Ask Jalopnik Readers: Should I Take the Cash, or the Rotary

Every so often, a question appears in our inbox that has nothing to do with our asking Jay Leno if he'd be interested in buying someone's dead grandmother's 1978 Dodge. This is one of those e-mails. So pop on The Ramones' "Questioningly" (from Road to Ruin) and see if you can help out.

Dear Jalopnik,

About four months back, a friend of mine an I picked up a 1985 Toyota Celica (here's a pic) for 300 bucks. We knew it had some electrical problems, a trashed clutch and it definitely wasn't pretty. But it was a running, RWD sports car for 300 bucks. So over the last few months we've done all the maintenance that was presumably neglected (every damn fluid and filter, clutch, some hoses, etc.) So far, we've put another $300, along with many man-hours, into it.

Now for the dilemma part ...



On one hand, we have a friend who needs a car. He's willing to buy it from us for about a grand and a half. On the other, another friend of ours, who is a rotary fanatic, has a 1990 RX-7 project car that he will trade for it. It has a freshly rebuilt engine, but a coolant seal needs to be replaced. That means it needs an engine-out rebuild. It's not quite ready to run, but it's beautiful, and it's an S5 RX-7 (one of my favorite cars, btw).

So it boils down to: Do we sell it off and repair one of the many cars sitting in my driveway/garage (e.g., MG midget, 72 Benz) or trade it for one of my reasonably priced dream cars?

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