Welcome to Craigslist Crapshoot, our weekly search for the most bizarre, awesome, and/or terrible vehicles that the online classifieds has to offer. Porsche has always maintained that, while their products target the affluent, there is always an entry-level option for those of lessor means. That’s called a used Porsche. We looked at used Porsches last week, confining the search to those that were water-cooled and front engined, and under the limitations of a $20K price cap and the exclusion of the current Panamera and Cayenne models. We’ll see the best of what’s left in a sec, but first this week’s challenge. One of the most unexpected competitors for Porsche came in the form of Datsun’s (later Nissan’s) Z cars. From the 240Z of 1970 all the way through to the 370Z of today, the Z-series has provided bang for the buck and often drop-dead good looks. This week, let’s see if we can’t find the best Z-cars the used car market has to offer. Price is no object, but it better be validated by the car. 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.
When you stipulate that water-cooled Porsches need to be front-engine, you immediately eliminate all of the current 911 models, and all the Boxsters and Caymans. Further strip away the Panamera executive hatch, and the Cayenne Crossover and you’re left with basically only two models, one of which extended across three distinct iterations. The first of course is the 928, originally intended to replace the 911, but instead outlived by it. That V8 GT features legendary styling and and an exhaust growl like an avalanche of lions. The second is the car that Volkswagen originally commissioned Porsche to execute as a model for Audi. Once that plan fell through, Porsche kept the car, and its weaksauce Audi mill, and put it into production as the 914-replacing 924. The effete 924 begat the should-have-been-this-in-the-first-place 944, and out of that eventually grew the lovely but long in the tooth 968. The $20K price limit stymied many of you in finding cars that otherwise fit the selection criteria, but there were some appreciably good buys to be had. The best of those seems to be this 1988 928S4 found by Kiefmo. Yeah, it’s an automatic, but it also looks to have had just about every major and minor go-bad item replaced along the way. That potentially makes it worth topping out our price limit, and even with the automatic, it’ll probably keep on going up in value if it’s kept nice. Way to go Kiefmo, and thanks to you all for playing. Now, let’s catch some Zs!