What Car Is Better When You Mistreat It?

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We all know that, especially in our broke and ignorant youths, sometimes we end up with cars that weren't exactly our first choice. Or second. Or thirtieth. But we have to make do, even if we resent the car. And mistreat it. But for some cars, it's that period of mistreatment that makes the car shine. What are those cars?

I remember my friend Chris in college had a hand-me-down gold/beige '89 Accord coupe. It wasn't a bad car by any means, but it was pretty anonymous. The way he treated it with gleeful disregard made that the most fun car to be in, though. Ramming into shopping carts in the middle of the night, driving it off-road, simply not giving a shit was incredibly freeing and made the car fun. Once, in the middle of Kansas, we used the car to pull down an abandoned, decrepit barn. You just don't do shit like that in cars you care about.

So, what cars have you had that started unloved, but, like the submissive in some weird S&M relationship you see advertised on Craigslist when you're looking for a new set of wheels, earns a certain degree of affection through the willingness to accept mistreatment?


I bet we'll see some Saturns on this list, for some reason.