The Mazda 323 was a pretty forgettable economy car sold in America based on the Japanese Mazda Familia, but there was an exception. Mazda sold an all-wheel-drive GTX version that put some rally performance into the light chassis and many had been turned into rally racers over the years. But today, we’ve got a stock […]
The Toyota line-up around 2006 was pretty awful. Well…not if you were the typical consumer who loved driving affordable cars for miles without unnecessary breakdowns or huge fuel bills…but you ARE NOT that typical consumer because you are reading this website. It was awful for the performance enthusiast who loves the rush of accelerating and beating that half asleep old guy in the So-Cal freeway on-ramp drag races (listen up Caltrans on-ramp light designers — you’ve got TWO lanes and TWO lights…why do they go green at the exact same time if not to promote street racing)…but if you accidentally ordered a Rav4 with the V6 and AWD you got into a car that was unexpectedly quicker than any other new Toyota and surprisingly fun to drive on-road or off. Find this 2008 Toyota Rav4 V6 AWD offered for $8000 in New York via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The Diamond Star Motors (DSM) Eagle Talon is one of those cars that you either get…or your don’t get. Which is totally fine. Some cars are like that, they don’t have universal appeal, but they do have a cult of followers. I don’t count myself in the inner circle, but I’m enough of a lover of turbochargers, all-wheel-drive, and manual-gearboxes that I appreciate this next thing. Find this 1992 Eagle Talon TSI offered for $8000 in Johnston, RI via craigslist. Tip from ME.
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.
I know what you are thinking…because I had the same gut response when Ford introduced the RS version of the Focus in 2015.. Great, another example of an American car company joining the part about 10-15 years late. Because that is par for the course. Mitsubishi had been selling their Lancer Evolution since 2003 and Subaru had been selling their rally-ready all-wheel-drive STI since 2004…but Ford…they waited until 2015 to release a 4-cylinder turbocharged 300-to-350 horsepower all-wheel-drive rally thing. They were so late to the party that it had been already broken up by the cops….Mitsubishi exited the fun-car market that same year with the obsolescence of the Evolution at the end of the 2015 model year. It’s one thing to be fashionably late, its another to miss the entire raging party and then end up canceling the car 3 years later…because that is exactly what happened. Find this 2017 Ford Focus RS offered for $21,500 in Inkster, MI via ebay.
I secretly want this next car. Well, not secretly, because I just shared it with you guys, but I do want to replace the late model German sports machine in my driveway with another late model German machine, but will be downgrading from 5 seats to 4. Will everyone assume I’m going through a mid-life crisis…sure, but who cares? I’ll be driving one of the worlds premier sports car and it cost less than a well optioned Nissan Versa. Find this 1999 Porsche Carrera 4 offered for $18,500 in Concord, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
This next Saab comes from late in the era of GM produced Saabs. The 2002-2014 Saab 9-3 had more in common with a Chevy Malibu than it did with the original Saab 99…not that its a bad thing. But the interesting thing about the 9-3 Turbo X is that 280 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.8 liter V6 goes into a 6-speed manual gearbox and eventually to all four wheels. Find this 2008 Saab 9-3 Turbo X bidding for $6,000 in Orefield, PA via carsandbids.com.
The STI version of Subaru’s Impreza WRX was first released for the US market in 2004. It has restyled (slightly) in 2006 and then got a major restyle in 2008. The new “jelly bean” styled STI was just as much of a dirt shredding maniac as the previous versions and it was only available as a 5-door wagon/hatch thing until the next restyle in 2011. Values for STI examples have been strangely flat for the last few years, not going up much and not going down much…which isn’t a bad way to go with your late model daily driver — own it and drive for 3-4 years and sell for the same price. Your friend who always buys new cars will end up paying a LOT more in the short term and long term, and you will drive an STI while he drives a base model Impreza. Find this 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI offered for $12,000 in Oakland, CA via craigslist.
This next car comes from Erik202 who writes: I came across this car and it interested me so i did a little research and found that the automatic trans version of these B5 S4s is actually much more rare than the 6mt. I’m not sure that is proper justification for choosing it over the manual but […]
The Infiniti G35 we posted the other day was well received because it combines the best characteristics of a reliable modern car with a nicely depreciated price curve. The only thing it was missing was the cool factor of a moderately rusty pickup truck exterior…oh…here we go, another horrorod. Find this 1972 Datsun 521 Pickup with […]