Hooniverse Asks: Is there a car for sale that you never bought but still wonder about?

No, I didn’t want to buy the one in the photo above. I did want to share it with you though, as Friend of Hooniverse Michael Sliczniak spotted this legendary beast out and about.

It did get me thinking though, about other (actually good) vehicles I’ve spotted on Craigslist (or eBay, AutoTemptest, etc) over the years. Random engine swaps done well. Vintage machines that only need a little bit of love to become perfect daily drivers. And many others.

I couldn’t let my F100 slide away when I first saw it. Same with the Benz. And now with the Montero. But there have been plenty of other cars and trucks that I’ve considered slapping down cash to bring home. How about you? Are there any out there that you occasionally still think about, even if the vehicle has long since disappeared from the Internet?

Let us know in the comments.

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24 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Is there a car for sale that you never bought but still wonder about?”

  1. Andrew Fails Avatar
    Andrew Fails

    I saw a baby blue Datsun 510 wagon on Craigslist ages ago. I still dream about that.

  2. Sjalabais Avatar

    The question is hard to answer. As a dad with 2-3 reliable, sensible cars in the driveway, and a solid ~Craigslist-addiction, that list is impossibly long.

    But there are a few…a Humber Super Snipe in great condition, basically given away by a widow. A Volvo 145 Ekspress, such a gorgeous find, a local car website picked it up, which lead to an instant sale days after I had started thinking about it. All those gorgeous Volgas on autonavigator.ru, flushed out with the war on Crimea that I decided not to profit from. The Volvo 264 TE I had my eyes on once we decided we needed a seven seater for a while. Those have doubled in value since. That list just goes on.

  3. mdharrell Avatar

    No, it would be pointless for me to dwell on the Manic GT that was for sale nearby, so of course I don’t. I also didn’t keep copies of the photos that were in the ad. That would be weird, right?


    1. Vairship Avatar

      Not weird, just manic…

  4. Maymar Avatar

    When looking for my first car, I found a ’89 Mustang GT, was supposedly in decent condition, about 200k kms, and was only $3700. It sold the morning of the day I was to go look at it. It’s probably best I didn’t get it, but I still regret that.

    Recently, I was idly keeping track of a Series III XJ6 as it kept getting posted cheaper and cheaper. It looked in reasonable condition for a driver, although as time went on, pictures were added of the cowl rust. At the same time, it had dropped down to $1000 – at that point, if I had space, I’d be seriously tempted just to drive it until something went wrong or the leaking got intolerable, and parting it out at that point. Looks like it’s gone now though.

  5. outback_ute Avatar

    Gilbern Invader Mk3. Needing a full resto, it was just a bad idea as what would have been my only car at the time, but I did occasionally detour past where it says in a driveway for a couple of years before it disappeared. No idea what happened to it.

    There are a few other cars that I looked at that would have been good buying 20 years ago with hindsight, worth multiple times the price now, but again weren’t practical at the time. Alfa 105 GTV, BMW 2002, Lancia Fulvia coupe. The 2002 in particular was immaculate and if not one owner, the guy had it from near new.

  6. 0A5599 Avatar

    My car got totaled by a Porsche that blew through a stop sign, and I was determined to spend the insurance proceeds on a big block Corvette. I found a strong possibility advertised, and made plans to go look at it. It was an hour away, plus I stopped for lunch.

    As I got close, I saw a car driving the other direction. Its description exactly matched that of the advertised car. Of course, that’s because it was that exact car. Someone showed up before I did, and brought the cash. It was a done deal already.

    I always wondered about that car, not so much because I wanted it, but because I never got the chance.

  7. neight428 Avatar

    There were three strong candidates for my first car, though all were similar enough, I doubt it would change the course of history much, but I do wonder what the butterfly effect would have been had I stumbled into something more reliable. I might not have been as prone to hoonery had I not been forced to replace everything on that heap.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      I went for a sensible option for my first car, well kind-of, but there were definitely a few that I could have liked. I recall a Datsun 1600 (510) rally car, Chrysler Valiant V8 panel van (which surely had horrific rust at $500 asking), a too-rusty 1440cc Mini,

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Ha, had a Datsun six cylinder among my top 3 as first car, too. Went for a ’77 Volvo 242 instead.

        1. outback_ute Avatar

          Finished up with the criteria of >2L 4-cyl, 5-sp, rwd with AC, so the 1970s rally-type cars were ruled out. Ended up with a Mitsubishi and it was a pretty decent car even if a long way from ‘perfect’.

          Had a ride around a rally stage in a 242GT – quite impressive in the hands of an experienced driver.

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            Nice, very good criteria. I had been a Volvo kid since at least age 13, so buying a 240 surprised no one. It was an excellent first car as these things really do handle deferred maintenance with a shrug. Good 50/50 balance, great seats, and the visibility of a cuboid, including rubber bumpers. Miss that thing

  8. Tomsk Avatar

    This original black plate ’61 Bonneville 4-door hardtop I found while on a walk in Newport Beach about 11 years ago. I mean…where are you gonna see another one (outside of old photographs and movies)?

  9. sunbeammadd Avatar

    There was the Peugeot 205 GTi, Humber Super Snipe Series V and Rover SD1 3500. All needed enough work that I decided they weren’t good buys but I still feel regret.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      The real regret would have come if you’d bought the SD1. How do I know?

      1. sunbeammadd Avatar

        Yes I’m sure it would have driven me bonkers. They’ve always appealed though because when they first appeared when I was a kid they looked like spaceships compared to most other cars (apart from big Citroens).

  10. Tomsk Avatar

    This original black plate ’61 Bonneville 4-door hardtop I found while on a walk in Newport Beach about 11 years ago. I mean…where are you gonna see another one (outside of old photographs and movies)?

  11. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    There was a ’74 Renault R12 that was featured on this site around Christmas of 2014. It had been sitting for many years and the engine was stuck, but was pretty complete. It wound up sitting on Craigslist for several months and I seriously considered buying it, but never pulled the trigger. Last I heard it got bought from someone out in California.

  12. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    I’ve been looking for a pickup, Craigslist threw up the most un-brodozer diesel crewcab imaginable. A JDM Nissan Atlas forward control crew cab with a dropside body and a liftgate for sale in Medford Oregon. Sadly I didn’t have $10k

  13. salguod Avatar

    So many …

    Coming out of HS in 1986, headed to college, I looked at and drove for a day a 1975 Hurst Olds. It was a project, with sketchy brakes, a bunch of rust and a crack between the T-to.., I mean, Hurst Hatches. I went as far as getting an estimate to do the bodywork needed in the greenhouse alone – $1200. The ask was $800. But, I was headed to college, I needed a car I could actually rely on. I ended up, ironically, with a 1980 Chevy Monza.

    Later, freshman year in college, I found an ad for a 1972 Camaro Z/28 for $1,500. I went and looked. Another project, but it was a 4 speed car. They only made 1800 Z/28s in 1972 and I bet less than half were 4 speeds. I did some mental math and convinced myself that I could afford it and finish college. Dad disagreed and, of course, was right. I passed, but I still wonder about it.

    A few years ago, maybe 5, I found a 1986 560 SEL on C/L for $3,500. It showed well in the pictures (2 tone blue with a grey interior) and seemed like a lot of car for the money. Sure, an old Benz could be a nightmare, but it was cheap, what could go wrong? I never did call. I still don’t know if passing on it was a good move or not.

    This year an early 70’s F250 4X4 with a 4 speed turned up on a junkyard site I follow. It had a wonderful patina, but was running but not driveable. And it was on the other side of the country. Still, it was only $3K. it ended up going to UAE. What a fantastic alternative to my Ranger that would have been.

  14. neight428 Avatar

    Number_Six reminded me of a better response…


    Test rode one identical to this owned by a friend of my brother who was in desperate need of cash and willing to part with it well below market. Things were getting serious with my girlfriend at the time, however and I saved my own cash towards an engagement ring instead. 20 years and two daughters later, I remain satisfied with the choice, but I never did buy my own motorcycle. Talk about “what might have been”.

    Most interesting that I didn’t think of it first.

  15. Lokki Avatar

    It was 1979. American cars sucked. The economy sucked. Car loans started at about 15% for a new car, which sucked. I had ended up in the American Air Force for employment, which sucked. I was in the middle of the desert in Idaho which sucked. There were no women there, which sucked. The Feds had just forced the 55 MPH on all the states which totally sucked in big, empty Idaho. Boise was some 70 miles away, and you could see the lights of the city at night because there was nothing in between our location and the city but desert. So, let’s say you did manage to find a girl and wrangle a date. There was no place to go but Boise. This meant you had more than an hour of conversation in the car to make before dinner, and if the date went poorly an hour of ugly silence driving back. It sucked. Even if things went great she had to be a really brave girl about putting a blanket on the ground in the desert to ‘look at the stars’ because the desert infamously crawled with rattlesnakes there. https://m.facebook.com/pages/Rattlesnake-Station/136561336376180 Alternatively by the time you drove the hour back, the mood had passed and you got a kiss at the car door and a goodbye. That sucked.

    Anyhow…… my friend and I were out driving one day and stopped for gas at a ratty rundown-but-you-got-no-choice gas station and I noticed a nice looking old car parked out back. I went to take a look. It was a beautiful 1958(?) Jaguar XK150 Coupe in great condition (for having sat in the desert for years). In a fever, I asked the station owner about it. It had been there for years abandoned; brought in on a wrecker, it seems that the out-of-state owner had blown up the engine driving it flat out across the desert for hours, and that Jaguar straight-six was seized. The value of the car at the time was way less than the cost of getting it trailed back to California, so the owner just left it there. To the gas station guy it was just a 20 year old stupid foreign car for which he didn’t have a title, a use, or a customer. 250 bucks and another 100 to tow it back to where I lived and he’d be glad to see it gone. Damn. Damn, damn, damn!

    However, I didn’t have a garage, I didn’t have tools (were those things still built with Witworth bolts?) http://www.jag-lovers.org/xk-lovers/library/whitworth_system.html) and there was no internet by which to source parts. I might as well have been in the wilds of Borneo as far as sourcing tools and parts for a 20 year old Jaguar. So, sadly, I left it there, and some months later left Idaho myself. (Leaving didn’t suck!)

    Over the years I still think about it occasionally – preserved like a dried out mummy in that desert air. I am sure that someone eventually came along and rescued it. I hope so. It was a beautiful car, and if I ever return to the area I will definitely try to find that old gas station, just on the off chance that she’s still waiting for me there.

    Here’s a link to a picture of a restored car. I would post a picture but Disqus still refuses to let me


  16. Kawasaki Jimbo Avatar
    Kawasaki Jimbo

    Triumph GT6. The “poor man’s E-Type”; a Spitfire with a fastback, a bonnet bulge, a two-Litre, six-cylinder engine and “overdrive.” Being a modern driver I was slightly deterred by the backbone chassis which offered no side protection for the driver. I’d have probably been disappointed in its performance too but gosh it was pretty.

  17. Matt Hill Avatar
    Matt Hill

    I want this vehicle. Is it for sale? Is it an automatic or manual? I want to paint it black and add a little Gothic charm to it (spikes, skulls, etc).

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