About 15 years ago I purchased an 85 SVO that looked like a dilapidated version of this next car for exactly 1/10th of the asking price. Was it a good deal? Sure. But I sold it a few years later for a bit more than I put into it…however, that car hasn’t appreciated to anywhere near the asking price of this thing and I have to assume that is because my car wasn’t a one of 60 examples of the Hertz Rent-A-Racer and I expect that this next car will always be worth more than the basic version. Find this 1985 Ford Mustang SVO offered for $12000 in San Leandro, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
Here is today’s mental challenge. Or challenge for the mental. You’ve got to pick between one of the two next $1500 cars to use as your daily driver for the next 3 years. Parts to repair your hulk will be provided for free, but you need to do the maintenance yourself. Which would you pick? This 1992 Mercedes-Benz 600SEL offered for $1,500 in Billings, MT or this 1994 Ford Aspire offered for $1300 in Los Angeles, CA via craigslist.
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 Mercury Capri is one of those cars that people don’t understand. Or at least they didn’t understand when it was new. It was a sporty manual gearbox equipped 2+2 built in Germany that was sold at Lincoln-Mercury dealers for much less than a Mercury Cougar. But Elvis understands the Capri. He gets the international roots and the sublime handling that goes with a small 2.6 liter Cologne V6. Find this 1971 Mercury Capri offered for $14,500 in Quakertown, PA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
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.
This next car comes as a tip from Hugh who writes: Non gm non v8 LS. That Lincoln that’s really a jaguar but with a stick 5 speed from Germany for 2500. And it’s neither a diesel truck or a stretch limo! I wasn’t going to post a car that wasn’t a limo or a diesel truck (Dieselimo Turismo…has a nice ring to it) but a manual gearbox Lincoln/Jag for the price of…well…a manual gearbox, can’t not post that. Find this 2001 Lincoln LS offered for $2,500 in Pittsburgh, PA via craigslist.
This next car comes as a tip from FuelTruck who writes: F-350 retro car carrier. For the person who wants an unbreakable workhorse to move his racecar(s), or just make a couple of extra bucks on the side hauling other people’s projects out of garages, barns, cow pastures, etc. And you’ll be able to haul plenty of stuff with the 7.3 liter International turbo diesel with a manual gearbox. Find this 1993 Ford F-350 offered for $12,500 in Bluffton, SC via craigslist.
The third generation Ford Ranger was first built in 1998 and lasted all the way until 2012. It wasn’t an earth shattering car when new, but it offered a decent tradeoff of usability versus price. Today’s example is both more useable and more expensive, but in a good way- it has a Cummins 4BT, which is a 3.9 liter inline-4 turbo diesel. Find this 2000 Ford Ranger offer for $17,000 near Huntsville, AL via craigslist.
In 1993 Ford had a problem. The Mustang was still the best selling pony car on the block, but GM’s new fourth generation Camaro was a beast. The Z28 Camaro was powered by a 275 horsepower LT1 that obliterated the 215 horsepower Mustang GT, so Ford did what Ford does and they introduced a Special Vehicles Team version that put out 305 horsepower, first with a 5.0 pushrod version and later with a 4.6 DOHC modular V8…which was great until GM bumped the Camaro power up to 305 with the Z28 SS, but anyway, for a few years the SVT Cobra Mustang was a contender at the stop-light drags across America. Now the typical front-drive econo-sedan is about as fast, but that is a story for another time. Find this 1997 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT Convertible offered for $12,500 in Sunset Beach, NC via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
This next car comes as a tip from FuelTruck who writes: The seller doesn’t include much info on his engine, but these 7.3 liter Powerstrokes are legendary for their reliability. Typically this truck would be selling for another 10k (at least) on a dealer’s lot. Buy and drive, or flip for a healthy profit. Find this 2001 Ford Excursion XLT offered for $8,500 in Concord, CA via craigslist.