cheapest beaters

LeVeL

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Welcome to yet another one of my brainstorm sessions! This time the idea is to come up with a list of cars that are dirt cheap to buy (think $3000 maximum) and really cheap to run.

Example: Jeep Cherokee. You can pick one up for a grand (often even less); the 4.0L 6 is virtually indestructible; parts are dirt cheap; you can fix it with a hammer; truck/suv tires have deep tread to you rarely have to change tires; its big and practical; its RWD and AWD; comes with a manual. Brilliant!

Example 2: P71 Crown Vics seem to be similar, judging by Spectre's recent find. Cheap as hell, simple, pretty reliable.

What are some others?
 

2Billion

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The Pontiac Sunfire's like a condom. You might not get a lot of use out of it, but it's cheap as dirt (I saw four for sale for around $1000 just this afternoon, Sunfires not condoms) and easy to find, and once you're done with it you can usually find another one easily, often by just going to the gas station. Plus, it is really good at preventing you from having kids.

Note: The car is still terrible, but somehow becomes less terrible when I can buy one with the change in my sofa.
 

Blind_Io

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Nissan Hardbody pickup trucks.



You can't find one that doesn't look like a building fell on it, but the damn things just never die.
 

Davetouch

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In the UK you'd be looking at around a few hundred quid for a really cheap car. Cars that are readily available - small hatchback stuff like Fiestas and Escorts, Clios, Micras and quite a few Rovers. Although you do often get larger cars, these are more expensive to run/insure here. Especially for me.

I'd be interested in something like an old Laguna though - spacious, and not too expensive. This one caught my eye when randomly looking - maybe we should advise Ice to get it...
 

Canuck

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Anyone who says this wouldnt be a cheap, fun car has:
A. never done snow donuts in a rwd car with no weight in the back
B. never been offroading
C. never ridden in the bed of a truck down a country road
 

Night_Hawk

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Well I researched this particular idea and ended up looking for the car I currently drive.

Around here you simply will not see as many 15 year old cars as the 90's corolla's that are still around in fine shape. Mine feels more solid than many 2008+ cars I've driven and ridden in. Bought for $2500 this spring with 110k/kilo's and I've been getting nearly 40mpg ever since with no troubles whatsoever. In a year's time I should be saying the same unless I get bored.
 

Der Stig

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4.9L F150's.

Honda Accords.

Chevy C/K1500 dawn of time-'87 models.
 

Punisher Bass

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I think the LeMons GTP is a great example of a cheap and reliable beater. Other than the bigger front brakes, trans cooler, and rollcage for racing, we haven't touched a thing on a car and it survived an endurance race many other cars don't. And we were working within a $500 budget, with a $3,000 budget you could buy one in much better shape than ours. I think this would go for just about any late 90's FWD GM car with a 3800 under the hood.
 

CAPT_Howdy

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I admit to some bias here, but MN12 ('89-'97) Tbirds and Cougars. $3000 US would get you one in very good condition (Most of the ones I see here are 1 to 2000 and are presentable), and you have a 50/50 chance of getting one with a V8.

Plus, unlike most of the cars already mentioned, the driving wheels are in the proper location. :mrgreen:
 

Wizegui

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I think the Volvo 240s would be a good choice. The old fours with the solid rear axle should last forever if maintained properly. Shouldn't cost much either.
 

VR6

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As far as north america goes, the 4.0 cherokee and crown vic a winners, also those damn j-body cavaliers and such are cheap as hell good on gas and super easy to fix.

My money would go on the jeep, my buddy has had two, both have had over 250 km's and even after an accident wrote the first one off the engine still ran like a top.
 

Shawnw

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Ford Festiva, it may look like a pregnant rollerskate, but they're $500-$1000 for one in mint shape, super cheap to to insure and fuel. The stock engine is suprisingly tough and if it blows up you can easily swap in bigger mazda motors for extra fun. We owned one for about 2 years/60,000kms and I blasted it through snow drifts, down logging roads and into mud pits and it still ran like a top.

And if you ever get into an accident you dont need to worry about serious injuries, you'll be dead.
 

tigger

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4.9L F150's.

Honda Accords.

Chevy C/K1500 dawn of time-'87 models.
I've owned a C/K with over a quarter million miles on it and have seen a few Accords last just as long. My F150 (with a 4.9) has proven to be tougher than a coffin nail so far. Today I put in a starter solenoid, voltage regulator and ignition coil ... all brand-new for $60. Took about 15 minutes total to replace all three and they probably won't need replaced again for another decade.

I've got $630 total in the truck right now (including the truck itself). If I put another $2370 into it I think it would run until the end of time.

Another great beater would be an old Toyota Celica. The RWD models had the 22R engine and the earlier FWD models share parts with every other Toyota from the late 80s/early 90s. Super cheap to run and they handle abuse well. Plus they're put together better than a new Toyota.
 
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bone

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golf III

/end of thread

some many project cars that never finished, so many crashed ones that get stripped that they almost throw parts at you...
 

Polygon

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Any 80s Chrysler with a Turbo. They're inexpensive and parts are dirt cheap too. They're also cake to work on.

Now, before you go and say they're not reliable, that's bull. They're perfectly reliable. The problem is that they were cheap, people bought them as cheap transportation. They didn't know how to take care of a turbo-charged car. As such, they got a bad reputation. I will admit the paint wasn't that great but mechanically they're VERY reliable. My last one had 156,000 miles on it before it was totaled in a car accident. It ran like a champ and it looked like it was new in and out. Granted, I had painted it.

Oh, and I can attest to the fact that they hold up very well in an offset head on collision at 50 MPH.
 

bone

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In the US these have a reputation for being really unreliable :dunno:
true, but they're so transparant that every one who owns one, knows in advance what will be the next part to break, and can get replacements in time :lol:
 
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