I have been a fan of the styling of the Mazda6 since they hit showrooms for the 2003 model year, and the wagon is an example of what a Japanese family car can and should look like -- are you listening Toyota/Honda? Power comes from either 4-cylinder or V6 gasoline engines, which were available with 5-speed (and after 2005 model year 6-speed) manual transmissions. Yup, even the wagon was available with the bigger engine and a manual -- are you listening BMW? Find this 2004 Mazda6 Sport Wagon offered for $1195 near Ann Arbor, MI via craigslist.
I know what you are thinking -- an 04 Mazda 6 wagon with 5-speed for about a grand -- there must be a catch? Yup. There certainly is. The engine needs some work -- the seller says that "testing" has indicated low compression in cylinders 4 & 6, so you are likely looking at a full rebuild or a new engine.
Interestingly enough, on eBay you can get a Mazda6 MZI V6 engine for about $1200-$1500 that is in running condition, but you can get the Ford Taurus Duratec version for about $250-$500 -- which now explains why the Mazda6 from the other day had the Ford engine. The bottom line here is: if you are handy you might be able to have a manual trans Mazda6 wagon for about $2500 after a few weekends in the garage.
See another cheap rare car that just needs some engine work? email@example.com