ed. Well, Colton was going to leave a comment, but it got a little wrong… I mean, long, so he decided it needed a post of it’s own. A rebuttal, as it were. This should be interesting
So I’m not saying Mark is wrong… Wait, yes I am. Mark is wrong with his Crap car garage. I know it’s *technically* an opinion piece but here’s my counter-point to his because my choices are way better.
- Compact hatchback: ’87 or older Toyota corolla (AE body)
The Merkur XR4. Normally Mercury makes better versions of Fords; leave it to Europe to fuck that up. Merkur is German for Mercury, and Europe’s answer of how to make a fox body worse. No, this is not the best sub 10k hot hatch.
ed. The Merkur XR4Ti a fucking Sierra Cosworth, Colton, not a damn Mercury!
What WE need is something with some proper lineage. Crank the eurobeat up cause we’ve been in this place before. We’re using the venerable AE86 Corolla. This is squeezing the budget like putting 10lbs of potatoes in a 5lb bag, but let’s be honest. You’re gonna turn it in to the drift pig it deserves to be so who cares about what shape it’s in. The middle listing in the photo is above budget but I’ll argue that after a month listed, cash talks and gets us in range.
- Midsize sedan/hatch: E39 BMW 5 series. Any engine so long as it’s stick
Taurus SHO? The first gen? It’s like you’re not even trying here Mark. The Taurus is Ford’s Camry except twice as bland and half as reliable. The 80s were dark ages for Ford but I’m seeing a trend from Mark here.
Come in to the light my child, and put the power to the tires God intended. Here we have the E39 5 series BMW. ed. the SHO smoked BMW’s of it’s time It’s not a full size, that’s the 7 series. Fight me. Any 5 series from ’95 through ’03 will do so long as it’s the row-your-own variety. The example here is a very within budget V8 powered 540. These aren’t even rare. Get yourself “The ultimate driving machine” and crank some proper donuts. Lord knows it ain’t happening in the SHO.
- Compact/midsize truck/SUV: Bombardier Iltis
I’ll cave a bit and say the Sidekick is an excellent choice. I’ve always loved them and the aftermarket is great. BUT! Things can be improved on and my window for the cheapshot is Mark’s reference to building it in to an off road buggy.
Why not start with something already designed for such a job? This is the Bombardier Iltis.
They’re a Volkswagen built under license by Bombardier for the Canadian military from ’78 through ’88. These things are dead nuts simple and designed to have the shit kicked out of them. They were even available with the VW 1.6 turbo diesel, which is a common swap in to the sidekick so why not skip a step? Plus who needs doors when you have a camo paint job and a zero fucks given attitude. This is like a Jeep but worse. Except better because not many people have them. ed. This is the pocket-protector version of the Meyer’s Manx/VW Dune Buggy I picked as my convertible. Just so, so, so much less cool.
- Fullsize truck/SUV: 1967-1972 Chevy C10
Following Mark’s trend of picking the WORST of everything, we have chevy’s ugh-tastic truck years. Not only has he picked the early 90s throttle body injection nightmares; he picked THE most impractical of the bunch.
Two doors? Well let’s get a silverado. Oh, you want to carry more than 3 people? Cool, let’s ditch the bed and get a Suburban so you’ve still got space.
That’s still too practical? FINE. Let’s get a TWO door Tahoe so you can have all the fuel consumption of a full size while still losing your seating position every time you load someone in to the back like a damn sports car. ed. the editor-in-chief is starting to feel somewhat attacked.
No. Stop it. Let’s get something GOOD. The 1967 through ’72 chevy c10s are literally the best looking truck ever. Period. If you think different you’re in need of eye socket calibration. “But Colton, the prices are through the roof on these pinnacles of engineering!”. Fear not my friend, practicality comes to your rescue. The longbed fleetside is not only a bargain to buy, it gives you real practicality with an 8′ bed! Plus the kick-ass truck arm suspension with coilsprings at all 4 corners makes these super simple to drop on air suspension. Couple that with possibly the most comprehensive aftermarket and reproduction markets in existence… Yeah, I know, you’ve already got craigslist open.
- Wagon: 1970 Polara wagon. Yes, that one.
While the B-bodies are good, classic body on frame reliability, they’re boring. Wagons aren’t particularly desirable except to people with taste, of which there are few of us. This leaves us with a lot more choices than the 80s sadness Mark has been bringing to the table. ed. well that was something of a backhanded compliment, wasn’t it?
No, we’re going to pick something with style. This 1970 Dodge Polara.
Mid 60s to mid 70s brought us some amazing style and this car with the right engine can still be classified as muscle. I guarantee you’re going to get looks and compliments everywhere you go in this baby. You don’t need to worry about the haters, cause no one hates this car.
- Full size sedan: Mercury Marauder
At least you picked from the RWD stable of the tarted up Nissan that is an Infiniti on this one. But the M45? You’re giving up any of the handling the G series had for what? A measly 4.5L V8? ed. The M45 is an unsung-classic-to-be, sir. I say good day to you sir. GOOD DAY.
You need something with REAL displacement. You need a four point SIX liter V8. You need the Mercury Marauder.
This is the last bastion of the body on frame full size that made America great. If Chevy is the heartbeat of America, then the panther platform is the very blood in it’s veins. The Marauder is that but with a healthy dose of Epinephrine to get that BPM of yours to match the tach on the dash.
The Marauder isn’t better in any way that can be measured in lap times or spreadsheet racing. The Marauder just IS. If you don’t get it then you may as well cut your license in half and cram it in the garberator.
- Sports coupe: Lexus SC300/400
Now I don’t have much, if any, enthusiasm for this genre of car any more. But if I did it sure as shit wouldn’t be for the crankwalking DSM shitshow that was the Talon. Eagle isn’t a brand any more and I’m almost positive this is the car that killed it. You don’t want this. ed. It was the the VISIONtrepid that rang the bell for the Eagle brand. The Talon TSI was everything the Excellent Eclipse GSI was, but two grand cheaper.
You want a Lexus SC300/400. If you care more about horsepower buy the 400 with the V8. If manual trans is more important then buy the 300. There’s an SC for everyone! In the land of the rising sun this car is known as the Toyota Soarer because it soars clean above any and all competitors in the segment with it’s timeless style and rock solid reliability. Both engines are legendary for reliability and power potential. Let the Fast & Furious fanboys keep their DSMs and yet your refined ass in to the driver’s seat of an SC. ed. hilariously, I have a three-quarters written piece about the SC. Stay tuned.
- Random toy: Original mini. The only front wheel drive on my list
While Mark is tooling around listening to “God Save the Queen” in his Jag, we’ll be blasting around with Bowie in what is rightly considered the best british car ever made. The Mini Cooper. Slap a motorcycle engine in this lightweight gift from god and conquer everything from the local autocross to rally stages. Just don’t crash. ed. while I really can’t argue with the Mini (other than “how was THIS not your compact hatch choice??”, if we both get our projects of choice, we’ll have a chance to figure it all out on the track, won’t we?