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What do You Call a Siren That’s Fat and Ugly? Quadravan, Apparently

1978 ford quadravan 4x4 for sale

I have a problem with negative absolutes. “It’s impossible.” “It’s worthless.” “There’s no way you could…” My immediate response? “Is that a challenge?!“. Nothing makes me happier than rescuing something from the scrap bin to extract a bit more utility from it for free.

With all that background, you can imagine what this ’78 Quadravan that’s dropped to $295 is doing to me.

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Click For Affirmation That Good Things Still Happen.

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If you guys think along the same lines as me, and I’m pretty sure you do, this story will blow your mind.

It all started when a guy from Ipswich alerted the forumites of the esteemed Autoshite.com as to the existence and imminent sale of a Ford Sierra. Not just any Sierra, but the virtually extinct entry level model.

What began as a simple “ooh, look at that” quickly developed into one of the most emotionally rewarding internet forum threads you’ll ever read. Leap the jump to see how it all happened.

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Bargain Corner #2: ’01 Ford Mondeo

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Depreciation is a savage phenomenon. The way some cars lose value after first leaving the showroom often takes the form of a really violent looking curve when charted. In a lot of cases it really doesn’t take very long at all before a car has lost almost all of the multiple thousands that were spent on it in the first place.

But what happens next? Once a car has lost all its value (which is inextricably linked with it its desirability), it is still just as much of a car as it ever was before. It just takes somebody to see beyond such fickle mistresses as age and image and take it on as bargain transportation. If you do things right you need never pay more than scrap value for a car ever again, and there’s an awful lot of cut-price tin out there to choose from.

After it was unanimously decided that a 1995 Citroen Xantia was roundly deserving of our £200 maximum purchase, we’re heading £10 downmarket for a much newer car in the shape of a 2001 Mondeo.

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Bargain Corner#1: ’95 Citroen Xantia

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With everybody being urged to eat healthily to kerb an obesity crisis, cars are currently selling markedly better than hotcakes in the UK. With credit being so readily available the dealership order-books are bulging and suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand. This is great news for the economy.

It’s great news for the used car market, too, as a lot of recent cars head for early trade-in, and a stock oversupply leads to some good deals, so people are now driving around in cars which are a lot newer than they previously expected to be able to afford. A lot of these folk aren’t desperate for new wheels, there’s nothing wrong with their existing conveyance, it might just be a little old hat.

We’re now in a situation where there are an awful lot of elderly but usable cars out there which have been rendered homeless thanks to attainability of newer, more fashionable stuff. I thought I’d begin an occasional series looking at just what there is out there at the very bottom end of the market. Setting the upper limit at £200, this was the pick of today’s crop.

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Weekend Edition: Cheap 1992 Peugeot 405 Mi16 is a winterbeater find

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What is the best justification for a car purchase? Buying one out of need, want, or nostalgia? This 1992 Peugeot 405 Mi16 combines all of those three, and I got it home last weekend.

I’ve found it funny for a while, that despite having several cars, I’m constantly lacking a honest-to-god daily driver that does it all. It’s already late November, which means that my MX-5 is going into winter storage, under cover, freshly inspected and washed and waxed. I won’t daily it like I did last winter, as it needs some rust work and I’d hate it to develop any more rot than it already has on its rockers and rear arches.

The 205 will also go off the road, as I have purchased a lot of interior parts for it, and the seats will be taken out and refurbished. The torn driver’s seat is the single biggest blemish on the car at the moment, and it needs to be put right. My humble VW Polo is on its way to be finished, but it’s hardly a highway car. And the Sierra? The less said, the better, but it’s been out of use for the best part of 2015, and motivation to put it right is dwindling along with little, insignificant parts breaking.

So, there you have four cars that necessitate the purchase of a fifth. And here, you have the fifth one. Four cylinders, four doors, 16 valves, 600 euros. A perfect recipe.

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Retard vers la futur: DMC-ized Citroën BX for sale

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There’s a few good possibilities for a DMC replica build, if you’re extremely fond of that Giugiaro folded paper design but lack the wherewithal to get an actual, legit, crowd-pulling DeLorean DMC-12 just in time (groan) for October 2015. You could start by dressing up a Volkswagen Scirocco, or if you’re into the more obscure, you can get a LeMons-grade Isuzu Piazza and slap some ducts on it.

This guy who will remain anonymous, but lives at the post code 50400, has built his own DeLorean that’s both closer and further from the original, using a Bertone-designed Citroën BX diesel. Hey, if you’re going to build a DeLorean out of a car, why not do it with style?

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Weekend Edition: The Lure of the 800 Euro Car

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I’ve decided I won’t be buying another beater this fall. It’s an easy decision to make, since I still have four cars under my ownership: the Miata, the 205, the Sierra and the Polo. The Volkswagen is going to be reassembled by someone else, as it’s painfully apparent I won’t be fixing the engine together myself (or haven’t done it over the past two years); the Sierra needs a bit of welding to pass MOT, and then it’ll either perform winterbeater duties or get sold altogether, albeit I’m still tempted to Merkurize it to the best of my abilities. The 205 will stay and get improved on, and the Miata will be taken off the road for the winter so the rusting will be at least slowed down.

Yet, the market is full of AMAZING DEALS for 800 euros, as the summer is inevitably ending and people don’t know where to put their cars. Everywhere I look, there’s a dead end waiting there’s something that needs rescuing for 800 euros – or less. The Miata was cheaper than that in Germany, originally; the Sierra was cheaper than that, the Xantia I used to own was priced right there: with a loose grand, you can pick something up and even fix one or two of the initial problems. Let’s take a quick look at some of the stuff I’ve seen for sale recently in this beautiful used car country.

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Project Regretmobile Dodge Magnum, Part 1: An elegy for sensibility

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This is Kevin. Kevin doesn’t know why he’s agreed to help me.

I am not a smart man.

We must get that out of the way here because it will make understanding the rest of this story so much easier. This is going to be a long build story about me, Eric Rood—a complete idiot whose mushy brain is filled almost entirely with Bad Ideas—and my struggles with building a $200 1979 Dodge Magnum XE to race in the 24 Hours of LeMons. Naturally, I’m already two months behind on telling the story of this Personal Luxury Coupe.

This Last of the B-Bodies.

This Malaise Era Mopar Orphan (Mop-phan).

This rusting 3,900-pound albatross.

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Someone Rescue this SAAB 96 from an Oakland Tow Yard

1968 saab 96 for sale

Who among you failed this quirky brown machine? I’d argue there can’t be more than three degrees of separation between myself and the person who owned this ’68 96, allowed it to be towed, and then failed to claim it. Quirky and ambitious Oakland resident, I AM DISAPPOINT.

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Anyway, let someone else’s screw up be your gain: this thing’s on eBay with a $700 obo price, but a $295 lien sale mandatory fee. What does a grand get you? Looks like someone’s very much in-progress project: the interior’s mostly removed, but the body’s straight with sections that look like new or super clean old and the engine’s present. The after the jump, the Yard’s eight-plus minute walkaround video probably shows it better than I can…

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Who Needs an Early Celica for Cheap-as-Free?

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Not long after Ford (or, arguably, Plymouth) pioneered the “sporty car on a mundane sedan chassis” pony car formula, even Toyota got in on that action with the 1970 Celica. They based the Celica on the Carina chassis, but with bigger engines and cooler styling. I’ve no hands-on experience with 70s Celicas, but I see a compact longitudinal-layout vehicle with parts interchangeability reaching into the late-80s, and there’s a lot to like about that. While this one lacks the “Japanese Mustang” looks of the ’77 liftback, it benefits from a pre-smog year of manufacture. With a curb weight just over a ton, there’s no shortage of engines that’d make this thing scream.

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Condition wise, this one’s a “side yard car”, to be sure. The seller just wants it gone and a puzzling mix of parts (the pedals and steering wheel) are missing. One fender’s mis-matched (a ’74), there’s typical rust around the front/rear windshields and the hood is “not salvageable” (though it’s unclear why). As much as I dislike seeing relatively rare cars get all hacked up for drifting or hardcore offroading, if ever there was a candidate for box flares and a welded diff, this is it. We’ve gotta hand it this seller: he started the auction at $1 with no reserve. True Adam Smith free-market pricing in action, which (as I type this) places the value of this car somewhere around $285 after 24 bids. Auction ends Wednesday afternoon, so we’ll see how much it climbs by then.

1973 Toyota Celica for sale – eBay Motors