The Lotus Elite had the distinct honor of being the world’s most expensive 4-cylinder powered vehicle when it was launched in 1974. The fiberglass body mounted on a steel backbone chassis was an evolution of the Europa…but it took a turn in the other direction by being front-engine. The end result is a car that isn’t quite as mid-engine tight as the Europa, but with engine bay room that makes it way easier to convert into a V8 powered beast. Find this 1978 Lotus Elite offered for $6,500 in Lexington, SC via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
In the world of strange car names, this next feature is a doozy. It is a Honda (that looks like a Toyota to my eyes) that is inexplicably called the “Today Humming.” I don’t know what to say. Today Humming, tomorrow Life Dunk…that would be my ideal car stable. Throw in a King Midget for good measure and I’ll be driving my Mazda Proceed Marvie home now. Anyway, today’s Honda Today Humming is equipped with all-wheel-drive and a 660cc 3-cylinder engine and all the JDM right-hand-drive Kei-hatch style you need. Find this 1995 Honda Today Humming offered for $7,400 in Dallas, TX via craigslist. Tip from Brad.
The Pao was part of Nissan’s Pike (don’t ask me why they were called Pike) car series that included the Pao, S-Cargo, Figaro, Be-1, and K10-Micra. Goofy names aside, the Pike cars were retro-styled econoboxes from the late ’80s and early ’90s that combined simple Nissan mechanical front-drive parts with funky styling and cool interiors. Today’s example is the common Pao and it looks like the perfect car for the alter-ego of a superhero to drive everyday. Find this 1990 Nissan Pao offered for $9,200 in New Hampshire via craigslist. Tip from TeleArrow.
The 8th generation Toyota Crown (S130) was introduced in 1987 and sold all the way through 1999 in sweet wagon form, but you wouldn’t know it on this side of the pacific. Apparently Toyota’s USA product planners thought we only wanted terrible front-drive economy cars and the few cool things they brought over here were badged as Lexus…and the Crown was saved for the JDM crowd. But, today is your lucky day because someone managed to get a 7 passenger rear-drive 1JZ-GE Crown Wagon all the way into Washington state. It looks cartoonish dropped on airbags, but undeniably cool. Find this 1993 Toyota Crown Wagon offered for $9,850 in Seattle, WA via craigslist.
I don’t know what it would take a import and legally drive this next car on the road in a place like California…but I’m sure there are states with better power grids, fewer wildfires, and a more reasonable motor vehicle department that would allow you the pleasure of driving a right-hand-drive convertible TVR from the 80s. The 390SE adds Rover V8 power to the sporty 350i/Tasmin chassis to make a tasty wedge salad you see here. Find this 1987 TVR 390SE bidding for $7200 CAD ($5452 USD) reserve-not-met with 5 days to go, located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Visit a car dealer today (don’t forget your mask) and you’ll be greeted with a platter of “lifestyle” vehicles for the youth crowd that promote light off-roading, snowboarding, hiking, and generally being outdoorsy. These crossovers are mostly a marketing gimmick and are covered with cheesy dealer bolt ons…but there was a time when you could go into a Subaru dealer (in Japan) and drive out with something called the WRX Gravel Express. It starts with the competent GF8 Impreza chassis with the EJ20 WRX turbo flat-4 and adds an awesome bull-bar up front and rear mounted spare tire out back, lifted suspension, and finally the GRAVEL EX graphic stripe on the side. Find this 1995 Subaru Impreza WRX Gravel Express bidding for $11,799 reserve-not-met located in El Monte, CA via ebay.
This next car will need some kind of introduction, because unless you are the curator of a Mazda museum…you probably don’t know what this next car is…because I was totally completely unaware of the existence of the kei-sized, JDM only, ’72-’76 Chantez…wait…we’ve featured one of these Chantezes (Chantee?? Chanteux?) before…and here it is. The exact…identical, same Chantez offered for $6000 in PA back in 2016. Yup, and four years later and it still has the same skuzzy mummy skin steering wheel wrap…find this 1974 Mazda Chantez offered for $5,900 in Tampa Bay, FL via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
Everybody wants the best of both worlds. Everybody wants a car that gets them street cred and respect for being “different” but that same body wants a car that is reliable and efficient…so where does a Prius cross with a Lamborghini? Lemme tell ya. It’s called the Toyota Sera and is two parts Toyota Paseo […]
This next car REALLY stretches the limit of what you consider an appreciating classic car. It isn’t fast, and it isn’t really noticeable (most of the mindless automatons driving around in their beige pods won’t blink twice at a Corolla wagon…even though it was never sold here in this generation and is the only one […]
If you’ve never been to the LA Inland Empire…let me tell ya, you ain’t missin’ much. It is connected to the web of pavement known as the Greater Los Angeles Area, but was ceded to the “Desert People” many years ago and most cities combine the charm and sophistication of Orange County’s wide roads & […]