I know. Another V8 powered Volvo…how cliché. But this one is special. It has a ginormous turbocharger with an intake sized like something from an apache helicopter that pushes cubic yards of air into the 5.3 liter iron block (probably an LM7 if I was to guess) with MegaSquirt standalone fuel injection to make a tire obliterating 745 horsepower on the dyno. Thankfully this thing is shifted with an Aisin AR-5 manual gearbox that probably came from a Chevy Colorado or Pontiac Solstice and isn’t exactly rated for this level of murderous torque…but people tend to overestimate the required ruggedness of their transmissions and if you shift it nicely it will probably survive the repeated 60-100mph sprints that this thing is built for. I’m in love. Find this 1991 Volvo V8 240DL Wagon with Turbo LSV8 offered for $11,000 in Colorado Springs, CA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The vast majority of “Official” Indy 500 Pace Car’s you’ll find on the street are Chevrolet Corvette and Camaros. Not only did Chevy sponsor the event many times over the years since the first pace car in 1911 (52 times to be exact), but they’ve had the “Official” pace car in back-to-back-to-back years since 2002. However, Chrysler got into the fray a few times, the last of which was in 1996 when they put Maximum Bob Lutz in a Dodge Viper in front of the pack of Ford Cosworth boosted speed machines hit a 239.3mph average lap speed (a record that stands to this day 25 years later)..no, not the Dodge Viper, but the actual IRL cars — anyway this next car is one of 2800 Dodge Ram Pace Trucks that were built by Chrysler to celebrate the event. Find this 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 Pace Truck offered for $7,395 in Willow Glen, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
With the prices of new cars at an all time high (ugg, thanks loose credit and silly shoppers), and the prices of used classics also at an all-time-high (thanks to big tent auctions and auction websites that hike the prices of classics with hype and hyperbole) it is refreshing to find a totally useable mid-90s classic offered for a totally doable price. No, it is not perfect, yes it has lots of miles, and a salvage title (from a theft event, these things were a hot commodity in 1999)…but for the price, it ain’t bad. Find this 1996 Acura Integra GSR offered for $4900 in Burlingame, CA via craigslist.
Consider this next car as an apology for the grody brown Mercedes-Benz that I posted the other day — if that car was a wet half-breed three legged donkey, then this RX7 is a chocolate palomino thoroughbred that is racing up in class. It reminds us that brown can be a nice color on cars if done correctly and probably looks even better in person. Now, go find a matching Member’s Only jacket, Ray-Bans, and a Swatch watch. The 80s aren’t back, ’cause they never left. Find this 1983 Mazda RX7 GSL offered for $8,500 in Providence, RI via craigslist. Friend of the seller tip from Art C.
I saw the photos for this next car and was enchanted by the deep red paint. And I was truly hoping from the deepest pit in my heart that the interior pics would reveal a stick shift…but alas…this second generation Taurus SHO was one of the few that left the factory without a pedal for your left foot…and I don’t see why you’d want to drive this thing. It is slower and less reliable than something like a late model Acura TSX sedan or any number of other front-drive sedans with slushboxes and basic accommodations…but the manual transmission version brings with it all the charisma, joie de vivre and analog goodness that comes with life with a manual. Why do all the clean ones have to be slushbox? Find this 1993 Ford Taurus SHO offered for $5500 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I’m very familiar with this next car…well not exactly this car, but the W123 240D/300D chassis in general. I’ve owned and driven quite a few of these old oil burners and I can say with some degree of certainty that they are not reliable like a 2005 Honda that’ll just chug down the miles, but they are rugged like a tank. There will always be something wrong with the car (probably related to the vacuum system that controls the door locks and other ancillary features, like shutting down the engine when you key off) but it won’t stop you from reaching your destination. I once had a 300D that experienced what can only be described as total electrical failure – no lights, no horn, no gauges, but the engine kept running and the wheel steered the car, so I drove home before it got too dark. Anyway, enough reminiscing, on to the subject car — what is that color? Wet cardboard? Duchess Kate’s hair? Any thoughts Kaibeezy? Find this 1980 Mercedes-Benz 240D diesel offered for $2950 in Sacramento, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I wonder if people who purchased the touch screen equipped ’89 Riviera thought that they were living in the future. iPhones and touch screens might be commonplace today, but back in 1989, only NASA and Hollywood studio sets had touch screens, so buyers of the Buick Riviera and Reatta were living in the future with a touchscreen CRT display that controlled the stereo, AC, fan, and heater. Unfortunately, the future was very uncomfortable because the touchscreen was buggy and prone to sticking the heater full on or full off exactly when you didn’t expect or want it…not exactly desirable, but as an automotive oddity, I love to have one. Find this 1989 Buick Riviera offered for $2500 in Woodstock, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
I am loathe to criticize other people’s custom work, especially when my own is nowhere near the level of a Singer or Icon…but I’m not going to complain about the front bumper speed holes or the “drag” wheel/tire setup in this V8 powered Volvo, but I feel obliged to take issue with a 3-speed for his (her?) transmission. It’s not like a 4-speed costs much more, and even 5-speeds are plentiful (don’t get me started on 6-speeds), and my understanding of domestic 3-speeds from ‘Murican hot-rod friends is that they are all junk and need to be swapped for 4-speed posthaste. But maybe there is some rare Muncie three-speed that can handle power and torque and you save your left leg because you shift less. Strange decisions for strange times, I guess. Find this 1979 Volvo 244 V8 offered for $5500 in San Diego, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
This next car comes from tipper Zach who suggested that we write an entirely emoji-based post for this next car…which is a terrible idea, but like I’ve said about every all-you-can-eat buffet ever; challenge accepted….but later regretted. The Isuzu👀✔ is ❌ the 🧘♀️ version, but it is 😮 by the 🤑 as 👍 💓er with a 🥵er. Some 😡 might 📞it a 💩🗃️, but it prefers the term econo🗃️. Find this 1988 Isuzu I-Mark offered for 💵1500 in 🌴er, 🐻🌲🏔️ via 😐📘 📉🥈.
You can get a pretty nice late model 7-passenger minivan for a lot less than the asking price of this next Vanagon. That 2010ish Honda/Toyota/Kia minivan will be more reliable, more comfortable, and faster…but it won’t be cool and it won’t come with a manual gearbox. So, what is the price of driving something cool? Pay more up front, pay more to repair, and pay with bad driving experience…but this is the burnt avocado toast of the automotive world versus the Kia Sedona (peanut butter on Wonder Bread.) It might be overpriced and horrible…but you’ve got a reputation to uphold yah dirty hipster. Find this 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon offered for $14,000 in South Florida via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.