Alright Seattle Oppos, I was hanging out in your craigslist and I won’t lie... that is a weird place. As a routine proof-of-concept and/ or exercise in boredom, I was trolling Seattle CL for cars that I’d like to take on our next cheap car challenge.
For those unfamiliar, my friends and I have a... uhh lets say hobby... where we fly to a place, buy cheap cars, and then drive them on an epic road trip. Past version we’ve done convertibles (and a truck) on the PCH and cheap 4x4s from California to Utah. The next one, in August, we’re doing Seattle to Anchorage.
So, without further faffing around, lets look at cars!
For transparency, my search terms were as follows:
Price: $600 - $3500
First find was this forest service green 1988 S10 Extended cab. Not much to say about this little truck other than it looks awesome! A bit of a hike out at Port Angeles, but the classic good looks, manual transmission, awesome color, matching camper shell, and $2200 asking price make it a great candidate.
Plus look at that speedo!
Next up we’ve got a 1990 Honda Civic Wagon! Ok yes... I did sort of buy it’s older brother a few months ago, but I think the 4th gen civics are more handsome than the 3rd gen. (I hope my third gen doesn’t hear me say that!)
To be honest, Seattle Craigslist was lousy with clean looking 90s Hondas. I really like them, but I’m not sure that is what I’d want to buy for the trip. Either way, this one boasts a decent list of recent service and spare parts, a seemingly enthusiastic seller, and a $3,000 asking price.
Honestly this one might be too clean for one of these trips and being located in Olympia would probably be a deal breaker anyway. Either way, you couldn’t ask for a more reliable companion on the long drive.
Speaking of wagons, how about this 2000 VW Passat GLS V6? Normally the thought of picking up this vintage of VW would scare me, but it only has to last two weeks... right?
With a 6-speed, V6, and trunk space for days, I could see giving this mileage muncher a good sendoff. The seemingly mismatched body panels and squint-o-vision pictures are certainly worrying. But, again, it only has to last two weeks.
Also I didn’t even know you could get these in cloth?
Clearly a dealer listing, at $3000 asking what could possibly go wrong!?
If we’re sliding down the insanity curve, how about this customized 1970 VW Squareback?
The Bad Idea Bears called and even they think this would be a poor choice. Clearly customized, including a heater delete, this thing is risk personified.
Still though with a $2500 asking and epic looks, it only has to last two weeks....
Almost done, continuing on the VW trend (there are a lot of them up there!) we have a 1987 Scirocco. Talk about a car I didn’t know was sold in the states!
I don’t have any particular love for these, especially over the Golf, but it is undeniably interesting. The $3,250 asking price is a little over our $3000 budget, but unless the seller “knows what he has” I don’t think shaving off a few hundred would be a big deal.
Lastly, we have the best worst idea: a 1991 Autozam Carol. Take a 660cc city car on a 2,500 mile road trip!? Sounds like fun!
I might be insane, but this would be a bridge too far, even for me, but $3200 isn’t a big ask for a cool little car.
There were a lot of others, including some Geo Metros, a Ford Focus, a Subaru Baja, and so on, but I think what I have here are the highlights.
What does oppo think? Are we going to die?