For every amazing deal we spot on eBay Motors, we find maybe a dozen or more horrendous potential bilkings. Especially around times like these, where very high gas prices are throwing many established values out of the door, there are more than a few sellers out there with some awfully wrong-headed ideas.
With that in mind, here's the Winding Road list of ten cars that offer basically no value whatsoever at their $10K-ish price points. Argue if you must.
1984 Pontiac Fiero, $9,999: Yes, this "time capsule" Fiero is nearly pristine, with only 5000 miles on the clock. And, yes we have a small soft spot in our heart for the cheeky Pontiac two-seater. But a slower, less-reliable car might be harder to find for ten large (unless it's wearing a Bernardi badge).
1988 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z Convertible, $9,900: We can accept the fact that, maybe, 1980s era muscle cars are due for a spate of renewed interest, but we're not so sure that an '88 IROC is five-figures interesting. At 90,000 miles of wear and tear, consider our skepticism healthy, even with a restoration that includes "Too much to list and I have all the documentation." Pass.
1982 Bernardi Roadster, $9,900: Don't be embarrassed if you don't know what a "Bernardi" is, we were scratching our heads too. Of course, when we found out that the truly exotic name represented a handmade fiberglass body on top of Ford Pinto running gear, we knew we had a winner for this list. A dashboard that looks like it was made by some kid in seventh grade woodshop seals the deal.
1989 Dodge Dakota "Hot Rod" Convertible, $9500: On the plus side, some wacko has taken the time and effort to drop a 400-horse small block Chevy into the utterly uninspired Dodge Dakota. On the downside any attempt to put that power down is liable to shake the truck apart, leaving you and your 16-year-old girlfriend stranded on the side of the road. On the plus side, it's a convertible. On the downside, it's a convertible made from a Dodge Dakota. The Geico Gecko doesn't have enough insurance to drive this thing.
2002 Chrysler Town And Country Limited, $9,995: This one is relatively new (compared to dirt), with relatively low miles (only 94,250), and is relatively cheap, with a "Buy It Now" price half a sawbuck less than out $10K cap. In fact, that should be the dealer's motto: "It's all relative."
2002 Toyota Sequoia AWD Limited, $9,995: We can't think of a better way to beat $4 gas than with a decade-old, high-mileage, large SUV. Plus, it's a Toyota, so you won't have to worry about any unintended, uh, reliability issues down the road.
2008 Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe, $9,995: Actually, we can think of a better way to beat $4 gas-a brand new Smart Fortwo! Or, you could save $4500 and opt for this used one with a mere 126K miles on it. Who likes that new car smell, anyway?
2000 Jeep Wrangler Sport, $9,900: With a manual transmission and an absence of "It's a Jeep thing…you wouldn't understand" stickers, we'd actually kind of dig this one. But asking almost ten grand for an 11-year-old Wrangler with nearly 125,000 miles on it? At least throw in a hard top and a bowl of soup.
1995 Chevrolet Caprice, $10,000: For an even ten grand, you can get this beautiful Caprice LT1. It has twenty-six-inch rims, a cowl induction hood, a train horn, and 105K miles. We recommend that interested parties ought to really, really like the Washington Redskins.
1983 International DT466, $10,000: If a V-8 sedan with a custom interior devoted to the original owner's favorite sports team isn't "specialty" enough for you, then you must have a look at this scissor bed lift/dump truck. When life gets you down, reach for the sky. When you want to get away from it all, just hop in back. 18 feet above the ground feels like a whole different world. Oh yeah, 447,776 miles on the odometer.
This story originally appeared on Winding Road on May 10, 2011, and was republished with permission.
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