Coffee Brake: Three Car Garage For $25k

If you are a regular gearhead or auto aficionado shopping for a car, you might be tempted to buy any number of new multipurpose vehicles on the market.  These modern sports sedans, crossovers and crew-cab pickups claim to be able to combine the reflexes of a sports car, usability of a truck and comfort for daily commute into one package…but in truth they fail to do any one job properly and end up with the vehicular equivalent of whitening toothpaste.  It may scream cavity fighting, 1000X whitening power, micro flossing, minty breath on the label, but in truth it offers nothing more than the cheap stuff and just works to raid your wallet.  What you need to do is spend 1/5th the money and buy cheap toothpaste, floss and mouthwash.  Similarly, it is far more economical to buy three cars that meet your needs but focused on the jobs at hand, and today’s Coffee Brake we ask: what 3 cars would you buy with a healthy $25k budget?

The cars should fit in the three basic categories of hauler, daily driver and weekender.   Spend as much as you want on each of the three cars, but the total needs to be no more than $25k.  Links to specific cars if you can find em, otherwise just mention the make/model and others can reply with examples.

Some examples from the DT office, starting off with…

DT Editor Vince

Total: $21k, $4k for repairs to Datsun/C10.

DT Editor CFlo

  • Hauler: 1993-1997 Toyota FZJ80 Land Crusher, $6k. These are beasts. Locking diffs. The last of the real Cruisers with a solid front axle and an inline six. Just enough modernity to make them comfy for family expeditions.
  • DD: 2001 BMW E46 M3, $11.5k. Stupid fast, great sound, light and flickable enough for daily use. Doubles as occasional track day car.
  • Weekend Fun: 1993 BMW E34 M5, $6k. The DTM5. Perfect grand tourer with room for five. At the bottom of its depreciation curve. Mechanical symphony from under the hood. Need I say more?

Total: $23.5k, $1500 for fuel….because these are all gluttons for the petrol.

DT Contributor Hunsbloger

  • Hauler: ’03 Mercury Sable Wagon $7300
  • Daily Driver:  71 Mercedes W108 4.5 $5500
  • Weekend Fun: (buying two for 1) 1965 Chevy Corvair convertible $6500 and 1966 Corvair Corsa Coupe $4000 Las Vegas,Will combine pieces from both to make a Red Convertible, red interior, telescope wheel, Corsa Dash, Wire Whel Covers.  Sell off the White Coupe with Monza Dash black interior and Monza wheel covers for $4K which puts me in the convertible at $6900.

Total: $19,300; $5,700 for professional therapy for PTSD (Post Traumatic Sable Disorder)

DT Contributor Kaibeezy

  • Hauler: Buick Roadmonster wagon $4000
  • Daily Driver: Mercedes-Benz W126 coupe $5000
  • Weekend Fun: Saab 99EMS in rally dress $6000

Total: $20k, $5k for 5-speed swap in W126 coupe.

DT Contributor slowcarSLOW-MPGlol

Total: $19,850. $700 for stock GS-R blade wheels and
summer tires for the Integra, $1,000 for an alarm/theft deterrent
system for the Integra, leftover $$ toward Porsche maintenance.

What would you put in your 3-car garage for $25k? Comments below.

Creative commons photo credits; Schwend on flickr, hugo90 on flickr.