$1000 beater car needed

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Something at the early 2000s? Good luck. I do have a 93 Escort in California that runs great, but no AC or blower motor (plus a few minor annoyance that doesn't affect mobility). The local gov ask me to crush it for $1000, you can have it for $1000 if you can come pick it up.
A thousand dollars is only $500 above salvage. If you think of it that way, maybe you could bump up your investment amount a bit and give yourself a wider array of choices? A grand will most likely get you something that needs another $500+ invested in it to be a safe and reliable car.
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Originally Posted By: 2civics
A thousand dollars is only $500 above salvage.
I towed 1900 lbs of saturn shell to the junkyard and got $98. Probably would have been less if they had to come get it.
As others have noted, a van would be perfect for the type of use you intend to put this vehicle to. Minivans go fairly cheaply as do some real RWD vans. Check out some auctions. I bought a '94 E350 with only 70K at a state salvage auction last October for $900.00. I have had to replace the starter (around eighty or ninety bucks) and the air is not economically repairable, but it makes a perfect hauler with all four rows of seats removed. With EFI, even the old school 351W will deliver 14 mpg, which seems not too bad for such a large, heavy vehicle. Something like that would work well for you.
1995-2001 Ford Explorer/Mountaineer 2WD 1995-2004 GM Blazer/Jimmy/Bravada 2WD Built on solid small truck platforms with excellent parts availability, but without the pickup price tag. Have seen both platforms with over 300K miles pretty frequently. Much better hauling ability than a sedan, roughly 20 MPG highway, simple to work on, low resale/desirability, etc. The downside is both are prone to rot up north, and sometimes get brought down from up north in that condition when they can't pass an inspection anymore. Of course, at $1K, take whatever is cleanest in that budget. This is just a suggestion for vehicles that might offer some kind of bang for the buck in that range.
My friend just picked up his first car, a 2002 Kia Rio automatic, for $500.00. Guy around the corner wanted to get rid of it, was the original owner, has 71k miles. Some rear quarter rust but the struts and suspension look OK. Everything works but the a/c-may just need a re-charge. I'm sure the 1.5L is gutless, especially when paired with the auto, but should serve him well puttering around town. I'll give him a free oil change from my stock. The Miata filters fit his car. Reliability data looks OK, some owners getting to 200k. He'll most likely sell it when he graduates and come out even or slightly better.
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Saturn s-series 98-02 corolla/prism. The oil burning years, yours will invariably have the 3 speed automatic. Taurus/sable Neon/PT Cruiser Cavalier/Sunfire Early Focus/ Late Escort W-Body Century A-Body Century/Ciera (better!) Malibu "Classic" with ecotec
Good list here - I'd also add the early 2000's Pontiac Grand Prix (with the 3800 engine ONLY). Not the greatest cars but very decent and will run well and for a long time if properly cared for. Also, you can add just about all Saturn S-series to the oil burner list along with the '98-'02 Corollas.
If you have some time and are not in a rush, it's likely you'll find something decent in that price range. You have to keep your eyes open though and might have to look beneath the surface a bit. A guy I work with happened upon a '92 Mazda Miata that had less than 80K miles on it and had a leaky radiator. He got it for $500 and put another $500 or so into it (new radiator, convertible top and a few other parts). He now has a very nice car in very good cosmetic and mechanical condition with a lot of life left in it for $1000.
2001-2003 cavalier.2.2L engine is pretty bullet proof and you can probably find one with 150k for under 2K.
XD generation Elantra Hatch? (2002 - 2006?) (ours - sedan - has 222k miles and still a very dependable dd/beater) Old Outback? Old Protege hatch?
Thank you all for your input! I have looked at a few accords, a civic, a chevy cobalt and prizm, along with a dodge caravan. Unfortunately ALL of them were absolute junk even upto the $1500 mark. I think I am going to wait on this for another few months and stretch my budget to the $2000-$2500 mark, hopefully its a bit better in that range.
If you run across a 1988 to 2000 Ford Contour, and you can get one for that price, RUN! My son bought one with good maintenance records. Unreliable and a PITA to work on.
Acura integra,unless youre tall like me (i always wanted one though frown ) god do not get a neon, everyone i know who had one had nothing but problems with it.
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