The Totally Stolen From Somewhere Else “CrapCarGarage”

So, we’re all enthusiasts here, and we all get our ideas from the community around us, the material we read, and the ideas that spurs – I’m no different. And as you may have guessed, The Truth About Cars is one of my daily fixes. Recently they started a series called “Crapwagon Garage”, each article devoted to a genre or class of car.

I’m never one to let a good idea go unstolen (although credited), so here you go. I’m just gonna thrash my whole garage together. Same rules as theirs. Gotta be readily available, sold (at some point in time) in North America (or your home jurisdiction, if we have out-of-continent readers), under seven grand USD ($10k CDN) each, be reasonably available somewhere on the internet, and actually fit the category properly.

Oooh, the categories! They’ve only done two so far, but I get to do my own jam.

Compact Hatchback:
Midsize Sedan/hatch:
Compact/Midsize Truck/SUV:
Fullsize Truck/SUV:
Fullsize sedan:
Sports Coupe:
One random toy (any category):

Lets do this:

Compact Hatchback:

For the price, there are NO other options for me. It’s a Merkur XR4Ti, no doubt. They’re scattered across the country for anywhere between five hundred bucks, and eight grand, and hit all the buttons for me: hatch, two-door, RWD, manual, turbo. Parts are cheap and plentiful, and they’re just cool-ly different. I had a couple other options, but I have a feeling you guys will snag some of those.

Midsize sedan/hatch:

Touuugh. I think maybe a 1989 Taurus SHO: I don’t think they’re that expensive these days, at least not from the late eighties, early nineties. And that Yamaha engine with a stick, and relatively low weight was the stuff that dreams were made of. Technically, you can get a 2010 AWD 3.5L TT SHO for under the limit, and it’s way faster, but… something about those original ones. Also, I think the newer Taurus qualifies as a fullsize, not a midsize. A quick search of Kijiji (the craigslist of Canada) shows me a ’97 SHO V8 for under two grand, and an ’89 for nine-hundred bucks. Yeah, I think that qualifies.

Compact/Midsize Truck/SUV:

Tough, because this isn’t really my thing. Sadly, the GMC Syclone/Typhoon siblings don’t meet the price restriction, having become severely collectable in the last five years. There aren’t a lot in this class that I’d actually want, but I guess if I had to choose, a Suzuki Sidekick would do the job. Despite how cute they are (and they are adorable) they were actually pretty formidable off-roaders, with a few modifications. And they’re cheap as dirt now.

Fullsize Truck/SUV:

I’d go earlier, but again, there’s a collectability issue right now. So, a 1993 GMC/Chevy Blazer/Tahoe, two-door. I always liked ‘em, and they were pretty bulletproof. As with all things domestic, parts are plentiful and affordable. My buddy had one just after high school (he was working for GMAC at the time) and it was pretty friggin’ awesome. Definitely have a soft spot for that. Looks like you can have one for around five grand, in good shape.


I’d be hard-pressed not to get myself an ’80 Pontiac Parisienne/Chevy Caprice/other GM B-body wagon. I had two Safari wagons (’86, and ’88) and I always wanted to build one – crate engine, drop spindles, big wheels/tires. Totally doable for under our self-imposed limit. Seats eight with the rear-facing jump seats, power rear-window, and trick rear gate that opens like a door, or truckbed. Truly a couch on wheels with dual bench seats, and a high dashboard. I do so miss it, and I could have one for a reasonable price.

Fullsize sedan:

Unfortunately, the Infiniti M56x has still not dropped to our CrapCarGarage limit – the cheapest I could find was a $16k (CDN) 2011. Which means I’d go for the M45, circa 2008 – that’d be the Y50 Chassis. I’ve seen a couple of clean ones for a couple of nickels shy of ten grand (our limit), and this is a car I think is going to be a modern classic. It’s clean, understated, well featured, fairly dynamic for a big(ish) car, and has a somewhat timeless quality about it. It’s a tourer, for sure, but it’s got ooomph from that 4.5L V8 (335 ooomph’s, even). It’s a good looking car. I would probably opt for the M45 (RWD) rather than the M45x (AWD). I sure can’t get a V8 5-series BMW for that kind of money. . I know, I know, I should probably look for a Lexus LS430, but they’re just a bit bulbous for me and never really floated my boat.

Sports Coupe:

It’s a toss-up, here. I could, technically, keep my beloved 2010 Genesis Coupe 2.0T premium – they’re going between six and ten grand for a 2010, a little more for a 3.8L, and a little more again for one as new as 2012. And I really do still love it. But in the spirit of the groupings, I think I’d probably go with a ’91 Eagle Talon TSi AWD. Similar power to my Genesis, less weight, shorter wheelbase, and all-wheel drive. Also, those engines took mods like a champ. And I always, ALWAYS wanted one.


Convertible has to be another landyacht, I think. Wait. No, waaaaaaaaaaaaay better idea. 1969 VW Meyer’s Manx / Dune Buggy! Now, that’s super fun, totally something to work on, and will get attention everywhere, which is really the point of a convertible anyway. Fairly easy to find one under $7000 in great shape, too.

One random toy (any category):

The project car I keep talking about. A MK2 Jaguar sedan (or Daimler Eight, as they were effectively the same). It’d need some work to set up as the rally car I want it to be, but totally doable for under our limit, as long as you’re willing to take the little engine. Some suspension, classic livery decals, wheels & tires, and a light bar, and I’m pretty set, I think.

Alright. That’s my CrapCarGarage. I could have had a few different things in there – lets face it, I could have found at least three exxamples of each category. But the rules are the rules.

Have at it! What’s your garage look like, under the crapcar rules?


One thought on “The Totally Stolen From Somewhere Else “CrapCarGarage”

  1. Spent my whole life trying to not have a crap garage but here goes:
    2003 to 2007 Trailblazer – dirt cheap these days
    Hot hatch has to be a mid 90’s Golf
    My Wagon would be a Volvo 245
    Sport sedan is an Early 90’s Accord 5 spd
    Convertible is a late 90’s early 2000’s Mustang 6cyl – they really are crap
    Classic? Late 70’s Buick or Caddy
    How did I do?
    Also I know where a 71 Meyers Manx is for sale if your interested


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