Have some humor. Car shit after the yump.

So my rough & trusty '01 Outback, bought because I needed ground clearance & AWD for trail building project access, and which has been pouring oil from its heads for some time, started overheating & smelling distinctly of coolant on the way to work this morning. I turned the heater on full & got the temp down long enough to limp it in & parked it at the shop. I bought the car as a cheap beater and have done fuck all to it in the last 2 years, and have been waiting for this, so it's time to fix it or just off it. No big deal, I'll drive the old F150 in the interim & pull the engine some weekend to do the gaskets.

Here's the thing: Having acquired said 4x4 F150 as my trail, camping, & mountain bike rig, I no longer need the Outback for the reasons I bought it, and I've been bored with it for awhile as a daily. It doesn't snow here, so AWD hooning isn't a thing. It's worth about $3500 once fixed, so I'm looking for something else to daily in that budget range, maybe up to $5k if something really stands out (like a good Alfa Milano).

As it happens, I was searching for cars last night, as you do. The Suby must have known. I've been leaning towards a Saab 900 Turbo because they're a car I've worked on & always liked, maybe a 9-3 if the right one comes along, but then there's this little gem:


So simple. So honest. So understated, yet classy. It's a set of Mexican blankets away from perfect. What I've really wanted is a 64 or 65 Galaxie for a long time, but this is a nice little slice of similar styling without the bitchin' but thirsty V8. I live in fairly rural coastal CA, where daily driving a classic is a viable proposition. I've done it before, and wouldn't mind doing it again. That makes this very, very tempting.


What else is fun or interesting, reasonably reliable ("reasonably" included because Alfa Romeo), has 4 seats and a manual, and is $5k or less?