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SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
11/18/21 9:30 p.m.

So if you had about $8k to spend on buying something unique, weird, quirky, rare, etc...from the 80s or 90s what would you get?  For the money, the car has to be in really good condition.  No rust bucket project cars.  Doesn't have to meet all the criteria above, but at least one of them.  Think things like Fiero, Reatta, Capri, Allante.  Can be automatic or stick, slow or fast.  Just should be something you won't see others of on the road or at the local cars and coffee.

Asking for a friend wink 

johndej Dork
11/18/21 9:39 p.m.

Toyota MR2 AW11

Elan m100

Subaru XT

Saab 900

Ford EXP

Might get lucky and find a TVR in that window

sergio HalfDork
11/18/21 9:41 p.m.

Alfa Milano, or 164

P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/18/21 9:49 p.m.





Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/18/21 9:51 p.m.


stanger_mussle GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/18/21 9:55 p.m.

Merkur XR4Ti

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/18/21 9:55 p.m.

80s Fox body Capri that needs lots of work.....  I'd love to have one.  Occasionally a nice driver Mustang SVO will show up for $8k.  

80sFast Reader
11/18/21 9:59 p.m.

I really liked my Saab 900 Turbo until the transmission went out. 

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/18/21 10:05 p.m.

I always liked the Allante, I can't explain why, but that was my favorite. A close 2nd would be a Beretta.

buzzboy SuperDork
11/18/21 10:10 p.m.

What is the rarest/coolest FWD GM car from that era?

80sFast Reader
11/18/21 10:19 p.m.

MotorsportsGordon Dork
11/18/21 10:19 p.m.
buzzboy said:

What is the rarest/coolest FWD GM car from that era?

Buick made a t type turbo version of the riviera made around 200 hp.

the sunbird and Skyhawk turbos made 150hp

while not fwd but using the fwd platform the Pontiac 600ste with awd is interesting. Pontiac also made the Grand Prix mclaren turbo,3.1 turbo 205 hp.

also the rare one year only Buick lesebre grand national that was a nascar homologation car.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/18/21 10:29 p.m.

I'll go with Porsche 924 or 924S. In an area full of new and vintage Porsches, I NEVER see another one (though I do see 944s). I mean, they're not particularly quirky, but they're still fairly unloved in the Porsche world (especially the early 2.0 924) and most people think it's an RX-7 or something lol. 

Still can be found in nice shape in your budget (especially non-S early 924) and they're galvanized so rust is rarely an issue. 

Also, they're way better drivers than anything on your OP list. 

XR4Ti is also a good choice, and can be found fairly cheap but not often seen on the road.

Staying German, e21 3-series. Can still be found here and there for cheap, generally unloved because they were not as fun as a 2002 and not as good as an e30 and have limited aftermarket support, and most people will mistake it as an e30. But I've only ever seen one on the road...not including the one that lived in my garage for a while. However, they do have the usual 80s BMW rust issues, so find one in the South. 





BiTurbo. ;) Virtually never seen on the road, anyplace. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/18/21 10:41 p.m.



Hyundai Scoupe Turbo


codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/18/21 11:53 p.m.

Subaru SVX

B13 Sentra SE-R

Probe GT

MX-3 with the 1.8L V6


Appleseed MegaDork
11/19/21 3:32 a.m.




John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/19/21 4:19 a.m.

AW11 MR2, that is the 85-89 original boxy, square MR2.  An iconic car that has modest and economical underpinnings 

Avoid the Supercharged version. If you found one in your price it would be too rough. Furthermore,  the replacement axle/cv half shafts are no longer available and have not been available for years. Everyone who did any power adds to their NA car swapped on the stronger half shafts from the SC.   They only made about 2000 SCs or about 1000 per year for 2 years (88&89).  Those shafts are long gone.

Choose the lowest option model you can find. Crank windows are better than problematic power window switches.  T-tops leak,  sunroof is okay but headroom stealing. Hard top is best.  Resist the urge to make more power and just enjoy the simplicity amd efficiency of its design. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/19/21 4:45 a.m.


Supras (v6) got the fame but Celicas (4cyl) were the sales leader,  popular model.  They used to be everywhere,  now they are rare.   But, they have the reliability to give them longevity.  

Whatever cleanest example you can find from any year.  They do not carry the rice tax or drift tax as their contemporaries like 240sx or Civic Coupes (though you still might find a deal on some Preludes.)

Celica sample

4 door Supra


John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/19/21 4:54 a.m.
Patrick (Forum Supporter) said:



Gen2 is less hp but better "tourer"

I'd be all over a M30 also...Coupe or Convertible

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/19/21 5:14 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

I got my 4 Eye mustang for that much. Even in the mustang rich midwest, I rarely see another one. 

I would go get an old Colt if it was me. 

NickD MegaDork
11/19/21 5:14 a.m.

Any of the EA82 4WD Subarus: DL, GL, GL-10, RX, BRAT, Loyale, XT6/XT Turbo.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/19/21 5:46 a.m.
buzzboy said:

What is the rarest/coolest FWD GM car from that era?

Riviera T-type convertible.  They made a hundred of them.


John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/19/21 5:50 a.m.

More quirk... anything Isuzu. 

Certainly an original Impulse as the car with the greatest body but a mediocre drivetrain. 

An original Amigo trucklet for some alternative Jeep. 


Deep quirk.. Chrysler TC by Maserati. There are many out that that were kept in good shape. The pricing is all over from the dreamer who thinks he has an "investment car" to the realist who knows he has a tarted up K-car. 

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
11/19/21 6:00 a.m.

Wow, didn't think I'd get this many responses so quickly!  A ton of great ideas.  Let me respond to a few...

The AW11 MR2, XT, SVX, Starion, XR4Ti are all on my list.  In fact, at the top.  But for these cars, I have been unable to locate a clean example that goes under $8k.  The MR2 value is skyrocketing, so is Starion.  XR4Ti is just hard to find, period.  The few that I have are expensive.  Ditto the XT.

Cressida is awesome, but I'm fortunate enough to drive one on a race track several times per year.  That's the LeMons car I drive.

I'd love a turbo Sunbird, but they are coffins on wheels.  While none of these cars are going to be super "safe", the Sunbird/Cadavalier are notoriously bad.

Saab 900 is cool, but just doesn't do it for me.  I loved my 9-5 wagon, but I'm looking for something a little more quirky.  The 900 was the poster child for the yuppie movement.

The Dodge stuff...GLHS, Shadow, are somewhat interesting because they're rare.  Grand Prix turbo is interesting.  Probe GT or early MX-6 could be cool.  I like the 924, but my wife already has a 996 so I'm not sure I want another P tax car (though yeah, I know...VW).  

I'm not on the book of faces, so I can't see the examples anyone posted there.

Oh...the E21 is already taken care of...more to come on that soon.  laugh

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
11/19/21 6:01 a.m.

Ooooh....Impulse.  Wonder if they can even be found anymore???  Forgetting the name of it now, but what was that bizarre looking Isuzu 2 door SUV?  Wonder if they're expensive.

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