The Alfa Romeo Spider had a number of updates over its thirty year production run but the basic formula stayed the same over that time (1966-1994). The late series 3 spiders are not one of the more desirable versions with their rubber bumpers, porky curb weight, and smog-throttled engines, but this next example looks cool in black-on-black-on-black. Find this 1987 Alfa Romeo Spider offered for $4,400 in Miami, FL via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
I wouldn’t normally recommend you own and daily drive a big malaise era boat, but in these times of working from home and covid-traffic, it might be the only chance. On the days that this things decides to not start up, you just call in and work from home. Worry about overheating that old low compression hunk of iron in stop-and-go traffic…not a concern, traffic is light, you’ll be fine. So get a machining white/red mask, drive a classic, and take advantage of the odd times we live in before everything is back to normal and the pod-mobile can wait. Find this 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix offered for $9,800 in Palm Desert, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I’ve driven a vintage 60s sedan with manual drum brakes all the way around and I would have said it was terrifying to drive except that the single-barrel carb equipped inline-6 barely made enough horsepower to get you into mildly excited speeds, much less so to sphincter clenching speeds. But upgrading to dual-power brakes is easy, and swapping to Mustang spindles with disc brakes is a weekend project, and swapping in a mildly tuned V8 is just another few days, and soon you have a Super Sammy. Why do I feel like all of my automotive project planning ends with a car that needs wheelie bars? Anyway, maybe grandma’s car should stay stock. Find this 1965 Ford Falcon offered for $6,500 in Ft Lauderdale, FL via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
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.
The second generation Ford Thunderbird (1958-1960) is a cool car. It was the first Thunderbird to get a rear seat — because Ford execs (a young Robert McNamara among them) felt it needed the extra passenger space and that it could still compete with Chevy’s Corvette. Welp…history has decided that they were wrong, because the Thunderbird was slowly boated into oblivion while the Corvette is a desirable classic and a new car showroom stunner to this day…but Ford sold 9 T-Birds for every 1 Corvette sold in the 1960 model year alone. With 200k T-Birds sold from 1958-1960 (versus 30k Vettes) you can figure the supply/demand thing out and you’ll find that the T-Bird is way cheaper on the open market today. Find this 1960 Ford Thunderbird offered for $7000 in Silsbee, TX via craigslist. Tip from Ramjet.
DT reader Scirocconut sent in photos of this derelict abandoned car and asked if DT readers could identify the hulk. I bet that DT readers could not only just identify the car, but could also determine the age/height/weight of the owner AND tell what grade fuel he/she put in before this piece of metal was left to the elements. What am I?
This next car advertisement comes with the exclamation “THE SUPER SAMMY” in the title, and my brain first went to thoughts of salami, pepperoni, mortadella, and mozzarella surrounded by a hard roll…but this next thing is not edible, but it will put a smile on your face because it has a 440 cubic inch Dodge V8 and a gigantic fuel cell in the back seat. Find this 1986 Suzuki Samurai offered for $2900 in Oceanside, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
Is a late model Dodge Dart the perfect car? Not likely. It was launched (with supposed Italian DNA) as a replacement for the hideous Caliber in 2013 and was canceled by the end of 2016…hardly the fate for the perfect car. Since then Dodge has been out of the economy car game, and here is the funny part…I didn’t even know that the Dart had been canceled. This means one of two things — either, I live in a cave, or the Dart was so forgettable that zzzzzz…hey, wake up, this thing has a turbo and a manual gearbox. Can you even hear me with all the cave noises (bats and dripping water) in the background? Find this 2013 Dodge Dart Rallye offered for $5,300 in San Jose, CA via craigslist.
The automotive press acted like it was the Second Coming when the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice twins were released into the world for the 2006 model year. Automotive “journalists” raved about how great it was to finally have an affordable American sports car with a turbocharger and a manual transmission…and that it was going to bring about the American automotive Renaissance…but they got it totally wrong and the ensuing automotive apocalypse of 2008 pushed Saturn and Pontiac into an early grave….and for whatever reason the Skystice is dirt cheap, even in Redline or GXP trim. Find this 2007 Saturn Sky Redline offered for $4,995 at a small used car dealer in Long Island, NY via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
I keep hearing crazy stories about blistering cold weather from people in places from Texas to Oregon, and how much it is impacting their day-to-day lives. Meanwhile, everybody in Minnesota or Alaska (where it is 10-to-20 degrees colder) keeps going to work and the store and acting like this is normal. The problem is that people in Texas or Arizona tend to drive vehicles that are setup for warm weather or imported from California, but what they need to do is to start car shopping up North. If you tried to bring some little summer rubber shod convertible to Alaska, you are going to die on the side of the road when the first storm comes through in October (and they won’t find your carcass till next May), but if you bring a 4WD SUV from Alaska to Texas…that is a recipe for getting places on-time and in-one-piece. Find this 2005 Saab 9-7X offered for $5,400 in Wasilla, AK. Tip from Zach.