Saturday, May 23, 2015

7K Rally Good Deal: 2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V

By Gianni -- Performance stage rallying is the motorsports world’s soccer.  Big in the rest of the world, but unknown in the U.S.  Rallies in Europe have thousands of spectators lining the stages, often camping out overnight to get a good spot.  In the U.S., organizers are lucky to have more than 100 spectators on a stage.  That’s a shame really, as after you have been to special stage and stood feet away from a rally car with no fencing between you as  it as it spits rocks from its tires, you’ll suddenly find attending track racing events as boring.  Then you will want to try it yourself.  Find this 2003 rally prepared Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V with a Rally America log book and a mountain of spares on Craigslist in Puyallup, WA.  Tip from K2_Mystery Car.

5k: Few Remain: 1975 Pontiac Astre SJ Safari Wagon

If you loved GM's subcompact Vega, (and who doesn't?!?!) then you'll love the badge engineered versions for GM's other brands.  The H-body offerings went up from the basic Vega and they included the luxurious Oldsmobile Starfire, sporty Buick Skyhawk, and the Pontiac Astre -- whose purpose was as confounding as the name.  Find this 1975 Pontiac Astre SJ Safari Wagon offered for $4,950 in Victor, ID via craigslist.

5k: Mint Green Barikan: 1967 Toyota Corona Deluxe

One of the secrets to driving a cool vintage car for low bucks is to pick a car that is an oddball because the selling price of nice examples will be appropriately lower than a popular marque/model.  Don't go so out in left field that the manuals are only available in some long forgotten Scandinavian dialect, but pick a car where a few grand gets you something in great Toyota's original Corona.  Find this  1967 Toyota Corona Deluxe here on eBay currently bidding for $3,500 reserve-not-met with 1 day to go, located in Reading, PA.

Friday, May 22, 2015

5k: Sophisticated: 1968 Mercedes-Benz 250S W108

It might take a big wad to cash to be considered rich, but it only takes one old depreciated pile of rusting German metal out front to make it look like you are rich, and for some folks, that's half the battle.  Find this 1968 Mercedes-Benz 250S W108 offered for $5,000 buy-it-now here on eBay located in Gilbert, AZ.

Coffee Brake: Future Classics

For this week's Coffee Brake (where the beans are in the sink and the cups are roasted) I invite you to put on your swami hat and play a little game called predicting the future.  What inexpensive car, for sale in dealer lot today, will be a future classic?  It would be easy for all of us to simply point at some fancy limited edition Ferrari and predict it will be a future classic, so instead we will limit the hunt to affordable cars.  What is affordable?  You make the call.  

5k: 3B Powered: 1991 Audi 90

The Audi 80/90 was the predecessor to the A4 and grew up sharing a platform with the Volkswagen's Fox & Passat.  They don't quite have the following of something like the Audi Quattro Coupe, they are starting to come into their own as a cool vintage 90s Euro styled cruiser available with a 5-spd trans and all-wheel-drive.  Today's example comes with a bigger engine from Audi's early S-line cars and should be fast when it isn't in the shop.  Find this 1991 Audi 90 offered for $6,400 buy-it-now or make-offer here on eBay with 2 days to go, located in Niles, IL.

3k: Ugly Burrito: 1984 Toyota Tercel Wagon

The S20 generation Toyota Tercel wagon is like an ugly duckling that wasn't a swan when it grew up, but a turkey vulture.   No matter how you try and spin it, this is one car that fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.  But, this giant burrito shaped (and colored) wagon might just be ugly enough to be cool. Find this 1984 Toyota Tercel Wagon offered for $3,350 in Santa Barbara, CA via craigslist.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

18k: Grande Price: 2006 MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works GP

"Mini has lost its way, man." "Yeah, the new ones are just bloated, overpriced, kitschy garbage aimed at the lifestyle vehicle market." "Totally. They're nothing like my old 2006 JCW GP." Shocked? This could be a legitimate conversation between two modern Mini enthusiasts. Or the start of a fight between an Austin Mini and a BMW Mini driver about corporate BMW oversight, creeping rust, size and implied safety, giant-slaying, and other buzzwords. If you're a neo-nostalgist aching for the best of the newest cars to bear the Mini badge, the supercharged, 1.6-liter R53 GP is for you. Find this 2006 Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works GP here on eBay, located in West Chester, PA for $17,900 buy-it-now via eBay.

Thursday Twister: Cold Wire A Car

Today's Thursday Twister (it is like a hurricane without the wind or rain) comes from a special request from DT reader K2 Mystery Car who writes: Would it be possible to make the stuff about how to kill a car permanently without leaving and signs of tampering a feature? I've got a part in my book where a car needs to be quickly permanently disabled but other than making the engine inop, it can't hurt any person in or near the car and the result is that the car just won't start. So no fireball explosions and you can keep your C4 in your basement. Pour something into the gas tank? Puncture the oil pan? That last one is no good because it would take too long; can't have the driver walk up to the vehicle and notice a river of dinosaur juice draining into the azaleas. So my character would have to flop on his back, punch a hole in the pan and stand there waiting for the oil to drain. Won't work. Flattening the tires won't work because that doesn't permanently and massively damage the ability to drive the car. Messing with the brakes would be dangerous to a driver and any passengers, as well as any innocent third party.

10k: Clean Survivor: 1982 Mazda RX-7

The term survivor gets bandied about by car folks about as often as Madonna's shows her midriff, but let's take a quick second to define the term.  First, a survivor must have its original engine, transmission, options, & suspension, but wear parts can be replaced (shocks, engine/trans rebuild is okay), but when it comes to paint there is some room for discussion.  I would argue that the paint must be original, with the exception of any accident repair panels, but others will accept an older respray if it was done in the correct color.  Those people are wrong -- a survivor needs to have its original paint, peeling and faded or bright/shiny like this next one.  Find this 1982 Mazda RX-7 with only 45k miles on the odo offered for $11,500 in Sarasota, FL via craigslist.  Tip from dascpcu.

7k: Big Mustang: 1998 Mercury Mountaineer SportTruck prototype

In the late '90s, Ford built a one-off sporting edition of a Ford mid-size SUV using Ford Racing products. They planned to promote it through Ford Racing dealerships to bolster Ford's motorsport history and credibility. It was a great move to build up Ford's public image. So Ford built it... as a Mercury. The supercharged special has lived a long but confusing life, and is now available for relatively little money. Find this 1998 Mercury Mountaineer SportTruck prototype for sale in Huntington Beach, CA for $7,495 via craigslist.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

8k: Factory-Backed Folly: 1981 Honda Prelude Convertible

Third-party chop jobs would make a fascinating case study. There's the affable Toyota Celica Sunchaser, the polarizing BMW 2002 Baur Targa, and the truly nonsensical AMC Eagle Sundancer. I doubt any of them were financially successful. Honda jumped in during 1978 with its then-new Prelude, and partnered with three design firms, one in California and two in Germany, to turn out a couple hundred factory-backed Solaire convertibles. This is one of 47 models built by Tropic Design in Germany, and it comes with just 16,000 miles on the odo. Find this 1981 Honda Prelude Convertible for sale in Emmett, ID for $7,500 via craigslist. 

Mid Week Match-Up: Electrified

It is the Wednesday, so that means it's time for another edition of Daily Turismo's weekly game of don't get eaten by the rabid chimp, also known as Mid Week Match-Up!  Everybody says the future is going to be all about electric cars (charged by solar panels or the exothermic sweat/tears of poor people -- this is still under debate), but expect some kind of battery and a spinning electric thingy.  This week let's look for the best sub $5,000 electric cars we can find.

5k: T-Top Gun: 1987 Ford Mustang LX

The T-Top (or British T-Bar) is one of those automotive features that elicits an instantly polarized reaction from car folks.  Some will rave about the configurable nature of its small roof panels, and others will bemoan the resulting squeaks/creaks from the resulting wet noodle chassis stiffness.  It is a discussion that has almost become moot because nobody sells cars with T-Tops anymore...but who buys new cars anyway?  Buying new is a suckers game, anybody around here will tell you pickup some old used pile of parts and keep your change --and the T-Tops.  Like this 1987 Ford Mustang LX offered here on eBay currently bidding for $7,669 with 1 day to go located in Belmont, OH.

2k: Rumble Bee: 1993 Ford Festiva Custom

Welcome back to Garage Creations on Discovery, we are here today in the Northern part of Michigan's lower peninsula, an area home to a number of fascinating indigenous species.  We are going to witness another one of life's miracles, in that special time when the frost has cleared from a long winter and the native gear head emerges from the hibernation in welding gas fumigated garages.  Today, a young pup takes his first walk on shaky new legs -- let's watch.  Find this 1993 Ford Fiesta Festiva Custom here on eBay currently bidding for $900 reserve-not-met with a $2,800 buy-it-now located in Petosky, MI (home of everyone's favorite real life crime fighter, the Petosky Batman!!).