Somebody the other day was lamenting the death of cheap project cars, but I think the discussion may have been premature. This next car is about as cheap as you can get for a classic Honda CRX, and I am intrigued despite the multiple issues it faces. And yes, it will need to be towed. Find this 1988 Honda CRX Si offered for $1200 in Palmdale, CA via craigslist.
There is something supremely right with the first generation Audi A8 (1994-2002). It wasn’t the first executive car built by Audi to compete with the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-series and Lexus LS, but it was the first to sit on an all aluminum monocoque frame. Today’s example is fitted with the 4.2 liter V8 (instead of the basic V6) which means it has Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system and looks as stately and perfect as when it left the factory. Find this 1998 Audi A8 4.2 Quattro offered for $7,800 in San Diego, CA via craigslist.
This next car comes as a tip from Matt who writes; Another sketchy, cheap C4 Corvette for DT readers who thought the purple LT1 Corvette was too expensive – or that purple just wasn’t sufficiently over the top to be noticed. Here’s yet another C4 that could use some work! Find this 1984 Chevrolet Corvette C4 offered for $3,500 in Smyrna, GA via facebash censorbook.
It has been 15 years since Toyota sold anything with the Celica name on the back, which probably means it is time for a retro styled reboot. But I don’t want a retro styled electric self-driving Celica anymore than I want fake meat that tastes/looks/chews/grills like meat. If I want a Toyota with 4 square headlights, then I’ll get a this one. Find this 1981 Toyota Celica GT Liftback offered for $6,500 in Albuquerque, NM via craigslist.
The 300ZX was a 2 door sports car from Nissan during the great Japanese sports car boom of the 1990s and featured a host of technology in a Isao Sono & Toshio Yamashita designed body. Power came from a V6, which was available with a tire melting twin turbo setup, but today this Z has been given an injection of freedom in the form of a 5.3 liter GM V8, which is described by the seller as an LSX, but it is probably an LM7 from a 2000-2007 Chevy Suburban. This guy is ready for the 4th of July, are you? Find this 1990 Nissan 300ZX LSx V8 offered for $7000 in Groton, MA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
In 1983 Mercury introduced the sixth generation of their Cougar, which was at one point in time a restyled and Mercuried version of the Ford Mustang. Actually, by the mid 1980s, it might have lived on the Mustang’s Fox platform, but it was much closer in size and equipment to the Ford Thunderbird or Lincoln Continental. Today’s example is offered with an odometer that has only 23k miles on the 5-digit display, but it does have more road crust that you’d like to see in a low mile classic. Find this 1985 Mercury Cougar offered for $7,950 in Stanley, WI via Hemmings.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; the C4 Corvette has to be worth something more than scrap value in the near future. It’s a classic and the good ones will demand crazy money, but even the purple wrecks will be worth something because someone will convert them back to stock and fix ’em. And before you say “it’ll never be worth anything” — just remember that there was a time when you could get 69 Corvettes for next to nothing (probably when this 94 was new) and they are expensive today. So I’m putting this car into the “ready for appreciation even though it is purple” group. Find this 1994 Chevrolet Corvette offered for $6,500 buy-it-now in Sandown, NH via eBay.
The T4 generation of Volkswagen’s infamous Transporter was sold in the USA from 1990 through 2003 as the “Eurovan”. For whatever reason, the same barbaric price increases that have plagued the market for the OG rear-engine Transporter has also hit the late model Eurovan market and the perky little cheap vans have now become stupidly expensive little cheap vans. Today’s next example is priced like it is 1999, and it probably has something to do with the mountain of bondo used to fix the driver’s side as it appears otherwise ready to give you the urban hipster street cred you’ve been looking for to go with your ironic moustache and sandal tan. Find this 1993 Volkswagen Eurovan offered for $4000 in Aptos, CA via craigslist.
The easiest way to describe an engine to a novice is that it is an air pump. The more air you pump, the more horsepower you make. If your original engine had a silly little plastic airbox, then you replace it with individual throttle bodies. If you original engine had a exhaust manifold with a Lincoln Log logo on the side, then replace it with headers. Just keep increasing the amount of air you engine can flow and eventually it will be as wicked as this next thing. Find this 1982 Toyota Corolla SR5 Liftback offered for $7,500 in San Mateo, CA via craigslist.
The Volvo 960 (1990-1998) was the last of the proper longitudinal front-engine rear-wheel-drive Volvos built on a platform that started with the 140 series way back in 1966. It wasn’t the last interesting car to come out of Volvo, but if you like your Volvos to be boxy-but-good, this is the car that’ll last past 340k miles or kilometers or whatever. Find this 1995 Volvo 960 offered for $7000 near Harvard in MA via craigslist. Tip from ME.