didn’t understand when it was new. It was a sporty manual gearbox equipped 2+2 built in Germany that was sold at Lincoln-Mercury dealers for much less than a Mercury Cougar. But Elvis understands the Capri. He gets the international roots and the sublime handling that goes with a small 2.6 liter Cologne V6. Find this 1971 Mercury Capri offered for $14,500 in Quakertown, PA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car is a Saab Sonett III, so that means the 2-stroke oil burner was no longer an option (shame, that would be the one to get IMHO) and it is powered by a V4 borrowed from the European Ford Taunus. The V4 displaces 1.7 liters and puts out 65 horsepower to a 4-speed manual gearbox mated to the front wheels, not exactly a performance nirvana, but at a sub 2000 lb curb weight, it won’t be a penalty box either. Find this 1974 Saab Sonett III offered for $5000 in Ham Lake, MN via craigslist. Tip from Kester.
The late model used car market goes something like this. We (car nerds) get abscessed with some particular car because it is cool or reliable or interesting — let’s pick the Toyota Hilux and pretend it is 2010. You could get them for next to nothing and they were cheap and easy to maintain and we (car nerds…again) told all of our non-car friends about it. Some of those people turned into car nerds and others started to treat their used cars like some kinda physical version of a crypto-currency and they started hoarding them and then prices started going up and the next thing you know you are paying $60k for a barely running Ford Bronco, or VW Bus, or original Mustang, or…Toyota HiLux…you see where I’m going with this? Okay. Next object of our mass stupidity is…spin that wheel…beep-beep-beep-boop ooohhh, Ford Ranger. Find this 1997 Ford Ranger offered for $2500 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist.
Looking at this next car was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. At first I thought, well that isn’t cool, a breadvan XK Jag. And then I realized that this is a Morris Minor woodie rear end on an XK150, which is a monstrosity, it’s like putting a diaper on the Venus de Milo, like building a Chuck E Cheese in St Peter’s Square. But in the end, I guess it doesn’t matter because if you buy this thing, you won’t have to look at that rear end while you are driving around. Find this 1960 Jaguar XK150 Breadvan offered for £44,995 GBP ($63,673 USD) via ClassicandSportsCar.com.