The 6th generation (code name S550) of the Ford Mustang was released for the 2015 model year with a new aggressive body style (it looks so much wider than the previous gen, but it was only 1.5 inches wider and 1.4 inches lower) and an independent rear end for the first time for the original pony car. Ford also re-introduced a turbo 4-cylinder version known as the EcoBoost, which was a little 2.3 liter 4-cylinder engine in the Mustang was rated at 310 horsepower. Todays example might have a salvage title, but it also has less than 50k miles on the odometer and a 6-speed manual. Find this 2015 Ford Mustang offered for $12,500 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist.
The G35 was a model sold at Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti in the USA starting in the 2003 model year. The G35 is powered by a 260 horsepower and 260 ft-lbs of torque version of Nissan’s VQ35DE that is located far back in the chassis (Nissan calls it FM -front midships) mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox that is connected to a viscous limited slip differential out back. Today’s example is offered for a decent price for the number of miles and condition. Find this 2004 Infiniti G35 offered for $8990 in Canton, MA via cars.com. Tip from Art C.
In the early 2000s, the Volkswagen product planners recognized that there was an entire demographic of people who loved driving fast water-cooled Volkswagens. These weren’t stock Volkswagens, but modified Dubs — things that had extra horsepower, extra handling, and extra fun. VW decided to cash in on this by selling a pre-modified VW Golf called the R32 that added a VR6 engine, all-wheel-drive and a 6-speed to the basic Golf…and they didn’t sell many (5000 in total for one model year) because people who wanted a fast VW didn’t want to spend the $30k that VW was asking. The thing that the product planners didn’t realize was that people wanted a CHEAP, fun, fast VW…and that just happened to be the used $1k Jetta they found on craigslist or inherited from a crazy aunt. Anyway, after 17 years and 200k miles this Golf R32 is finally depreciated to the point where a water-cooled VW fan might consider buying it. Find this 2004 Volkswagen R32 bidding on ebay with a $10,000 buy-it-now located in Charleston, SC.
Read out loud and really fast for best effect: Hello car fans and welcome to another edition of Unlikely Manuals — the game show where even if you lose, you go home with a sore left leg and copy of our home game. Today’s next contestant is a late model Korean economy car with a plastic engine cover emblazoned with a meaningless acronym related to its particularly fuel injection strategy (nobody ever said; I wasn’t gonna buy this car because I wasn’t sure about the method of fuel injection, until I popped the hood and saw the chromed GTDiMqVPDQ badge and then I was sold) and you’d expect to open the door and be greeted with some steering wheel mounted buttons that were connected to a CVT that has all the positive engagement and auditory appeal of an immersion blender in a can of marbles. Lo and behold, if you look past the low rent cloth seats and black plastic interior trim that was inspired by the Harbor Freight free coupon lineup, you’ll find a manual gearbox shifter. Granted, that shifter might have the feel of an immersion blender in a jar of kimchi, but if I’m gonna drive an economy car and save on fuel, it better be manual gearbox…and I don’t care about the injection. Find this 2012 Kia Soul with 6-speed offered for $4,500 in San Diego, CA via craigslist.
This next car comes from Jeff who writes: A great example of a solid sports car that checks so many of the boxes. On the higher end of the NADA price spectrum, but when it comes to mileage, condition, performance/durability and fun factor, this is hard to beat. Find this 2000 Chevrolet Corvette offered for $16,000 in Columbus, NE via craigslist.
The Fusion was released in 2006 as a replacement to Ford’s aging Taurus, and yet another name change for a ho-hum sedan from an American manufacturer. It is interesting that Honda doesn’t change the name of the Accord and Toyota still uses Camry, VW sells the Passat,…etc…but US manufacturers are quick to replace the bad taste in your mouth from the last Tempo, Escort, Taurus, Crown Vic, Nova, Cavalier, Lumina, Impala, or Citation, Berretta, Skylark, or Century, that you purchased with a new vehicle that has a different name, but the same basic platform. It’s like changing your name after each failed date on your favorite dating platform. Perhaps she won’t recognize me…Anyway, this next car is a Fusion and it comes with a strange looking gear selector knob in between the seats…scientists are still trying to determine its origins. Find this 2010 Ford Fusion offered for $4000 in Foxboro, MA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
I hate to do this to you guys, because this next car is ugly. Real ugly. Uglier than a monkey’s armpit. Uglier than a Kardashian without a corset. Uglier than a mud fence. Uglier than a Bangle butt on a Bugatti. Uglier than a LeCar. U…G…L…Y, you ain’t got no alibi. Feel out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down to the ugly pit. Uglier than a shaved ape in a Birkenstocks. Ugg. Beauty may be skin deep, but ugly is to the bones…this car is bound for the crusher or nearest 24 Hours of LeMons racetrack, you decide. Find this 1989 BMW E34 540i 6-Speed offered for $500 in Glen Burnie, MD via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser (2010-2018) was a retro-style mid-sized SUV that should not be confused with the original Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 (1960-1984). The FJ Cruiser did however take off where the FJ40 left by being built on a proper body-on-frame chassis with suspension borrowed from the LandCruiser Prado/4Runner/Tacoma. Today’s example is not only equipped with the rare 6-speed manual, but also sports a TRD supercharger for extra punch. Find this 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser bidding for $8100 with 4 days to go in Naples, FL via carsandbids.com. Seller submission from Serge.
Honda might not have produced the world’s first front-wheel-drive car (that is arguably the 1989 Victoria Combination by Société Parisienne) or even the most successful front-wheel-drive seller (that’d be the Toyota Camry) or the fastest front-wheel-drive racecar (that’d be the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo) but they did build the best front drive sport compact sedans of the 1990s starting with the surprisingly fast Honda Predule, followed by the Acura Integra, then the RSX, and finally what you see here…which is a 6-speed manual equipped Acura TL. Find this 2005 Acura TL offered for $5,490 in Winnetka, CA via craigslist.
A brand new Nissan Frontier pickup will set you back $30k before taxes and fees (more if you start piling on options)…and it is a nice car, but you can’t get it with a 6-speed manual gearbox because the only transmission that Nissan offers is some 9-speed super flappy birds paddle thing…sounds like a recipe for just putting in auto and following traffic on your daily commute. But if you want to save a few bones and you don’t mind the horrible death-by-plastic interior of early 2000s Nissan…then take the dirt road around traffic and get something like this 2006 Nissan Frontier SE Crew Cab offered for $7900 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist.