No not that kind, get your mind out of the gutter! This is written to espouse my love of the used cars out there whose original owners were either smart enough, or cheap enough to order without many options. Especially European cars. Because that is the way it should be. Who ever said you shouldn't have the option to roll your windows down by yourself? Why do you need to get a sunroof if you want to pony up for a decent stereo? Most of you probably know I am in the hunt for the most basic W124 wagon around from Europe. Screw options, these are the top 5 reasons why.

Mercedes W124 200E base

1. Simplify – add lightness

I mean yeah, you guys are always saying this, but do you really get it if you haven't hauled your 944 down to the bare bones to track it? Why not exercise it in real life on the street? No glass sunroof, no A/C, no window motors and you have already saved yourself at least over 100 lbs of weight. And that means you can sneak out some extra miles out of your fuel. I know guys in some of the snowiest places around who don't screw around with anything but the cheapest, 2wd truck and they just run snow tires or chains if need be. THAT is some good weight and cost saving right there. And look how much cleaner all of that looks without switches everywhere

Advertisement

Mercedes W123 230E Notice crank windows and manual HVAC controls

2. Less stuff to break

If it ain't there in the first place, I can guarantee 100% it won't break. If you have a non-sunroof car, you raise your chances of not having a leaky sunroof pretty well. If you don't have a passenger side mirror, some idiot can't knock it off. Simple. No A/C, you already know you have to roll the window down in the summer instead of 7 years down the road

Advertisement

Ttyymmnn's Golf GL

3. Steel Rims can be un bent

If you live in a place like I do with potholes year round that never get fixed, you already know this. When you end up in one of those sinkholes with a low profile tire on an alloy rim, you are hitting the boneyard or the stealership to get a new rim, and tire. And they aren't cheap. If you do this with a steel rim and a higher profile tire, you might just make it. Bend it? Grab your hammer and bang it back in place, done.

Advertisement

BMW E38 with cloth sport seats

4. Cloth and vinyl are far superior interior materials than leather

Cloth is really my favorite. I will go against all I am saying here with this one statement, there is nothing better than heated cloth seats, period. No conditioning required, no $80 bottles of leatherique to keep that leather supple in the long haul. Vinyl is super easy to clean, and even repair if need be. Cloth CAN be a bitch to clean, but as long as you don't eat and smoke in your car you are good there most of the time. BONUS: If you got a cheap work truck and it has rubber mats instead of carpet

Advertisement

Volvo 940 base wagon

5. Rarity

Maybe I am a weirdo, but I seek these cars out. I have noticed especially in the Volvo RWD world, that the prices are actually higher for clean base model 940's than 940 Turbos. Why? Because people buy them to last and be reliable, not in the shop all the time getting some doodad fixed. Maybe they are smart, maybe not, but Ill keep betting with them

Advertisement

What say you? Base or fully optioned (or base with some heated seats)