When you were a kid, did people ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Tercel - yeah, that’s a Tercel - knows what it wants to be, but does its price match its lofty aspirations?
It goes without say ing that the value of buying a low-milage car deceases if you should happen to -you know - add miles to it. Despite that fact, yesterday’s 1990 Rip Van Winkle Miata with only 240 miles on the clock took home a surprising 56% Nice Price win for its nine grand asking. This leads to the question, is there anything a Miata can’t do?
Short of buying one with a blown motor there’s really no way to get the look of BMW’s venerated M3 without also the stigma attached to its excellent performance. That is of course until now. This 1998 Toyota Tercel rolls Bavarian style and at first glance totally pulls off the disguise.
However, much like a home-fitted toupee, man-made double Ds, or Justin Bieber, the veneer of illusion is actually paper thin. This faux M3 may require a double take to discern its true origin, but it doesn’t take long to discover the folly of its being. Or perhaps that should be considered its genius.
I mean, starting with a fifth generation Tercel two-door you’ve already got a hint of Hofmeister kinking it up in the back window. Now add to that the twin kidneys, roundy headlights under glass, sill extenders, and a shopping trolley spoiler in the back and yeah, this bad boy’s got some hot Bimmer going one.
Underneath all that it appears to be stock Toyota Tercel and that means a 93-horse DOHC four displacing 1,497-ccs. Bolted next to that and driving the front wheels is a five speed stick geared for economy. In fact, if your numero uno performance statistic is gas mileage then this Tercel will blow any and every real M3 out of the water with its claimed 33 mpg around town.
With an exterior so extravagantly modified I’m sure you’d be disappointed if the interior were not likewise imbued with M3 style. Well, turn that frown upside down my friend because it’s a Roundel round up in here as well. Two tone seat covers on all four thrones let everyone know what this car's aspirations are, while a “MoMo” steering wheel and crazy textured pedal covers offer a tactile impression of what the real M3 must be. Also, there’s enough stereo in there to make slipping into it like getting slapped square in the face with a Crutchfield catalog.
While the seller claims to be open to trades of unique/interesting/cool vehicles, that’s not how we roll, preferring to deal in cold, hard - and imaginary - cash. As such, it’s the car’s $3,750 price tag that interests us here today.
What’s your take on this crazy mixed up Tercel wearing big boy M3 clothes and rocking a $3,750 price tag? Is that a deal to play let’s pretend? Or, is that price as wrong as the car?
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