The worst POS car thread was fun. What was the best cheap car you ever owned? Here are my two entries:
1983 Datsun Nissan Sentra Diesel (it had all four of those nameplates strung across its trunk lid). Bought it in 1990 for about $800 - drove it for seven years and seven months. I put 80,000 miles on it and never got below 42 MPG. Had to replace two axle shafts and the alternator once, and it did leave me stranded once due to a bad wheel bearing, but that was because the shop that installed it messed up. It died unceremoniously squished like an accordion between two Chevy Pickup trucks. The other guy’s insurance paid me $1100 when it got totaled.
1988 Ford Festiva. Purchase price $1000. Lasted from November 2000 through February 2008. Put 85,000 miles on it. Beyond regular maintenance, I replaced two sets of tires, one set of brake pads, a radiator (less than $100 online) and a distributor for it while I had it. The only thing about it that compared poorly to the Sentra was its gas mileage- only 35 city, 40 MPG highway. It was, however, twice as quick as its predecessor. The hatchback feature of this car made for huge cargo capacity with the back seat down. I hauled a full-size dishwasher and a front-loading washing machine home in it with the hatch latched (two trips-not at the same time). I made up my mind that I was going to redo the front suspension, fix the AC and paint the car. Never did it. It met a tree when I avoided T-boning an idiot who pulled out in front of me. The other guy’s insurance paid me $1500 for it. I bought a brand-new Toyota Yaris to replace it, but I still miss that car.