This next car comes as a tip from Matt C who writes: Facebook Marketplace find that popped up: A rather unusual mud toy even by Cartersville, Georgia standards. Indeed, this isn’t your grandfather’s Daihatsu. This thing has been lifted three inches and rides on Mattracks — which means it will go as far as you are willing to deal with the inevitable failures associated with replacing the wheel with about 47 different mechanisms. I’m not saying it won’t be fun…but just watch the Grand Tour when they went to Madagascar. Find this 1996 Daihatsu Hijet offered for $12,500 in Cartersville, GA via facetrack marketank.
About 15 years ago I purchased an 85 SVO that looked like a dilapidated version of this next car for exactly 1/10th of the asking price. Was it a good deal? Sure. But I sold it a few years later for a bit more than I put into it…however, that car hasn’t appreciated to anywhere near the asking price of this thing and I have to assume that is because my car wasn’t a one of 60 examples of the Hertz Rent-A-Racer and I expect that this next car will always be worth more than the basic version. Find this 1985 Ford Mustang SVO offered for $12000 in San Leandro, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
In 1986 and 1987, Shelby Automobiles modified about 500 Dodge Omnis in their California based factory for shipment and sales directly through Dodge dealers around the country. These econobox legends were outfitted with a modified engine, upgraded wheels, brakes and suspension and given a factory Shelby VIN…so don’t call it a tuner car or a kit car. Find this 1986 Shelby Omni GLHS offered for a starting bid of $8000 in Fredericksburg, VA via craigslist.
I don’t mean any disrespect to minivan collectors, but I cannot believe that someone kept a 90s Nissan minivan in this good of shape. I love minivans, I own one as the wife’s daily driver, and these things live a horrible life of soccer ball dents, door dings, baby vomit, dog hair, hot sun, and the weekly Costco parking lot shopping cart derby — because a minivan are the sweat pants of the automotive world. You can find Elvis’s sequin covered suit at the Hard Rock Café in Las Vegas, but you couldn’t give his sweatpants away to your local Goodwill. I just can’t understand how this car survived the years of abuse that EVERY minivan gets, and therefore I conclude the only logical answer; time travel. Occam’s razor, meet Elvis’s sweatpants. Find this time traveling 1998 Nissan Quest offered for $3000 in Hercules, CA via craigslist.
There is an old saying; if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s sort of the way I feel about the Baja-everything movement. Sure, it started with Beetles back in the day, but then they started putting big wheels and lift kits on Firebirds, BMW Z3s, Miatas, Crown Victorias…where does it end? Let the apocalypse commence, I’ll be ready. Maybe with a W126 S-class? Find this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300SD W126 offered for $4000 in Highland, CA via craigslist.
I know I might be in the minority when I admit to this next thing…but I have to come clean with you guys. I dig a gaudy interior on a crummy 80s classic. Yeah, you might sit there in your new Audi and enjoy the subtle grey textures on with flat black plasticized paint, but I’m gonna go bananas for a car with a white shifter boot and red seat inserts. You can have your dark mahogany carbon trim panels and I’ll take a Muppet bordello red carpet with a white steering wheel with a black horn section — because if you can’t wash your hands before each time your drive your Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 Pontiac, then you don’t deserve to have one. But if you are true believer of the cult of Pontiac, then you’ve been double sanitizing and wearing a mask since 1984 because boogers don’t belong in a Fiero with this kind of an interior. Social distancing? HAH!! Nobody who has owned a mint Fiero has been on a date since about 1985, so take that! Find this 1984 Pontiac Fiero offered for $7,950 in Ozone Park, NY via ebay. Tip from Hugh.
The third generation Honda Accord hatchback is was built from 1985 through 1989 and it features a few things that other accords didn’t have including…double wishbone front and rear suspension, and pop-up headlights. Guess which one of those features is gonna get you more points at the next classic 80s Japanese car show? Find this 1987 Honda Accord offered for $5,500 in New York via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The Porsche 928 was a round car when it hit showrooms in 1977. The rear end was round, the front end was round, the pop-up headlights were round…even the wheels were round. Very round indeed. But somehow, inexplicably, someone made it more round. The seller doesn’t say who assembled the fiberglass body that sits around this thing, but it would be fun to explore the history of this car while riding around with the top down. Find this 1989 Porsche 928 offered for $10,500 near Albuquerque, NM via craigslist.
A late 80s Pontiac Gran Prix is a demonstrably terrible car to drive every day. It won’t be very reliable, or cheap to maintain or self parking or make you a cappuccino or any of the things we’ve become accustomed to with modern economy cars. But that shouldn’t stop you from owning one as a classic, particularly a 5-speed manual gearbox version with a combination lock for the glove box. TAKE THAT GLOVE BOX BANDITS, TRY AND GUESS THIS COMBO. YOU CAN TAKE MY CATALYTIC CONVERTER BUT YOU CAN’T HAVE MY INSURANCE INFORMATION OR MY GLOVES. Find this 1989 Pontiac Grand Prix offered for $7000 in Fremont, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The Maserati BiTurbo was one of the first twin turbo engines produced for mass consumption and could put out a respectable 150 horsepower/liter, which was enough to blow the engine up after a few months. It was a case of Maserati engineers getting overly optimistic with the amount of boost that cheap Sicilian pig iron could withstand and the result was an engine block better suited for using as cement shoes. Today’s BiTurbo was converted to electric and then further restored by everyone’s favorite TV show car flippers – Mike Brewer and Edd China of Wheeler Dealers a few years ago. In fact, we featured this car in 2016 at the request of a Wheeler Dealers producer when it was offered for a big pile of money. Today it looks ready to shred some tires and maybe burn to the ground in an uncontrolled lipo fire – who knows what adventure awaits when you drive a Maserati. Just always remember to wear fireproof shoes that are good for walking. Find this 1985 Maserati BiTurbo offered for $18,000 in Oceanside, CA via craigslist.