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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
whats up guys - i'm looking for a second car to be my around town beater so i can keep the miles off my cooper.. looking for something that could be somewhat sporty, must be a manual and as reliable as possible (relative to this price range obviously)
so what would you all recommend? i've been looking at some older hondas mainly for reliabilitys sake, but if i could find a nice older golf/gti i'd maybe look into it.
 

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Re: best car for under $1000 - beater central! (rawk)

I've recommended it before and I'll recommend it again - look for an older Ford Escort GT. It has a Mazda engine, powertrain, and suspension. Think of it as a dirt cheap Ford ZX3 that weighs several hundred pounds less.
 

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Re: best car for under $1000 - beater central! (lobo)

Wait, and get lucky.... MINTYYY 3rd gen maxima found its way to my driveway... i stole this one from my parent's friends for $1000, needs a few small non-mechanical things ( a window switch, and i broke the heater/ac temp control thing last week) but it's a legit florida car, older lady driven since brand new, they were gonna trade it in.. over my dead body!
Wait.. and you'll find your unicorn.... some old geezer that gave up driving, or the just plain dumb person who has no idea what anything's worth.... that's my advice to you, and this is coming from someone who's made a few bucks off the buying/fixing/selling of older cars... my $650 F150 from the dude around the corner i sold a month later for $2900... the mk2 jetta i bought for $800 with a 'blown clutch' that needed a $20 clutch cable..... i'm tellin ya, be on the lookout, and you'll thank me later

my current prize:
(note the FL palm trees in the background, pic taken 30sec.'s before i hit the road for the return trip to MA)

 

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Re: best car for under $1000 - beater central! (SuperchargedLSS)

I know of a 1985 Accord for sale. It has 200K+ miles on the body, less than 90K on the new(er) engine. $950.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: best car for under $1000 - beater central! (jacobyb)

damn thats a nice maxima, those are one of my favorite body styles.. i'm not in a big hurry, trying to find something nice that could be fun to beat up

i will look into the escort, i think my buddy had one of those a while back
thanks guys
 

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In the northeast I would probably avoid the mid-80's Accords, not because they're bad cars but because of a fuel filler neck recall. The filler neck was prematurely rusting (wasn't properly coated at the factory) and the contaminates sink to the bottom of the tank. Honda replaced the necks, but the sediment in the tank ate fuel filters and pumps and can do some fuel injection damage, too. Back in the day, mid 80's Hondas were a sought after car by young guys in my age bracket. I knew lot's of people that had this problem. Then again, for $500, who cares, right?
My first pick would be a 79-83 Corolla. I had a number of them and they were great cars! I don't know how many are left up there anymore, though.
I would try to stay away from European cars, not because I don't like them but more because they usually have more electrical problems than domestic or Japanese cars. Chasing down a grounding short on a $600 piece of sh!t is a major pain in the ass. Not worth the headache. Then again, for that price who cares, right?
I just did a search on cars.com of Hartford metro (seeing that you're in CT) this will give you a good idea of what kind of stuff you're looking at. There's a BMW 320 in there, and a 91 Passat, too. They're $1000.
http://www.cars.com/search/use...dOnly=
I don't know if that will direct you to anything or not.
Probably my best suggestions are if you want "fun" five speed sporty fare:
Acura Integra (a few years ago I bought an 87 with 200K with a decent body for $650 and it was a great little car!)
Honda Prelude Si(88 and up preferable)
Toyota Celica (pre 86 were RWD)
Nissan 240SX
Honda Civic Si or CRX
Mazda MX6 if you can find one, bonus if it's a turbo.
You might still be able to find AE86 Corollas under a grand in your area, too.
The nice thing about all of the above cars is that a lot of their parts were sourced from common econo buckets and trucks so the replacement parts are cheap and plentiful.
And the Europeans I might look at if I were buying the car (against my better judgment):
Non Turbo SAAB 900 (I owned both a turbo and non turbo and if the car is >$1K, the turbo ain't gonna be all that much faster. Plus the NA proved more reliable)
A2 Golfs & Jettas
B3 Passat
Volvo 740 Turbo (if you can find one, and most likely it'll be an auto)
I'd say remember that even Japanese cars in this price bracket are going to be prone to problems. Good luck.
 

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Re: best car for under $1000 - beater central! (rawk)

80s subaru wagon
2 cars for 500 bucks the 84 gl is sitll alive and kicking after two girls learning how to drive a manual in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: best car for under $1000 - beater central! (roccostud)

patrick - thanks alot for all the detailed info, i was looking at crx's as well how are those for reliability? i'm not expecting a whole lot for $1000 but it would be nice if something didn't break within the first couple days of driving
 

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Re: (Patrick Arena)

Quote, originally posted by Patrick Arena »
Volvo 740 Turbo

http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif Can be made very fun very cheaply.
 

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Re: best car for under $1000 - beater central! (dbreid)

Quote, originally posted by dbreid »
MK1 GTI. Invincible, and extremely fun.

Yea but they get addicting and turn into money pits and project cars.
So it doesnt stay a beater or under $1000 sometimes.
 
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