Craigslist Crapshoot

The World’s Worst Car Is For Sale On Craigslist
Welcome to Craigslist Crapshoot, our weekly search for the most bizarre, awesome, and/or terrible vehicles that the online classifieds has to offer. 
Being an American, I always got the giggles when on Top Gear they would refer to a car with a Z in its name as a Zed, like in 240-ZED. BMW obviously gave the show plenty of fodder as their modern line of two-seater convertibles and coupes all carried the Zed series appellation. That’s what we went looking for last week, Z3s. Z4s, hell, even Z8s if you’re aspirations were high. We’ll see what zoomed to the top in sec, but first, hmmmmmm.
BMW long made its name on the straight six engine, a format that is intrinsically balanced and hence as smooth as the proverbial baby’s cheek. You know what’s even smoother than that? That’s right, Felix Wankel’s rotary engine, the pistons of which took their shape from Paul Revere’s hat. Let’s find us some rotary goodness for sale, whether it be from that most ubiquitous of purveyors, Mazda, or from NSU, Citroen or that rarest of the rare, the Suzuki RE5.
As always, we want your finds to go down in infamy and not in the site’s spam filter. Since we’ve changed commenting systems, you may need to update your commenter account. Make sure you have a Disqus account – they’re free and easy to get – and then comment away.

Got that? Good, Now, let’s catch some Zs.

I’m glad we decided to throw some love the BMW Z series’ way because seeing how unloved many of those up for sale seem to be, they could certainly use it. Take for example the excremental Z3 found by Manic_King. Yeah, it was the lowest of the low when it came to engines but no car deserves that kind of paint job. Hell, I think a big the reason that Microsoft’s Zune music player failed a decade back was because it came in matte turd finish. I mean, who wouldn’t feel uncomfortable digging that out of a back pocket?
On the other end of the spectrum sat this 1998 Z3 2.8 located by Muthalovin. In its obscure Dakar yellow paint, it proved that a BMW Z can be different without being dorky. Of course sometimes the dork is just too strong and that’s why the winner of last week’s search is not the most desirable, or the best value, but the most WTF.
Uncovered by Andrew_theS2kBore, here we have a Z3 Clownshoe that takes its nickname very, very seriously. It’s as though Batman had suddenly experienced cutbacks in his cashflow and needed to downsize the whole crimefighting operation. No, none of us would ever be seen within 100 yards of this, but it’s still a remarkable testament to the vast panoply of Z treatments you will find out there. The sad thing is, in 20 years or so, the cars will likely be even more rare and dear, and the cosy of un-screwing ones like this will be tragic.
Congrats to Andrew_theS2kBore, and thank you all for playing. Now, go find me something that goes hmmmmmm.
2001 BMW Z3 Custom Coupe Hatchback

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  1. Joram Avatar

    One of the most beautiful coupes of the 90s packed a triple rotor (!) engine, producing over 300 hp… I present you, the Eunos Cosmo 20B! Please note the tactile GPS/TV screen in a ’94 car.

    1. LEROOOY Avatar

      It’s amazing how a busy dash of the 90’s looks pleasantly austere compared to an ’10s dashboard. We are really getting into button overload here people.

      1. Kiefmo Avatar

        This is why I am in support of voice-activated damned-near-everything.
        Some things need to be more responsive than that, sure. Like radio volume. But one button is no biggie.

    2. dukeisduke Avatar

      My currency converter app says that 1,780,000 yen is $15,953.00.

      1. Kiefmo Avatar

        That is a lot of car for 16Gs.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          Classic cars out of Japan tend to be ridiculously cheap, especially if you factor in the high cost of living in that country.

  2. GTXcellent Avatar

    REPU with race car treatment. Unfortunately no price given.

  3. mdharrell Avatar

    Let’s see… A scan of an old photograph, only a minimal description, and no contact information whatsoever. I’m inclined to think this is a scam of some sort, but the mechanism of execution eludes me. Still, it’s a photo of a Model T with a rotary engine almost visible-ish, so it’s not a total loss.

  4. LEROOOY Avatar

    1974 Mazda Cosmo in Malaise Brown with a 1985 RX7 engine swapped in! Hooray!
    What an amazing shape this car has.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Only 1,999 Euros? Hmmmmm…

      1. engineerd Avatar

        I know. I started thinking about that too…

      2. Krautwursten Avatar

        If you find two grand worrying, try one and a half. Seller says the windshield, driver seat and fuel pump are broken, but the engine would be working fine otherwise. Take that for what you will.

    1. Alff Avatar

      It appears that Mr. Emslie has been down this particular path before…

    2. dukeisduke Avatar

      Undo the mods (I would hope that the driver’s seat is in storage), and then we’ll talk. Did it really need a fartcan? And who autographed the seat?

  5. Andrew_theS2kBore Avatar
    1. BigRedCaveTroll Avatar

      My brother purchased a first gen RX-7 that was about as clean as that one is (I think a back speaker was missing), but back in 2007-ish and only for a few hundred dollars. Unfortunately the seals in the engine were shot, and repairing it was more than he bought the car for, so he sold it.

    2. JayP Avatar

      The neighbor up the street from me had a mint ’85 just like this. I’d walk by and think to offer $500 to get it off the street. $10k? Dang.

  6. tonyola Avatar

    A 1988 Mazda Pickup with a rotary from a 1988 RX7 for $4,000.

  7. Sjalabais Avatar

    Surprised at what my search threw up: A 1980 RX7 that was bought and owned by Volvo AB for five years. They bought the car from Norway – because the Swedish importer was so slow – in order to study the Wankel engine. There are numerous photos of the car at the Volvo HQ following the sale. It appears to be in ship shape, and the seller is asking 90k SEK, which is 11000$:

  8. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    You know I want it.

  9. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Is there no R-4 love to be had?

  10. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    Sadly the Rotohack is not for sale, because who wouldn’t want a Mazda 13B powered sidecar rig

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