Monthly Archives: January 2012

1969 Fiat 850 Spider: Disposable Sports Car #7

As you may have read elsewhere on Totally That Stupid, both of us were introduced to sports cars by our dads who both owned Fiat 850 Spiders at the same time in the early 1970s. They would wrench them on weekends, and commute in them during the week. I have memories of our whole family of four (at the time) crammed into the Fiat, my folks up front and my sister and I sitting on the shelf behind the seats on a pair of silver speaker covers that I thought were actually seats. I also remember evening trips to the East Norwalk train station to give Dad a jump start. Neat little cars, but not perfect. Find this blue example here on Craigslist in Sacramento, California for $2,200.
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1993 Acura Vigor GS: Honda Builds an Audi

In the early 1990s, after being exonerated from the “unintended acceleration” scandal which concluded with the simple fact that drivers are stupid and resulted in the brake release for automatic transmissions that are law today, Audi came back. Before the UI debacle, they had been lauded in the automotive press for bringing to market stylish luxury German cars that regular people could afford. They looked a little like Mercedes, but sleeker. As their resurgence took hold in earnest, the folks in the land of the rising sun took notice. Honda’s Acura brand had taken aim directly at the likes of Audi, but lacked a mid-size sports sedan in their lineup – the Integra was too small and the Legend was a little too cushy. So they borrowed a page from Audi’s playbook – longitidinally-mounted inline-5, short front overhang, availability of a 5-speed manual tansmission, strong list of standard equipment, and zebrano wood – and built the Vigor. Good examples are getting hard to find, but this clean example can be found here on Craigslist in Cornelius, Oregon for just $2,595, or click here for a listing of Vigors for sale from multiple sites.

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1986 Toyota MR2: Disposable Sports Car #6

It’s been a while since we added a new “disposable sports car” to the blog, so today we bring you an 80s-style oldie but goodie: the original Toyota MR2. It was the 80s, and every teenage boy worth his salt lusted after exotic, mid-engined supercars like the Ferrari 308GTSi and the Lamborghini Countach. These teenage boys, again if worth their salt, also influenced their family car-buying decisions. So Toyota (and separately Pontiac with their similarly-timed and themed Fiero), decided to take advantage of that supercar lust by introducing a mid-engined sports car for the masses. Enter Mister Two. Find this clean and surprisingly rust-free example here on Craigslist in Daly City, California, for just $3,500.
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1993 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Short Attention-span Theater

First things first: this is shameless self-promotion. I own this car, for the time being. You see, I have an addiction to buying and selling cars. There should be a support group for this, but I fear it would turn into one big swap meet. In any case, my wandering eye has me contemplating something entirely different, which puts this little sweetheart of a car on the market. I love Miatas, and they remain some of the most automotive fun you can have for the low prices they command. This particular example is a nice, clean honest one that has not been thrashed, torn, ridden hard and put away wet, or been adorned with bits and baubles like body kits and wing spoilers. In fact, it looks pretty much the way it did when it rolled off the dealer’s lot 19 years ago. Find it here on eBay in Fairfax, VA with a buy it now price of just $4295.

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL: Grey Market Goodness

To anyone who has visited our blog more than, well, once, it probably goes without saying that we like big stupid cars. I like them with big, gas guzzling V8 motors, all the creature comforts, and I am particularly fond of the big German ones that look like they belong to a master villain from some cheesey 1980s movie. Cars like this 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL.

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Start them Early: Your Kids and Your Car Hobby

So there I was, out for a Saturday drive in Dad’s Toyota Tundra king cab on my way to fetch various and sundry moldings and power tools from the local Lowe’s Depot, bombing around the backroads listening to the unfortunately melancholy CD that I gave him some time ago, and I spied this pretty little mid-80s Porsche 911 Targa – and I love mid-80s targas, especially sans whale tail – curving up the country lanes. But it wasn’t the car that caught my eye, it was the two little heads bobbing back and forth and up and down in the back seats. And it got me thinking…

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