Another week means another entry into our series featuring the sweet cars we found for sale online.
To compile this list, I search as much of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist as I can for interesting vehicles that don’t cost a lot. They may be hilariously unreliable, remarkably unique, questionably tuned, or maybe something else that stops me in my tracks. Prices for some particular cars are trending higher due to the pandemic and chip shortage, but I think some good deals are still out there.
2009 Volkswagen Phaeton W12 – $US9,000 ($11,543)
Let’s get this list started with something absolutely bonkers. The Volkswagen Phaeton is Bentley luxury hiding behind a Volkswagen badge and backed up with a glorious W12 engine. It’s the other VW that threatens to bankrupt its owners right behind the Touareg V10 TDI.
But when they work right, they are awesome. The seller says this one runs smooth. It’s $9,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with 209,215 km on it. Please buy it before I make another bad decision.
1989 Nissan Pulsar NX – $US5,500 ($7,054)
The Nissan Pulsar is a car notable for its somewhat modular rear end system. You could turn your Pulsar into a hatchback or a shooting brake just by changing the rear end piece. Oh, and did I say that this car has pop-up headlights and t-tops?
This Pulsar isn’t perfect as it has some paint fade and broken gauges, but otherwise, it’s ready for your next local Radwood. It’s $5,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Mesa, Arizona, with 267,151 km.
1999 Volkswagen Polo SDI – $US10,000 ($12,826)
A lot of you have been asking about European imports. They do happen and when they do, you get cars like this beautiful 1999 Volkswagen Polo SDI wagon. It has a 1.9-litre non-turbo diesel engine making 68 HP paired to a five-speed manual transmission. It’s said to cruise well, just don’t expect to get to cruising speed quickly.
Now, for those of you counting, this car is younger than 25 years old, so you’ll be wondering how it got here. According to the seller, this car was imported by the U.S. military in 2007 then sold at public auction. It’s titled, road legal and is a car formerly owned by Orchid Euro, an European car importer based in the states.
The VW Polo SDI is $10,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Charlottesville, Virginia, with 350,837 km.
2009 Can-Am Spyder – $US4,000 ($5,130)
The Can-Am Spyder is what you get when you take the frame of a snowmobile and bolt some wheels to it. Don’t think of it as a three-wheeled motorcycle, but as a summer sled. Power should be provided by a 998cc Rotax v-twin producing 106 HP. That’s enough power for some serious fun.
These hold their value really well and this particular example is the cheapest Can-Am Spyder I’ve ever seen described as being in good running and driving condition. It’s $4,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Waukegan, Illinois.
1975 Volkswagen Type 3 Wagon – $US6,500 ($8,337)
The seller didn’t take the best pictures of this one, but sift through all of the pictures and you’ll see that this gorgeous wagon appears to be in good shape. The seller says that the car is original save for the white paint bisecting the roof and the beltline. It doesn’t have any rust and is said to run and drive great, too.
It’s $6,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Watkinsville, Georgia, with 118,287 km.
1966 Imperial Crown – $US5,000 ($6,413)
The Imperial was Chrysler’s luxury brand made to go up to bat against Ford’s Lincoln and GM’s Cadillac. This Imperial Crown is a barn find of sorts, having sat for 32 years after its owner died. The seller says that it’s all original save for the starter and brake lines. It does have some rust, sadly, but it looks like it can easily be rectified. It has all of 27,359 km on its odometer, too!
It doesn’t run and drive just yet, but it sounds like it could be gotten running with a few hours of work, if that. It’s $5,000 in Eagle River, Wisconsin, on Facebook Marketplace.
2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 – $US8,200 ($10,517)
This week’s enthusiast car is a drop-top Mercedes with a six-speed manual transmission. Modern MBs are hard to find with a manual and the brand simply stopped offering manuals in America after 2015.
Bolted to that manual transmission is a 3.5-litre V6 making 268 HP. This made it good for 0 to 60 mph sprints in the mid 5-second range and it went on to an electronically-limited top speed of 249 km/h. So, this is a classy car that goes pretty quick. It’s said to run and drive great with 257,495 km.
Get it from Facebook Marketplace in Skokie, Illinois, for $8,200 before I do.
1973 Honda CB350F – $US4,600 ($5,900)
The Honda CB350F is a small displacement motorcycle packing four cylinders. Motorcycle Classics says that the 347cc inline-four was the smallest to enter full production before even smaller fours would come into production in later decades.
How small are those cylinders? Those pistons are a whole 47mm large. These made about 34 HP and were good for a top speed of about 158 km/h. These aren’t fast by today’s standards but bikes don’t look like this anymore, either.
It’s $4,600 on Facebook Marketplace near New Albany, Indiana, with 29,731 km.
1973 Triumph Stag
The Triumph Stag was the British marque’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz SL. It’s a sport tourer with an Italian design. Unfortunately, while the Stag looked the part, the engine is noted as being the car’s Achille’s Heel. The stock engine is said to need timing chain replacements every 40,234 km and would practically overheat if you looked at it the wrong way.
Thankfully, this one has been repowered with a Ford V6 and it needs little to be a daily. It’s $10,000 on Facebook Marketplace in Spring Hill, Tennessee.