You know you're looking at a car deal that should make you
run away in terror make a bombshell offer right away when the seller takes the time to pound out a lengthy stream-of-consciousness tirade about the car's problems, then doesn't bother to rotate the photos 90° prior to uploading them. And when you're searching high and low for a nimble mid-engined handlin' machine to disintegrate on totally own the racetrack, you can forget all about the boring MR2 or the way-too-reliable Fiero. Yes, forget 'em! What you need is something Italian, like this 1981 Fiat X1/9 (go here if the ad disappears). Asking price is $600, but the seller has an air of desperation and junkyards only offer $200 for a small car's scrap value, so there's a good chance you'll be able to turn a profit by selling off excess parts… leaving you money to rig up the world's most redneck junkyard-turbocharged Fiat, which should boost engine power from the factory 75 horses up to a block-ventilating track-dominating 150! The engine and transmission allegedly work, and the seller claims there's "plenty of rust but the chasssity of the car is solid!!!" It runs, the chasssity is solid, and the price is right- we can't see a single flaw in this plan!
The X1/9 is a fine LeMons choice, no arguments there, but you can kiss that Index Of Effluency trophy goodbye if some team out-huevos yours by keeping a British car alive for at least half the race, particularly if they manage the feat in a tiny 70s British Leyland sports car. We like the Triumph GT6, the TR7 should come equipped with built-in yellow flags, and you often see Sprites available for dirt cheap… but imagine the glory of
getting towed off the track every five laps roaring past the competition in this 1972 MGB-GT (go here if the ad disappears)! You got your Lucas Electrics, your lever-action shocks, your finicky SU carbs, your 50s-vintage pushrod four, and- best of all- that legendary British Leyland build quality, all in one gorgeous Pininfarina package! This one is 600 bucks, but the devoted eBay seller should be able to get back quite a bit of that. You get a "trunk full of parts" and the seller claims the car "has not been started in several years," which might imply that it's capable of starting again. Maybe you'll have enough money left in the budget to put some big swaybars on it, thus avoiding unsightly asphalt marks on the door handles!