cheap eurocar wants: under $4k

I’ve got this weird desire to own a ‘cheap and older’ european classic car.  It is a persistent desire and I constantly find myself perusing the classified ads looking for that perfect cheap-ass eurobox…..something that makes me look like a disgruntled member of the United Nations from the 80s or 90s.  Clearly it’s a stupid desire, as i possess MINIMAL mechanical ability to fix these on my own, and them being european; i am virtually guaranteed things going wrong……..but regardless, the desire lives on…and i can’t get rid of it.

my top 5 ‘cheap’ classic cars i want…….WHAT are you guys after? Do you already own a ‘modern’ classic euro car? any stories?

1. Audi 90 (B3): Not sure why i want these so much, but i think it stems from my experiences with one back in the year 2000, when i bought a used 1993 Volvo 850.  During my test drives, I had also driven a 1995 Audi 90 quattro….and i LOVED it…it was so much better than the Volvo.  But it was also $15k, i bought the Volvo for $9k.  I still have an eye out these days…looking for that old woman selling her 90 Quattro.  I’m hoping i can find a REALLY clean one for less than $2500…..unmodded, unabused…i think it’s possible.  It’d be fun to throw these around in the winter…and to use as a utility car….

2. Audi 4000 Quattro: While looking for Audi 90s, i started seeing these 4000s popping up….for cheap.  like $1500 for those weird 80s boxy Audis….with quattro.  They’re sort of like buying an Audi quattro coupe….but not really….Either way, they look very german, and i really dig em.  Similar to the 90, if i find an old couple selling their unabused 4000 quattro, i’ll be so tempted to buy one.

3. BMW 3-series E30: Yeah it’s all played out now, because every european car enthusiast knows about the $2000 E30 that you can find on craigslist, so now you have thousands of people looking for these E30s….but they really are a cool eurobox to pick up cheap and drive around for kicks; the biggest problem is how many people are looking for em……

4. Alfa Romeo GTV6: Such a cool car, i still remember one of my best friends in 3rd grade used to get dropped off by his mother in one of these….and i loved it then.  They look much smaller in real life now than i remember them to be back then…but they make a helluva noise still.  It’s tough to find a ‘cheap’ one in good condition, but i think it’s possible.  I know Brad from Automobiliac picked his up cheap….and it looks great.   An affordable way for an american to get a very cool Alfa Romeo for sure…(look at the one in the picture below; it is the HOTNESS)

5. VW Corrado: Another car i always wanted.  Unfortunately all the kiddies into VWs have bought lots of them, abused them, modded them poorly and distastefully, and most of the 2nd hand Corrados i see are quite broken.  Even more unfortunately, when i do find ‘clean’ Corrados…i’m pretty sure they WILL break soon after getting it anyways.  So it’s a car i look at, but i would NEVER buy unless i become trained as a mechanic, because they are always proned to breaking…..

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13 thoughts on “cheap eurocar wants: under $4k

  1. Feketelaszlo says:

    Nice list. My favorite cars under $4k are a little bit different, as I live here in the middle of Europe, so you can get those cars cheaper here. Most of these cars can be bought for around 500-1000 $, or 2-3000 $ in good condition.
    1. Peugeot 505 (Dangel) – rare one, but if you find it it’s a must buy. Proved it’s toughness in Africa.
    2. Alfa Romeo 33 Wagon – the coolest looking italian wagon.
    3. Saab 9000 Turbo – the most beautiful mirrors in car history?
    4. Peugeot 405 Turbo 16 – another extremely rare french car.
    5. Mercedes-Benz W123 (Coupe) – one of the best Mercis. Ever.
    +1. Volvo 480 Turbo – my secret tip.

    • Syed says:

      great list! I’ve always liked most of those quite a bit…although the Volvo 480 was never available here….neither was the Alfa 33….the Peugeot Turbo 16 was marketed here i believe as the Peugeot MI-16, if i remember correctly; and i’ve seen several selling very cheap over the past few years……

      • Feketelaszlo says:

        The Peugeot 405 had two different sports version, the Mi16 and the later introduced T16. Both had the same 2.0 litre engine (1.9 in the Mi16 before 1992), but in the T16 it was turbocharged. The Mi16 was also available in the US for a while. It had 2wd and 4wd versions and later a limited Le Mans Edition. The T16 was introduced after the facelift in 1993 and was available only with all-wheel drive system, the T16 was also very rare, 1061 examples were built, 60 of them for the French Police. It produced around 200 hp but most of them are modified to produce 250-300 or even more horsepower.

  2. Andy says:

    I live in Czech Republic, so my favorite “clunkers” list is kind of different, too.
    I have driven Corrado G60 for five years and as you have said, it is a great car to look at but a terrible car to own.
    1. Lancia Thema 8.32(recently found one for 3700 euro)- Rocket in white collar
    2. Peugeot 306 GTI 6- one of the greatest hothatches ever
    3. Alfa Romeo GTV 3.0 V6 & Alfa Romeo GTV6- Great sound, even better looks
    4. Audi B4 Quattro 5-cyl- I just love it.
    5. Renault Safrane 3.0 V6 Baccara Biturbo- well, this car usually costs over $15k but I have found two in quite bad condition for 3500 euro. Car, which is much better than M5 or S4.

    • Syed says:

      another fantastic list…..the Lancia Thema is the one with the blazing Ferrari engine under the bonnet right? what a mega sleeper!! Thanks for confirminig my fears about the G60….every Corrado owner i’ve ever met tells me the same thing! We never got the Peugeot 3.06 GTI (or any Peugeot GTI) here in the US….and we never got the Lancia or the Renault Safran….

      • Andy says:

        You are right, that’s the only Ferrari saloon.
        G60 has problems with its supercharger and the repair is incredibly pricey and difficult, I’ve gone through this three! times in five years and 65k miles.
        You are missing many great cars in US but as least you can import those japanese legends like Silvia or Skyline. Nissan GT-R34 is one of my dreamcars but here in CZ only LHD cars are legal. What a shame.
        Safrane Biturbo is 4WD&4WS up to 500hp saloon, which puts every Audi or Bimmer saloon to shame. Sadly, I can’t afford the upkeep of this car(for example the exhaust is $8k!!!)

  3. eff me! that is probably the hottest gtv6 i have ever seen…

  4. That’s what I like about the Internet, Always something interesting going on.

  5. G Vial says:

    I went through the same “European Car Crisis” a few years ago. For me it had to be an older BMW. I learned to drive “fast” in an E30 M3 at home in Ireland, but that model costs a fortune now here in the US. So a 1999 E36 M3 fit the budget. Costs quite a bit to own, but the satisfaction and pleasure of driving such a car makes it totally worth while. Hope you make a good choice. What about an older Merc like the E-190 2.5 16v Cosworth? i saw one in KC the other day and it still looks the dog’s bollox.

    • Syed says:

      i’ve never seen a 2.5-16 in the US, however i have seen 2.3-16s in the US….very rare. I actually drove one many years back when my father was test driving Mercedes E-Class cars for himself…they had a pre-owned one in the lot, and i TRIED to convince him to buy that, but that attempt didn’t work! it was a graet car to drive, even though it was an automatic.

  6. […] part of a piece on affordable enthusiast cars, the IEDEI blog has put up a picture of a GTV-6 that we’re having a hard time tearing our eyes away […]

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