If you think we feature too many BMWs on the pages of Daily Turismo, rest assure it isn’t because we are closet BWM fanboys…no, it is because we are fully open about our BMW fanboyishness. It is simple, while other major luxury OEMs decided that the American market in the early 2000s only wanted slushbox equipped luxury sedans (Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Acura, Cadillac, etc), the guys over at BMW decided that perhaps some people wanted manual gearboxes, and wagons. Of course they will still only be offered in lame shades of white/black/grey, but at least getting a wagon with a stick is an option in BMW. Ultimately, BMW didn’t sell many of these (1 of 429 according to the seller) so you can’t buy a NEW BMW with a manual in a wagon body today (meh, don’t blame me, I don’t buy any new cars…oh…wait…maybe you can blame me…) but you can find used ones for sale, occasionally. Find this 2007 BMW 328iT Wagon offered for $13,500 in Napa County, CA via craigslist.
It’s brown. It’s a wagon. It has a carburetor fed inline-6 mated to a slushbox automatic and it probably smells of old cheese vinyl. Yes, this is the perfect car for a family who doesn’t want to drive yet another stupid crossover/crossunder from the product planners at the mainstream automakers. Just be sure that everybody wears shoes that can be used to push a car if necessary. Find this 1977 Dodge Aspen Wagon offered for $10,500 in Westhampton Beach, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The is one of the few times that I’m going to feature a car and rave about it, but advise you not to buy it. Because this car represents a discontinuity in the automotive landscape and not because it is massive enough to start forming a black hole…but because it is so close to being perfect. Let’s start with the good — it is a B-Body Buick Roadmaster that were sold from 1991 to 1996 and it has a gorgeous wood paneling — actually, some people find the wood paneling to be tacky, but this example has “wood” in nice nick. It is also low miles and the ONLY thing holding it back is that it was born one year too early. In 1993 the Roadmaster was powered Chevy L05 V8…which is a slovenly hunk of pig iron, good for something like 180 horsepower, and if it it had been born one year later, it would have gotten a 260 horsepower LT1 V8 which takes it from zero to hero. So, in conclusion, nice car, great shape, wrong engine, don’t buy it. You’ll be better off waiting for a 1994-1996 Roadmaster. Find this 1993 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon offered for $6,999 in Easton, PA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been a closet E30 fanboy for years. It isn’t something I’m proud of, but the only reason I haven’t owned one is because I have such automotive ADD that I’m always moving on to the next car and watching E30 prices drop…it’s always “well, they’ll be cheaper next year”…but that isn’t the case anymore. I think even basic E30s have hit rock bottom and they are now becoming collectable, so something like a grey-market European 316i wagon for less than $10k gets me right in the gut. Unfortunately (or fortunately for my wallet) the 316i engine likely won’t be allowed into the electrified State of California (it would probably cause wildfires or murder baby seals) and I’ll have to let one of you buy this. Find this 1994 BMW 316i Wagon offered for $9,750 in Naples, FL via craigslist. Tip from 4rim.
This next car comes as a tip from BarbPaddles who writes: Dealers are no doubt hungry in this ‘pandemic economy’ for such unique stuff. 5000+ pounds of American family cruising that anyone can service/maintain. Strangely during this coronacrisis dealers have seen used car prices increase, but that shouldn’t stop you from buying something like an undisputedly wood covered Buick wagon. Find this 1990 Buick Estate Wagon offered for $12,900 in Traverse City, MI via Hemmings.
This next car comes from tipper Cory who writes: impossible to find IS300 wagon. I had high hopes it might be a manual gearbox equipped IS300 Sportcross, but alas, the wagon version of the IS300 was only available with a fun-sapping 5-speed slushomatic transmission. I’m sure there are a few versions that have been swapped, because the regular 2JZ-GE equipped IS300 sedan was available with a W55 manual gearbox for the entire production run, in fact, we featured a swapped 5-speed last year. Find this 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross Wagon offered for $5,500 in Boston, MA via craigslist.
The seller of this next vehicle describes it as “museum condition” which might be a bit of a stretch, because I doubt any museum would want an 80s Toyota Wagon…but now that I think about it, there was a Toyota museum next to the North American Torrance, CA headquarters that was filled with all manner of original Toyotas before they moved it to Texas and the Toyota Museum in Japan is filled with all sorts of strange stuff, so perhaps this does belong in a museum, but I’d like to use it to haul my kids around for a few hundred thousand miles first. Find this 1989 Toyota Corolla All-Trac Wagon offered for $8,500 in Long Beach, CA via craigslist.
I saw this next car and thought to myself; another 3-row, 8-passenger, wood paneled Buick station wagon from the mid 90s, must be a Roadmaster…except that it didn’t have the space ship styling or the longitudinally mounted V8 engine. Could it be possible that Buick thought the market for 8 passenger station wagons was so great in 1994 that they needed to offer multiple levels of wagonness. This wasn’t 1965…what were they thinking? I’m not sure, but what am I sure of is that I love the idea of an A-body with transverse mounted Buick V6 that was designed in the 1970s (this generation lasted from 1982-1996) was still available for sale in 1994 with wood sides and a set of rear facing jump seats. Find this 1994 Buick Century Wagon offered for $2,850 in Somers, CT via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The seller of this next car is asking a large sum of money for a Vega…and I normally don’t like posting cars that are this expensive, but the build is impressive. And the amount of money it would take to assemble your own version of this 383 stroker powered beast would exceed the asking price before you got to the custom fabrication of things like the rear-mounted trans cooler housing. Oh, and did I mention that it has — LIGHTNING ROD SHIFTERS?? Find this 1973 Chevrolet Vega Wagon offered for $22,500 in Millville, NJ via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
This next car is quite something else. It starts with a normal looking Chevrolet Caprice Classic (not an Impala…) and then continues to have another Caprice that was shortened to puffer fish proportions and turned into a trailer. With the available 8 seats (3+3+2) in the Caprice and then the final 5 in the trailer (3+2) you get a total seating for 13 in a vehicle that might not technically be legal to have people in the back, but I think the only reason a cop would pull you over would be to tell you how awesome it looked. Find this 1993 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Plus Trailer offered for $12,500 in Hoquiam, WA via craigslist. Tip from JB1025.