The XF20 generation Lexus LS was sold from 1994 through 1997 and gives you all the speed and comfort you’d expect in a German executive cruiser (S-Class…or BMW 7-series), but with Japanese sensibility and reliability. There was no option for a 5-speed manual gearbox, but it wouldn’t raid your savings in expensive parts repairs or goad you into thinking your car was sporty. Find this 1995 Lexus LS400 bidding for $2500 in Gadsden, AL via Hemmings auctions with 5 days to go. Tip from BarbPaddles.
We’re gonna take a quick trip down the rabbit hole of internet history here…way back to 2001…when Ford was trying to push their 1st generation Focus on Gen Xers. Naturally, they collaborated with MTV and renowned Detroit Techno artist DJ Bone and launched the (long defunct) website Focus247.com where you could mix your own techno beats…How could Ford have let this site fall into the digital abyss? You can see a little bit of what was archived by the Wayback machine here….but don’t expect to be able to mix your own beats because I couldn’t get any of the archived shockwave flash apps to work (arggg..I wanted to play DJ FU!). Anyway if you want a cheap 5-speed equipped car that was once marketed via MTV to a bunch of pimply faced Gen Xers around Y2K, you can drive this 2002 Ford Focus ZTS offered for $1990 in Santa Clara, CA via craigslist.
This next car was a hard one for me. Not because I don’t love the car…but because I love it a little too much…and frankly want to buy it and drive it every single day…because it is a 507 horsepower V8 powered wagon with room for 7 people, modern safety and reliability…and only 209k miles on the odometer. Yowza!! This is a risky purchase…but it is the only W211 E63 AMG in green in the USA (per the seller)…and is as rare as a unicorn with three horns. Find this 2007 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Wagon offered for $16,500 in Los Angeles, CA via craigslist.
The original iteration (1989-1991 & 1992-1995) Ford Taurus SHO (Super High Output) was a love letter from the engineers at Ford’s Special Vehicle Team to everyone who wanted to have fun in a sedan. It had a screaming Yamaha V6, a 5-speed manual gearbox, and Conan O’Brien’s seal of approval. In 1996 Ford introduced a V8 SHO that had more O in the SHO, but it lacked the S…because it was only available with a slushbox auto and buyers went elsewhere after 1999. A few years later (in 2010) Ford introduced a new version of the SHO that had a whopping 365 horsepower from a twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost engine and all-wheel-drive…but a 6-speed slushbox auto. Find this 2011 Ford Taurus SHO offered for $9995 or best offer in Cherry Hill, NJ via eBay.
The E39 generation BMW 5-series was one of the last designs from BMW to not be Banglized and overly complicated. Complicated…yes…but not overly..not many issues will need to be solved with a fancy computer talking to other computers…and most things will require a wrench and some RTV. Today’s example doesn’t have the screaming V8 you get in a 540i, but it does have the usability of a wagon and the silky smooth M52 inline-6 good for 190 horsepower and 207 ft-lbs of torque pushed through a 5-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels. Find this 2000 BMW 528iT Wagon E39 offered for $4200 in San Francisco, CA via craigslist.
I’m thinking of changing the name of this site from Daily Turismo to Daily Buickismo…because I’ve become slightly obsessed with 90s/2000s era Buick for daily driver needs. Every time a non-car person that I know buys a brand new car, a little bit of me dies inside…because they didn’t need to shell out $30k for a car that gives them the same driving experience as a 90s Buick. Sure, a new car gets slightly better fuel economy (gas is cheap…and who’s driving anywhere far these days?), and a new car has all kinds of fancy lane guidance gizmos that you’ll turn off because they are annoying anyway. And a new car won’t leave you stranded…oh…wait…they do. Electronic gizmos are causing more problems with cars these days, read this advertisement filled article on the Chicago Tribune and this letter to the editor in automotive news…anyway…stay away from new cars and buy this cheap Buick if you want reliability and comfort without Apple CarPlay and integrated body temperature monitoring. Find this 2005 Buick LeSabre Custom bidding for $5,000 with 4 days to go in Philadelphia, PA via eBay.
I made the mistake of watching a video about a new car the other day…yeah…I know…I’m not supposed to like new stuff because new stuff is lame, but I watched some faceless German guy go 153 mph on the autobahn in a Mk 8 GTI and I thought to myself…they’ve made something past the Mk 6 Golf…have I been in a coma? Ouch. I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, but apparently Volkswagen has been upgrading their models and from 2012 through 2019 they made the Mk 7 Golf and today we’ve got a 230 horsepower GTI model with an APR tune that should be good for 261 horsepower and 317 ft-lbs of torque. Find this 2013 Volkswagen GTI offered for $12000 in SF Bay Area, CA via craigslist.
In 2008 Pontiac released a special version that Pontiac called the T2 Championship Edition to commemorate their 2007 podium sweep in the T2 class in SCCA club racing. Total production of the T2 GXP is under 100 cars (some say 88, others 90), but it was only available for 2008, all were yellow with light grey stripping on hood and on trunk, T2 stripe/badge on sides of hood, and had T2 SCCA Champion stitching on the two-tone seats to replace the standard GXP script. If you are one of those straw hat wearing SCCA cone chasers, this is the car for you! Find this 2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP T2 SCCA Edition offered for $12,995 in Dallas, TX via craigslist. Tip from Brad.
I’m not one to go around making blanket statements like some kind of high horse ridin’ pundit…but here goes; the E46 M3 is the M3 you want to buy right now. Before we go any further, I want to state that this isn’t my car, although I have one that is very similar in spec/ color /condition /miles…give or take. Suffice to say, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to M3s and I know a little bit about the M3 market…more later. Find this 2003 BMW M3 E46 offered for $9,500 in Oldsmar, FL via eBay.
This next car isn’t going to win any beauty contests, or any drag races…but it could get you a trophy for fuel economy. The first generation Insight is one of the only hybrid vehicles to get a manual gearbox and today’s example is offered for dirt cheap (and no, it is not the same red Insight we featured a few weeks ago) Grab this 2001 Honda Insight offered for $2000 in San Jose, CA via craigslist.