I know. Another V8 powered Volvo…how cliché. But this one is special. It has a ginormous turbocharger with an intake sized like something from an apache helicopter that pushes cubic yards of air into the 5.3 liter iron block (probably an LM7 if I was to guess) with MegaSquirt standalone fuel injection to make a tire obliterating 745 horsepower on the dyno. Thankfully this thing is shifted with an Aisin AR-5 manual gearbox that probably came from a Chevy Colorado or Pontiac Solstice and isn’t exactly rated for this level of murderous torque…but people tend to overestimate the required ruggedness of their transmissions and if you shift it nicely it will probably survive the repeated 60-100mph sprints that this thing is built for. I’m in love. Find this 1991 Volvo V8 240DL Wagon with Turbo LSV8 offered for $11,000 in Colorado Springs, CA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The Saab 900 Classic was built by Saab from 1978 through 1994. It is a very different beast from the Saab 900 NG (New Generation) that was built on a GM2900 platform. The OG 900 is really just an updated Saab 99, which means you get an engine mounted backwards at a 45 degree slant over the front wheels and a surprising amount of turbocharged performance. From a roll, a vintage Saab 900 turbo will hang with all of the best sports cars from the era in a straight line and the double wishbone suspension means it will also take the turns better than most of the junk on the road. But the best part of this next car is the louvers. Find this 1988 Saab 900 Turbo SPG offered for $10,000 in Reading, PA via craigslist. Tip from Cory & Sean.
The Saab 9000 was built on a shared Saab/Fiat platform that was also used in the 1984-1998 Lancia Thema, Saab 9000, Fiat Croma, and Alfa Romeo 164. This next example of the Saab/Fiat Type 4 platform features an unbeatable combo for a sub $1k car — executive class luxury, front drive safety, and Giorgetto Giugiaro styling. Tow it home, fix it stock, or start pushing up power with the easy to modify Saab B-series 4-cylinder. Find this 1996 Saab 9000 CSE offered for $600 in Castle Rock, OR via craigslist. Tip from Zach.
The ST185 generation Toyota Celica All-Trac was known as the “Super Round shape” version of the high performance version of Toyota’s liftback Celica (1989-1993). It combined a turbocharged 4-cylinder 3S-GTE engine with all-wheel-drive and a 5-speed manual gearbox. With 200 horsepower in the USA version, it won’t be the fastest car you’ve ever driven, but it is a part of Toyota’s rally history and will be a desirable classic someday…if it isn’t already. Find this 1990 Toyota Celica All-Trac offered for $7000 in Katy, TX via craigslist. Tip from Graham.
Tipper Cory sent this next car in with the following spring of seemingly nonsensical drivel; turbo ft swapped compact aqua colored mazda truck frame off restoration. I did a double take…because I’m pretty hip when it comes to model designations but this sounded more like the title of a Tom Wolfe novel than a description of a car on craigslist. So, let’s break it down. Turbo — yes this has a Garrett T3 turbo; ft swapped — which means this is a 2.2 liter turbo 12-valve SOHC F2T Mazda inline-4 that was only available in transverse front-engine MX-6/Ford Probe but bolts up easily to the B2200 that used the FE version; compact aqua colored mazda truck frame off resto — the rest now makes sense. Find this 1993 Mazda B2200 offered for $12,500 in Belmont, MA via craigslist.
When a car gets sent in as a tip, I always want to post it…because people send in good stuff and I’d post EVERYTHING I get tipped if I had the time…but when a car gets set into to the DT tips line by two different people…that is a different story, so here it goes. Find this 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo offered for $5,500 in Monterey, CA via craigslist. Tip from Jeff and Rock On!
This might seem odd to people accustomed to blistering performance from every car on the street in 2020…but a car with 150 horsepower and a zero-to-60mph time of 7.5 seconds was a quick in 1984. That was faster than a Mustang GT (or SVO), faster than a Porsche 944, faster than an Mazda RX7, faster than a Z28 Camaro, faster than a V12 powered Jaguar XJS, faster than anything from Mercedes-Benz. Now you might ask, what front-wheel-drive car could hit 60mph in 7.5 seconds — and you might be tempted to look for some Honda CRX or something from Shelby’s Dodge years…but this car came straight from the lunatics at Buick, yes the Buick Skyhawk T-Type. The mostly unlikely and forgotten heroes of the sport compact car era. Find this 1984 Buick Skyhawk T-Type offered for $3,500 in Daly City, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
What’s not to love in this next car? It is a rare 2-door SUV from the 80s with a turbo diesel engine, rust, crust, and a toilet paper holder mounted on the side. Or is that a towel rack? Or a wet-suit drying rack for a surfer, perhaps? I’m gonna stick with the TP holder as my final answer, Regis. Find this 1986 Isuzu Trooper DXL 4WD Turbo Diesel 2-Door offered for $6,500 in San Diego, CA via craigslist.
Back when I was in college, I a friend who always drove when we went on a road trip. It wasn’t because he was the best driver or had the biggest or nicest car…no it was much more simple than that. He had the car that would always get us to our destination and back… and his car was a mid 80s Subaru Leone wagon. It didn’t have a turbo or all-wheel-drive like today’s example, but it always got a load of college kids to/from a concert, camping, or wherever college kids needed to go. He sold the car years ago, but I can only assume it is still being used by college kids to get around, or at least I hope it is. Anyway, if you want to make a political statement get a Tesla, but if need a car to get you places, get this 1985 Subaru Leone Turbo AWD offered for $6,000 near Santa Cruz, CA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
Before we get into why you should buy this next car, let me start with the things it has going against it. First, it has a salvage title — and while that shouldn’t scare the intrepid used car owner, it does tend to frighten many potential buyers when you go to resell the car. Next, it has depreciated some, but it will continue to drop significantly in value for the next few years, that is the nature of a GTI, it should bottom at around 5k in 5-10 years if history is any indicator. And finally, the wheels are barf. Okay, with those things out of the way…what you’ve got here is a 1/2 priced almost new GTI with 14k miles, plaid seats, a few mods, and nice green paint. What else do you need in life? Find this 2017 Volkswagen GTI offered for $14,800 in Dublin, CA via craigslist.