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Old 02-17-2013, 01:30 PM   #1
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Default four doors for cheap?

If you had a maximum budget of $1800 for vehicle and initial repairs and upgrades and needed a toy that had four doors, what would you get?

here's what I'm thinking is a good starting point:
  • japanese or european (MAYBE big 3)
  • four damn doors with room for rear facing infant seat
  • RWD or FWD or AWD or whatever
  • easy to work on, parts aren't ridiculously expensive
  • "sporty"?
  • sedan or wagon, no trucks
  • bonus for 1988 or earlier to avoid emissions checks
  • economical. > 20 mpg absolute minimum. preferably approaching 30 mpg.
  • stylish
  • moddable with bolt ons (suspension, engine, etc)

Some contenders that fit most of this:

Volvo 240
245minilite1.jpg?t=1236024916

early Camry


dodge neon


another cheap civic (we have a 2 door 98)

old bmw 5 (E34) or 7 (E32) series


the budget is pretty much not flexible. I could easily figure out what to get if I could spend $5000.

ideally I'd weed out the "scene" cars that are all going to be either a) over priced, b) modded poorly, c) beaten on by losers, d) harassed by poseurs.

remember, 1800 includes initial repairs too. so I guess that's a craigslist budget of 2000-2200 before haggling for something in great condition? or 1200 (1500 craigslist) for something in need of lots of love.

thanks boyz.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:03 PM   #2
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Skip the E32. The E34 can be reasonable though.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:18 PM   #3
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An old benz and a sawzaw? They are heavy as **** but they run good.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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You can find 4dr Integras under $1800 all day long... won't be pre-88, but should still have no problem w/emissions even with tons of mods.

How about this... still not pre-88, but 5-spd and looks very clearn:
93 Lexus ES300 5 speed

On the side... rollbar is worth half his asking price:
93 Miata Project
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
Volvo 240
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
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Brain also suggested the Lex ES. I've never been a fan of the looks but it does check a lot of boxes.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:23 PM   #7
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The volvos are super cheap to buy, reliable, do awesome in the snow and have a ****-load if room. On the downside they are slow.

That Lexus may be ugly but its probably the sportiest thing your going to get for $1800 other then a miata.

Also a 5.0 Mustang with a 5 speed?
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:27 PM   #8
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i wanted to get an old volvo for a while, but then started looking at jeeps.
xj or zj jeeps can be in that price range...probably an xj.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:49 PM   #9
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I had a 1993 accord for several years. It was very reliable and cheap... Also a prelude engine will easily swap in.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:56 PM   #10
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What about the old YJ wranglers? The TJs are nice but pain in the butt since most of them have shitty axles and pretty expensive
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:06 PM   #11
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1993-1994 Nissan Maxima SE. 190 HP V6, sporty-ish suspension, available with a 5-speed.

I want this car bad.

1993 Nissan Maxima SE Sedan 4D ***Must Sell***

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Old 02-17-2013, 09:11 PM   #12
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lol at me driving a jeep. I'd feel more homosexual than when I drove the miata.

also the only four door mustang I could find was this Boss version:


and it was an aprl fools joke.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:13 PM   #13
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you don't feel more homosexual driving a mini? seriously?
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:22 PM   #14
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lolvo.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:28 PM   #15
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anything you get for 1800 is going to be a gigantic piece of crap that you'll have to sink a ton of money and/or time into or ghetto rig. As I get older I'm more and more put off by old stinky primitive cars. Only ones that appeal to me are fully restored, tons of money and work in them, and despite being older than their owners, they are in tip-top shape. Etc.

so my question would be: why?

I know you're not broke
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:42 PM   #16
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Galants depreciate like crazy. You can pick up a early 2000's or late 90's for about $2k. There goes your pre-88 wish though. Lots of autos, manual swaps are possible if you're really driven.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:46 PM   #17
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/thread
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:46 PM   #18
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The old maximas can be good too. I'd suggest the 95+ model though since they are all with the bigger motor and the parts are more available for them while the first gen is too old so parts are more rare. At last it looks more modern vs the pre 94 models.

The negative is of course the MPG.. they are in the low 20s.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:55 PM   #19
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Don't forget that wrenching on FWD cars is awful.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:04 PM   #20
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