Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online

Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online

Illustration for article titled Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online
Image: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

Another week has passed and that means another week of sweet cars found online that I wish I could own. I like finding cheap used cars that can either be daily driven right away or daily driven after minor work. Over the past couple of years I’ve turned it into a bit of a skill.

I search as much of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist as I can for interesting vehicles that don’t cost a lot of money. They may be hilariously unreliable, unique, tuned or maybe something that stops me in my tracks. While I am based in the Midwest, I also see what I can find across the country. Sadly, prices for a few models are trending higher so it’s getting really hard to find absurdly cheap cars, but I’m trying anyway.

Here are nine vehicles I’ve found that I’d drive or that I judge to be solidly Jalop in one way or another. I really have an itch to try to buy one or two of these, too!

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Loves all vehicles! Smart Fortwo (x4), AmTran School Bus, VW W8, Jetta TDI (x2), Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Suzuki Burgman, Yamaha U7E, Honda CBR600 + More

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1963 Corvair Rampside Pickup

1963 Corvair Rampside Pickup

Illustration for article titled Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online
Photo: Craigslist (Other)

Recently, I remarked that Toyota’s self-loading pickup truck concept was pretty cool. But I discovered a concept that works even better. There was a version of the Corvair that was a pickup with its own loading ramp. Sure, you still had to load the crap yourself, but an integrated ramp is pretty sweet. It’s an idea some automakers are sort of returning to today, like Ford and its bed-mounted ramps. Plus, the Corvair pickup is cab-forward design, who doesn’t like that?

These are becoming pretty hard to find in running and driving shape and without drastic modifications. Here’s one out in Murray, Nebraska, on Craigslist for $7,800.

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2001 Honda Insight

2001 Honda Insight

Illustration for article titled Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

The original Honda Insight was one of the best of the old-school hybrids, and it gets such good fuel economy it’s still relevant today. On top of having a design that aged gracefully, it also has a manual transmission and is decently engaging to drive (for hypermilers, at least). The biggest thing to look out for on one of these is operation of the IMA hybrid system. If the batteries are shot, replacing them can get expensive. Thankfully, the IMA in this example appears to be operative. This seller says that this one still gets 60 miles per gallon, and for the price it’s in pretty decent shape.

It’s $1,200 on Facebook Marketplace from Trenton, Ohio. I’ve been thinking about picking one of these up for a few years now. Still haven’t pulled the trigger on it. A girl has to set some sort of limit on her fleet size!

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2009 Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe Off-Road Build

2009 Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe Off-Road Build

Illustration for article titled Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

A few years ago I discovered that Smart Fortwos are actually decent to drive off-road. The cars have minimal overhangs, a really short wheelbase and a narrow track. I run mine off-road with only a tire lift, and it will go anywhere a two-wheel-drive off-roader can go.

Smart Fortwo builds like these are becoming pretty common. I don’t go a week without someone sending me some ridiculous off-road Smart. Almost all of them pretty much have prices like these, but at least this one isn’t beat up.

This 2009 Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe has some good factory options, including an upgraded stereo with a six-CD changer, automatic headlights, leather heated seats and a factory alarm system. The seller then turned the car into an off-road beast. It’s got a lifted suspension, chunky tires, chopped fenders and has some accessories like a winch and vertical-opening doors.

This Smart is up for $9,800 on Facebook Marketplace in Harrison, Ohio. I’m not a fan of the price, but it’s been for sale for a couple of months, so I bet it’s negotiable.

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2008 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3

2008 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3

Illustration for article titled Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

As always, I like to find at least one modern enthusiast car for this list. Lately I’ve forgotten about Mazda, and that’s a shame because the company makes some stylish and fun cars. I didn’t want to find just any fun Mazda, but a really fun one. Here’s a Mazdaspeed 3 to quench your sporty hatch thirst. It has some modifications, but I don’t think any of them are too crazy; of course, the mods could be reversed by someone wanting a factory spec.

It’s listed for $7,000 on Facebook Marketplace, which seems to be a decent deal, too. It’s located in Glendale Heights, Illinois. I chose it for its relatively low mileage (87,000) for its age.

If the price is too high for you, here’s a much cheaper example in Walton, Kentucky, for $4,500 on Facebook Marketplace. Given its location, it should have mostly escaped rust.

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2005 GMC C6500 Pickup

2005 GMC C6500 Pickup

Illustration for article titled Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

Do you want the biggest pickup truck on your block? You could buy a Ford and lift it to the sky, or you could buy an old commercial truck and slap a pickup bed on it. This GMC C6500 was a box truck before someone decided to make it into a pickup truck. Under the blocky hood is a Caterpillar C7 diesel engine bolted up to a six-speed manual transmission. A previous owner shortened the frame, and the end result looks something like a factory job. It would look better if the bed lined up more closely with the cab, but whatever.

Honestly, I like it more than commercial-truck pickups like the International CXT. It’s something I’d actually use as a daily. The interior leaves some to be desired, though. If you looked at this mountain of truck and felt the absolute need to own it, you can find it on Facebook Marketplace in Fayette, Ohio, for $7,500.

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2007 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI

2007 Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI

Illustration for article titled Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

Volkswagen was on some seriously weird stuff in the 2000s and it definitely shows in the Touareg V10 TDI. This brute of an engine is 5 liters, makes 310 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. These numbers aren’t too crazy when you consider an American V8 diesel from the same era made more power, but it’s still an awesome engine crammed into a stealthy off-roader. These Touaregs are better in the sticks than some trucks.

This is one of the cheapest working V10 TDIs I’ve found, and it even has a working air suspension! It’s $7,500 on Facebook Marketplace in Grabill, Indiana. These things are creeping up in value, with only high-mileage examples sneaking under five figures. Thank heavens it’s not even cheaper or I’d be looking to sell a vehicle in the fleet to fit this in.

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1985 Honda Elite 150D

1985 Honda Elite 150D

Illustration for article titled Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

Here’s a scooter that’s so rad I’m sure it’s a showstopper at Radwood. OK, maybe not, but the Honda Elite 150D is still a fantastic little scooter. It does 65 miles an hour with my big frame on it, while getting incredible fuel economy. It also has a pop-up headlight, which, who doesn’t love a pop-up headlight?

I bought a beater one of these and turned it into a trail bike for a Gambler 500. It went places you’d think no scooter should go. Honda builds absolute tanks of scooters. It’s $850 in Pella, Iowa, from Facebook Marketplace.

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2008 Audi A4 2.0T Safari Build

2008 Audi A4 2.0T Safari Build

Illustration for article titled Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

OK, I guess I’m on an off-road kick this time around. This Audi A4 is something crazy. The owner says he lifted the car two inches, then fitted 33-inch mud tires (after cutting the fenders). The car definitely needs some TLC, but it’s all there — and even comes with real carbon fiber pieces. Even cooler, this isn’t just another safari build that’s just for the looks; it’s daily driven and taken off-road.

I could definitely see myself taking this beast through a HooptieX, though I’d want to ditch the carbon fiber and Plasti-Dip first. It’s definitely more on the expensive side (probably because of that carbon fiber) at $4,500 in Lexington, South Carolina. Thank heavens I’m still trying to get a Kei car or else I’d be trying to negotiate this thing.

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2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

Illustration for article titled Audi A4 Safari, Mazda Mazdaspeed 3, GMC C6500 Pickup: The Dopest Vehicles I Found For Sale Online
Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

For the last vehicle on this list, I have another car that some enthusiasts love. The Fiat 500 Abarth takes the adorable Fiat 500 city car and makes it into a mean little hot hatch. How mean? The 1.4-liter MultiAir engine transmits 160 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque through a manual transmission. But the drama doesn’t end with the powerplant. It looks properly track-ready. And just listen to the noises these can make:

This particular example has a good price and low miles. Find it on Facebook Marketplace in Columbus, Ohio, for $5,000. One potential downside with this one is a “rebuilt” title, so get information about what happened to it if you can.


That’s it for this week! Since I started this series I’ve watched how the pandemic has been changing local car prices. Vehicles that were an easy $1,000 before are becoming $2,000 or even $3,000 cars.

It’s becoming harder to find what I’d say are truly awesome deals without getting behind the wheel of something that’s one pothole from the scrapyard. Some gems are still out there, but they end up selling before I can even finish writing this.

Know of a weird car for sale on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist? Drop it down in the comments or in my email! If the car’s still for sale, I may feature it on a future entry.

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Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Loves all vehicles! Smart Fortwo (x4), AmTran School Bus, VW W8, Jetta TDI (x2), Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Suzuki Burgman, Yamaha U7E, Honda CBR600 + More

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