PCH, Rear-Drive Japanese Luxury Edition: Q45 or 929?

Approximately two-thirds of you would rather reign in Hell with a '69 Citroën than with a '66 Renault R8 Gordini, according to yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll (we can assume that those who would serve in Heaven with a brand-new Lexus didn't vote). That's great, but what if you want to feel like a Yakuza soldier collecting protection money from pachinko-parlor owners and noodle-stand proprietors while you drive your Hell Project? What then? Well, you definitely need a Japanese luxury machine for that, but since you'll need to save your yen for quality tattoos, sharply-tailored suit, and wafer-thin watch, your budget for the car is going to be a bit tight. Welcome to Japanese Luxury Car Hell!


A rear-wheel-drive car with a 278-horse, 4.5 liter V8 under the hood, for only 350 bucks? Yes indeed, when you grab this 1990 Infiniti Q45. The seller is motivated, because we get 16 exclamation points in the statement "Really need to get rid of the car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" But don't you try to get the seller to let this fine Japanese steed go for $345, because it says "No Low Ballers" right there in the listing. The only thing the seller says is wrong with the car is some leaky fuel injectors, but the layout of the photographs may indicate body damage to the right front. There may also be other surprises, given the price; the interior could have been used as a home for a family of rabid skunks, and the fuel injectors may be leaking because a rod came ripping up through the intake and broke them. But when you sort all that stuff out, you'll be rollin' like James Incandenza doing the Infiniti Jest!

But let's suppose you want to break away from the Japanese Big Three for your Yakuza enforcermobile, yet still need rear-drive Tokyo-style luxury. In that case, you might want to take a look at this 1994 Mazda 929, which costs an extra 200 bucks over the Infiniti, but gives you a newer machine. There's less mystery to this one, too, because the seller was a little more forthcoming about the car's problems. On the plus side, the early-90s 929 is a pretty nice car with plenty of power; I (briefly) owned a '92 and liked it a lot. This one even runs! The interior is described as "fair" (probable translation: Stains of Unknown, Yet Clearly Biological, Origin on the upholstery, at least one door panel in pieces in the trunk, dash cracked like the Gobi Desert), there's a squealing belt, the AC blows hot, sunroof doesn't work, etc. Just remember, if you're an overseas scammer this seller's not going to sell to you!

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