Used cars haven’t been depreciating in the past decade the way they used to (don’t get me started on this subject…) but I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; nothing depreciates like an Audi. You wouldn’t expect such savage depreciation on cars that routinely win customer satisfaction surveys…but for a car that sold for $52,500 new, this thing certainly is cheap today. Find this 2014 Audi S5 Premium Plus offered for $12,990 in Santa Clara, CA via craigslist.
This next car is offered at a price that is typically reserved for wrecked or rusted cars…and it appears to be neither. The seller admits that the driver’s seat needs fixin, and the window handle (yes…this means it has manual windows – score!) is broken…but then admits that part of the reason the price is so low is because it won’t turn off when you turn the ignition/key off. You need to dump the clutch and hold your foot on the brake — and I know a thing-or-two about this problem because I had a W123 with the same vacuum related issue that causes the mechanical fuel shut-off valve to stop working. It won’t stop you from getting the car home and it could be as simple as replacing a few dried vacuum hoses…but with new tires/brakes/rotors/steering column/starter…this thing had its value in maintenance in recent times. Seems like a great first car for a kid or 17th car for CFlo. Find this 1981 Mercedes-Benz 240D offered for $2000 in Napa County, CA via craigslist.
Back in 2009, the guys at MotorTrend called the Porsche Panamera a big, fast, and comfortable; a genuine four passenger Gran Turismo capable of loafing across continents in giant 130 mph bounds, leaving you relaxed and refreshed at the end of the day at the wheel. But that what you would expect from a $90,000 German Luxury sedan with a 4.8 liter direct injected V8 pushing out 400 horsepower into a 7-speed PDK dual clutch flappy paddle thing. Zero to 60 in 5ish seconds…and all the way to 177 miles-per-hour top speed is impressive until you see the REALLY impressive statistic…$70k in 10 years. Now that’s what I call unintended accelerated depreciation. Find this 2010 Porsche Panamera S offered for $21,980 via CarGurus.com. Tip from Jeff.
This next feature comes as a seller submission from Bill who told us that it is time to sell his “beloved Frankenstein.” He also describes it as a “1972 Porsche 914 with a small block Chevy wedged behind the seats…embarrassingly wide Carol Shelby Anaconda wheels, polarizing hand-laid fiberglass flares, Singer-esq interior.” The exterior is a bit rough, but the interior is better executed than expected and the wheels (Carrol Shelby Anaconda) have a nice vintage racer Minilite look to them. Find this 1972 Porsche 914 V8 offered for $7,200 buy-it-now or make-offer in Los Angeles, CA via eBay.
It might not seem believable, but driving a cheap used BMW M3 is not actually that expensive. Trust me, I’ve owned a few over the years and I still have both of my kidneys and all of my livers. The most expensive part of M3 ownership is depreciation and if you avoid that…then you’ll find that the regular 3-series bits (door handles, light bulbs, coolant caps) are cheap and the ///M specific stuff (hefty limited slip diffs, 8000+rpm V8s) are over-engineered. Yes, wear items are expensive (brakes, tires, bumper lips, con rod bushings), but not Ferrari expensive and you can do most of the maintenance yourself with a basic set of tools and a set of plastic ramps. But don’t believe me, buy one yourself and then report back here in a few months. Find this 2008 BMW M3 offered for $24,000 CAD ($18,320 USD) in Hinton, Alberta, Canada via Kijiji.net. Tip from Erik202.
I’m not sure exactly what it would cost to build a vehicle that would be competitive at a official SCORE (So Cal Off Road Enthusiasts) Class 5/1600 race event…but I have to assume it’d be a lot more than the asking price on this next vehicle. But that is the way the chip crumbles in used racing vehicles, and the builder’s loss is the buyer’s gain. This Baja Bug is only an awesome racing paint job (flames? numbers? stickers? — yes, yes, yes) away from getting you evicted from your condo association. Find this 1969 Volkswagen Beetle offered for $10,000 in Albuquerque, NM via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
The Porsche 944 was another chapter in the watercooled front engine Porsche sport coupe saga that started in the late 1970s with the 928…but the 944 is in essence a beefed up replacement for the 924. The 944 is actually one of the better cars of the 924/944/968 extended family to pick up from a cost/drivability/fun perspective and the color on this next one is magnificent. The interior is torn up and the ride height appears to be modified, but otherwise it looks like a decent car for the asking price. Find this 1986 Porsche 944 offered for $5,600 in Berkeley, CA via craigslist.
The W124 generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class was engineered to a standard of excellence that is almost unmatched when compared to any other car platform from the late 80s/early 90s. These cars might not be the sexiest or the most desirable of cars from the era…but they introduced advanced features (like aerodynamic integration of lights/bumpers/mirrors and plastic undercarriage covering) in a mass market car that have been adopted by competitors. A few decades later and you can still drive one every day if you enjoy a stately driving experience mixed with the knowledge that you are better than everyone else. Find this 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300E W124 offered for $9,500 in West Chester, PA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The seller of this next vehicle calls it a “Roaster” several times in the advertisement …which I at first thought must be a typo (Roadster?) but after seeing the car…I think it might be correct. It looks crazy. On the plus side, when you do get roasted by this thing, you won’t take your wife/kids with you to the great junkyard in the sky because it only has one seat. Find this 1968 Volkswagen Custom Roadster offered for $7,500 in Coulterville, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The e34 generation BMW 5-series (1987-1996) is one of those cars that is new enough to not feel like driving a ’57 Chevy but old enough to not be stuffed with electronic nannies, stupid autotragic gearboxes, and hideous styling. Obviously, the one to own is the screaming inline-6 powered M5 version, but the price of entry is high and price of any failure is…well…yikes. I had an E34 M5 for a short period of time (and CFlo had the car for longer) and discovered that things like transmission parts were made from unobtanium. So, if the M5 is too risky (and pricey) but you want the M5 performance, you should get a 540i and supercharge it to 400 horsepower…just make sure it is 6-speed version…oh hey; Find this 1995 BMW 540i offered for $9,900 in Renton, WA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.