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. 
Three-thousand dollar Gymkhana stars were our elusive quarry last week. That mid-week exercise seeking some weekend fun resulted in some good opportunities. We’ll see which might make the most competent cone cruiser in a minute, but first let’s see what this week has in store.
They say that two of the least avoidable aspects of life are death and taxes. I don’t know about the taxes bit, but I can tell you that there are certain cars and trucks out there that seem to be able to avoid the grim reaper in the long term. That’s what we want this week, cars that in your opinion are almost impossible to kill. Death takes a holiday next week.
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 buy it on Friday and drive it on Saturday.

Has LeMons become far too commercial for your taste? Yeah, I hate to see them sellout too. I’ll still go see the movie when it comes out, but that’s mostly because Jay Lamm will be played by Ryan Gosling and he’s dreamy.
Real roots racing—the kind where amateurs can hone their talent and the talented can show them how it’s done—is exemplified in the weekend gymkhanas that pepper the planet. Last week we went looking for cars that might be viable contenders in those venues, but which could also easily be driven to and from the track.
We’ll start out with the incredibly sketchy Isuzu Stylus found by Andrew_theS2kBore. That car was already set up for track day, but might not be able to outrun the cops that potentially might be looking for it. Taking things in an entirely different direction, Sjalabais pulled back the Iron Curtain on a Trabant racer that could leave the competition in the dust with actual dust from its likely disintegrating bio-degradable body.
Seeking to test the outer limits of polar momentum, mdharrell offered up a VW Beetle powered by a cast iron Pinto four hanging off its rear like a randy baboon’s ischial callositie. The winner however, and one which I think we can all agree we might like to drive on both road and track, was the ’91 Nissan 300ZX, offered up by salguodThat’s a car that has appeal beyond its trackability, even in non-turbo cloth seat form.
Congrats to salguod, and thank you all for your fast track suggestions. Now, let’s go find something unstoppable.
91 Nissan 300zx

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  1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    Per Top Gear, the Hilux is the cockroach of the automotive world. This ’81 Toyota pickup is ridiculously expensive at $27,500, but look at how pretty it is!!

    1. Ayreonaut Avatar

      Ohhh I know how to kill one of those pretty easily. Bring it up to my neck of the woods and drive it a couple winters without washing it. Bye bye.

  2. mdharrell Avatar

    Darts and Valiants will be with us for a long time. I say that as a geologist.

    1. pj134 Avatar

      Completely unrelated and I’m sure you had to have seen it but on the off chance you didn’t

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Ooh, fancy! Special colors were either $50, $100, or possibly $150 extra, depending on whether one was supposed to believe the first part of the factory order form, the second part, or both. The only standard body colors were red, yellow, and orange.

        1. Alff Avatar

          It that market price for one of these?

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Yeah, either $50, $100, or possibly $150 is about right.

          2. pj134 Avatar

            If you want the green one I’ll drive it cross country for you making it less nice in the process.

  3. Sjalabais Avatar

    Just so we get all the standard choices out of the way: Here’s a 1973 Volvo 145. They uglified a great design in that year, in order to make the marked anticipate the 240. Worked well.
    Alternatively, here’s a very beautiful 1972 144 Sport, but it comes with a Weber carb rather than the two SU’s it should have. Never really understood that…the original carburettors follow the sale though.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      My ’76 66 GL also got Weberized by a previous owner, which means I’ll have to track down someone who’s willing to ship me a complete intake setup from the manifold to the air cleaner in order to undo it. With the current setup the spare no longer fits inside the engine compartment. I just don’t understand some people’s choices….

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Do you have a plan on how to acquire that? And, most importantly, were do you carry your spare now? Am I right to assume you didn’t bolt it onto the rear lid in a Freeway-ish manner?

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          I’ll probably start by asking whether anyone in the DAF Owners Club has an intake setup for sale. I’d rather not mess with it before next month’s LeMons rally, as it seems to be running okay as-is for now. The spare is currently in the trunk, which not only feels just plain wrong but also takes up a significant fraction of the available space.

          1. Citric Avatar

            This entire plan sounds very DAFt.

  4. engineerd Avatar

    I worked for a cabinet shop that had a Ford Ranger as the shop truck. It was massively abused, maintenance was on a “when someone remembers to” basis, and it kept going. In fact, I heard years later that when they went out of business the truck was sold as part of the liquidation. I like to think that, 20 years later, that little truck is still going. Thus, I nominate the Ford Ranger as essentially unkillable. Particularly in stripped down 2WD trim.

    1. CruisinTime Avatar

      As a Ford owner I approve this post.

      1. CruisinTime Avatar

        225,000 miles and going strong.

  5. Andrew_theS2kBore Avatar
  6. Alff Avatar

    Statistically speaking, I give this one a good shot at remaining viable longer than anything else on this page…

  7. CruisinTime Avatar

    I nominate the 3 million mile Volvo.
    This venerable Volvo won’t get off the road.
    Long Islander Irvin Gordon bought the P1800 in 1966 and since then
    has driven more than 3 million miles in the cherry red beauty.
    The 74-year-old retired schoolteacher from East Patchogue fell in
    love with the car during a test drive and plunked down about $4,000 to
    buy the convertible.

    1. CruisinTime Avatar

      Gordon cares for the car like a parent would a newborn child. Over the
      years, he’s gotten 857 oil changes, 30 drive belts and 120 bottles of
      transmission fluid — and thanks to all of this maintenance, the car has
      never broken down.

      1. Kiefmo Avatar

        I think I do remember reading that he has had the engine rebuilt a few times. Never after a breakdown, but when it starts getting tired. Rings and bearings, which might last the life of the average engine, suddenly become wear items when you’ve a need for an 8-digit odometer.

    2. Alff Avatar

      What is this P1800 convertible of which you speak? I’ve not heard of such a thing.

  8. Tomsk Avatar

    Millions of years from now, giant cockroaches will roam the earth, eating Twinkies and driving these:
    At 158,000 miles, this one isn’t even broken in yet. And it’s a stick!

  9. GTXcellent Avatar

    Stovebolt six, 4 speed trans, no electronics to worry about – you aren’t getting anywhere fast, but you WILL get there …………… eventually.

  10. engineerd Avatar

    In a kill or be killed world, the D9 from ‘Killdozer’ chose the former.

  11. Wayne Moyer Avatar
    Wayne Moyer

    There are two Ford’s that fit this list. The first is the ubiquitous Crown Vic. Between the taxi’s and cop cars they are just everywhere and they are available for couch change.
    And of course is the first car of non-choice for so many people. They are the unibody equivalent to the Crown Vic. They don’t die and are available for pennies on the dollar. This one is even available for LeMons money.

    1. Kiefmo Avatar

      There’s a third Ford that fits this list, though you don’t find them for sale as runners very often, as they’re just kept until they finally kick the bucket somewhere beyond 500k — the E-series van.
      The highest-mile fleet of these I have seen were run by Groome transportation, which runs a shuttle to the Atlanta airport from various satellite cities. I rode in their 11-passenger (backseat taken out for cargo) E-350s multiple times. I think the highest mileage I saw was over 700k, and the lowest was in the 300s. I once sat up front and asked the driver about how they’re maintained. Apparently, they only turn the trucks off for oil changes at 20k intervals. They don’t shut them off when they’re stationary. They don’t shut them off while refueling. They ran a fleet of 7.3L diesels for a while before discovering that the 5.4L mod motor was longer-lived in this relatively-light duty use. I’ll be curious to learn whether the Transit lives as long.

  12. Krautwursten Avatar

    Highest believable mileage 190E I could find. 435,000 miles according to the text, might just be correct. Appears in solid condition, though no detail shots or interior shots. 1500 Eurobucks, that’s $1650 or so.

  13. Citric Avatar

    Any car will last forever with regular maintenance. Going by the ones I see on the road, a Grand Am can survive with no maintenance and also someone using it to simultaneously hotbox and transport heavy appliances. Here’s an $800 that cockroaches will probably advertise on cockroach craigslist.$_27.JPG

    1. Kiefmo Avatar

      In a similar vein, 90s and early 00s Corollas seem to be resilient to indifferent maintenance, and frequently the recipient of a jury-rigged set of taillights to keep the cops happy after being totaled out in a rear end collision.

  14. nanoop Avatar

    I think I’ve told this before, but I asked a taxi driver in Osh, Kirgistan, whether he would move from a GAZ to a Mercedes, and he said “No, those won’t last. 600,000 miles at most.”
    Let me add that a proper GAZ survived decades of shortage, communism, and climate. The fact that my proposed ad is from a western country, at 7kUSD, only underlines the superior tenacity of this car.|as

  15. linkpin Avatar

    Not sure how we have 30 comments without mention of the simple and indestructible VW Beetle. They will still be with us when they’re approaching 100 years old.

  16. JayP Avatar

    Funny – Vic and the Ranger I still have.
    Beetle was my first car – burned.
    My ex was driving a 240D when we met. AC flaked, traded for an Escort wagon.That diesel may still be running somewhere.

  17. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    A car so cockroachy GM built them basically unchanged for 14 years.

  18. salguod Avatar

    That 300 is still listed. I shouldn’t go look at it, right?

  19. mrh1965 Avatar

    I still “a few” of these running around.. this example only has 176,000 miles. I bet I could hop in and drive it to the Pacific.

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