1995 Acura Integra GS-R: Sleeper Sedan

This is one of my favorite sleeper sedans of the last 20 years: a 1995 Acura Integra GS-R, listed here on craigslist in Pennsylvania for $2,900. Wearing the same bodywork as the standard Integra sedan, the GS-R featured one very distinctive difference: the B18C1 DOHC VTEC motor driving the front wheels through one of the best manual gearboxes ever made. Unfortunately, a lot of these cars end up either as victims of theft or tasteless customization. This example is for sale after the owner moved to a crowded urban location, so the car is up for grabs with an upgraded intake and wires the only deviations from stock. A sleeper that gets 30 m.p.g.’s – that’s tough to beat!

1991 Dodge Stealth R/T: Twin Turbo Project

Here’s a car I had nearly forgotten about but I’m certain is destined to be a future classic. This 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T here on craigslist is a desirable twin-turbo model with all-wheel drive and a manual transmission. The seller does disclose it needs some work and it’s likely to be somewhat pricey given how many systems came together to make this car perform the way it did. But with so many examples modified beyond any semblance of a cost-feasible return to stock condition, I’d rather start with a car that just needs some basic R&R but is in original form at is core. With 300 bhp, ABS, four-wheel steering and the ability to hit 150 mph, this Stealth R/T could be a supercar on the cheap!

1989 Volvo 780: Bertone Built

These days, you might be forgiven if you’ve forgotten Volvo used to be a funky car company owned by a bunch of Swedes who practiced moose-avoidance techniques. Now it’s just another Chinese-owned enterprise, which is why you should cherish the cars of its past, like this 1989 Volvo 780 Bertone coupe here on craigslist. Designed and built by Bertone of Italy, these limited production coupes have a much lower roofline than stock Volvo vehicles and were available only as two-doors. This being a later car, it has the turbocharged engine, which was essential for lugging around such a heavy vehicle. Our featured car runs but the turbo needs to be rebuilt. With just over 8,000 780 coupes made, this one is worth saving – but only at a price lower than the seller’s $2,500 asking. What would you pay?

1990 Chevrolet Beretta: Indy Car Special

Have you ever had a car burned into your memory? Believe it or not, an old Chevy Beretta had that effect on me. But it wasn’t just any version of GM’s L platform coupe – it was a Beretta Indy Pace Car replica. That’s why when I spotted this one here on eBay, I immediately thought back to the Anaconda Sports store in my hometown of Poughkeepsie, New York, where an employee parked it far, far away from any other car in the lot. It was also yellow but looked a lot better than this one, which is suffering from paint damage and a mismatched-spoiler on the rear deck lid. It’s worth bringing this one back, since only 7,500 Pace Car editions were made and the majority were teal in color. Clean up the paint and get the included decals applied, because this limited production Beretta would be easy to own.

1981 Mercedes 230 Wagon: Row Yourself

Surprisingly, this 1981 Mercedes station wagon available here on craigslist is neither a diesel nor an automatic model. Instead, it sports a gasoline engine and a 4-speed manual transmission, a striking departure from the oil burning slushbox models we’re accustomed to seeing. Plus, it’s only $2,900 and doesn’t seem to have many issues beyond cosmetic faults. The seller says you’ll need new carpets and tires, two fairly basic/easy improvements for even the only-slightly handy owner. This car is crying out for some European glass headlights and H&R suspension, two modifications you can justify thanks to the low cost of entry and wise investment that is the W123-series Mercedes.

1993 Pontiac Sunbird: First Car Material

When I was in high school, one of my best friends owned a Pontiac Sunbird Turbo. It was such a cool car, especially to a high-schooler who didn’t know what a boost gauge was. This Sunbird SE V6 (naturally aspirated) found here on craigslist in Arizona has only 39,000 original miles and brings back lots of fond memories. With the automatic transmission and leisurely acceleration (not to mention dirt-cheap parts), a Sunbird might make an excellent candidate for a high school student’s first car if they don’t have a long commute (V6s are thirsty!). It’s just old enough that it’s funky but not so far gone that it becomes a nightmare to keep on the road. For $4,350, though, that is top-of-the-market pricing. Thanks to Credit Card Classics reader Rohns for the find.

1983 Honda Civic Wagon: Giant Killer

If you buy this car, the seller makes a bold claim: the guy in the Porsche will have no chance with the ladies. Is that possible with a 1983 Honda Civic wagon, listed here on Maine’s craigslist for $3,700? There’s only one way to find out, I suppose. While the seller hypes the car’s effect on the fairer sex, I’m more intrigued by the 4-speed manual transmission and surprisingly clean body for a car with northern roots. The seller says it is rust-free but aside from re-painting the wheels, doesn’t talk much about any sort of maintenance work he has completed. Now, I know that it’s a Honda and they don’t need much, but we’d all feel better knowing a brake job or coolant flush has been performed. Still, this is a great buy for a starter classic.

1991 Lotus Elan: Cheap Exotic

What’s amazing to me is how a car with a badge like Lotus can fall down the slippery slope of deferred maintenance and accident damage to become a rather dirt-cheap project. It joins the ranks of Porsche 928s and Mercedes SL-series convertibles, vehicles that cost a fair amount new but now are hard sells in rough condition. This 1991 Lotus Elan here on eBay is every inch of a project car, but that hasn’t stopped bidders from chucking up some low numbers to see what the reserve might be (or you can hit the BIN for $3,750). The Elan featured an engine sourced from one of my favorite turbocharged hot hatches, the Isuzu Impulse, but handling was entirely engineered by the geniuses at Lotus. Despite being front-wheel drive, the Elan was still considered one of the best handlers of its day; the question now is, have they gotten cheap enough that examples like this deserve rescuing. I’m on the fence with this one – what about you?

A Modern Classic: 1989 VW GTI 16V

Finding a second-generation VW GTI is no small feat these days, especially if you want one that’s unmodified and still retains its original 16-valve engine, the best choice of motor for a true hot-hatch experience. This stock MK2 VW GTI listed on craigslist in the San Francisco Bay Area is claimed to be a genuine barn find after the original female owner retired it from daily duties. With the exception of missing headliner (a common flaw of this generation), this car appears impressively stock with an excellent original interior, factory teardrop alloys, and its original front chin spoiler still in place. For only $3,989, this is a bargain-basement price of a likely appreciating modern classic.

1984 Toyota Land Cruiser: Weekend Ready

Now here’s a smoking deal if it turns out to be rust-free: a 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser with a stick and mild lift kit for $3,995 here on craigslist! I’m confused by the low asking price as almost every generation of the Land Cruiser pulls $5,000 or more unless it’s a rusty basketcase. This one is said to be a barn-find but it looks pretty clean to me – even the cloth interior appears livable and free from rodent nests. There’s some visible rust on the chrome bumpers and possibly some rot-through on the nose, but considering the reputation these trucks have for being completely used up by adventure-seeking owners, this J60 Land Cruiser looks like it has plenty of life left. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one ends up being exported to a 3rd-world country given its reputation for can’t-kill-it dependability and go-anywhere traction. Or could it be your next hunting vehicle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.