Best looking Car from 80's - 90's that can be picked up cheap

Discussion in 'Motorized Vehicles' started by Brendanmurphy, Sep 28, 2010.

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  1. Sodium

    Sodium Notebook Enthusiast

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    i dont have collision either. but i dont think i pay that much
     
  2. Sefirothe

    Sefirothe Notebook Consultant

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    My Dad once owned GNX #100. Mind blowing when the turbo spooled up and then hit is an understatement! :D In 1995 he bought it out of a salvage yard in Virginia for about $18,000. Fixed it up for about $5,000 (looked like someone scraped it along a dirt embankment on the driver side). Kept it for a year and sold it off for $30,000 in 1996. Some day if I win the lottery I will track that car down and buy it back.

    My brother used to own an '84 Grand National. Bought an '87 when he burnt a piston in the '84. Put a bunch of racing mods on the '87 and took it drag racing every weekend at the local strip. The only thing that reliably beat him was a ZR-1.

    The '84 is still sitting in my Dad's garage, engine and tranny stripped out, up on donuts and gathering dust. *sigh* Once I get my student loans paid off I'm gonna try to get him to let me work on rebuilding it.
     
  3. Paul79UF

    Paul79UF Notebook Enthusiast

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    I don't know if someone already mentioned it, but check out the 1997 to 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP with the supercharged 3.8L V6 engine.

    The engine is bullet proof and is on the ward's list of top ten engines. You can easily drive them to 250k miles and over.
     
  4. kosti

    kosti Notebook Virtuoso

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    If you want a sports car and you are looking to buy something cheap, you should consider all the gas money you're gonna burn on those big engines. If you are looking for a real sports car for cheap and with decent reliability and good gas mileage, I recommend one of the original Toyota MR2s. I had an '86 and it was the most fun car I've ever owned, and I've owned lots including two 300ZXs and one WRX. It's a mid-engine poor-man's Japanese Ferrari of sorts. They are rare but if you find one in good shape, go for it. They made a supercharged model as well but those are even rarer and will definitely be more expensive to buy and maintain.
     
  5. Modly

    Modly Warranty Voider

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    They are great engines, but they have one giant flaw.

    Dexcool is absolutely horrible, and if not maintained more than suggested, it will harden up. Most problems I had seen in the GM 3.8's were because of Dexcool limiting flow, and creating hot spots (and eventually causing warped heads or blown gaskets).
     
  6. linuxwanabe

    linuxwanabe Notebook Evangelist

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    Bulletproof? I really don't like to use that word with elderly GM products. A lot of things go wrong on older cars, especially old GM products.

    By the early 2000s, these cars were pretty dated. I'd avoid any supercharger or V8 W-body, since the transmissions aren't exactly up to the torque and abuse. GM simply uprated the transmissions on these cars and didn't use the more durable transmission you'd find in their fullsized FWD cars. If somebody really wanted a supercharged 3.8, they'd be better off looking for Park Avenue Ultra, or a last generation Riviera. Maybe even a Northstar FWD Caddy. Preferably something owned by a really old geezer who didn't abuse it. All of those cars are a little dubious, but the Grand Prix GTP is even more so. It's not mystery why the Pontiac brand is dead.
     
  7. linuxwanabe

    linuxwanabe Notebook Evangelist

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    Ummm, not great engines by any measure. Great engines compared to some other stinkers from GM, like the infamous DOHC 3.4 liter or the awful 3.5 liter "Shortstar." Oh, and better than Ford's Essex V6. Not very good by modern standards. Basically, I've never seen a Buick 3.8 that wasn't rough about 5000rpms. GM kept on adding band-aids to a sawed off V8 from the 1960s. Basically, it should never have been produced and even in the 1960s, GM knew that 60 degree V6s were the way to go but the 90 degree Buick V6 was produced strictly for cost reasons.

    Dexcool may or may not live up the 5 year claims, but I'm inclined to believe that the reported problems weren't all coolant related. Basically, these cars saw a lot of service in rental fleets, and by the second or third owner, had seen a lot of abuse.
     
  8. linuxwanabe

    linuxwanabe Notebook Evangelist

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    The MR2 had vicious handling. As I recollect, even the first generation car had some unpredictable oversteer issues until Toyota fixed the suspension after a year or two. Not a good idea for a new driver.

    The last generation MR2 turbo was fairly quick, but also relatively rare, since it sold very poorly.
     
  9. Modly

    Modly Warranty Voider

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    The old turbo 3.8's were awesome. I miss those. (No sarcasm whatsoever, they really launched off the line).

    As for dexcool, seriously? Work at an engine shop for 4 years and tell me what you think about that crap. It eats aluminum, forms crystal clumps, and smells horrible. I spent countless hours in the sandblaster getting that crap out of heads. My Caprice had dexcool in it when I bought it, and the radiator was eaten through, my water pump was leaking, and the thermostat was corroded shut. Swapped out the parts, and I switched it to the green stuff. (Not an easy task)

    I understand that you've got an opinion about cars, but not to sound smug about it, but your real life experience with these cars show.
     
  10. linuxwanabe

    linuxwanabe Notebook Evangelist

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    Am I the only one that remembers turbo lag? Off boost, from a standstill, and old-school turbo was just a really low compression engine. In this era, the turbochargers themselves didn't have either reliability or longevity. All of the G-bodies were attractive cars, especially the Buick Grand National, but they were horrific cars, especially the Grand National.

    Again, a lot of people jump on the anti-Dexcool bandwagon because they have 10 to 15 year old GM cars with high mileages and are surprised to find out that elderly, high mileage cars that weren't all that reliable when new have major issues when they're old and thoroughly worn out.

    Waterpumps? Yup, I've seen GM products that go through waterpumps, with or without Dexcool. Radiators. Oh yes. Actually, by the Dexcool era, GM vehicles were less problematic in terms of the cooling systems than they had been in the darkest days.
     
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