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.
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.
The first generation RX-7 (SA/FB built in Japan from 1978 to 1985) was a dainty ballerina in the sports car world. The RX-7’s lithe frame was propelled by an equally dainty engine – the Mazda rotary…which was known for dancing high on the tachometer, consuming fuel, and sounding like angry bees when uncorked. However, they are expensive to repair, lack torque, and many have (for better or worse) been swapped with another powertrain…and this next one is the most basic of swaps…Chevy V8 and some kinda automatic transmission — but at least it has a Holley Sniper EFI setup instead of the typical stone age carb setup. Find this 1979 Mazda RX-7 offered for $7500 in Yakima, WA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On
The 2nd generation Honda Accord was sold from 1982 through 1985 in the USA and these things were everywhere. Honda was selling so many of these things that they decided to build them in the USA. Starting in 1983, most Accords sold east of the Rockies were assembled in a plant in Marysville, Ohio. It appears this one was originally sold in CT, so it is probably one of those Marysville Accords, but it does look in great shape for the age. Find this 1985 Honda Accord offered for $6,450 in Voluntown, CT via craigslist. Tip from Carter.
The first generation Maxima was a rear-drive thing badged as the Datsun 810, later Datsun Maxima, and finally Nissan Maxima, but today’s next car is a 2nd generation and front wheel drive…not that there is anything wrong with that. Today’s example is about as nice of an example of a Maxima that you’ll find around town. Find this 1988 Nissan Maxima offered for $5000 near Atlanta, GA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
New car dealers have strange cars on their lots. You can’t even find a manual transmission at a Ferrari or Lamborghini dealership in 2021, but if you have a hankerin’ for a mid-engine car with a manual gearbox and rear-wheel-drive, skip the fancy new dealerships and head to craigslist. Yeah. Because the mid-engine car you are going to buy today doesn’t have a prancing quadruped on the hood, but it does have a stick shift and seats 7. Find this 1992 Toyota Previa offered for $2450 in Albuquerque, NM via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
Cars that are born to be driven hard around race tracks or tricky mountain roads (lookin’ at you Nurburgring) need to have certain assets like power, handling, and torsional rigidity. But if you chop the top off that same car, you’ve now got something that is more for cruising and now the vehicular aesthetics are more important than the ratio spacing of the gearbox. Because when you’ve got a soft top, you need cool looking wheels…and this next car delivers in spades. Find this 1983 Toyota Celica ST convertible offered for $8900 in Atlanta, GA via craigslist.
I got this next link from prolific tipper Rock On, who put in the subject; Cheap City Runabout. And I thought to myself; this must be something cool and kooky like a Subaru 360 setup to run on camp fuel, or an El Camino’d Gillig Phantom Bus, or a Honda City Turbo II…but no. To my shock, surprise, chagrin, and sobering mortification…it was a Toyota Prius. The anti-fun car. The car that everybody loves to hate. The car that even radical Hummer torching environmentalists agree is a blight upon the planet…the Prius. Hmmm. But if memory serves me correctly, there was a time when everybody hated the VW MicroBus and now they are worth more than the average hippie’s 401k, so maybe the Prius will eventually get a cult following and…nah. Find this 2007 Toyota Prius offered for $3900 in San Diego, CA via craigslist.
The 2nd generation Celica was great little rear-drive coupe from the makers of our favorite appliances, Toyota. It was built in Japan from 1978 to 1981 as a 2 door coupe or 3 door liftback, but it was not available from the factory as a convertible version. US dealers complained enough that Toyota outsourced the hacking of the roof off to the Griffith Company which installed a targa-style top with folding rear convertible back to roughly 2000 examples to make the Sunchaser. Find this 1980 Toyota Celica GT Sunchaser offered for $6,850 in Vancouver, WA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
Don’t think of this next car as a big white Camry…because while it might share the same basic bland styling direction as a contemporary Toyota, it is superbly well refined example of the horseless carriage. And for all the people who ridicule the meh…zzz styling, the other side of the coin is the new Predator face grill LS500 or the similarly old Bangled butt on a 7-series…which is a great shopping comparison vehicle. Except the Lexus is quieter on the inside, more reliable, cheaper to maintain, and just as executive in execution. This next example is low in miles and high in class — it just needs a few JDM finishing points like a bumper pole and a Crown Athlete grill. Find this 2008 Lexus LS460 offered for $18995 buy-it-now or make-offer located in Stafford, TX via ebay.