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Old 02-17-2013, 10:42 PM   #21
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Saturn SL2. dead nuts reliable, just make sure you keep oil in it and it wont die. Just dont do too many burnouts or you'll throw the diff pin. 30-40 mpg pretty easy, it has a very awesome mechanical feel of everything and everything seems to be in just the right spots.

Stupidly easy to work on (not quite miata level), stock for stock handles better than any civic. Very limited aftermarket, turbo cars spend most of their lives on jack stands. Check for rust in the rear door sills and the front sub frame where the sway bar connects.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:48 PM   #22
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Saturn SL2. dead nuts reliable, just make sure you keep oil in it and it wont die. Just dont do too many burnouts or you'll throw the diff pin. 30-40 mpg pretty easy, it has a very awesome mechanical feel of everything and everything seems to be in just the right spots.

Stupidly easy to work on (not quite miata level), stock for stock handles better than any civic. Very limited aftermarket, turbo cars spend most of their lives on jack stands. Check for rust in the rear door sills and the front sub frame where the sway bar connects.

The saturn 1.9L is not what I'd call reliable, or fuel efficient. They're junk.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:56 PM   #23
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You could find volvo 240s that arent too bad and those red blocks will run forever.
Other things that havent been mentioned-Older subaru legacy, dare I say it Crown victoria-indestructible, body on frame, V8, can be made to handle decently. 20mpg might be pushing it, forget 30.

Forget the BMW-anything that cheap will be a rust bucket guaranteed.
Like the Maxima idea but I don't think I've seen a decent one cheap

Find a 240 and drive it forever or slap a turbo on it
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:58 PM   #24
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The saturn 1.9L is not what I'd call reliable, or fuel efficient. They're junk.
Not sure what you mean. I've actually never heard of one dying unless it was boosted or run out of oil. To be fair its pretty common for them to be run out of oil, its really a check the gas and fill the oil kind of car. 5spd cars have been know to hit over 40mpg with just normal hyper miling techinques on 200k mile engines.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:09 PM   #25
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Styrofoam engines.

my wife might **** if I get a volvo and slap some fat black nascar wheels on it, raise it a half inch in the rear for some dirt track style rake and make it look a swedish thug then make her drive it.... ohhhhhhhh mama
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:11 PM   #26
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I also have a dream of a 240 wagon bucket hot rod. yes with huge tires outside the rear fenders and exposed front clip. MAD SCIENTIST STYLE.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:50 PM   #27
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W123 Benz.

If you get a Turbodiesel, you can run propane as an additive for better power with the same mileage.

Quote:
The saturn 1.9L is not what I'd call reliable, or fuel efficient. They're junk.
True that. Actual quote from a customer at work: "I was pulling onto the on ramp, and it started making this horrible popping sound. I decided that I really ******* hate this car, so I floored it. CLANK-CLANK-CLANK-CLANKCLANKCLANK BANG! And then it stopped. The tow truck guy says I blew it up." I went out to the mechanic, who was in the middle of a job, and asked him if he needed a smoke break. He said sure, and I told him to go pop the hood and find the hole. Right behind the starter. Piston came out of there mad as hell.
He ended up shelling out $1600 for the installation of a replacement twin cam engine ($1200) it was stupid expensive for such a throwaway car.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:30 AM   #28
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Don't laugh until you drive it, but Ford SVT contour, they're pretty sporty and fairly reliable--they're essentially Mazdas.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:42 AM   #29
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Until that engine breaks and it costs another $1800 to fix it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:57 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Don't laugh until you drive it, but Ford SVT contour, they're pretty sporty and fairly reliable--they're essentially Mazdas.
They are painfully unreliable. I know a few ex-owners.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:34 AM   #31
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My father had a Contour. What a piece of junk. Parts like badges kept falling off, the interior was terrible (cheap, thin plastic) and it had uncontrolable torque steer.

It was mechanically reliable, but the thing was built so cheaply that it looked like crap in short order.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:34 AM   #32
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Currently leaning toward the volvo wagon, but this is still very hypothetical.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:32 PM   #33
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Manual 740t wagon:
1990 Volvo 740T wagon 5-Speed
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:48 PM   #34
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I can Amtrak out to Atalanta, drive it up to you Matt. Then Amtrak back down to Charleston. Lets make this happen.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:00 PM   #35
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I normally dont like VWs but the old GTIs are pretty cool and I found MK2 and MK3s for your price range.



I just had a customer buy a Pontiac Grand Prix GTP (the one with a s/c) for 1900 I dont know if that is an exceptionally low price or not. You could also look for the other GM counterparts, Buick regal GS and Boneville SSei

There is always a turbo dodge. Had the Omni, Shadow, sundance, there are really too many for me to remember. They make a hell of a sleeper.


Saab


Found lots of 626s proteges and millenias but that all seems boring unless you can find a gt

I always thought an Acura Legend would make a classy dd.


Or maybe an early 90s Cressida since its RWD


If your not worried about performance a late 90s Camry is dead nuts reliable. Two friends have them one is about 250K the other is 360K. Outside of door handles that break all the time, they work great and a/c is cold as hell. We have done everything from off road to jump them.


I do love the big body GM sedans that had the LT1 (94-96). Like the Buick Roadmaster, Cadillac fleetwood, and chevy caprice. Put a set of Impala SS 17" wheels on them and drop the nose a little and they look good, plus the 275hp. I promise I will help with LT1 problems haha.



What about this big classy bitch (found it in my search for LT1 powered GM goodness)


I found an Olds Aurora they have a v8.






On a side note I found a celica all trac turbo for 1600 I am sitting here seriously considering buying it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:22 PM   #36
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The Grand Prix GTP is a good option, but don't get the cheapest one you can find. The supercharger will be smoked, have no oil it it, the engine will have a blown head gasket, etc. etc. This is a car meant for a specific market, that was primarily bought by little old ladies and not properly maintained. The 3.8 V6 is a great engine, and responds well to bigger pulleys.

I wouldn't touch any Chevy with an LT1 if you're looking to stay cheap. It's an old school SBC with a special water pump, opticrap dizzy, and reverse flow cooling. Get a LS-series or any good old fashioned SBC. The LT's are bastard children and their parts are more expensive.

The Olds Aurora utilizes a neutered Cadillac Northstar V8. It takes like 7.5 quarts of oil, and any shop will charge you $6.99 per quart past the four their oil change comes with. Or you can go to Jiffy Lube, who will assume that it's a GM V8 and takes 4.5 quarts. Then you can come see me about an engine replacement (hint: it's not cheap.) Also, I wouldn't have anyone touch that engine without having them be well-versed in the Northstar. (IIRC, you can take a Northstar apart in a way that it can never be put back together.)
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:37 PM   #37
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I also second the saturn nomination. I have lots of customers that drive them and the only catastrophic failures i have seen have been from neglect (no coolant/no oil), and they do have a nice mechanical feel to everything. Not a fan of the L300s though that 6 cylinder is a pain in the ***.
SW2 is wagon and SL2 is sedan


E38 w/ M Parallels


E28s and E34s



Everyone knows the different 3 series

420SEL


If you can get a 300d for that price, around here they are hard to find but a friend was about to get one for around 2K, dont know how rough it was when he first got it. He has the factory turbo maxed and its lowered. Its cool as hell
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #38
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The Grand Prix GTP is a good option, but don't get the cheapest one you can find. The supercharger will be smoked, have no oil it it, the engine will have a blown head gasket, etc. etc. This is a car meant for a specific market, that was primarily bought by little old ladies and not properly maintained. The 3.8 V6 is a great engine, and responds well to bigger pulleys.

I wouldn't touch any Chevy with an LT1 if you're looking to stay cheap. It's an old school SBC with a special water pump, opticrap dizzy, and reverse flow cooling. Get a LS-series or any good old fashioned SBC. The LT's are bastard children and their parts are more expensive.

The Olds Aurora utilizes a neutered Cadillac Northstar V8. It takes like 7.5 quarts of oil, and any shop will charge you $6.99 per quart past the four their oil change comes with. Or you can go to Jiffy Lube, who will assume that it's a GM V8 and takes 4.5 quarts. Then you can come see me about an engine replacement (hint: it's not cheap.) Also, I wouldn't have anyone touch that engine without having them be well-versed in the Northstar. (IIRC, you can take a Northstar apart in a way that it can never be put back together.)
The waterpump may cost a little more, but the trick is to replace a bad one with an electric one, All the Lt1 guys I run around with have got more life out of the electric ones than the factory ones.

The optis arent near as bad as the internet makes you think, i used GMs and remans, they have all been reliable except **** I caused myself, like cracking the rotor or leaving a vacuum line off. I have a 170K mile LT1 that revs to 7K rpm everyday and the ONLY opti failures the car has ever seen where directly cause by me.

Parts arent more expensive though, most of it is GM parts bin stuff.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:12 PM   #39
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See, I'd like to use one of the Opti style crab caps on my 87 TPI to make the wire routing clean and good looking. Too bad they all cross-fired so bad that no one makes them for the older Dizzy's anymore.

I'm still kind of leery on electric water pumps on a DD. I know quality has gone up by leaps and bounds over just the last five years, but I dunno.

Aren't the LT1 specific go-fast parts more expensive than the SBC or LSx equivalents? Good aluminum heads come with a premium, $1500 for AFR SBC 195cc Eliminators, vs $1900 for AFR LT1 195cc Eliminators. Plus special intakes/throttlebodies and other oddities to hunt down.

I had a 93-96 Ford Taurus SHO Automatic. Orphan engines suck to find parts for. The current owner still calls me when **** breaks. Will never buy a car with such little aftermarket support again (although I might buy a SHO engine for a swap, such a sweet little bastich. Too bad the rest of the car was a Taurus)
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:40 PM   #40
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wut u say y8s?

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I can Amtrak out to Atalanta, drive it up to you Matt. Then Amtrak back down to Charleston. Lets make this happen.
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