America might be the easiest place to own a car. Gas is cheap (you should see what they pay in Europe if you think $4/gal is bad) and there are junky old beaters rusting in every field in the country.
Right now, we'd pony up for this $400 '74 Oldsmobile we saw on the Hooniverse. Sure it's monkey rap brown and it doesn't have a title, but it does have a 500ci Caddy motor. We've been meaning to start a LeMons team for years. We could do worse than run with this barge.
Surely you can find a better/faster/cooler/classier car for $500 or less. Don't forget to link to the listing where you found the car. We even have a guide to finding the best used cars online to help you out.