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.

1988 Ford Escort EXP: Child of the 80s

Despite not being a great era for performance, the ’80s saw an uptick in manufacturers pumping out coupes with sporting intentions in mass quantities. Chrysler was turbocharging everything that moved, Pontiac started making the Fiero a competent performer right before they killed it, and Ford was slapping 5.0 badges on Mustangs like their house was burning down. But they also began their dalliance with cheap, economy-minded performance in the Ford EXP, starting with the super-weird (and rare) early ’80s version before morphing the yawn-inducing Escort into a great looking coupe with OK performance. This 1988 example here on eBay benefits from a recent repaint and an owner who believes in using OEM parts for replacement purposes – Motorcraft all the way. Plus, the factory body kit and sport seats look to be in great shape; now, it just needs the correct Marchal fog lights to be perfect.

1988 Nissan 300ZX Shiro Special: Rare Edition

I have a special connection to this extremely limited edition 1988 Nissan 300ZX Shiro Special here on craigslist. A few months back, I visited a local salvage yard I hadn’t been to in years. There, I spotted this entirely-white Nissan 300ZX, with color-keyed accents throughout and some very tempting (if not mildew stained) Recaro front seats. That was when I got an education in the 300ZX SS, of which only 1,002 were made. In addition to the cosmetic tweaks, Shiros came with a viscous limited-slip differential, t-tops and a unique front chin spoiler.  These Z31 chassis 300ZX SS cars are tough to find in any condition, and $5,000 is one of the better prices I’ve seen for a clean example without too many modifications. Oh, and those gross, junkyard Recaros? A shop  vac and some switchgear later, and I was enjoying a decent amount of eBay profit!