This next car is a Saab Sonett III, so that means the 2-stroke oil burner was no longer an option (shame, that would be the one to get IMHO) and it is powered by a V4 borrowed from the European Ford Taunus. The V4 displaces 1.7 liters and puts out 65 horsepower to a 4-speed manual gearbox mated to the front wheels, not exactly a performance nirvana, but at a sub 2000 lb curb weight, it won’t be a penalty box either. Find this 1974 Saab Sonett III offered for $5000 in Ham Lake, MN via craigslist. Tip from Kester.
The Porsche 968 is not the prettiest Porsche to be built in the 1990s, but it is one of the rarest. And that means something in the cult or Porsche, or it should. The fact is the 968 is still a hidden gem in the front-engine water-cooled Porsche experience and it will be worth something someday. But for now, they are cheap. Find this 1995 Porsche 968 offered for $13,500 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist.
The late model used car market goes something like this. We (car nerds) get abscessed with some particular car because it is cool or reliable or interesting — let’s pick the Toyota Hilux and pretend it is 2010. You could get them for next to nothing and they were cheap and easy to maintain and we (car nerds…again) told all of our non-car friends about it. Some of those people turned into car nerds and others started to treat their used cars like some kinda physical version of a crypto-currency and they started hoarding them and then prices started going up and the next thing you know you are paying $60k for a barely running Ford Bronco, or VW Bus, or original Mustang, or…Toyota HiLux…you see where I’m going with this? Okay. Next object of our mass stupidity is…spin that wheel…beep-beep-beep-boop ooohhh, Ford Ranger. Find this 1997 Ford Ranger offered for $2500 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist.
The BMW 1-series first appeared in 2004 built on the E87 chassis (E88 in convertible), which was a scaled down version of the E90 3-series chassis. The 1-series could best be described as similar to the previous generation 3-series because it kept the signature rear-wheel-drive fun of the 3-series without the ever increasing weight and bloat that seems inevitable in the auto industry. This particular car has not only the coveted single turbo N55 (it kept the same power as the twin-turbo N54 but its reportedly less troublesome) but also a 6-speed manual gearbox to boot. If you are looking for a late model open air car with a small set of back seats, you could do a lot worse. Find this 2011 BMW 135i Convertible offered for $15,988 in San Francisco, CA via craigslist.
I know that an ’85 Eldorado is going to be a largely horrible car to drive around from a handling perspective, and performance from the 4.1 “High Technology” V6 is going to be painful, but I still am enamored by the idea of daily driving one of these. And this one has only 37638 miles on the odometer and is finished in a fantastic shade of prosthetic limb tan. Find this 1985 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz offered for $5,500 in Oakland, CA via craigslist.
Looking at this next car was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. At first I thought, well that isn’t cool, a breadvan XK Jag. And then I realized that this is a Morris Minor woodie rear end on an XK150, which is a monstrosity, it’s like putting a diaper on the Venus de Milo, like building a Chuck E Cheese in St Peter’s Square. But in the end, I guess it doesn’t matter because if you buy this thing, you won’t have to look at that rear end while you are driving around. Find this 1960 Jaguar XK150 Breadvan offered for £44,995 GBP ($63,673 USD) via ClassicandSportsCar.com.
The W210 chassis was marketed by Mercedes-Benz with the as the E-class from 1995-2002. It offered an expensive and elite ride for the wealthy and well-to-do. Mercedes offered some versions with 6-cylinder engines where the E stands for executive, but in 1998 the E for eggads my spleen just ruptured AMG version was released. Today’s version is cosmetically modified with some interesting choices, but the price is right. Find this 2001 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG offered for $5,800 in Arrowhead Lakes, AZ via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car comes as a tip from FuelTruck who writes: What is it with Texans in that they seem feel the need to “truckify” everything? No clue, but this thing is kinda awesome, and I want it. For half of the asking price. Find this 1997 Mazda Miata MX-5 offered for $5000 in Lago Vista, TX via craigslist.
I get it. You’ve got to find room for the big Ford V6 that you’ve found to power your small British roadster…and that means a bigger hood. Never mind that Carroll Shelby was able to shove a 260-V8 (and later a 289) under the hood of a Sunbeam without resorting to proboscis monkey styled hood, but you’ve got the fiberglass skills and the time to kill. Find this 1967 Sunbeam Alpine offered for $13,500 in Stockton, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
This next car comes as a tip from John who also included some commentary — all words are his: I realize the market for old VW busses is higher than a Deadhead on a double dose of Owsley’s finest, but please tell me that the price of this one is completely off in fantasy land. Find part of the rotten, dismembered corpse of a 1955 Volkswagen Microbus De Luxe Samba, Factory 23 window, Type 241 in Richmond, Virginia listed for $34,500 on Hemmings. I get that a well-earned patina can be cool and lend a certain cred to an old survivor, but after several decades mouldering in the Virginia woods this one seems to be at least as much oxide as iron.