It’s kind of crappy out today and I’m getting over a pretty bad cold, so follow me down one of my favorite internet holes - 1960-1995 sub-$5k cars on eBay. Some interesting stuff today, starting with a low-mileage 1991 Lexus ES, a car I’ve actually never seen in person.
This is one of the last first-gen ES’s, and while it’s basically a Camry with a nicer interior, that’s not necessarily a bad thing when you consider the availability of parts. These were fun, light reliable cars, and with 85k miles on the clock this one has a lot of life left in it. A manual conversion is definitely not out of the question either, considering the cheap price.
Now onto another low-mileage late-first-gen Japanese gem hailing from the early nineties, this 1990 Acura Legend coupe. The ES was actually aimed directly at the Legend when it launched, so while you may think the main difference here is the number or doors, this one actually has a slightly larger 2.7L V6 cranking out slightly more horsepower than the ES, as well as a better suspension setup. I happen to think it looks much better, and plus it has these cool buttons around the gauge cluster!
It also has that Honda gauge font that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Neither interior is in the best shape, but hey, I hear if you email Tavarish enough he’ll do a free seat swap for you.
This Reatta ain’t in the best shape, but assuming the engine works as “good” as the seller claims, it can’t be the worst idea in the world for $1995. He goes on to say the main problem is non-functioning digital dash caused by a (I’m assuming) botched fuel pump installation.
Not bad, and not a bad color combination! There are some paint and trim issues, and a suspicious lack of front/engine pictures (despite the hood being raised in half the other shots - great sign!), but there’s gotta be at least the purchase price in parts here.
Someone must know something I don’t, because if I had the space and the funds I would be all over this curiously-unsold 1965 Ford Thunderbird. There’s a bit of rust, some vaguely-referenced “electrical problems” and a busted (and rusted) trunk latch, but look at this interior!
Aside from a few small tears and scratches, shit is basically all there. Beautiful! Again, the price in parts is basically there, but I can’t see how this doesn’t get finished by someone.
Paging Cletus - this 1976 Chrysler Newport is almost 19 feet of pure uncut American CAR, one of the last holdouts against the shrinkage of the malaise era. In fact the Newport would be shunted off to the smaller, crappier R-Body a couple years after this beauty was produced, dying an ignoble death soon after.
But let’s not dwell on that. Let’s focus on the fact that this sub-50k mile car is an almost-complete survivor, still running the original 6.6L V8. I bet it sounds amazing. A balky HVAC system and gas gauge are just about the only things wrong with this classic.
Fast forward two decades and you end up in the driver’s seat of this very-red 1994 E36 convertible. You have to love an ad this detailed. This guy clearly took care of this car.
There’s an issue with the power top and the front seats are allegedly a little too faded - why someone would choose these ugly-ass covers over OEM seats in “very nice condition” is beyond me - but the main thing that’s probably scaring potential buyers off is a whine coming from the power steering rack, which likely needs replacing. Not uncommon, and not super expensive.
But perhaps you’d like a 5 series of a similar vintage - got you covered champ. This pretty basic 1992 525i sports a non-VANOS engine and a new clutch. That’s basically all you need to have fun in one of these. Well, brakes probably help. I think it’s got those too.
The interior is in decidedly “meh” condition, but as long as the seats aren’t cracked and the stick still shifts, I’m pretty happy. I do wonder how many pixels on all those screens are burnt out though. I’m guessing many.
Some of you will probably never think of $4800 for a 26 year old base model Honda as a good idea, but it’s damn near impossible to find one of these in stock condition with a factory 5-speed and such low miles. If you take care of the rust that’s already started to develop, you’ll get another 26 years out of this easy.
Love the visibility in these things. Great greenhouse.
Hey, speaking of rust! You’ll have to be much more vigilant in the battle against metal cancer in these earlier Hondas, but now we’re in the sub $2K range, so really, anything goes. Especially a survivor Honda with 50,000 miles on the whole package.
Stick with it and be rewarded with an interior that screams EIGHTIES everywhere you look. Pity it’s an automatic though.
We end our journey with this fox bodied 1984 Mustang SSP edition, which also serves as further proof for my argument that every car looks better with dog dish hubs. I want this bad.
It’s a bit more of a project than it looks - needs a lot of finishing touches both inside and under the hood, but look at that shifter!
Oh man would that be fun to flick around.