Hooniverse Asks – What Would Be Your Bare Minimum For Getting Around?

The other day, while driving over to my favorite single-use tool store – Harbor Freight – I saw an older dude headed the other way down the busy four-lane thoroughfare on a Honda Trail 70. Now, I think those pocketable bikes are too cool for school, but it got me to thinking that I wouldn’t want to have to count on that being my only mode of non-public transportation, and by extension, I wondered would would be my minimum standard.
There are certain things you can get used to, and I really wouldn’t want to give up my heated seats, but realistically, they’re not necessary. Likewise the automatic headlights and memory seats – niceties, but far from mandatory inclusions. I do demand weather protection – I’m not one to commune with nature at 70 mph, although I know folks for whom that’s what getting out of bed every morning is all about. Seating isn’t a priority, but long distance comfort is. And there’s a certain amount of driving acumen that a vehicle must display – none of that floaty old man Buick ride, or Toyota marshmallow steering for me.
But that’s about it. And that leaves out that old dude’s Trail 70 as a minimum daily driver in my books. Yep, I’m crossing that right off the list. How about you, is a tiny two wheeler all you need for point A to point B happiness? Or do you, like me, require something a little more substantial?
Image source: [operatorchan]

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  1. muthalovin Avatar

    Riding lawnmower. Stylish AND economical.

    1. OA5599 Avatar
      OA5599

      <img src="http://media.houstonpress.com/5027801.28.jpg"&gt;
      Here's some inspiration for you. Long, but a great read. http://www.houstonpress.com/2010-07-08/news/lawnm

      1. Smells_Homeless Avatar
        Smells_Homeless

        THIS is a real lawnmower man. http://www.ugo.com/music/top-50-music-scandals-12

        1. dead_elvis Avatar
          dead_elvis

          Don't forget Alvin Straight: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166896/

        2. dead_elvis Avatar
          dead_elvis

          Don't forget Alvin Straight: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166896/

    2. P161911 Avatar
      P161911

      Scissor Lift! https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B8pXUgyLH2TFNDgx
      What happened to the embed YouTube button?

      1. Deartháir Avatar
        Deartháir

        Hey yeah! What DID happen to that? I'll go poking around and see if it fell out behind the dashboard.
        ::rummaging noises::
        Well, I've found a Froot RollUp! is that close enough?

  2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    <img src="http://imganuncios.mitula.net/peugeot_106_diesel_tax_mot_60mpg_92643537030717057.jpg&quot; width=400>
    You know, I'm actually seriously considering one of these, if I can find one.'92 Peugeot 106 XN Diesel. 60mpg, zero technology to worry about, low, low purchase price. It represents the absolute polar opposite of my driving dreams and ambitions, but for the commute to and fro of work every day, this would be pretty freakin' ideal.
    All i should want is a way of getting to work for as little dough as possible, and remaining dry in the process. I don't know why I didn't think about it earlier.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Not… not an Austin/MG/Rover Metro instead? Oh, that hurts.

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        Ah, but I'm talking about a second car. After a gap of 6 years I'm finally back into Rover ownership! (825Si).
        But of course, a post '93 Metro Diesel (same engine as the 106, as it happens) would hit the spot quite nicely, though I fear they were all fragged years ago.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          Congratulations on the Rover!
          As for diesel Metros, how do you feel about blue?
          http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/150559366824

    2. cmdrfire Avatar
      cmdrfire

      A friend of mine had one of those; I drove it sometimes while I was at university. Great fun little ride. None of the instruments worked, it occasionally popped out of gear, and the driver window was prone to falling down by itself but what a little gem of a car.

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        Peugeots of that era were all awesome, without exception. The 106 Rallye and XSi are regarded as classic drivers cars, but I'd extend that honour right down to the 1.1XNs, with their tiny 145 section tyres they hung gamely on to the corners and really taught teenagers what driving was all about.

  3. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2273/2334152925_3a07234ed4_b.jpg"width=600&gt;
    My three kids might disagree, however.

    1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      When it's not frozen out like this, that's my ride to and from work. But I'm a baby compared to my oldest son. Today will be the first day this winter where he gets both to and from school in a heated car. Usually he walks or when not icy he bikes.

      1. Alff Avatar
        Alff

        I used to commute via bike every day, as far as 15 miles each way. Unfortunately, it's no longer an option as the ridable route between my home and work is probably 30 miles each way in a city populated with redneck drivers.

        1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
          mr. mzs zsm msz esq

          There are two types of drivers that are really dangerous to me. The ones that may kill me accidentally are the moms in SUVs on cell phones, particularly those that are making a left at an intersection. The ones that want me dead are the pickup drivers that somehow feel me on my 10spd is neutering their masculinity or something, I haven't really figured those knuckleheads out yet.

          1. joshuman Avatar
            joshuman

            The problem with the rednecks is you don't know just how close they are going to come to cracking your shoulder with their door mirror. After feeling that high-pressure breeze that only comes from a close call, I started taking a lot more of the lane on certain parts of my ride. That makes the drivers risk a head-on collision in those areas where they have no business passing me. Don't get me wrong though, I stay right near the white stripe most of the time and try not to hinder traffic too much.

          2. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
            mr. mzs zsm msz esq

            I do the same. It's a shame more drivers do not spend some time biking to get a sense of the other side. I also try very hard to not be annoying. Those cyclists that ride in packs and think they can blow by every stop sign, well they are not a funeral procession, but their Tour de France aspirational antics might have me end-up being the reason I take a long nap in the back of a hearse someday. I think that's the single me-me-me behavior of cyclists that bothers motorists the most and leads to them assuming I am another bozo like that rather than simply a cheaper than most dad commuting to and from work.

    2. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      >poof!<

  4. engineerd Avatar

    I, like you, require something a little more substantial.
    <img width="500" src="http://lotus7cars.com/images/s4frqtr1.jpg"&gt;
    4 wheels, two seats, a steering wheel, and even a heater! Everything else is just a "convenience item".

    1. Feds_II Avatar
      Feds_II

      Beat me to the punch. That would be my minimum for daily use.

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      …except for a towel for the seat?

    3. $kaycog Avatar
      $kaycog

      Hi! It's good to see you again! I received an email notification of your reply to my skateboard post, but I don't see your reply there. So, in reply to your reply, I too love the Raptor. I was lucky enough to drive one several months ago, and it is absolutely awesome. I know I'll have neither a Ford GT nor a Raptor, but that's what dreams are made of.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        Yeah, Hoonnibbles eats comments. You'll see them in the latest comments feed and then they aren't there.

  5. acarr260 Avatar
    acarr260

    Wow, thanks for that image. When I was little (under 10), my dad brought home three Trail 70's in the back of his truck. He then explained that none of them would currently run… but he thought that we could make two running bikes out of the three in the truck. I was his go-fer for a week or two, and the result was two running bikes. My friends and I rode the wheels off of those Trail 70's all around our farm before moving on to larger-displacement quads.

  6. chrystlubitshi Avatar
    chrystlubitshi

    i could seriously handle 30 mph on/off sidewalks (extremely-light trail ability) for to-from work transport… especially if it didn't require a special license designation (i would love to get a motorcycle designation… but lack the friend's ownership to let me learn on one… and can never make the "HD learner's camp" when it comes to town)….
    i drive 65 miles a day… (to/from work… with no detours… sometimes there are detours…)– time-wise.. i drive for about 35-40 minutes each way… (or more… sometimes much, much more…)
    aside from that… i don't think i want to drop any further than 1.5L Eagle Summit ES (coupe) 3 speed automatic with no ventilation other than somewhat functional manual windows and cardboard in front of the radiator. no sound system (any more) other than battery powered devices/don't turn it up too loud, you need to keep a constant ear-monitor on the sound of the vehicle/don't drive it on too many stop-start roads/don't drive it on the interstate, that's too fast…… the chrystlubitshi… if i have to… i drive it… otherwise… i'll ride a bike or walk

  7. Feds_II Avatar
    Feds_II

    I've started thinking about this a little more lately. My oil stocks are finally coming back, which means higher gas prices are sprinting full speed toward me, carrying a spear around the corner.
    I have a 20 km commute, with most of it posted at 60 kph. Something in the kei-car vein would be perfect. All the amenities of a real car, but none of the "extra" speed capability. While something like a Cappuccino or Figaro would be super stylish, I think the honest usability of a Sambar or Jimny would fit the bill perfectly.
    <img src="http://www.japanoid.com/stock_img/data/36971japanoid_jimny_cover_keicar.jpg&quot; width=500>
    <img src="http://www.japanoid.com/stock_img/data/18360Dias11.jpg&quot; width=500>

  8. $kaycog Avatar
    $kaycog

    With a little practice (or maybe a lot of practice).
    <img src="http://www.radcollector.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/pulp3.jpg"width="500"/&gt;

    1. engineerd Avatar

      Heck yeah!
      Also, it's good to see you back in these parts! I have added the Raptor to my list of vehicles I lust after. My dream garage now consists of a Ford GT and Raptor. You know, for winter!

    2. skitter Avatar
      skitter

      I'm sorry, but a skateboard is worse than walking.
      Ever notice they were invented a century after the bicycle, which is far more complex?

      1. $kaycog Avatar
        $kaycog

        Hello!
        I agree with you about the skateboard being worse than walking, but it was all the right colors with the right stickers. 😉

      2. raphaelinberlin Avatar
        raphaelinberlin

        after skateboarding for a few years, only to have my board exploded by a NY cabbie, I was surprised to find out in the ensuing weeks that indeed skateboarding is much less efficient at getting me to places on time than skateboarding.

        1. dwegmull Avatar
          dwegmull

          So, which one's best: skateboarding or skateboarding?

          1. raphaelinberlin Avatar
            raphaelinberlin

            heh, I meant walking is much more efficient. good times on the intertubes

  9. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    Since the Z3 started overheating I've been driving what probably qualifies as the minimum with just a few extras. My 1988 F-150: manual transmission, A/C doesn't work (not a big deal right now, the heat does work), radio doesn't work (I use an MP3 player an an ear bud to get by), bench seat, driver's side window doesn't even go down. As long as it starts (something in the starting system sometimes gets wonky), it will run and get me from point A to B. I could do without the power windows and locks.
    Most of my 8-9 mile daily commute is under a posted 45mph speed limit. I've considered a Model T or more likely a Model A, not that it would ever happen.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      I've been giving thought to a Model TT truck of late, because (1) sometimes carrying capacity is convenient, and my fleet is a bit lacking on that front unless I haul out the trailer, and (2) coming to terms with some variety of T would no doubt build character. Sound, clean, unmodified examples are just so pricey, though.

  10. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    <img src="http://www.budgetcompactcar.com/includes/images/FORD_TEMPO/FordTempo.jpg&quot; width=350>
    Where's this guy? Can't help but think he ought to join us.

    1. Alff Avatar
      Alff

      Haven't seen him for a while. Probably too busy fixing his car.

    2. skitter Avatar
      skitter

      Especially since you've forgotten how far the Tempo is above the bare minimum.

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        Yeah, but he's a man of high standards! He's probably want a GLX with AWD at the very least.

  11. mdharrell Avatar

    <img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1393/4733417200_c246d1d1e2.jpg&quot; width="400">
    With age comes grumpiness over personal comfort, so yeah, enclosure against the weather is nice in the Pacific Northwest for much of the year. Aside from that, I'll let you know if I ever hit my minimum. So far, so good.

  12. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    <img src="http://www.tanshanomi.com/temp/MB5-pose.jpg"&gt;
    My only transportation for about 4-5 months while I was in the Army (Ft. Lewis, WA), and again my last semester of college, while I was student teaching in Excelsior Springs, MO.

    1. Alff Avatar
      Alff

      Ahh, Excelsior Springs. Such a lovely place. I used to work for the pasta company up there.

    2. west_coaster Avatar
      west_coaster

      You do know that these are becoming collecgtors' items now, There is a group of riders (gang?) that shows up at The Rock Store some Sundays. bragging about finding NOS parts, etc.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Yes. MB5s rock, and they're remarkably bulletproof. Like I said, I've had two, and would definitely buy another if I found one.

    3. Deartháir Avatar
      Deartháir

      Stop getting sex all over these respectable publication pages with your kinky leather pants and all that!

      1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

        Bad ass moustache too…

    4. Black Steelies Avatar

      I've been looking at these things since I first heard you mentioned having one.

  13. OA5599 Avatar
    OA5599

    Commuting in a Corvette with a rusty windshield header has given me all the get-rained-on-while-driving experience I need for this lifetime.
    Other than a ride that's relatively weathertight and reliable enough that I can show up to work on time without grease all over my hands and clothes, my automotive standards are pretty open.

  14. Mr_Biggles Avatar
    Mr_Biggles

    The bottle at the end explains much. A classic case of the end justifying the means. No doubt they partook before and during as well.
    There are times where I have hopped through a hole in the ice and then run very quickly back in to the sauna. The ice is quite painful on your bare feet even for a few seconds. I can not imagine sliding on my bare chest on ice without screaming.

    1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      This wins!

  15. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    These days I'm pretty happy with wind up windows and heaters that sometimes work, but I rocked a Trail 90 for a year back in High School. It was a dang good little bike for use up in the mountains, with a 4-speed and a Hi/Low range that would out-climb a goat. Made my own chains out of rope and kept going through the winter, although it was nearly useless in blizzards or when the snow got past 2 feet deep.
    In true hoon fashion I ended up hopping it up a little by adding a straight pipe, turning the carb 180-around for "Ram-Air" effect, and replacing the top end with CT110 parts. Dang thing sounded like a cross between a tiny Harley and a pop-corn machine.
    It was a 7 mile ride over a mountain pass to the school bus stop which makes for some entertaining "when I was a kid" stories which all start with getting up at 4am. I'd come down the last hill in the dark towards the bus stop with the lights off, cut the ignition and give it full throttle, then flip the ignition back on as I zoomed past the other kids waiting there. Got a pretty good "BOOM!" and fireballs out of the exhaust that way. (nothing says "I have arrived" like big balls of fire)
    Our local "Mayor" was an old retired guy who rode one of these things year-round locally right up until the very end almost to age 90.
    If he can do it, then by-god someday so will I. So a Trail 90 (preferably a 110) would be my minimum.
    <img src="http://www.hondatrail90.hondagl.com/wp-content/uploads/ads-brochures/ct90-ad-go-where-roads-dont.jpg&quot; />

  16. goingincirclez Avatar

    A Hardtop.
    With a decent engine.

  17. Jim-Bob Avatar
    Jim-Bob

    Probably a Honda C70 Super Cub/Passport if the parts were readily available in the US market. Sadly though, they aren't and I need something for pizza delivery work in wet and rainy Florida so it just wouldn't work. Therefore, I will have to say the car I drive right now: an early Geo Metro. It has a 3 cylinder engine, manual transmission and a radio. The interior is fairly spacious for one person and can carry a surprising amount of cargo. In a pinch, it can even carry 4 adults in reasonable discomfort. At best, it gets 44 mpg in the city and could top 60 on the highway if driven just right. It is the ideal form a minimalist transportation when you think about it. All it is meant to do is get you there and back and the Metro is surprisingly good at doing that task for less money than anything else you can buy. It doesn't have style but then style is not important when survival is what you are going for.
    <img src="http://c1.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/151/l_aab1f5ca25af4e41843a038d30f5b384.jpg"&gt;

    1. dead_elvis Avatar
      dead_elvis

      Where have you been looking? C70/Passport parts are easily available, especially for the 80/81 models. 1982 & 83 are nicer if you have to ride after dark, since they're 12 volt, but there's TONS of stuff out there for all of 'em, and plenty of parts that fit other Honda models work on Passports too. Never mind all of the Chinese clone scooters that you can scavenge from… I've seen C70s that were down to about the VIN placard & frame for original parts.

      1. jim-bob Avatar
        jim-bob

        They are very hard to find at a reasonable price where I live. I want one for $100-200 that I can fix up but all I find are ones for $1,000+. Plus, I like not having to order parts when I need to fix something. However, if I found a C70 for the right price, I would jump on it in a heartbeat. In the three years I have been looking though I have yet to find one I felt economically comfortable buying as I would have limited use for it and my state requires a motorcycle endorsement for anything other than a 49cc moped. Most of my driving is for work as a pizza delivery driver or to do some junkyard scavenging. A C70 simply would not be good for those tasks but the 55+mpg (highway) Metro is. Plus, the Metro was a lot cheaper than a running, riding C70 ( I paid $250 for the Metro and drove it home).

  18. mdharrell Avatar

    Top speed is a consideration but not a deal-breaker in this case. Mostly it would be for in-town hauling and commuting, so I'm thinking flatbed with a fully-enclosed cab.
    Also, Hoonibbles apparently has decided not to let me comment from my account for now.
    Edit: That's an odd twist. The submission was accepted as coming from my account anyway. Huh.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      … but the "Edit" and "Delete" options now aren't available to me for that comment, even though nobody has (well, had) replied. Ah, Hoonibbles. Always something new.

      1. Alff Avatar
        Alff

        In keeping with the topic at hand, those are unnecessary functions.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          If I could vote at all anywhere on this page (Nope!), that would get a thumbs-up for its truth and beauty.

  19. kah Avatar
    kah

    my links almost never seem to work but this is an image of a baby’s barefoot i took a few years ago
    <img src="http://i.pbase.com/g6/21/513721/3/75296558.aDUlxNl5.jpg”&gt;
    next up would be a Honda Super Cub scooter I think now days they are being build by SYM and sold as the Symba 110 in the States
    <img src="http://retrothing.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83452989a69e20115701db0b4970b-800wi”&gt;

    1. Jackie Avatar
      Jackie

      Man, Nibbles really hates your image-links.
      http://i.pbase.com/g6/21/513721/3/75296558.aDUlxN

  20. facelvega Avatar
    facelvega

    I live in the middle of New York City, so having a car at all is more a luxury than a necessity for me. That said, my current beater, a 92 LeSabre, is pretty basic transportation for those days when I want to get out of town. Sure, for its day it was a big, plush luxobarge with lots of bells and whistles, but today not much would be cheaper to buy and maintain than the more reliable end of 90s detroit sporting a bulletproof 3.8,

  21. Smells_Homeless Avatar
    Smells_Homeless

    I live within 5 miles of most everywhere I go, so I'm the perfect candidate for a golf cart. If only it were legal.

    1. OA5599 Avatar
      OA5599

      Look into Neighborhood Electric Vehicles or Low Speed Vehicles. They are essentially golf carts that are legal on streets with lower speed limits.

  22. Froggmann_ Avatar
    Froggmann_

    Wow you guys disappoint…
    I'd love to have one of these buggers, yes I would drive it every day.
    <img src="http://gadgetopia.com/images/ariel_atom.jpg&quot; /img>

  23. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    If I have to go any distance, but not very fast… <img src=http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQgj7pYfD4PHirNIDbPbdfRzqLr5xQa236K4IgOgWgq2xVyoHKU>
    But realistically, strip the Jeep down to the tub and seats and call it a day.

  24. Smells_Homeless Avatar
    Smells_Homeless

    Yeah, I agree. Thrashy's is more "Power Bar" than granola.

    1. skitter Avatar
      skitter

      I do like a heel strap.
      So much for minimalism.

    2. Thrashy Avatar

      I was chatting with a couple classmates after a class last year. I was an architecture student, and the other two were industrial design and illustration majors, respectively. The illustration major glanced down for a moment, paused, and said, "You know how I can tell you're both designers?"
      We shook our heads.
      "You're both wearing Keen sandals."

      1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

        I'd argue, but I have a pair too.

  25. Deartháir Avatar
    Deartháir

    I'm a bit strange in this one. It needs to have heated seats, and damn good ones. Other than that, meh. I can live without almost anything else, but heated seats are non-negotiable.

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      move south.

      1. Deartháir Avatar
        Deartháir

        What, Calgary? No bloody way! And I'd still need seat-heaters there anyhow.

  26. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    It was -20C today, so heat and insulation are vital, or I'd say a Ural. Other than that, decent fuel economy and the ability to hit 70mph are all I really need – some of the Chevettes I used to use to deliver pizza would do the trick (although Jim-Bob's Metro would be better).

  27. cmdrfire Avatar
    cmdrfire

    This might do me.
    <img src="http://motorbike-search-engine.co.uk/classic-bikes-2/c90-honda-cub.jpg"&gt;
    Honda Cub. Miserable little machine that moved the developing world.

  28. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar
    BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ

    I do not need more than bare feet to get around here:
    <img src="http://www.yogalifestylecoach.com/images/FeetonBeach1.jpg"&gt;

  29. Jackie Avatar
    Jackie

    If I had to, I would probably try to find a semi-decent (sub-$1500 if possible) one of these. I doubt it would be too hard, as they made the things in my state. Bonus if I could score a manual example.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/98-04_Chevrolet_S-10.jpg&quot; width="500'/">

  30. ptschett Avatar
    ptschett

    If I had to replace everything with one car I'd get an AWD Dodge Charger. I like my big cars. Ideally I'd have a motorcycle for the 7 ice-free months in a North Dakota year too.
    On a budget, I'd be looking at a B/C-segment 5-door, a set of snow tires, and a motorcycle trailer. A Fiesta-sized car could handle my commuting and most of my weekly travel needs OK, but I'm not sure it'd be happy on the 500-mile round trips I end up taking at least monthly.
    Edit: a small pickup is always a good way to go, IMO. If the question were "if you had to get rid of all your cars but one, which one's the keeper", I wish I could say it would be the Challenger, but honestly I'd have to keep my Dakota.

  31. Black Steelies Avatar

    I've always liked the idea of a Motocompo. They probably don't work very well and I'm sure parts aren't the easiest to come by, but it's awesome!
    [youtube dLxqkvfMsQQ&feature=relmfu http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLxqkvfMsQQ&feature=relmfu youtube]
    But if it happened to be a bad idea I'm just as happy walking wherever I need to go. Such an enjoyable way to see the world.

  32. Black Steelies Avatar

    This is all the car anyone needs. I'd love a car like Ricky's Shitmobile. Live in it, stash your pot in it, clear it off with a hockey stick and drive it to help out a buddy or run from the cops. Got some scratches? Just get out a paint roller and black house paint. Knock a door off? Leave it off. It'll always be waiting for you when you get out of prison in the season premier. I'd probably rather a big Caddy or Buick, though.
    <img src="http://imcdb.org/i272588.jpg"width="600"&gt;
    via imcdb

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      Yes. Yes, I would.

  33. Mad_Hungarian Avatar
    Mad_Hungarian

    It's pretty easy to come up with a list of good elemental cars. The first four that come to mind are the Ford Model A, the VW Beetle, the Mini, and the Fiat 500 (that's the real Beetle, Mini and 500, not their modern imitations). All of those fail one or more of my other requirements which are to have a decent amount of cargo space, and keep up with expressway traffic — and have an automatic available, as I am the shiftless type (and have decided to stop apologizing for it!)
    Any of the early 60's compacts — Corvair, Lark, Valiant, Falcon, Buick Special, Rambler American, Chevy II — will do. Jump to the 70's and you've got the Ford Maverick, the first generation Civic, some early Corollas. As you get into the 80's there was still some pretty simple Japanese stuff being built, but unfortunately your Detroit choices get icky (X, K and J cars anyone?). I'm not sure we have many really basic cars after that, in the US at least. Try to find a 90's car without power assists on steering and brakes. Try to find a 21st century car with crank windows and no A/C, for heavens sake, let alone without computers controlling everything.

  34. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    Around town, I'm content with an old, hilariously-bodged mountain bike, but this being New Hampshire, I regularly have to leave town.
    As such, I'd say any car that's not too hard to work on, amazingly inefficient or unreliable, or terrible-handling and has a working heater, at least two seats, and a radio (since driving with earbuds is technically illegal) would do.
    Between my two Volvos, I've had:
    – exhaust that ended anywhere from the tailpipe to immediately behind the catalytic converter at various times
    – both radio antennas partially snapped off
    – mismatched tires front-to-back and left-to-right (in the rear)
    – no power steering on both cars at some point
    – overdrive that didn't function
    – odometer and speedometer that stopped working (on different cars, and the speedometer came back on its own)
    – one half-functioning blower motor out of two (though heat can still come through if you're going fast enough, and yes, that is my excuse for speeding everywhere)
    – no working air conditioning, ever.
    The brakes, surprisingly, have never failed me on either car (aside from occasional nasty fade in the 244).

  35. 2stroke4life Avatar
    2stroke4life

    A Goggomobil or a Messerschmitt.
    -Darnell's Auto Wrecking from Jalopnik

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