More car for a lot less money

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I enjoy FWF as do, I'm sure, so many other posters here.  But FWF is a component part of FW, after all, not "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".  So I was caught up a little short by this thread:

How many FWF participants can contemplate a $114K automobile? 

I myself drive a car which very nearly qualifies as a FWF "kind of car".  It's an eleven-year-old MGM.  Admittedly, an MGM is not quite down to the level of a Crown Vic, but it is close . . . really close.  And my car was built in the very same factory in Canada as our beloved FWF Crown Vics.

But OK, this is not about such as that.  Instead, re-focus on the $114K automobile which would be out of reach for so many of us.  It is an Autobahn-capable Porsche, a remarkably adept automobile with price tag to match.  So I pose this question to you FWF fans:

What Autobahn-capable automobile new or used, currently for sale in the USA, can be bought readily for $2.5K, or quite often even less, in running condition?  Would such as that not be more in keeping with FWF tradition, specifically saving money and getting the most for a whole lot less?

Special genius is not needed to find an amazing car for over $100K.  Doing this for circa $2K is much more of a challenge, a FWF kind of challenge.  The car you suggest, properly set up, needs to be safe and cruise easily at 140mph.  It needs to be accessible (i.e., available for purchase) all across our country, not just in specialty situations in large cities.  And of course, most of all, it needs to be easy on the wallet in the true and time-honored FW tradition.

I do have a particular make and model of car in mind, but there might be more than one out there.  I'm curious to see whether anyone knows the answer to this.  And rest assured, there is an answer.
 

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there is nothing inherently different about a german car and an american car when they are in the same class except the ... (more)

meade18 (Dec. 21, 2016 @ 10:21a) |

How about a used Yamaha R1?  That'll get you to 180 mph.

IlliniProgrammer (Dec. 21, 2016 @ 10:44a) |

"and I still stand by my comment that you can't cruise easily in a catera at 140 miles per hour even if you got rid of t... (more)

shinobi1 (Dec. 22, 2016 @ 8:55a) |

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Do it!

Circa $2k ?
 

A car that can go 114mph and only cost $2.5k? None.
To even approach this number you are going into Salvage title area and at that kind of speed whatever made that car 'salvage' will definitely cause it to break up at 114mph

Dodge Neon

Or is this a trick question : crown vic ?

forbin4040 said:   A car that can go 114mph and only cost $2.5k? None.
To even approach this number you are going into Salvage title area and at that kind of speed whatever made that car 'salvage' will definitely cause it to break up at 114mph

  No, no.  Not at all.  No salvage titles.  No wrecks.  I would not pull a stunt like that here.  Honest.

ETA

Note:

Not 114mph, 140mph.

jerosen said:   Dodge Neon

Or is this a trick question : crown vic ?

  I would not feel safe in a Neon at 140mph.  I'm unaware that car is rated for such high speed.

The car I have in mind is actually driven at 140mph on the Autobahn  . . . . though

<first hint>

under a different name.

old school pontiac grand prix/G6?

jd2010 said:   old school pontiac grand prix/G6?
  Possibly.  You got me.  I do not know that car or its capabilities.  Is it safe at 140mph?

ETA

. . . and I do not know the selling prices of those cars.

1990's BMW, 325 or so

"safe" is a subjective term.

jerosen said:   1990's BMW, 325 or so
  Best guess so far, IMO.  Again, I don't know the car or prices.  But I'm comfortable with the thought it can handle 140mph.

1) You have to defeat the computer in cars made in the last 15 years or so
2) You will want a car that isn't salvage.

Hmmm...an old 1987 Grand National could do it, but those are 'classic muscle' and go for $30k these days.

Good luck with $2.5k

forbin4040 said:   1) You have to defeat the computer in cars made in the last 15 years or so
2) You will want a car that isn't salvage.

Hmmm...an old 1987 Grand National could do it, but those are 'classic muscle' and go for $30k these days.

Good luck with $2.5k

  
Candidly, I have seen the car (make and model) I have in mind sell closer to $1K!  You can buy a really nice one for $2.5K, which is the reason I pumped the price up that high.

I think you're right about need to mod the computer.  In its USA embodiment, the car I have in mind is computer limited to about 120mph to 125mph because it was not sold new here with tires safe at 140mph for sustained periods.  The car itself, though, with the right tires, computer firmware, and properly set up, is driven elsewhere at 140mph routinely.

To be clear, "properly set up" does not mean a new engine or anything of that sort.  It just means the tires are balanced and rated for high speed running.

Maybe a foxbody Mustang with cosmetic issues?

The question isn't "can it go 140mph," the question is "at $2.5k, how LONG can it go before it breaks?"

shinobi1 said:   
jerosen said:   1990's BMW, 325 or so
  Best guess so far, IMO.  Again, I don't know the car or prices.  But I'm comfortable with the thought it can handle 140mph.

  I was going to say an E36 M3 with lots, and lots, and lots of miles and/or body damage. You can get something in the mid-200k miles range for that price, and it will probably need an engine rebuild. I've had three M3s, two of which well over 100k miles (both E36s) and when I was in Mexico (ahem), I did well over 140 in them and didn't feel the slightest worried. 

OK

<second hint>

The "make" of car I have in mind is an American name you would recognize in nanoseconds.

But the car was not manufactured in North America.

 

The Car make / model isn't what I'm wondering. It's where can you get a good used car for $1.0 k?

forbin4040 said:   The Car make / model isn't what I'm wondering. It's where can you get a good used car for $1.0 k?
  it's not even these that I'm wondering......
I'm simply wondering where is this guy gonna be driving into at 140 mph....into Rio Grande?....Death Valley, CA?.....I-405?....Route 66?.....and not kill himself with a $2.5 car that cannot have ABS, EBD, Rain Sensing Wipers, forward camera + auto-brake.....?????

98 mustang gt, 2000 honda accord v6, nissan 300zx, 1990s pontiac firebird v8, bmw 540i, saab 9-3 with the turbo, mid 90s chevy camaro z28, late 90s bmw 7 series.

Mercedes W140.
I could probably get $2500-3000 for my 1997 S420, and it'll go 140 all day, or at least until the gas runs out in 2 hours.

Last 90's Trans Am/Camaro or 2000 Honda Prelude

What the heck is an MGM car?

DealsBrokeMe said:   What the heck is an MGM car?
  Sorry.  Mercury Grand Marquis.  It's a panther platform car very similar to the Crown Vic, and made in the same former St. Thomas assembly plant near London, Ontario, Canada,  The plant is now closed and the MGM is no longer being manufactured.

Saab?

Roadmaster station wagon could easily go 120+ with the limiter off. Top speed is really 150 or so I believe (haven't tried it). They also cost less than $2500 on a good day, although you have to look out for rust and mechanical issues from being so old.

Do you have an answer that you wouldn't also have to set aside about that much a month (or week!) for maintenance? Most $2,500 cars with that kind of performance would define "money pit."

Neither XR4Ti nor the early Miatas has quite that top end.

A Ford Pinto or an AMC Matador

I would never want to go 140 mph in anything that costs $2.5k. It's scary enough in high performance cars that are built for that.

1995-1999 Nissan Maxima - top speed 142mph, can be easily bought on craigslist for less than $2k

taken from wikipedia

"This Maxima was Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year for 1995. The Maxima SE again made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1995 and 1996.

The 1995's VQ30DE (3.0 litre) engine produced 190 HP (142 kW) and 205 lb·ft (278 N·m) of torque. With the manual transmission 0–60 mph took 6.6 seconds with a quarter-mile time of 15.2-seconds at 92.4-mph, making it both the quickest and fastest (142 mph top speed) Japanese sedan on the North American market at that time.[citation needed] A top-of-the-line 1994 Maxima GLE equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission turned in a 8.0-second 0-60-mph run with a 16.0-second/89.4-mph quarter-mile time.[11]"

Oh come on... just tell us already. I want to buy the new FWF hotness before the whole board gets into it... both bragging rights and getting the deal before it crashes!

Dus10 said:   Oh come on... just tell us already. I want to buy the new FWF hotness before the whole board gets into it... both bragging rights and getting the deal before it crashes!
  OK, guys.  Gonna offer the final hint here.  But first a couple of concessions:

First, there clearly are more $2.5K Autobahn-capable cars out there than I ever realized, which is kind of a cool thing I guess.  I'm not gonna take any issue whatsoever with other suggestions, because in most instances I probably do not know the cars as well as posters making the suggestions!

Second, as another wise contributor to this thread already wrote, for certain with my car there will be maintenance considerations.  I'm not thinking of rust repair or restoration kinds of things.  I'm talking about you start with a good, solid, car and then going forward maintenance is higher than that required by an average American car.  In fact, a key reason the car I have in mind is inexpensive is that it has a horrible reputation for needing maintenance which many dealers were never properly trained to offer it!  Hence, the marque fell into disrepute and prices plummeted.

OK, that's enough for now.  Giving you the make but not the model, here is the giveaway

<final hint>

The car I have in mind, as promised up thread nominally an American name, is branded Cadillac. 

What you talking about, Willis?
A 90's STS?
That's probably stable at high speed, but I'm not sure how long the Northstar head gaskets would hold up under Autobahn stresses.
And like the old 7 series BMWs and S class Mercedes, you'll have to do some looking to find one going cheaply with the suspension in perfect condition.
My S420 had broken front springs, but the normal wear parts were solid when I bought it at 145,000 miles.
 

taxmantoo said:   What you talking about, Willis?
A 90's STS?

 

  
No, that's not it.  I'm talking about a Cadillac you can buy for $2.5K or oftentimes less, in good condition with only circa 50K (plus or minus) miles on the clock, luxury leather interior, moon roof, good tires, other luxury appointments, a really nice looking automobile needing no repairs of any kind.  A car designed from scratch to cruise at 140 mph, completely safe at that speed provided proper tires are fitted, and being driven every day at that speed though obviously not here in the USA.

Come on, guys, this has become a no-brainer.  There is even one of these cars up for sale on eBay right now meeting all the specifications I've mentioned and even including a CarFax.  I will post it if somebody doesn't beat me to it.

1993-1996 Cadillac Fleetwoods?

momoman said:   1993-1996 Cadillac Fleetwoods?
  
Seriously?  Would you feel safe in a Fleetwood at 140 mph?  I would not.

Look, I love my MGM.  It's a great automobile.  But at 140 mph I would be frightened to death in my car.  American cars are not designed for such high speeds because such speeds are not permitted anywhere in America, aside from the Bonneville salt flats.

The Cadillac I have in mind is only nominally Cadillac.  Keep that in mind.  It is not a real Cadillac, despite its badge.

 

shinobi1 said:   OK

<second hint>

The "make" of car I have in mind is an American name you would recognize in nanoseconds.

But the car was not manufactured in North America.

 

  
Catera?

I've cruised at 150mph on the autobahn in an Opel. Didn't feel particularly dangerous. Germans obey the traffic laws, they don't sit in the left lane eating burgers and playing with their phone.
 

You want me to go 140 in a $2000 Catera/CTS?

Skipping 41 Messages...
"and I still stand by my comment that you can't cruise easily in a catera at 140 miles per hour even if you got rid of the speed governor"

Firmware and properly rated and balanced tires would be required.  IOW, bring the Cat up to European standards.  Now as to suspensions:

Cat had three I know of.  The earlier cars were softened up and might not qualify for safety at 140mph.  There are other reasons not to buy the earlier cars as well.  Later, Cats became available with full MV6 suspensions.  I'm a little hazy on all the suspension details because I've not looked into this for a number of years.  My best recollection is things became better in 1999, then became still better later as end of production approached.  But assuming your Cat was a later car up to MV6 standards:

Linky


 

Note the tach readings, not just the speed of the vehicle.  We are not redlining the engine at 230kph.

Cat research, OTOH, seems to be suggesting a top around 140 mph if modded for firmware and tires.  The Cat is a 3.0.  I think it might be capable of greater speed.  But mere cruising at 140 should be no problem.

I mean, what the heck, this is within a context of a car costing $2.5K.  So not bad IMO.



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