1953 Chrysler New Yorker – Mr. Steve Yocum was savvy enough to suggest a Chrysler New Yorker in the 1949-51 vintage might make for a cherry ten-grand buy, but we weren’t actually able to find one for that money. (Truth be told, we couldn’t find one for sale today at any price—feel free to link to the many we missed in the comments section below). So, while a very different car, we settled on this, flat-black and rat-rodderrific 1953 New Yorker. It’s stylish, it’s a runner, and it’s $6500 all day long. Thanks for the tip Steve! Sorry we got your car wrong.
1971 Datsun 240Z – Alvin Yang was either better informed or more optimistic than us when he suggested an early 1970’s 240Z for under $10K—we only found serious “projects” in terms of original cars at that price point. This 1971 240 of mixed origin isn’t a bad thought though. The car has undergone an engine swap (there’s an L28-something, from either a 280Z or 280ZX most likely, under the hood), but appears to be nicely finished off. Not a concours winner then, but probably a really nice driver considering the current $8500 price tag.
1974 Saab 99 – We’ll admit, this suggestion came from an off-line source but we were happy to get it anyway. It’s difficult to even find Saab 99s, no matter the price, these days. So imagine our glee at spotting this, rally-tuned 1974 car. The seller claims that the car is “street legal” but it was converted to rally duty sometime in the 1980s, and we couldn’t recommend taking it on a long road trip or anything. We can recommend basically everything else about the car—the quirky profile, bare bones interior, and competition cred are all well worth the asking price. Actually, with zero bids on a $4995 starting price, and just three days to go, this Saab is looking better and better by the minute. Must…resist…
1988 BMW 635CSi M6 – Reader Sondjata Olatunji reasonably submitted that a 1989 635SCi (specifically one with black paint, a tan interior, and a manual trans) would be a good way to spend ten large. We weren’t able to find that car, but we did happen upon this 1985 6er, a high-miler in great condition and going for $8900 OBO. Sure, it’s red on black, but it is a stick shift, and we think it looks pretty rad.
1999 Mercedes-Benz C280 Sport – The 1.8-liter Mercedes-Benz C200, as suggested by the worldly Balogun Sulaiman, was actually never sold in the US, which made it pretty hard to source a used for sale. Of course we had no trouble finding a similar vintage C-Class, and our $10K allotment meant that we would be able to splurge for this C280 Sport at $9999. Not only does this Benz have a bigger, 2.8-liter V-6 in place of the four, it’s got a well kitted-out interior, and only 64K miles on the clock.
2001 Honda S2000 – Diligent shoppers can probably find the occasional sub-$10,000 S2000, in good condition, but we discovered the bulk of these early-year Honda’s to be a few grand dearer. Still, this imperfect, but very drivable, example can be had for $8000, even if it does show triple-digits on the odometer. We’re not too worried about the wear, considering the Japanese company’s reputation for reliability, and the track record of the considerably fussier NSX. Facebook friend Chris Goth took the words right out of our mouths with this one.
2003 Infiniti FX35 – We won’t lie; we never expected to get a luxury crossover onto this list. But Michael Gatillo pushed for the car, even though he was a bit confused about when the FX first debuted (not until 2003, for the record), and optimistic about finding a V-8-powered FX45 for under $10K. What we found was a high-mileage (129K) FX35 that has been bid to $7100 with three days left on the auction. If it stays under ten, we’ll be sure to let Mike know.
2004 Subaru WRX – The only ’04 WRXs we could find on eBay that came in under our $10K price cap were wagons, which is both a bit strange, and completely wonderful. We think Facebooker Benjamin Lyon would approve of this one-owner, 110K-mile example. Wagons mean more for you money, not less.
2005 Subaru Forester 2.5XT – There were surprisingly large number of Subaru recommendations for our under-ten-grand list (the heart wants what the heart wants), and, since we’ve always been pretty staunch Forester advocates, we had to relent to James Thamm’s request. This 2005 Forester 2.5XT would be a pretty wonderful buy, we have to admit. The turbo hauler has got 87,000 miles, some natty aftermarket wheels, and, most importantly, a five-speed manual transmission. Okay, okay, the Buy It Now price is actually a little over budget, but we’re pretty sure we could talk them down.
2005 Mini Cooper S – Apparently in Ireland you can get a Mini Cooper S, with 50,000 miles, for 10,000 Euro. We’ll take reader Conor’s word on that. For 10,000 American dollars you can buy this silver Mini Coop, deep in the heart of Texas, with a considerably higher mileage total (95,000). Not a bad buy, still, since the car never ceases in slapping smiles on faces.