This next car is close enough from a cosmetic and performance perspective that only you’ll know it isn’t an M5. It was born from the factory as a 525i, but someone put an S52 from a 1999 M3 under the hood, big (but not too big) wheels and some valence/bumper pieces to make it more M5ish. The end result is a car that’ll be only a skosh slower than a real M5. And maybe with the lighter M3 engine/gearbox, it might hang with an original S38 equipped true M5, but it will certainly be cheaper to maintain and insure. This isn’t like a $50 Faux-Rolex, this is more like a $500 Faux-Rolex. Is that so bad? Find this 1995 BMW M5 Clone offered for $13,995 in Phoenix, AZ via eBay.
Ford starting phasing out the aging push-rod equipped 5.0 Ford V8 in the early 1990s, starting with the Lincoln TownCar in 1991, but in 1995 they still had a 5-point-oh V8 in the SVT Cobra Mustang. But that changed in 1996 when Ford put a hand-built 305 horsepower 4-cam version of their alloy 4.6 liter Modular-V8 in the front of the SVT Mustang. Mustang burnouts have only gotten better since that time. Find this 1996 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra offered for $16,000 in Augusta, GA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
What is the top of the market for a 1987 Oldsmobile 442 with 50k miles on the odo…wait, FULL STOP. What is the market for an ’87 Olds 442 basket case that needs a complete restoration, BUT it only has 53k miles on the 5-digit odo? That’s an entirely different story and I’m not sure what to think about this next car. If you are a G-Body fan, you might love it, but don’t expect your mother-in-law to swoon at the sight of 442 with faded paint. Find this 1987 Oldsmobile 442 offered for $6,500 in Grants Pass, OR via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
This next car comes as a tip from Cory who writes: This is the modern equivalent of the W123 and these W202 cars are all over Europe still to this day. Yup, the basic package of the W202 was rugged and durable, particularly when compared to the overly electronicated throw-away Daimler-Chrysler era cars. When the W202 becomes old enough to be collectable, expect oddball Euro imports like this one to demand a premium. Find this 1995 Mercedes-Benz 250C Diesel offered for $6999 buy-it-now in Columbus, OH via eBay.
There will be a time when the Hurst/Olds Cutlass Calais with Lightning-Rod shifters becomes a desirable classic where people bid big bucks on restorable hulks…but I don’t think we are there yet. However, I don’t like the idea of two Lightning Rod Shifter equipped Hurst/Olds are being left to the elements and arachnids. So, let’s save the oddballs from decay — and this next listing isn’t for just one Hurst/Olds, but it is for two! Find these two 1984 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds Cutlass Calaises offered for $5000 in Pittsburgh, PA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next Previa looks so familiar at first glance, but falls apart under scrutiny. What’s up with those headlights? Is that wing stock? Why is it so narrow and skinny? Why are the bumpers so trim and tight to the body? Why does it have a postal truck backup mirror and a bumper mounted parking pole? The engine starts with the glack-glack sound of a turbo diesel 4-cylinder? White curtains and seat cover doilies? But the steering wheel on the right side is what gives it away — this is a sweet Japanese Domestic Market version of the Previa, known as the Estima Lucida and it comes with Lexus rims, a 3C 2.2 liter turbo-diesel, 4-wheel-drive and a manual gearbox. Looks like fun. Find this 1993 Toyota Estima Lucida offered for $13,890 in Canton, GA via eBay.
Marauders are commonly mistaken for a pimped-out Crown Vic, but it was really a factory modified version of the Mercury Grand Marquis…yeah, I know, Potato, Shmotato….anyway, the Marauder was a Grand Marquis with blacked out the chrome, 5-spoke 18-inch wheels and a 4.6 liter Ford Modular V8 the breaths through a set of 4-Valve heads and is good for 302 horsepower and 318 ft-lbs of torque (borrowed from the Mustang Mach 1/SVT Cobra etc). Today’s example has an additional power adder in the form of a Kenne Bell supercharger and various sharpie-pen signatures of people who I’m not familiar with, but are clearly celebrities’ in the world of supercharged Marauders. Find this 2003 Mercury Marauder offered for $16,900 in Fayetteville, NC via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car came in as a tip from BP who reminded me that Hemmings had gotten into the auction business a few years ago to compete with all the online auctioning that is springing up around web. Hemmings had been a big name in classic cars for longer than most people can remember, but it wasn’t until 2019 that they launched an auction service…and truth be sold, I almost never go look at it unless someone sends me the link. But a site that is flush with car sellers and light on buyers is a recipe for a good deal (and the opposite of certain other sites where people seem to think the local currency is Brazilian Reals) and I think this next thing might go for a reasonable amount of money. Find this 1997 Ford F350 XLT Crew Cab with Power Stroke diesel bidding for $2000 reserve-not-met with 6 days to go on Hemmings.com.
Kawaii is not a Hawaiian Island — it is the Japanese word for what is known as the culture of cuteness. Rainbows, Hello Kitty accessories, and childlike aesthetics is the rule, and I won’t go into the details or controversy around kawaii, other than to say that is quite strange to descendants of uptight Westerners like myself…but if you were into that kinda thing, I can’t imagine a better car to go with your Pikachu fishnet stockings and miniature backpack than one of the retro Pike cars (Pao, S-Cargo, Figaro, Be-1, K10-Micra) from Nissan 90s catalog. This next one has some rust, but you could probably get someone to fix the rockers and keep this thing alive. Find this 1991 Nissan Figaro offered for $7,500 in Athens, GA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
You know you’ve got your work cut out for yourself when someone writes in a craigslist advert; could probably start if I knew anything about fuel injection…Too much of a project for me. But to add insult to injury, this next car is a TVR 280i Tasmin, which sounds like it’ll never run again, but the 280i used a Ford Cologne V6 with Bosch fuel injection, so it shouldn’t be that hard to get back on the road. Find this 1985 TVR 280i offered for $1800 in Ocean Township, NJ via craigslist. Tip from Cory.