Question of the Day: What's Today's Too-Good-to-Be-True $113 GTO?

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When I was 17, one of my mom's coworkers flipped out over "that damn junk heap" that her husband had kept rusting in the driveway for years. "Hey, doesn't your kid like cars?" she asked my mom. "If he takes it today he can have it for $113!" (Bad Husband had paid $112 for it). Next thing I know, I'm handing over the cash for what I'm told is "some kind of ugly Pontiac that gets terrible mileage."


Soon, a tow truck shows up with... a '67 GTO! Hurst dual-gate! 400 engine! Big fat tires and everything! This being the early 80s, I am suddenly the owner of a Hella Cool Car and am entitled to hold my head up high next to my peers driving 350 Chevelles and 383 Satellites. Of course, my pet Goat was a total heap, every inch of the body a mass of holes, dents, and adobe-like layers of Bondo, the interior resembling the aftermath of a rabid-Doberman-vs-weed-whacker battle (it leaked so bad that mushrooms sprouted from the carpeting after heavy rains), it had no exhaust system, no brakes, no seat belts, no functioning gauges, etc. Within hours of getting it semi-roadworthy I slid sideways into a tree and collected several moving violations, and I continued crashing into things and burning up a set of tires per week doing gnarly burnouts in front of my high school until, a few short months later, I sold it to a bodywork man for $500 so I could concentrate my wrenching on my (quicker and more dangerous) '58 Beetle. So all I got out of my GTO ownership was the right to puff out my chest and say "Yeah, I remember my ol' '67 Goat! Man, that was a helluva car!" But now what I'm wondering is: what's the current equivalent, in the "holy shit, what a deal" sense to a $113 GTO for today's 17-year-olds? An Impala SS for $500? Integra Type R? 300ZX twin turbo?

History of the GTO []

Here We Come...Rollin' Down The Street...The Monkeemobile! [internal]



5.0 Stang? Nah. 1990-1994 Ford Thunderbird SC. It was available with a 5 speed, handled an order of magnitude better than the Mustang (with a 10 year newer platform and independent rear suspension, it darn well should have). It's also comfortable and roomy, and the Supercharged 3.8 Liter V-6 may sound uninspiring and not rev very high, but it pushes you on a hell of a wave of torque. They're genuinely quick cars. And all you need to do is spend a few bucks on a smaller supercharger pulley to go from "quick" to "tire-and-clutch-destroying."

As for the Japanese, the Supras, RX-7s, and 300ZX TTs are all going to be somewhat expensive. They're in demand. But a 1991-1995 MR2 Turbo? Now there's a car that was never really loved in the first place, and now seems forgotten. It offers performance close to the contemporary Supra, looks a hell of a lot better (IMHO), and offers the option of mid-engine hoonery. Good times. On an even tighter budget, the first gen supercharged MR2 from the 80's, though ungainly, is a blast to drive.