When a car gets sent in as a tip, I always want to post it…because people send in good stuff and I’d post EVERYTHING I get tipped if I had the time…but when a car gets set into to the DT tips line by two different people…that is a different story, so here it goes. Find this 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo offered for $5,500 in Monterey, CA via craigslist. Tip from Jeff and Rock On!
I hope everyone enjoyed the Bracq Friday posts of this past long Turkey Day weekend celebrating the German cars designed by a Frenchman, but it is time to go back to DT’s bread-and-butter…or brot-und-buerre, which is low mile sports cars from the mid-80s that don’t cost a kidney to own and drive every day. Next up is a rotary powered Mazda that might cost more than the typical beater RX-7, but with only 38k miles on the odometer, this thing is barely half way through its first set of apex seals. Find this 1987 Mazda RX7 Turbo II offered for $14,900 in West Central MN via craigslist. Tip from Jeff.
Anybody who lived through the 1980s in the USA will have memories of the the North American first generation Ford Escort (1981-1990). Those memories will certainly be mixed…some good, some bad…but our squishy grey lobes tend to suppress the bad things; but DT is here to help recover some of those negative memories. First, you learned your first full set of curse words from your Mom when it wouldn’t start for the third time in a week. You also learned to dress for rain when the electrical system stopped working in November 1987. And finally, you learned why your Dad started buying only Japanese cars in 1990. But if you want to relive some of the good experiences in a Ford Escort…then you should buy the best preserved Escort you’ll ever see for less than four large. Find this 1985 Ford Escort Hatchback offered for $3,700 in Dallas, TX via craigslist.
Mercedes-Benz spent serious effort in promoting their diesel engines back in the 1980s and 1990s, in fact it is hard to know from searching craigslist that you could get a W123 Benz with a gasoline engine in the USA back in the day. Regardless, the OM-series oil burners were good for basic transportation, but not much of an upgrade for power/speed on most vehicles..however, if you want an upgrade in reliability and fuel economy, it does the trick. This next feature is the cheap and dirty version of the nice Chevrobenz Truck swap we featured the other day. Find this 1990ish Chevrolet S-10 Blazer offered for $2500 in Ford Washington, MD via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
If you get a feeling that you’ve seen this car, it is because you probably have. We last featured it in 2018 when the seller was trying to milk $40k from this thing…and it was featured on Oddimotive in 2015 when the seller was asking $45k. There is little doubt that the seller put something like $45k into the process of grafting a steel Volvo 1800 body on top of a C4 Corvette chassis and the price has finally gotten more reasonable…but you’ve got to wonder if it doesn’t have another 2 years of reality before a buyer is found. Find this 1992 Chevrolet Corvette Volvo 1800 offered for $25,500 in Portage, IN via craigslist. Tip from Kester.
The 900-series platform was the final iteration of Volvos front-engine rear-drive sedan/wagon platform that started with the 140-series in 1967 (which itself was derived from the Amazon/120 platform which launched in 1956 based on the previous PV444…you see where this is going). Regardless, the V90 was the final name put on the back of a rear-wheel-drive Volvo with properly positioned drivetrain and the only logical choice if you want to shove a V8 under the hood and chew anybody’s ass from 20 to 100. This might not be the legendary third Newman-Letterman V8lvo, but it is offered for a price that isn’t insane and should be great to haul around your family. Find this 1998 Volvo V90 with LS-swap offered for $13,900 in Laguna Niguel, CA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This might seem odd to people accustomed to blistering performance from every car on the street in 2020…but a car with 150 horsepower and a zero-to-60mph time of 7.5 seconds was a quick in 1984. That was faster than a Mustang GT (or SVO), faster than a Porsche 944, faster than an Mazda RX7, faster than a Z28 Camaro, faster than a V12 powered Jaguar XJS, faster than anything from Mercedes-Benz. Now you might ask, what front-wheel-drive car could hit 60mph in 7.5 seconds — and you might be tempted to look for some Honda CRX or something from Shelby’s Dodge years…but this car came straight from the lunatics at Buick, yes the Buick Skyhawk T-Type. The mostly unlikely and forgotten heroes of the sport compact car era. Find this 1984 Buick Skyhawk T-Type offered for $3,500 in Daly City, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I hate to sound negative, but the typical Pontiac Fierrari kit car is a hastily assembled pile of bondo and Chinese sourced Ferrari badges covering an underwhelming driving experience…but every once in a while we stumble over a Fiero based Ferrari kit car that looks and goes like a real Ferrari…and today’s F355 fake sits on a stretched Fiero chassis with a longitudinally mounted Corvette L98 mated to a Cadillac slushbox auto. Find this 1986 Pontiac Fiero Ferrari 355 offered for $15,100 in West Chicago, IL via facebreaking marketbad. Tip from Matt.
One thousand smackeroos doesn’t get you much in a used car these days…it barely gets you a set of tires, to be honest. However, this next Volvo is offered for one crispy Ulysses S Grant plus a ten Benjamin Franklins…that’s less than $0.33 per pound. Cheaper than a frozen turkey. And like a Butterball, this thing won’t pass CA smog check without some fixin. Find this 1984 Volvo 245 offered for $1,050 in Richmond, CA via craigslist.
The first generation Mazda MX-5 Miata (internal code NA) was launched in 1989 and sold a staggering 400,000 units through 1997. It was a surprise hit given its Skunk-Works style genesis and everyone from Mazda’s product planners to all the out of work former MG, Triumph, Fiat, and Alfa-Romeo employees were shocked that a cheap, reliable, fun, sports car could sell so well. Anyway, the good news for automotive vultures of the world (that’s us) is that Mazda sold so many that the market is flooded with cheap used examples and you get get them cheaper in bulk. Find these two 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miatas offered for $2,650 (both!) in Morgan Hill, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.