The Chrysler LeBaron was by 1987 a K-car pile of parts that was using the legendary Chrysler badge as an attempt to trick people into thinking it was a personal luxury car. But not even a VNT (variable nozzle turbine) equipped turbocharger attached to a Chrysler Turbo II 4-banger could make a K-car (okay, technically this is a J-body) anything other than…oh boy, I don’t want to upset the K-car-community again, so I’ll be nice. Find this 1990 Chrysler LeBaron Turbo GTC Convertible offered for $4,200 in Scottsdale, AZ via craigslist. Tip from Tyler.
I’ve been dismissive of Teslas (and the electric car in general) not because the owners are wealthy, pompous, self-aggrandizing douchebags, but because they were foolishly expensive. And I get, the electric car is the future, and I’m not going to fight it, but I’m not going to pay more than it is worth because I need to keep up with the Joneses. Quite the opposite, I am going to wait until they are used and abused and get one for cheap, like this next thing. Or I will wait until this is salvaged a few times and get it for 1/2 this price. Not sure. Find this 2013 Tesla Model S offered for $26,000 in Huntington Beach, CA via craigslist.
The first generation Buick Regal was just a version of the full-sized Century with some extra options, but in 1978 Buick introduced a new Regal on a downsized A-body (later renamed to G-Body in 1982) that was hit. GM sold plenty when new and today they have a strong cult following — with many owners modifying them to look cleaner and boosting the horsepower of the original V6 or V8 engines. This next one has a late model LS based 5.3 small block (probably an LM7) and is certainly a hoot to drive. Find this 1983 Buick Regal bidding on eBay for $6,700 with 5 days to go located in Natchez, MN.
I love cheap cars as much as the next guy…probably more, in fact, but a sub $3k Audi TT is pushing the limits of what you’d want to drive around without a chase car. The first generation Audi TT was a re-badged VW Golf, but I don’t say that in a bad way. This next car will need some restoration before you can take it to the next German car show, but for the asking price it isn’t bad. Find this 2001 Audi TT offered for $2,500 in San Marcos, CA via craigslist.
The 6th generation (code name S550) of the Ford Mustang was released for the 2015 model year with a new aggressive body style (it looks so much wider than the previous gen, but it was only 1.5 inches wider and 1.4 inches lower) and an independent rear end for the first time for the original pony car. Ford also re-introduced a turbo 4-cylinder version known as the EcoBoost, which was a little 2.3 liter 4-cylinder engine in the Mustang was rated at 310 horsepower. Todays example might have a salvage title, but it also has less than 50k miles on the odometer and a 6-speed manual. Find this 2015 Ford Mustang offered for $12,500 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist.
The first generation (E53) BMW X5 was released in 1999 as the first SUV produced by BMW and, needless to say, the purists were upset. How could BMW spit in the faces of luxury sedan owners all over the world by producing a sport futility vehicle? Lemme tell you how. They did it with the precision and focus that BMW does in everything it creates…which means that if you want the ultimate driving machine with an upright driving position and mild off-roading capability, get an X5, and try and find a manual gearbox version. Find this 2002 BMW X5 3.0i offered for $4,500 in Berkeley, CA via craigslist.
The BMW 1-series first appeared in 2004 built on the E87 chassis (E88 in convertible), which was a scaled down version of the E90 3-series chassis. The 1-series could best be described as similar to the previous generation 3-series because it kept the signature rear-wheel-drive fun of the 3-series without the ever increasing weight and bloat that seems inevitable in the auto industry. This particular car has not only the coveted single turbo N55 (it kept the same power as the twin-turbo N54 but its reportedly less troublesome) but also a 6-speed manual gearbox to boot. If you are looking for a late model open air car with a small set of back seats, you could do a lot worse. Find this 2011 BMW 135i Convertible offered for $15,988 in San Francisco, CA via craigslist.
The W210 chassis was marketed by Mercedes-Benz with the as the E-class from 1995-2002. It offered an expensive and elite ride for the wealthy and well-to-do. Mercedes offered some versions with 6-cylinder engines where the E stands for executive, but in 1998 the E for eggads my spleen just ruptured AMG version was released. Today’s version is cosmetically modified with some interesting choices, but the price is right. Find this 2001 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG offered for $5,800 in Arrowhead Lakes, AZ via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car comes as a tip from Hugh who writes: Non gm non v8 LS. That Lincoln that’s really a jaguar but with a stick 5 speed from Germany for 2500. And it’s neither a diesel truck or a stretch limo! I wasn’t going to post a car that wasn’t a limo or a diesel truck (Dieselimo Turismo…has a nice ring to it) but a manual gearbox Lincoln/Jag for the price of…well…a manual gearbox, can’t not post that. Find this 2001 Lincoln LS offered for $2,500 in Pittsburgh, PA via craigslist.
You might think that the Honda Element would be an unlikely car to show up on the pages of Daily Turismo, but you might not know as much about the Element as you should. First, the boxy people and gear hauler was available with a manual gearbox and they are simple to maintain. Think of it like an overstuffed Volvo wagon and it makes more sense. Find this 2006 Honda Element offered for $9,700 in Sunnyvale, CA via craigslist. Tip from Matt V.