By on May 13, 2015

A Ford Bronco carrying OJ Simpson

I would never own a brown diesel all-wheel drive manual wagon. Never. I don’t care if I’m chastised by the inner circle of automotive know-it-alls by denouncing the auto journo unicorn. A brown diesel all-wheel drive manual wagon is the equivalent of gearhead hipsterdom. I’m not a fan of hipsters. They put way too much thought and effort into looking like bums and enjoying things no sensible human could actually enjoy.

But, I do have one guilty pleasure: white Broncos. Yes, the Al Cowlings Special. I’ve owned one and would have another in a heartbeat. They’re slow, loud, drink gas like an art degree dropout consumes PBR, and they’re prone to break in the most magnificent of ways possible. They also epitomize the “bigger is better” attitudes of the ’90s, whether said thing was truly better or not.

Yet, there’s nothing you can do to change my mind. My want is irrational and I’m not going to defend it.

There are other cars that, if you like them, will automatically invalidate your automotive equivalent of the man card. Like the Aveo. It’s not because they don’t fit some social norm within our own bubble. It’s because, for a wide variety of reasons, there are better options out there on practically every level for the same price.

So, Best & Brightest, car-centric tropes aside, what is your automotive guilty pleasure?

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292 Comments on “QOTD: What’s Your Automotive Guilty Pleasure?...”


  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    If we’re talking used cars, I’ve always thought the oval window-era Ford Taurus wagon is a good looking and functional, and therefore desirable, car.

    If we’re talking new cars, I secretly admire the current Taurus SHO, even with its many faults and gigantism.

    • 0 avatar
      stevelovescars

      Ha, perfect. Last year I bought one of these, a 2002 Taurus in “brown wagon” form no less. 25k one-owner miles (an elderly lady, I couldn’t make up a better story), tan leather, third row “way back” seat, and indeed it is proving to be a reliable, inexpensive, and functional vehicle.

      This weekend I put some 8′ long boards inside of it with the tailgate closed for a gardening project. The engines are tough (3 liter Vulcan pushrod in mine) but under-powered and not very fuel efficient. This is not a great combination but did I mention reliable and cheap? A new starter cost me $80 INSTALLED.

      Let’s just say I paid less for the car than the sales tax on a new 3-series alone. I’m a convert.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I know a guy who runs a wholesale vehicle buying service, that essentially pays scrap value for rental fleet cars and insurance “jobs.”

        The 2002 to 2004 Ford Taurus is the lowest value vehicle that can be purchased, cheaper than all manner of Hyundai, Kia, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        Yep. I’ve been driving my ’02 Sable wagon for about a decade now, and it’s the most versatile vehicle I’ve ever had. Excellent cargo capacity for occasional hauling and decent comfort for road trips, so I don’t think that it qualifies as a guilty pleasure. For me, that would be one of those Pinto shooting brakes from the ’70s, especially the Cruising Wagon with the bubble window out back:

        http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1070974_guilty-pleasure-ford-pinto-cruising-wagon

        • 0 avatar

          There’s an ’03 Sable wagon in my driveway. Belongs to one of my tenants. I consider it a mildly guilty pleasure to look fondly on that thing as a latter day station wagon. (A Caprice wagon would make me even happier, but since these tenants have the best widdle doggie in da who’ wer’d, and she stays with me all day since I work out of the house and they don’t, the Sable will do just fine.)

          Other guilty pleasure: driving my ’08 Civic (stick) with a leadfoot.

      • 0 avatar
        Toy Maker

        I’ve been on the lookout for a 7-seater <$4,000CAD and stumbled across said Taurus. Surprised to know it's an 8-passenger wagon.

        After a bit more digging though I realized there are minivans (even Siennas and Odysseys) in the same vintage and milage, and costs within $1,000 of the Taurus.

        The added headroom and sliding doors and Japanese quality are hard to resist.

        Minivan is my next toy to have.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      There was a pristine jade green one for sale not far from where I live. It was apparently owned by the mother of the dealer. I thought about it; but decided one Taurus wagon in the family was enough, and it sold fairly quickly.

      But I do like mine for the reasons you describe. Always look forward to hauling the Christmas Tree home with it every year.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Even though I never owned one, the last Saab 9-5 fully loaded is something for some unknown reason I lusted after. I saw one the other day going across the Dames Point Bridge and just was in awe. I got a chance to sit in one before they stopped selling them and loved everything about. Would it have been reliable? Hell no.Could I have found parts. Hell No. But in mind I would have looked good and been in an exclusive club.

    • 0 avatar
      mikedt

      I’ve always wanted a Saab 99ems. And no, this want existed before the movie Crazy People.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      I’ve got a reasonably-loaded 2005 Saab 9-5 with 160k and a spun bearing sitting out in my parking lot. Granted, it’s the previous generation, but five hundred bucks and it’s yours. ;)

      I loved the thing dearly while it was functional. And yeah, I really loved the new-gen ones, too. Saw one in the wild around here (north east) too. But having gotten a new car and seeing how rapidly the tech has changed, I’m afraid it was a doomed effort from Saab from day one, no matter how good the base car was. In a day when I can start my $20k econo-mid-size from my phone, and it has 8″ nav and cross traffic and blind spot detection and on and on, I don’t see how Saab could ever have kept up with the development to get the cars into the new generation electronics-wise. They were just barely hanging on in 2010, but they would have been utterly run over by now even if they’d hung on a bit longer.

      Shame.

      • 0 avatar
        LUNDQIK

        Why wouldn’t Saab have evolved like every other car maker? Especially if they remained under the GM umbrella.

        Most of the tech you reference is easy to add-on and adaptable.

        • 0 avatar
          PeriSoft

          “Why wouldn’t Saab have evolved like every other car maker? Especially if they remained under the GM umbrella.

          Most of the tech you reference is easy to add-on and adaptable.”

          They were damned if they did or if they didn’t. The 9-5 went, what, 13 years without a redesign? And they were still having to repurpose odd steering stalk controls from other vehicles to use in it to save money.

          Maaaaaybe if they’d stayed with GM *and* GM had deigned to give them some resources, they could have parts-binned some of the tech stuff. But as an independent, it seems difficult to imagine them being able to keep up, especially given that it’s fairly obvious in retrospect that they had absolutely zero money to even stay alive. It would have taken a ton of investment. And, quite honestly, with sites like TTAC crowing joyously at every one of Saab’s death rattles, and comparing their cars to vehicles that in reality cost $30k more, I don’t see how they could have managed to survive.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      Molon Saab,eh?

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    I want my Malcolm Bricklin playset.

    I already have the Subaru 360, and I’m seriously jealous of whoever just bought this…
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Other-Makes-GVL-GVL-/151676652356?forcerrptr=true&hash=item2350a20b44&item=151676652356&rmvSB=true

    I guess I’ve just become jaded on cars that should provide a thrill, because you can’t even exploit them on the street. At least when I’m sitting in traffic, I can enjoy curious stares, and laugh at myself.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I worked at a body shop where we restored an SV-1. You definitely want one to complete the collection. Horrible excuses for vehicles, but interesting none the less.

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        When I was a kid growing up in NJ, my best friend’s dad was an investor in the company. Had 3 in the driveway. Got to sit in one. For an 8 year old was way cool.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      My God, you have a 360?!? Where in the world can you drive it? I remember seeing one at the Chicago Auto Show, and even as a kid I thought that it was wildly inappropriate for American roads.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      I’m amazed someone actually has a Subaru 360. I wouldn’t expect to see one outside of a museum.

      My irrational desire is for a Trabant.

  • avatar
    raph

    74-80 GM H-Bodies! Monza, Starfire, et al. I love those old swoopy hatchbacks with their SLA front suspension and torque arm rear plus they were designed to fit a small block. Truly an excellent candidate for the now trite LS swap!

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Speaking of LS swaps, I also have a soft spot for Fox body Mustangs, wish I had a pile of cash so I could buy everyone up, loving resto-mod them and then turn each one back into the wild at a price point that would make them unattractive to LS swap guys. Plenty of old 3rd Gen F cars out their for that.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “Plenty of old 3rd Gen F cars out their for that.”

        But why would I want to LS swap those pigs?

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        Is there really that much people swapping LS engines into Fox Mustangs?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Oh yea. It’s the thing to do in outlaw style drag racing. There’s a lot of companies making LS swap K frames mounts and other components.

          A light body with lots of aftermarket support combined with a readily available engine with a ton of aftermarket support that can make stupid amounts of power for cheap. One day there may be more GM powered Fox bodies than with Ford mills.

  • avatar
    John R

    “They’re slow, loud, drink gas like an art degree dropout consumes PBR, and they’re prone to break in the most magnificent of ways possible.”

    …[shudder]…sounds like a girl I hooked up with in college…

    Anyhow, for me this might be the Mitsu GTO (3000GT). Relative to its peers (300ZX TT, RX-7, etc) it was a dog – expensive, high maintenance, and not too great around corners. Yet, I really like the way they look. Especially in red.

    There’s a prestine example on ebay with less than 24k miles. It looks marvelous.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      If you were young in the 1990’s Dodge Stealths and Mitsu 3000s were hot sh1t. I don’t blame you one bit.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        Agreed, they were indeed hot stuff back then.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam Hell Jr

        They were the ones everybody wanted until I got to high school in the later 90s, and suddenly the cool guys had Preludes, Eclipses, and Civic Si’s. Felt like it happened overnight.

        For the record, the car that actually got you ladies in high school? Wrangler.

        …I drove a SOHC Saturn sedan. That was a less effective approach.

    • 0 avatar
      John R

      Glad I’m not alone.

      The Subaru SVX is another one that makes me smile, but I don’t really have as much of an infatuation with.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        Stealth more than 3000GT/GTO. Pre-facelift cars also looked better.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I have an uncle who is a bit of an eccentric. He bought not only a Stealth when new, but also an SVX when it was about a year old. Previous to those he had an XR4Ti.

        The SVX was interesting, but turned out to be a headache as it aged. Parts pricing and availability ultimately forced him to ditch it once the transmission failed.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “I would never own a brown diesel all-wheel drive manual wagon.”

    Brown? Yes. I happen to prefer earthy colors vs all these white, silver and grey models out there. I’m bloomin’ sick of monochromatic minds that have no imagination.

    Diesel? No. While they get decent fuel mileage, their advantage is killed by the simple fact that the fuel itself is so much more expensive than gasoline, meaning you get absolutely no economic benefit from the higher fuel mileage.

    AWD? Yes. The advantages overwhelm the disadvantages where I live simply due to the fact that I don’t always drive on dry streets. Snow, ice, grass, yes–even mud are common driving circumstances for me and one-wheel-drive simply isn’t good enough all the time.

    Wagon? All SUV/CUVs are wagons. If they’ve got a relatively high cubic footage of cargo capacity both with back seats up and nearly doubled with back seats folded, then it’s a wagon–or a sedan with a VERY long trunk.

    But the article is about our personal guilty pleasures and the one car I would own above all others would be a ’59 Chevy, almost any model–including a brown wagon.

    Oh, and manual transmission? Having driven manual almost exclusively since 2002, I really prefer the more precise speed control a manual gives you. Unfortunately, my wife refuses to learn stick, so I have to keep at least one automatic in the household.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      “one-wheel-drive simply isn’t good enough all the time.”
      Well I would hope that atleast two wheel drive would help..lol

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        I don’t understand, personally, why limited-slip diffs aren’t standard – or at least a standard *option* – on everything.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          + the biggest number in the universe, Sigivald.

          My desire for LSD equipping all the things is absolute.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Sigivald,
          I don’t think it’s really viable to have LSD’s on all vehicles, even as an option.

          The reality is most people never would get any real benefit from a LSD.

          I think an automatic ice cube maker on all fridges should be available or an option.

          Most just drive their cars to and from work, a LSD is of no use and a waste of money to them.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            @ Al,

            It is where I live. FWD, winter tires an an LSD will haul a car through more deeper snow than FWD, winter tires and brake based traction control.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Well I would hope that atleast two wheel drive would help..lol”

        Only if those two wheels are driven full-time. I.E. one wheel on each axle. Posi-track has its own issues and limited-slip helps but isn’t perfect. As such, my JKU Wrangler has limited-slip front and rear and is otherwise a true 2WD when in 4×4 mode where at least one wheel on each axle is powered all the time. No, I don’t use lockers, though I don’t doubt they come in handy–especially in mud and on rock climbing (as long as you’re not trying to turn).

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I will repeat, again, that I *just bought* a brown diesel AWD wagon.

      But it’s an automatic with a turbo straight-6.

      (And I wouldn’t turn down a diesel if it’d been an option.)

      So there’s proof that people will put their money at least close to that ideal, sometimes…

    • 0 avatar

      Mud, mud, glorious mud! (sorry, could’t help myself.

      The ’59 Chevy takes second fiddle to the ’54 Ford Sunliner in Steven King’s 11/22/1963, a great book. The Sunliner is the first car the hero buys in the past, and when that wears out, he buys a ’59 Chevy.

      My favorite Chevys are the ’58 and the ’64, and they are among my top classic cars (also the ’60 Valiant).

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Diesel has been higher than gasoline for quite a while, but now in northern California at least, regular is 3.25-3.50, and diesel is 299.9 all over.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Wait, isn’t this the same question as the recent QOTD, “What would you buy for no reason other than, Because”?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I believe the question was inverse, which car you’d never buy “because”.

      • 0 avatar

        Though feel free to add a “because” for this. I have my reasons for loving Broncos but they’re my dirty little secret.

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          You secretly want to be followed by a fleet of squad cars and news helicopters on a slow speed chase across LA?

        • 0 avatar
          IHateCars

          I thought I was the only one with crazy Bronco love! I’ve had several…a few modded first gens (a ’66 and a ’76) still miss those. But my fave was my ’89 black two tone Eddie Bauer FS Bronco…slightly lifted, 33s, beautiful shape. Sold it to get a YJ….still regret that decision. Almost picked up a beautiful “Nite” ’90 Bronco that was kitted out by the dealer with a Rancho lift, 35s, winch, but couldn’t swing it at the time.

          I still cruise AutoTader (US site, because they’re all rust eaten up here in the Great White North) for a nice ’96 EB in a dry southern state. Have found a few, but never committed. My Raptor will suffice for now!

          Welcome to the support group, brother!

          • 0 avatar

            There’s not a single Bronco on AutoTrader.ca for sale in Nova Scotia, littered with rust or otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Mark,
            What about a brand new Ford, that will be almost as slow as the Bronco, the same length? The only problem is it has 4 doors and it will off road far better than the Bronco.

            Also, you must be able to grey import it.

            A Ford Everest.

      • 0 avatar
        an innocent man

        Yep, you’re right. Just thought it sounded familiar. My mistake, thanks.

  • avatar
    Chris Tonn

    Triumph Dolomite Sprint. Yes, even after the TG episode where the rear door falls off.

    Failing that, a Sprint-engined TR7. 16 valve English engines have always fascinated me.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    GM Saabs, another Isuzu car (coupe, AWD, sedan), 3rd gen Trans Am, a C3 or C4 Corvette, Smokey Trans Am (screaming chicken FTW), a 73-88 Chevy truck, an E34 (I’ve sat in a couple and love how I “look” there) and maybe a MKIII Golf with a 1.2TSI swap.

    I wouldn’t feel guilty. It would be like having pancakes with ice cream and lovely maple syrup, on wheels. After all, sarna con gusto no pica.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Malaise era land yachts. Love velour interiors, opera lights, faux wood and automotive heraldry. I’ve wanted a ’77-’79 Continental Town Car since I was 5. Guilty as charged.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yaaaaas.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      I’d take their later cousin, specifically a LMY Buick Roadmaster wagon. There’s a white and wood one around the corner from where I live and I would love to see if they’d sell.
      Convincing the wife that it’s a wise buy is a different challenge.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        White 53 or 54 Buick Skylark Convertible, complete with the port holes. The lady who ran the record shop near us in HS had one, a gift from her husband.

        Nothing else like it. Majestic, powerful, one of a kind. One of the first V8’s.

        Looked like something Hunter Thompson and the Brown Buffalo would have jumped on if it had been available.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I’d like a few myself…I second the Continental and add the 69-73 Chrysler C-body coupes.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s a ’76 T-Bird for sale here in PDX with 15,000 original miles on it. It was sold to a classic car dealer from a private collection so I checked it out last weekend and it was flawless, complete with 8-track tape player, leather seats and a padded vinyl roof. The same collection also spawned a 19,100 mile 1976 Granada Ghia which sold almost immediately. Who bought it, I’m not so sure but I got to see that one before it departed. First time seeing a Granada up close in person.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    a: F150 RAPTOR! USA! USA! USA! USA! Yeah, it drinks gas at a prodigious rate, I live in suburbia and have little use for a truck, its totally overkill for anything less than the Baha 1000, but its hard to resist the Farmer’s Ferrari. There is a reason why Napa is crawling with them.

    b: Spark. Yeah, if I needed a cheap commuter, just to get from point A to point B with the least cost repeatedly, there is something about that cheap-ass plastic fantastic that appeals to me.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    A brown, manual, diesel, 4 wheel drive… compact pickup truck.

  • avatar

    Here it is: I actually do like the BMW X6 (ducks). No really. I wouldn’t spend the extra money over an X5, but I like it.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “I would never own a brown diesel all-wheel drive manual wagon. Never. I don’t care if I’m chastised by the inner circle of automotive know-it-alls by denouncing the auto journo unicorn.”

    Neither does almost anyone else, except the ONE goofball on here that does!

    My automotive guilty pleasure? To once again own a Jeep C101 Jeepster. Why? because it’s different. I drove a 1968 Jeepster for a brief 7 months in 1975, and have missed the thing off and on over the years. I actually searched for one about 7 years ago, but found the results wanting and a resoration project daunting.

    Another auto guilty pleasure? An Aqua car… just because.

    EDIT: I’d have to add a 1972 Chevelle pillarless hardtop coupe. I wouldn’t care if it’s a six cylinder Powerglide. It’s all about the style. Unfortunately, it’s “unobtainium” – not necessarily the car, but the money!

  • avatar
    mikey

    It rides rough. The 6 cyl engine is crude. Its noisy past 60 MPH. Its completely useless for 5 months of the year. I think I find a new sqweek or rattle once a week. Most of my peer group, secretly sneer at it, and say things like “chick car”

    Faced with the choice of keeping either “my fire breathing 426 hp 2 SS Camaro” or my beloved drop top Mustang ????? . The Mustang won.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I do like base model, 4X4 V8, full size 8 ft box regular cab trucks. They literally don’t fit into my life. But I like em.

    • 0 avatar
      windnsea00

      Same! I am a sports car guy but may it be a childhood memory or such, I have a soft spot for a bare bones regular cab 4×4 pickup. Also I would like to have a TJ (`97-`06) Wrangler with the 4.0 and manual to kick around with the top down and go out and adventure on dirt roads. The latter is somewhat more realistic as that would be an easy vehicle to navigate the streets of LA and such.

  • avatar
    AH-1WSuperCobra

    Mine would be the 88-91 Dodge Daytona. I love the look of the 80s Chryslers with the huge hatches. Bonus points for pop up headlights.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    How many am I allowed?

    3rd generation GM J-cars (had two others, still have one), Pontiac Azteks (on my third), Yugos (had two, want another), Fox body Mustangs (had three), any turbo’d L-, H-, P- or A- bodied Chrysler product from the 80’s (had two), Epsilon bodied GMs (on my second one).

    Then, there’s the whole list of what I’d like to have, but we don’t have enough electrons for that…

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I guess I can add to my post almost 12 hours later…

      Also another guilty pleasure are the U-vans, especially the post-Dustbuster models. I wanted to get a post-2005 Montana SV6 or an Uplander, but my wife didn’t want a “mommyvan”. So, another Aztek for us…

      Those and the latest revision of the Grand Caravan/Town & Country minivans. Something about bread boxes on wheels…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You want a Yugo?

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Any of the German luxury turbo diesel SUVs with like 900 ft. lbs of torque. I generally don’t like large SUVs and will probably never own a diesel, but there is something appealing about having an extremely capable, extremely torquey and extremely comfortable vehicle with room for anything.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Mine would be a 1978-1988 G-body mainly Cutlass Supremes or Grand Prix’s in white with burgundy or blue bucket seat interiors, T-top roof, a smooth V8 under hood, full gauge cluster, rear sway bar, factory rally wheels and dual exhaust setup.

    There is just something really refreshing about these cars tootling along a back road with the t-tops off that is so fun to me. Yes these cars are now quite outdated, slow in anything other than turbo Buick V6 power or hopped up Small block power, they have much less body rigidity and have little in the way of tech but that never stopped my love for these cars and explains my weekly lookout on Craigslist for a low mileage clean example.

    • 0 avatar
      2drsedanman

      I’m with you here, especially 78-81 Malibu copupes, although technically they were A bodies then. I have had a few of these and am always looking for another one. Finding one in good shape with a rust free frame is daunting. They are light weight, easy to work on, and will except most any Chevy engine/trans combonation. My uncle bought one new in 1978 when I was 9 years old. I liked them then and like them now.

      • 0 avatar
        Lightspeed

        I had a ’78 Malibu coupe with 305, 4-speed, 4bbl, F41 suspension, bucket seats, gauge-package. With some aftermarket shocks and +1 sized Michelins, I surprised many BMWs in the twisties. Too bad the frames rust on these, so easy to hot-rod with a crate-engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Had a brand new blue with white vinyl interior 1975 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ. The ‘sports’ model with the ‘big’ V8 and full analogue gauges (gages in GM speak).
      Was my ‘daily driver’ company car for just under a year.

      It was a better car than the Cordoba but I actually preferred the Chrysler’s styling.

    • 0 avatar
      boozysmurf

      Ahhh, yeah. Definitely on the list. For me, it’s the ’86 GrandPrix: a friend had one in high-school, and I adored it.

      At the same time, there’s two other old loves I’d like to rekindle, even though they make no sense at all.

      First, a 1980 Pontiac Parissienne (or Safari wagon). The sedan was the first car I ever bought for myself: $700. I learned to wrench on that car, as it was … fifteen years old at the time. I regret letting it go when I was so broke I couldn’t afford the $27/month insurance on it, or a carb rebuild kit.

      Second, my little brother had a ’91 Mazda MX-6 GT-Turbo, which was a spectacularly fast car for its time. It’d torque-steer you into a field if you weren’t paying attention, but it was a total sleeper, and really affordable. In a pinch, I’d go for the 626 GT Hatchback which had the same drivetrain, but in 4-door (well, 5-door) format, because that was even more sleeper-y. Both wicked fast for their times.

    • 0 avatar
      Numbers_Matching

      I’ve owned 3 G-body Cutlass – Supreme, Salon and Cruiser Wagon. All were fun to own. The wagon had a transplanted 350 rocket and would really fly. With so many options and combinations, no 2 early G (A) bodies were alike.

      G-Body rareties on the list for me:
      ’79 Grand AM 4-speed, 301 4bbl
      ’81 Grand Lemans Safari Wagon (aero nose) with LS swap

  • avatar

    Mine is the W126 S-Class Mercedes. I have owned 3 of them and although they don’t make much sense for a daily driver I still look them up on craigslist from time to time and will most likely buy another one at some point. I am not sure whether it is the memories from seeing them in my childhood done up with tint and flags or just their presence but I like them

  • avatar
    Dirk Stigler

    The 1990s GM Tahoe/Suburbans, especially in police package spec with dark wheels and minimal trim. Like this: http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/cto/5019017184.html

  • avatar

    Also, the 97-02 Mitsubishi Mirage. It doesn’t make much sense but the Mirage was one of the first cars I owned and the first car I modified and played with so I have the lingering need to buy another again and build a small turbo setup or swap an Evo motor in

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    I want a 3rd or 4th gen Bronco (1980-1991). Also, FWD GM sedans/coupes with the 3800SC or a V8 (Bonneville, Riv, Olds LSS, LeSabre, and MORE).

    However, what I really want in an aluminium, SWB, F150 based Expedition, with two doors, and the upcoming 3.5EB that’s going in the Raptor.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    My unlimited budget garage would include:
    1) 1976 Lincoln Mark IV Pucci Edition. I have written this many times before, and we had one new. It even included the little ‘gold’ plate on the dash with my father’s name, stating that it was ‘specially made for’ him. Believe that was an option that Ford offered for these models. The absolute height of disco era decadence.
    2) A white on white, 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biaritz. I actually owned one of these briefly in the late 70’s as the second owner. Flipped it to get a Corvette. However these now regularly sell for well into 6 figures, so it would have been a great investment. And the most beautiful post war car made.
    3) A Citroen 2CV Charleston Edition. Sure to get lots of smiles and thumbs up while driving through town, sitting in traffic and parked. And it says ‘car geek’ in the nicest way.

  • avatar
    ajla

    1. Most ’85 -’99 GM front-drive cars. Especially the H, C, and A bodies. Love these cars. I have owned at least one basically my whole life, but they don’t have much of a following.

    2. ’90 – ’93 Chrysler Imperial. The ultimate K-car and Bob Lutz hated it.

    3. The current Lancer Ralliart. I think I’m about the only person that really enjoys this car and it’s very different from the stuff I’m usually excited about. I seriously considered buying one but Mitsubishi’s future scared me away.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      H-Body love!

      I want a 96-99 Olds LSS more than any Caddy of the same era, or since.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Recently helped a friend car shop low budget wagons, we ended up looking at a Cutlass Ciera wagon that looked really nice in photos (less so in person). Definitely an acquired taste, but one that I happen to like. Rorty 60 degree V6 combined with fairly low wight makes for a peppy take off, the interior is straight from the 70s with the cliff face dash full of burled wood applique, and excellent blue velour. I LOVE old school metal GM seat belt buckles. Unfortunately on this car the temperature started to climb by the end of the test drive, and there was a bit more rust than expected so we walked away. But I was glad to get acquainted.

  • avatar
    Sam Hell Jr

    Late-model Solara. V6, leather, integrated carphone, the works. Based on the CarMax prices, I am not alone in this.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    1985 Cadillac Eldorado convertible.

  • avatar
    hriehl1

    Early Contour / Mystique V6 with a stick… a very nice hiway driver.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I agree. I found a 1995 Contour SE 5-speed on Atlanta craigslist a day or so ago. V-6 (then standard on SE), 141K miles, clean as can be, $2k asking price. Id love to make it mine.

      • 0 avatar
        Kevin Jaeger

        I had a V6 Contour with a 5-speed and certainly enjoyed it when it was new-ish. But I can’t recommend them as old cars – they just didn’t age well at all.

  • avatar
    Boff

    Back in the day I desperately wanted a Lada…the Fiat 128-based sedan. I think I’m over that now…I’d take a M-B W124 300E any day of the week.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I won’t even call it a guilty pleasure, I honestly enjoyed driving a Lada 2107 back in 2006 on a family vacation in Siberia. Brutally simple cars with a sort of mechanical honesty and tactile feedback that has long since gone by the wayside in anything sold in the US. Very direct gearbox, fun low weight RWD motoring with fantastic visibility. Never mind that the car we rented (brand new with 1000km on it) had a malfunctioning seat belt, exposed wiring dangling under the dash, and an exhaust leak into the cabin. Ours was an interesting “ROSLADA” built example, not a Tolyatti car. Even though it was the ‘high trim’ 2107 and not a 2105, it had only a 4spd manual transmission and the carb engine with a manual choke lever (which worked just fine, even in the Altai mountains).

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I drove a Lada Niva 4X4 when visiting Canada a few years ago. I had to take off my shoes because I kept hitting the brake when going for the clutch. Other than that, I loved it. Was a blast off road, looked great (like a real SUV), I could totally see myself owning one.

      I liked the look of the Lada Signa sedan as well.

  • avatar
    blueflame6

    I’m a complete fool for European post-war cars of the people. Given the garage and storage space, money, and time I’d love to buy and restore a Fiat 500, a 2CV, a Mini, and a Beetle. The complete set, so to speak.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I confess to having returned a rented 2014 Lincoln Navigator with a certain degree of affection in my heart. The interior was pretty bad and the instruments were atrocious, but that’s been fixed now. And there’s something to be said for being able to straight-line through cavernous NYC potholes with no more than a muffled ‘badump’ from far below. Train tracks? Badump. Errant manholes sticking six inches out of the road surface? Badump. Pedestrians? Badump. Everything is badump; driving a Navigator is like being a honey badger: You just don’t give a f*ck.

    If I ever have eighty grand burning a hole in my wallet, and I already have a Quattroporte, then hey, why not?

    • 0 avatar

      With the first-generaiton Volvo XC90 having finally been retired in most places of the world, the Lincoln Navigator shares the crown with its Ford Expedition sibling for the Older Than Methuselah crown. Still, the Navigator, in my opinion, ties with some world-class cars like the S-Class and Range Rover in terms of suspension comfort…beating out GM’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension in the Yukon Denali and Escalade.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Chevy Aveo.

    My dad had one as a rental when they were new, I took it for a spin and was instantly reminded of driving one of the FWD Ladas, or any other third world spec sedan that is sold on credit over in Russia (Daewoo Nexia, Lanos). It was honest in its crappiness, and I found that rather endearing. Not efficient, not nice to ride in, not built well, not reliable. Not even a good value at the time given that you could buy a better built Accent for the same money. The motor was gruff and unrefined, but that only added to the appeal in my mind. As a city runabout, they’re perfectly peppy even with the 4spd automatic, albeit fuel economy might be in the low 20mpg range.

    • 0 avatar

      Ouch! It’s no secret that the Chevy Sonic is the most recent addition to the Aveo series and is still called such in other parts of the world, but I assume by the mention of a 4-speed automatic that you’re talking about the older, third-world-country-grade versions.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Yep I’m talking about the first generation cars, which were famously advertised as being styled by the Giugiaro studio. For the same reasons as the Aveo, I like the 2nd gen Hyundai Accent. Oh, 2nd gen Elantras: the 96-2000 Elantras in my mind were the turning point for Hyundai, quality wise. The 2001-2006 cars cemented that, and they started their ascent from being ‘good for the money’ to going more or less toe to toe with everyone.

        Let me also stake my claim for any and all Daewoos sold in the US (Lanos, Nubira, Leganza) as well as the weirdo Suzuki-Daewoo rebadge jobs (Verona with the Porsche developed I-6, Reno, Forenza). Nothing screams BHPH like a Forenza, not even a Galant with chrome hubcaps and dents.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I cant judge. I happen to be a fan of the Ford Festiva (owned a 90 L 5spd) and the 3 door Aspire 5spd. I like the way they drive, love the manual steering and their general feel. Are they particularly good at anything other than MPG? Actually, yes. They are reliable and happen to be the only subcompact Ive driven that didnt kill my back. They roll a lot in corners, but really dont handle all that bad. I really like them compared to the Metros Ive driven. I think Id like a cart being pulled by lame horse compared to a Metro.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        The Festiva gets a lot of crap, unjustly. It’s actually a well engineered car, based on a Mazda 121. Peppy little city cars, and like you said reliable. The same cannot be generally said of the successor car, the notorious Aspire.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          The Aspire was just a slightly larger, safer version of the Festiva. Same engine/transaxles, but with standard dual airbags and optional ABS (neither could be had on Festiva or the then-current Metro until it was redesigned).

          I had a Toyota Camry that left me walking (not the first time, either). I walked a few miles to one of our sister dealerships and asked if they’d taken anything in on trade that I could drive home. My choice: an 80s automatic Celica and a 5spd 1996 Aspire. I chose the Aspire and I loved it. I put a lot of miles on it that weekend, and Monday, I called the dealer and told them to draw up the paperwork and Id be down at lunch to sign and pay for if. An hour later, they called back with bad news: the people who traded in the Aspire missed it over the weekend and asked the salesman could they buy it back. He didnt know I was going to buy it, so he said yes. I liked it but I would not have protested anyway, as we did what we could to make our customers happy. I was dissapointed but I got over it.

          I had one of the techs go with me at lunch to get the Camry. It started and ran fine, but that was the last time I was going to let it screw with me. Three days later, I traded in the Camry on the 1990 Festiva I mentioned above. Good riddance to bad rubbish. And, it was pretty much an even trade, all I had to do was pay TTL and the little 3rd world car (what I called it) was mine.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Wranglers.

    Inefficient, uncomfortable, and generally useless, but every once in a while you get to drive some place that other vehicles can’t go. Amazing.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      The guilty pleasure Wrangler has square headlights.

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      Wranglers and regular cab short box, 4wd trucks are my guilty pleasure

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Wranglers.

      Inefficient–Yes, though you can get over 22mpg if you drive sensibly
      Uncomfortable? No… I’ve ridden in far worse that claimed to be “comfortable”.
      Useless? Well, the 2-door model may be–just not enough room in back to be a true ‘utility’ vehicle, but could be worse. The 4-door can at least handle up to 6′ long items, once you get that soft-top’s bar across the rear out of the way and if you don’t mind them sticking out, 8′ boards can ride that bar (and protect the top of the tailgate). Not perfect by any means, but no worse than any other straight SUV its size.
      And yes, it can go some places most pickup trucks can’t go.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I have three specific ones on my just because list:

    -A giant senior Packard, complete with swan hood ornament. It was the best American car at the time, and had the best slogan of any car company ever. Something like this Super Eight. Totally unsuitable for modern car life.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packard_Super_Eight#/media/File:Packard_Super_8_(Centropolis_Laval_%2710).jpg

    -A Saab 9000 CS Aero, because I want one in perfect condition to throw money at constantly, and drive around feeling fantastic about myself. I think it’s a style icon.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_9000#/media/File:1997_Saab_9000_Aero_2.3_Turbo_hatchback_(2012-09-01)_01.jpg

    -Range Rover Special Edition (H&H, Etc), because it takes an excessive car and adds expensive leather, wood, and details which are impossible to find or replace later. It is also immensely unreliable, uses more fuel, and is even more impractical and heavier than regular versions.
    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2015-range-rover-holland-and-holland-edition/#image-1

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      Corey – re: 9000 Aero. Do it. I’ve owned two 9Ks (one Aero, one CS), and they are magnificent. Ahead of their time, and comically underappreciated. Mine were relatively trouble-free, and easy to maintain. It is getting harder to find good ones though. An Aero with a manual is silly fun.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I did look at one once, this would’ve been back in 02 or so. It was dark metallic green with peanut butter leather. But the middle of the dash had a crack in it already, and the exhaust was BLACK BLACK with soot, so my dad and I decided it had big problems and was an avoid.

        That’s as close as I’ve come to one.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        I love how there’s something broken *even in the example pic*. It’s like the canonical state of an old Saab just *is* broken.

        I say this as a slightly-bitter former Saab owner…

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    I am a European car guy, full stop. Current car is an Audi A6 Avant. Have owned Land Rovers, a BMW, A Porsche, a bunch of Saabs, and a couple of VWs. I’m a typical East Coast/Mass. liberal weenie. But I absolutely (and secretly) lust after a Dodge Challenger, preferably the bananas Hellcat, but I’d take a Scat Pack Hemi with a manual. If I won the lottery tomorrow I’d be at the Dodge store by noon. I have no idea what it is, but that thing just does it for me.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    I want a VW Quantum Syncro Wagon. Had the sedan as my first car and always wanted the wagon in 4wd. Old Saab 900 from the 90’s is also on list.

    • 0 avatar
      Tifighter

      I had one of these. Red. Absolutely the least reliable car I’ve ever owned. I told a German motorhead friend of mine that I owned one in the past. Let’s just say he laughed freely…

      But the diff lock WAS cool.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    In order, my dream garage:

    1. JK Rubicon
    2. LC J200
    3. SQ5
    4. ’69 Camaro (Without it and alcohol, I wouldn’t be here)

    If I can only have one, hmmm…the Land Cruiser

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      Just curious what #4 means…

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        #4 means his mother and father had a meeting of the minds, or something similar, while exploring the interior after imbibing, and he was the result of that research.

        Sounds similar to Margaux Hemingway’s explanation of the origin of the unusual spelling of her first name, after the bottle of wine her mother and father enjoyed just prior to getting busy producing her.

        In my life, the deal is that if I hadn’t been rocking my Thunderbird V8, the wheels would not have been set in motion for the arrival of our son, though the mechanism, while not Rube Goldberg-esque, was also not as direct as the above two examples.

        I wonder how many of us on TTAC exist at least in part due to some form or another of automotive love on the part of our parents.

        Shades of the movie “The Yellow Convertible”, if my memory serves me correctly.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    There is a car I once owned that I wouldn’t mind owning again. It is only a guilty pleasure because it makes no practical sense, it isn’t really collectible, and it failed on me in so many ways… honestly the guy who stole it and stripped it for parts in Nov 2001 probably did me a favor. (Thanks for the $2000 check Progressive.)

    1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham sedan – 307, 4 speed auto, positrac rear, e-Quadracrap carb – stolen around the 150,000 mile mark. I had acquired her from my Father at around 100,000 miles.

    Front sway bar mount (drivers side) rusted at the frame and broke away, e-Quadrajet required a rebuild every 50,000 miles and was incredibly dimwitted in trying to communicate with the gas pedal and the engine computer, locking wire wheel covers did the clickity clack at low speed regardless of how well tightened they were. It required 100+ lbs of ballast in the trunk during the winter months. It completely ran out of breath at 65 mph (which was great considering they were starting to raise the speed limits at that time.) You were lucky to get 20 mpg overall in mixed driving.

    Insurance was insane on it because of its “most stolen” reputation at the time. After I moved to Detroit it got lots of police attention because of a reputation as a “drug runners car” – I was told this by a retired officer that was working security at the school I was teaching at.

    So why would I want it? Bright white paint, blue velour interior, power accessories as far as the eye could see, fake wood forest in the interior, and the chrome rocket logo proudly displayed all over the place.

    I think I’d have to transplant a RWD oriented 3800 into it to make it enjoyable to drive – and find that “little old lady” special where it lived in a dry climate like Arizona.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      PDan, the proper term is “Quadrajunk”.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Being an automotive “nerd” when I figured out the Rube Goldberg scheme that GM had concocted to force an electronic engine management system to communicate with a 4 barrel carburetor vs actually putting their technological prowess into designing an injection system – I told my father: “There’s your problem. You’ve got modern technology trying to communicate with technology older than you are.”

        I don’t think he appreciated that. :-P

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      @Principal Dan This makes me think of a late 50’s/early 60’s Pontiac convertible, I think it was designated a Star Chief or something like that. Belonged to a factory racing speedboat driver. Had four deuces with some kind of crazy linkage mounted on top of a large V8. It was white with red trim, and in an era of flashy muscle cars, it was still a standout. When he would pop open the hood, it looked like a cover on Hot Rod magazine. Got to know a bit about the driver and the car because my father was the business manager for the manufacturer’s racing team.

      It was also the origin of the joke “could pass anything except a gas station.” The guy spoke of getting 8 mpg, though he admitted that that was due to rounding up from seven something mpg. In fairness, he liked to rev it for anyone who cared to listen to it, which was anyone withing three football fields of distance from wherever he happened to be parked, or idling, who had any interest at all in automobiles.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Late ’80s JDM hardtop premium sedans. C33 Laurel, Y31 Cima, HC Luce, etc.
    They’re heavy, floppy, and almost always automatics, but I like them.

    http://ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/japanese-four-door-hardtops/

  • avatar
    Timothy

    I have three for no other reason that they are stand out cars from my childhood… cars that for whatever reason intrigued me and fed my adolescent love of all things car:

    Audi 90 20V – A client of my mom’s had one. White over grey. Manual of course and the locking diff button. This was the first premium german car that I had exposure too and cemented my love of sports sedans over coupes etc.

    90 Subaru GL Wagon – Simply because it was a wagon that had a low range transfer case. How ridiculously amazing.

    Contour SVT – Ridiculously fast and the engine made a very very pleasant sound.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      http://jalopnik.com/would-you-go-2-300-for-a-v8-1990-audi-90-quattro-1703870201

      That one has a V8 swap though.

      • 0 avatar
        Timothy

        Don’t need a swap… lol. That’s just asking for major issues (well more issues than an Audi 90 would have anyway)

        I did price out some Contour SVT’s today… lol. They are definitely out there.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          You are askin’ for sadness. Although, I do like the Contour. My FIL had a 2000 Contour SVT as a commuter until someone t-boned him last year. It was beautiful and had under 80k miles. My wife learned how to drive in that car.

          Save your money for the RS in a color that causes temporary blindness.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        The V8 swapped 80 or 90 is definitely one of my guilty pleasures. I absolutely hate all other variants of the 80/90 for it’s dreadful lack of design.
        I once bought a Audi 100 (5000 in the US) Quattro from a guy who had buiilt one of these V8 beasts. When I was there he had sold it because it was ‘undriveable’, but he had another 80 Quattro, and another 3.6 V8 in his barn.
        Couple of months later I run into a friend of a friend driving that other 80, now with a V8. So apparently the guy had built another one, and then sold it off, again, because it was still ‘undriveable’. With the V8 swap there was no room for an alternator, so he’d drive it around with two batteries in the trunk (which helped the weight distribution a little), using one as a spare, and always had another battery or two on a charger at home. It wasn’t used for any long trips, but it was hilarious in a straight line. (talk about range anxiety though)

    • 0 avatar
      Tifighter

      Ha! I had a 91 90Q 20V. Pearl white with black jacquard sport seats. Sportlines. Lovely motor. High beams sometimes went on with signalling a right turn, but it always started. Always liked the coupe too.

  • avatar
    deanst

    80’s isuzu impulse – even if it is just a fancy chevette. But i’d buy anything designed by Giugiaro.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The F-150 when I could easily get by with a Corolla plus occasional rental truck, one borrowed or favour pulled. It satisfies the muscle car urge too. But life’s too short as it is. And I’m showing a lot of restraint storing/hording muscle cars til I retire or if my young nephews or nieces are interested when they can drive.

  • avatar
    phargophil

    Guilty pleasures?

    1. 1974 Gremlin X
    2. 1981 AMC Eagle SX4
    3. 1967 F-100 Ranger
    4. 1967 El Camino
    5. 1957 Thunderbird

    First three because I once had each, last two because I just want ’em.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    Ha! I agree 110% on not getting the station wagon love. I don’t care how practical they are, I don’t like station wagons. For me, I want 2 door cars. I miss being able to buy a coupe that can actually seat a family. I think the Accord is the last one left.

    But my ultimate guilty pleasure are rotaries. In fact, most of what you said about the Bronco applies to rotaries except for slow. They really were quick in the worst case, and outright fast in the best case. And they certainly weren’t bigger. But thirsty for gas and failed in unimaginable ways? Oh yeah!

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    AMC Jeep Grand Wagoneer. With “woody” side appliqué. Just because and thank you.

    AMC 69 Javelin with Go Package in Big Bad Blue. Just because. Thanks again.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Large FWD Cadillacs like the Deville and DTS. Northstar or not, there is something magical about them. They still “feel” like a Cadillac. The CTS and ATS can sod off.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Yep, I was just about to post this: the DTS. I was test-driving all manner of midsize and large sedans, mainstream and near-luxury, when I test drove a DTS. I knew the thing had the reputation as a land yacht you couldn’t steer with an interior that dated to the Middle Ages. Sitting in it and driving it, that wasn’t my impression at all. Yeah, it was huge when you were parking it, but the rest of the time it simply was divinely roomy, comfortable and easy on the senses. I knew a guy who traveled all over America on business, and he told me he sought them out at the rental counter every time because they were the best highway cruisers around.

      Farago reviewed one here and said he saw disillusioning evidence of lackluster QC, but I didn’t get that far into it (let alone have it long enough for the Northstar to puke up all its oil).

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      I wouldn’t call the ’85-’91 examples large, but I had a great uncle whose last two cars were FWD de Villes. After his eyesight got bad, I quite enjoyed driving him around in them. They likely were a terrible value compared to their Buick and Olds sister cars or to the market in general, but I admit to quite liking the comfort/handling equation – very smooth, relaxed cars. And his were trouble-free, being powered by the improved 4.5 version of the “High Technology” V8.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    As the owner of a ’96 Bronco I applaud your excellent taste. Here are the reasons why a Bronco is the ideal vehicle:

    -Unlike modern SUVs it can actually go off-road (or hop an occasional curb)
    -Comfortably fits 4 adults plus all of their camping gear for a weekend trip
    -It is wide but short meaning it has great cargo capacity but still easy to park and maneuver in tight spaces
    -Parts are cheap and available everywhere, repair instructions are easy to find online
    -Performance and off-road parts are cheap and plentiful
    -Can be had with a manual transmission and mechanical transfer case
    -Still has corner vent windows, one of the top 5 inventions of all time
    -Steadily appreciates in value every year, not that I would ever sell my Bronco

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      -Rusts in areas with humidity above 15% or salt, faster than a landau roof applied to a wet Mazda in Boston.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      All their camping gear?

      Well, if you’re backpackers, maybe.

      I don’t camp that small…

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Haha I’ve been on every end of the spectrum, from cramming 5 guys and 5 40lb packs into a Lada, to barely-adequately fitting everything I need for comfortable camping when it’s just me and the gf and our dogs in my much larger 4Runner. Not to mention motorcycle touring/tent camping across the entire US and back. Man I must have been one smelly dude on that trip.

        But yeah, 4 people’s gear into a Bronco doesn’t sound like a tall order at all, even if you’re splurging beyond just the essentials (so called ‘glamping’)

  • avatar
    King of Eldorado

    The Jaguar X-Type comes to mind. Yes, I know they’re based on the Ford Mondeo and are not considered “real Jaguars” by many. But I’ve always liked the looks of them, they’re reasonably good drivers, and they’re very reasonably priced as used cars. The newest ones are now around 7 years old though, and a lot of the ones I see are pimped out in one way or another, usually with garish aftermarket wheels and excessive window tint that’s just asking for a ticket. And there’s a wagon version! S-type is also on my list ….

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The X-Type is very unreliable in many ways, and there is a -reason- they are found used, pimped, and at BHPH.

      Honestly just get a Diamante and call it a day.

      • 0 avatar
        King of Eldorado

        I think you’re missing the premise of the article, which is “guilty pleasures.” To quote the author: “[T]here’s nothing you can do to change my mind. My want is irrational and I’m not going to defend it.” Your suggestion of a Diamante would be like telling the author he’d be better off with an Explorer. He doesn’t want an Explorer, and I don’t want a Diamante.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        Diamante wagon preferably.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I have seen one of those only once – and I noticed it out of the corner of my eye. I had a very rare (for me) moment of “What is that?” and had to double-take. Really the only other times this has happened:

          iMiev
          Lancer Rally Wagon
          Bentley Azure

          Mitsubishi is winning this challenge by a long shot.

          • 0 avatar

            I didn’t know there was a Mitsubishi Diamante wagon. I probably saw one once and mistook it for a Subaru Outback or Legacy wagon…although the front of it is very BMW-esque.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Kyree S. Williams,
            Isn’t the Mitsubishi Diamante a Mistubishi Magna?

            If it is we had Magna station wagons. A Magna was a wide body version of the Sigma.

            I thought Australia only exported Magna’s into the US to car rental companies on the West Coast for a limited time.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Magna#Second_generation_.281991.E2.80.931996.29

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Al is correct. Per Wiki:

            “The Diamante was first sold in 1992 in the United States, replacing the Sigma, which was based on previous generation Mitsubishi Galant. Mitsubishi Motors North America sourced their Diamante hardtop sedans from Japan and the wagons from Australia. It was originally available in two trim levels listed below and only as FWD automatics.”

            And here’s something very rare, dunno that I have seen one. Check the interior pics. For a “luxury sports” car, it’s a hot mess in there.

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mitsubishi-Diamante-VR-X-/391130057243?forcerrptr=true&hash=item5b112b0a1b&item=391130057243

            Starting at $26,819 in 2005, the VR-X had a 3.5 V6, which took premium fuel and made… 210HP. The cheaper ES and LS trims got the same engine at a very discounted 205HP.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Ah…memories. Back to a time when Mitsubishi made cars…wait…they still make cars?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            They make a lot of “cars” for other markets, and have a wide “offering.”

            I think here, we’d say they offer a lot of “trim levels” of the same couple “basic vehicles.”

            Cause an L200 and an L200 minus rear seats is certainly not two cars.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I looked at the “inventory” of the Mitsu dealer near me. The Ford dealer I go to has more Tranist Connects than the Mitsubishi dealer has cars. Sad times indeed.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I just checked mine – they have 20 new cars total. About half are Mirages, a few Outlander Sports, and like 5 regular Outlanders.

            It’s encroached on either side by the other brands the dealer owns. Chevrolet on the right, Ford on the left. It’s a very sad looking showroom and does not even have a glass frontage. It looks like maybe it used to be a service center for one of the other two and got converted later.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Ford and Chevy dealer should launch a two pronged attack to take over the space and sell nothing but F150s and Silverados in it.

    • 0 avatar
      MPAVictoria

      Right there with you. the x-type wagon is definitely something I would love to own one day

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Jaguar, specifically the post Nikasil X308 or an AJ6 X305.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Oh yeah, gimme an X308 XJR. Once the AJ loses it’s chains, it’s LS swap time.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Oh, I would have me.

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Jaguar-XJR-XJR-/121646648077?forcerrptr=true&hash=item1c52b48b0d&item=121646648077

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        MY99 had the Nikasil issue, its only fixed by July 2000 for late MY00s and early MY01s. If the car had been fixed under the silent Jaguar recall there would be a plaque on the motor facing the firewall IIRC. Since this has 42K original miles I’m leery of the recall being done and 40-80K is the period of when the Nikasil motors started to lose compression and eventually go.

  • avatar
    Mattias

    1st gen Dodge Durango, I’ve loved them since they pretty much disappeared from the landscape after being owned in the rich suburbs in the 2000s.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      These were attractive trucks when they were newer. It seems to me that they went from being decent $10k used vehicles to sub $1,000 crusher fodder overnight though.

      • 0 avatar
        Mattias

        This happened after the cash for clunkers. It was a shame to see the BOF go, the Durango design seems to have aged better than both the explorer and blazer from that era

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Chrysler has gotten a LOT of design mileage out of the 1994 Ram.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “seems to have aged better than both the explorer and blazer from that era”

          hard to say, all three are well into “neglectful 4th owner” stage now, but one thing I did notice is that the Durangos rust at easily twice the rate of explorers, let alone blazers. Front fenders, rear quarter panels, all totally swiss-cheesed.

          I really like the look of them though, with brawny fat tires and the dakota front end and caravan rear tail lights. The weird pregnant-looking second gen totally lost the plot for me.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Yes, I see them for cheaper than cheap needing major mechanical repairs all the time. You can usually get 200-250k out of a OHV 4.0 or 5.0 Explorer but I rarely if ever see a Durango with 200k or +. A lot I see in disrepair are like 150-170k mile examples, a few even under 100k.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Mid 70s Lancia Stratos. Because.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    1987-93 Chrysler LeBaron coupe. Just the coupe, not the convertible.

    • 0 avatar
      cls12vg30

      +1. I first learned to drive on my Dad’s fire-engine-red ’88 coupe. The 2.5 was crap but the car was beautiful and handled well.

      Make mine one of the white-on-white GTC Turbos.

      I only want the earlier hidden-headlight model, though. The later aero lights never looked right to me.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      http://www.carsforsale.com/vehicle/details/2614

      Ooh, this one is NICE. I’d have to chuck the luggage rack, but a minty K derivative in Pennsylvania is so incredibly rare that it could very well be worth 10 grand. Not to mention that this was the ONLY coupe I found, despite searching eBay and four other websites.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m not sure how many Whitehall PAs there are, but if this is the one I think it is, its two miles from where I grew up. I have probably driven past this car on the road, but no its not worth 10K, 5-6 maybe just for S&G.

        I had an aunt with a similar looking Lebaron but I believe it was an MY87 and a V6/cloth. I also had an MY93 emerald green convertible with similar looking leather buckets and a digi dash… so modern!

        Here’s a GTC conv with double miles in CT for $2,500:

        http://www.carsforsale.com/vehicle/details/1111796

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I’ve been finding so many more convertibles than coupes, and that makes me sad. The coupe has a much better roofline and would be a much better drive.

          I guess the only way I’m gonna get a mid-size FWD Chrysler coupe with some degree of sporting intentions is if I buy one of those super 90s two tone Sebring coupes. Preferably in green and tan or red and tan.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The coupes are mostly gone it seems, people hang on to convs though because they are ragtops.

            The J-body Lebaron variant of K car came with three motors, the 2.2 Turbo, 2.5 N/A and turbo, and the Mitsu 3.0. The 2.2 turbo would have only been offered in the GTC and possibly some conv trims in some years (mopar people please correct me). The Mitsu 3.0 came out for MY90 and was typically the motor used in the conv. This motor was mounted to a 3spd auto trans and although I think the trans was ok the motor was iffy IIRC (ok for the time but long term not so sure). So I suppose the base 2.5 would be something to look for, but I do believe most of those are gone. You might be able to find a mid trim 2.5 turbo in the post MY90 years (conv or coupe) as a survivor.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I have two LeBaron memories from childhood.

            1) The Realtor in Jumanji had one in purple with a black top, it was the revised body, which IIRC was a pretty new model then for 1994/1995 and looked way sweet! They stole it after she was taken away by the paramedics after getting bit by the giant mosquito.

            2) Jon Voigt’s car in Seinfeld, like the example below.

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chrysler-LeBaron-Mark-Cross-Convertible-2-Door-/141662696637?forcerrptr=true&hash=item20fbc134bd&item=141662696637

            It’s so… kitschy. Did people actually take these seriously at the time?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You like the idea of telling people you’re driving Jon Voight’s car.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      What’s wrong with the LeBaron convertible? David Byrne rocked one in the True Stories movie. Looked “correct” on a high tech factory-lined industrial road in the middle of Anywhere, Texas. And he could never have fit his “twenty gallon” Stetson hat inside of a coupe.

      And yes, (some) people took them quite seriously. Including a woman project manager at a large Beltway bandit firm, who ran from client to home to private school board meeting in one, with her briefcase on the back seat, and her head filled with visions of owning a “performance” American car.

      Turned about a fifteen second zero to sixty IIRC. Could be wrong about that number, but it was “sprinting overweight hog” slow. But it was also from the “glorious” Iacocca-helmed Chrysler resurrection era, I believe. So visions of performance married to political correctness by way of “American engineering”, ran rampant, in the minds of buyers, if not on the actual highways.

      Automotive engineering, in fact, went from the Nader era to the nadir era, with that vehicle and other Emerald City like designs. Legends in their own minds, cruising down the highway, while listening to radios blasting out what was loosely described as popular music of that era.

      Automotive kitsch at its peak, at least in this country. That was one car I wouldn’t have shed a tear for if every last one of them became fodder for C4C.

      LeBarons…guilty, yes, as charged. Pleasure, uhhh, not really.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    1965-68 Chrysler Newport two-door hardtop. I wish we had a car that could fill this slot today. Probably the closest is the Dodge Challenger. But that car has too much early-70’s muscle-car juju going on.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

    2004 Pontiac Bonneville GXP. Mattel interior, aspirational to the NASCAR crowd. But it has a V8 and menacing stance.
    VW Phaeton. Legendary VW reliability. But oh so stealth wealth.
    Kia Amanti. Very competent and comfortable car, if you can get past the looks and badge.
    Toyota Innova. Neither the room nor comfort of a minivan; nor the prestige and image of an SUV. But it just works.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I have way too many. If I won the lottery, the only exotic Id buy would be a Morgan 3 wheeler and possibly a Ford GT. The rest I would spend on “average” cars I love. Ill skip the Fords, since you guys know Im fond of many of them.

    (All cars equipped with a manual when aval.)
    BMW 318ti (been looking for one lately), Suzuki Esteem (early models with smaller headlights), Honda CR-Z, Honda Element 4wd, Honda Z600 (1970s), first and last gen Honda Prelude but none in between, Honda Acty truck (legal in my state), first gen (truck-based) Kia Sportage 4wd, Kia Towner truck, Plymouth Breeze, Alfa Romeo 164L, 1990s Tercel coupe, first gen Tercel coupe or hatch (maybe even sedan but NOT a wagon), (ALL Datsuns are pre 1980) Datsun B210, Datsun 810 Coupe, Datsun 200SX, Datsun 620 and earlier truck, Toyota Stout (Id do a Diesel conversion using an 80s-90s Hilux/Surf JDM powertrain as the 1.9 gas 4 was woefully inadequate), first gen Isuzu Trooper 2-door (had an 86, loved it), GMC Jimmy (full size), Mitsubishi Mighty Max (1990s 2wd 4 cyl), first Infiniti M45, Infiniti M30, Infiniti J30, GM G body coupe (not a Monte Carlo unless SS), late 70s/early 80s Oldsmobile or Buick full size RWD coupe, Oldsmobile Alero Quad 4 coupe, Pontiac Bonniville 3800 s/c, Pontiac 6000 (do a 3800 swap), Mazda Cosmo or any non-RX-7 RWD Mazda rotory or not, JDM Nissan S-Cargo, many other weird JDM vehicles mostly kei or RWD but not for drifting. Im sure there are more Im forgetting lol.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      We have surprisingly similar taste, namely on the total oddballs such as the Esteem (make mine a wagon) and first gen Sportage (total billygoats offroad with some mud terrains and a small lift). And as much as I rip on old Tauri on here (the ovoid and mid 2000s ones) an early build 96-97 car would be on my guilty pleasures list. Pre-decontenting, with the DOHC 3.0L and either a saddle interior or a green on green car. Either wagon or sedan. I have fond memories of a friend’s family ovoid wagon that they bought when the just came out, replacing a totally rusted out sled of a 1st gen Sable. I think they still have that wagon, and it still looks fantastic.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Well, the 3rd gen Taurus/Sable have their good points, I put many, many miles on my moms 97 Sable, but my 2nd gen is “just right” as far as styling, size and weight. The 00s got softer springs which destroyed their handling IMO, but I almost pulled the trigger on a brand new Sable LS Platinum once. I kept going back and forth between it and a loaded 5.0/AWD Mountaineer Premier, but life happened and I bought neither. I still prefer the pre-02 Expl/Mtn to the IRS models.

        My neighbor has a 97 Taurus, its amazing the stuff my 95 has that the 97 lacks. Its been an outstanding car for her, 258k on it. I recently replaced the radiator, some coolant lines, plugs, wires, coil pack and filters. Runs excellent and even the A/C still works (more than I can say for my 95 lol).

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I like all BOF explorers. I thought the first of the IRS trucks were too soft/lame when they first came out, losing their steel bumpers, solid axles, and leaf springs. But seeing as where the Explorer ended up (as a sad CUV), a clean 04-05 Eddie Bauer 4.6 V8 truck (a few years into the generation to hopefully avoid major issues) would be a mighty fine ride. I love the egg-crate grill and big headlights on them, the 06-11 lost the plot for me.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Yes, as Ive mentioned elsewhere, Im happy Ford is selling plenty of Explorers, but only because the profits are going to go into R&D, in which case something interesting may come out of it (like the new GT, the Raptor, Focus RS, etc). But as a vehicle for me? No. Just, no. Id take a Flex over it, but honestly couldnt see myself buy one of those either unless I suddenly have children/a family to cart around. That is highly unlikely at this point.

            Im not sure if it was this site or another I frequent where I mentioned this, but what wouldve been awesome in my opinion is if Flex sales had taken off and the Explorer was repositioned from family truckster to a real off-road alternative BOF SUV. Something like the Ford Everest (but without the Durango-esque face), to compete with 4Runner, etc. Id like a 5 passenger version. Despite common thinking today, not every wagon/suv/cuv MUST have a 3rd row. Thats why Im happy the Edge exists, but again, I prefer something more truck-like.

            Maybe the “Sport” couldve been a smaller, ven more hardcore off roader version to compete with Jeep Wrangler (also offering a removable top/doors/etc but with original Ford styling and not a Wrangler Xerox copy).

  • avatar
    210delray

    I’m going by the strict definition of “guilty pleasure,” that is an unloved car like a white Bronco. Not a ’57 Thunderbird, ’69 Camaro, or the late 60s Chrysler Newports.

    Mine is a 1992 Buick Skylark coupe, if only those danged passive seat belts could be swapped for proper belts and frontal airbags. Two-tone on the outside with a light blue or light green interior.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      And you’ve got to have the “GS” suspension for maximum Buick-ness, and the 3.1 V6 for the fact that it actually made a nice sound for what it was.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        I had an Achiva 3.1L. It only had 100k but it was awful. Water leaks (body, not engine coolant although Im sure there was that as well) everywhere when it rained. Trans was trying to clap up, 3100 intake vacuum leak, lots of other issues. But, the 3100 gave it some decent grunt.

        I had to end up drilling holes in the bottoms of 3 of the doors because they filled up with water when it rained. I could hear it sloshing around 3 days after the last rain, and when you rolled a window down and back up (rear doors), it was wet.

        I wanted to like that car. I really did. It was a 1995 (just before the ladt interior makeover) and I found the gauges very poorly designed. I almost ran out of fuel twice as the fuel gauge was totally hidden from view when sitting normally. I had to lean forward and look through the steering wheel to see it. I dont “gangsta lean” either, I sit pretty normally. I think it was either the amp or oil pressure gauge that was more visible without leaning forward. I always thought they shouldve been switched with the fuel gauge.

    • 0 avatar

      Passive airbags. Yep. Our 1990 Honda Accord had those. In 1992–the first year of the face-lifted model—they removed the passive seat belts and added a driver airbag.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I would have liked my Skylark if it hadn’t been a pile of crap.

  • avatar
    jhefner

    Chrysler TC by Maserati
    AMG Hammer wagon
    Audi 5000s
    ’90-95 “Bubba” Taurus Wagon (i.e. fitted with the Taurus SHO engine, suspension parts, and front seats)

    Good thing none of these will ever happen.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      You could do an SHO conversion to your wagon pretty easily. Or find a decent wagon with a blown 3.8L (standard on LX wgn) or a bad trans, so you can keep your stock one as a d/d at least until the conversion is complete. I see SHOs with minor issues for under $2k out west pretty often, a lot with hammered body/interior but decent mechanical bits.

      I happen to have the exact drivetrain I want in my Taurus, even though I do love manuals. My bad back dictates that I have an automatic in a d/d, and Im very happy with the AX4N compared to my previous AXOD Taurus/Sables. Its familiar but much improved. I never really considered having a buckets-and-console (floor shift) Taurus, but I do really like it in my 95.

      If I wanted a manual, Id get a V-6 Tempo and convert it (yes, 5spds were avalible but are rare). A Vulcan Taurus is decent, I wouldnt call it slow, but a Vulcan Tempo (even with an auto) is down right fast. I SO regret getting rid of my 1992 Tempo LX V-6, I feel like I could kick my own @$$ for such a stupid decision.

      I also would like a 95-7 Contour SE 5spd, but the Vulcan is probably my favorite engine from Ford overall. I realize the Duratec is smoother and more powerful, but given how many Vulcans Ive owned, their virtues are forged into my brain.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I like the TC, I would consider it another guilty pleasure (although I liked K-body Lebaron as well).

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Mercedes W124 and especially W140. To a lesser extent a G-Wagen.

    Nothing says “mobster in 1990s post Soviet chaos” like an black S500. Nicknamed “chemodan” (“luggage/briefcase”) for their black angular look.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Hmm two I guess. First, Malibu Maxx SS – 240hp is respectable, a killer set of wheels, factory hellaflush, incredibly versatile (yeah but junk otherwise, I know). Second, Lexus LS400 first generation – old school luxury, use-it-abuse-it ‘Yota-ness.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    @Mark – What are you prone to breaking on your Bronco in a mad way. They’re built overkill for a passenger car.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    Hmmm…just because??

    1980 Dodge Omni 024 2.2 Hatchback
    1982 Mirada CMX
    1975 Mustang II Mach 1
    1955 Ford Parklane 2 Dr. Station Wagon

    I could go on, but I think I’ll stop now!! :-)

  • avatar
    Chan

    Any modern Volkswagen. Despite a terrible ownership/reliability experience, I am still smitten by how they ride like more expensive cars.

    They only “ride” when they actually work, and on principle I cannot reasonably buy another one as an everyday car.

  • avatar
    Numbers_Matching

    R129 (SL600) – Any year with the V12. Drove one years ago. Launches like a silent rocket. Corners like a bullet train.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Fiero…

    I want 3. All 88 GT models. One with a 2.0T, one with a 3800 SC, and one with a C6 Z06 405hp smallblock. 6MT, LSD, fully restored and modernized from the ground up.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Pontiac Bonneville SSEi with the 3.8 SC engine and tacky body cladding and Fisher-Price interior

    Lincoln Mark VIII

    First gen Oldsmobile Aurora (most beautiful sedan from 90’s)

    Last generation Buick Riviera

    1997 Taurus SHO (yea, the one they screwed up)

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I’d want a 6×6 resto-mod B-Model Mack. They look cool, be fun to play with and terrorize the brodozer crowd. Plus they remind me of my dad who had several of them.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Wow, I love some of the comments here!

    Australia, USA and Canada, what do we have that is relatively common?

    We drive the most excessive vehicles. I even drive a near on 20′ long vehicle.

    Imagine if this article was in France. They’d think it was radical to go out and buy a Cruze. God forbid buying a midsize CUV/SUV or pickup is excessive.

    Yet we just consider this quite the norm.

    How lucky we are…….so far, to be able to operate the vehicles we have.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – Exactly! I never forget how lucky we are, and really owe it to all those forced to drive sh!tty little diesel penalty boxes, TO LIVE IT UP!!

      I’d hope they’d do the same for us. Btw my Aussie friends felt bad about borrowing my F-150 when they’re in the States, so they bought one and left it here, just for when they’re up here for business/pleasure. I drive it enough to charge the battery.

  • avatar
    Numbers_Matching

    1950’s Dodge M37 with transplanted Detroit Diesel 6V53T.

  • avatar
    S1L1SC

    BMW 850CSI – Prices are not too bad now, but the potential maintenance scares me.
    Also would love most of the 80-00 supercars (Ferrari, Maserati, etc.).

  • avatar
    glwillia

    I’ve always had a fondness for the 1974-1987 GM full-sized trucks. Not sure why, but really liked them since I was a kid. I also really want to own something from the Communist bloc at some point–ideally a ZIL or classic Volga.

  • avatar
    sebr0d1e

    in no particular order:

    1. GMC Cyclone/Chevy Typhoon
    2. Last generation MR2, RX7, 300ZX
    3. Mazda Miata w/ 5L V8, Black with Tan Leather interior and Borrani wire wheels
    4. Fox-bodied Mustang Cobra
    5. Lexus LX/Toyota Land Cruiser

  • avatar
    Jimal

    The Vega, especially the pre-’74 small bumper models.

    Yes, they are historically terrible cars, but they are stylish, light weight and (if you can find one that didn’t rust out decades ago) they take modifications well. Plus I spent my early childhood riding around in a ’73 Kammback Estate, replete with woodgrain.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Any Lexus LS from the 90’s would be fine for me

  • avatar
    2kriss2kross

    For me it’d be

    70’s Brougham Barges
    Weird boxy JDM cars
    Any French car
    Those ugly Datsun hatches from the mid to late 70’s
    Cars that always appear on lists of hated cars (e.g. Pontiac Aztek, Ford Pinto, Hyundai Excel)
    1980-1982 Ford Thunderbird/Mercury Cougar
    Eastern Bloc cars (e.g. Lada, GAZ, Trabant)

  • avatar
    cls12vg30

    1980-83 Datsun 200SX hatchback. My first car was an ’82. I already have an ’88 S12 in my garage,but I NEED another S110! And a 620 pickup for hauling parts.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I found a 78 200SX not long ago (still on my craigslist favorites list I believe). I thought I wanted a B210 hatch, but the early SX is even uglier…I mean better! I actually do not like the squared off version you mentioned, but far be it from me to critisize your prefrence. To each his own.

      I still want an early B210 hatch to make a LHD version of the South African 140Z/160Z.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Also, I was watching Rocky IV last week and I remembered that I want a Lamborghini Jalpa (Or any awesomely bad 70s/80s Italian supercar). I will drive it around looking serious while blasting “No Easy Way Out” by Robert Tepper.

  • avatar
    IwantmyEXP

    I would love to have a Ford EXP. I have memories from my when I was a little kid sitting behind my Dad in his Escort hatchback wondering what it would be like to be a grown-up driving my own cooler two seater Ford.

  • avatar
    JREwing

    I want my black ’84 Crown Victoria back, with the following changes:
    – 2011 chassis
    – current Mustang independent rear
    – Coyote V8
    – 6 speed manual
    – 20″ rims
    – no vinyl roof
    – police speedometer

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I’m really happy with the 95 4runner that I drive. 5 speed MT/4X4. I am far less apprehensive driving it off road than anything I have owned even with the torrential rains we have had lately and with tires that really need replacing.

    I could be talked out of it though by someone with a CJ, Scrambler, or 1st/2nd Bronco, all with I6 power. An oval window beetle or split window van make absolutely no sense but I would be hooked. What I’ll probably actually do is buy some new tires and keep driving the 4runner till it’s over 300k. I doubt I’ll ever have my truck be anything but 4wd. That and a trailer do it all.

    I doubt there is ever going to be a day I don’t have a kneejerk reaction to air cooled VWs. Any 10 step programs out there.

  • avatar
    STS_Endeavour

    Austin Allegro Vanden Plas

    ’83 Thunderbird

    ’92 Mercury Capri

    Falcon FG mkII G6E

    Rover SD1

    Toyota Sera / Toyota Origin

    Subaru SVX/XT

    Lincoln Mark VIII

    Buick Reatta

    Ford Aerostar hippie van

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Ford Capri RS2600

    I would lovingly restore it, even from a basket case.

  • avatar

    I don’t know if it’s a guilty pleasure or not, but I’ve always been fond of the Jeep Comanche pickup truck. One of those late ’60s 4 door Thunderbirds with the suicide doors would be cool too, but then I’d have to get a Lincoln Mark IV to have a two door coupe.

    Sunbeam Imps are said to be fun. Not sure how many there are in North America. When I was in college I had a summer job working in a broaching shop and the owner had a couple of Imps decaying in a side yard. I think they had a Coventry Climax engine, mounted in the back. Pretty sophisticated rear suspension for the day.

  • avatar
    mcs

    From my time in France, I fell in love with the Bagheera’s successor, the Matra Murena. One row of 3 across seating, mid-engined, with a plastic body. First saw one on the streets of Nice on a rainy day.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    My Guilty Driving Pleasures:

    1) 1941 Chevrolet Classic Cabriole;
    2) 1942 Lincoln Continental;
    3) 2015 Mercedes Benz G-wagon (G 63 AMG 6×6 (2013–2015), in the Alps…. (^_^)

    ===================

  • avatar
    RollaRider10

    For some obscene reason, the first gen Toyota Prius (1997-2003) and first Honda Insight (1999-2006) really appeal to me. I guess in a way it’s because they were hybrid before being hybrid was cool, and I actually think they both look good, much better than their successors for sure.

  • avatar
    Varryl

    I love Toyota Yaris 3 door hatchbacks. I just love em. They are adorable and perky and ridiculous, and even if I crashed one I would not feel bad. Correspondingly, I don’t like any other subcompact except the Fit. The rest can go fuck themselves., but I want to handbrake turn in a Yaris 3 door hatch all day.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      A neighbor down the street somehow still has a 2 door Echo.

      I bet it would fly with the interior ripped out and some kind of V6 dropped in the back to drive the rear wheels.

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    More than one, to heighten the absurdity.

    A BMW Isetta. And a Pinzgauer. And a third car, either one, though the Pinzguaer would probably work better, with a turbo’d or supercharged large block V8 putting out a few hundred hp, and a drive train to get the power to the ground. As a weekend driver, to Cars and Coffee. FTW.

    But an Isetta with a V8 hidden inside would be a good first approximation of the (in)famous Cyclops that got reviewed in the April issue of Road & Track every year, back in the day. Might have been C&D instead, but I’m fairly certain it was R&T.

    Though it definitely would have to be a case of “it’s larger on the inside than it looks.” Still, I can dream, can’t I?

    Though I also keep having insane dreams of owning that Nissan Patrol, or whatever it was, with some kind of insane auxiliary turbine motor in the back, that was clocked at over 200 mph on the road in Dubai a few years ago.

    It would add a new meaning to the phrase “Gone in Sixty Seconds.” Over a football field of road covered EVERY SECOND! Including the end zones.

    You could pull out of your driveway in Dubai at 9 pm on a Saturday night, and be in downtown Stuttgart in time to finish a leisurely meal in Stuttgart before midnight, including the time it would take to find parking, I imagine. Toss back a couple of nightcaps and be home in bed before sunrise.

    Though I imagine radar-defeating F117B Stealth bomber paint might be a necessary option.

    If I’m going to be found guilty for my pleasures, I might as well commit a SERIOUS crime…forget 700 hp Hellcats, Vipers, Koenigsegg’s, etc. I’m talking hooning heaven, or go home.

    Though I’d probably keep an Aero Panther for my daily driver. Panther love forever…

    Like my name on this site means, in Spanish: Flying low.

  • avatar
    bickel84

    I’ll admit I have a soft spot for 2nd generation 2 door Cavaliers. I’ll usually do a double take when I see one on the road…which isn’t too often any longer. I used to have one in high school and it was a fun little car. Good on gas, easy to work on. A breeze to change out the stereo components…that’s important when you’re a kid.

  • avatar
    Hoodedhawk1

    Ford Excursion. Diesel or gas. Must be 4×4 too. I drive an F150 CC so I’m not sure what I’d gain except the mind numbing ridiculousness of a 3/4 ton SUV that gets 10 mpg.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I’ve heard the Excursion is so heavy that some lifts in auto shops can’t actually lift it.

      That just makes it better!

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Coincidentally or not, my local Ford dealer’s service department just got in some new super heavy duty lifts for some of their vehicles, which are too heavy to go on their standard shop lifts.

        Sounds like the perfect big city driving successor to the old lead sled GM cars that were popular on the streets of Brooklyn in the 70’s.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    @Mark: your search is over. http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/cto/5026562909.html

  • avatar

    it’s gotta be the original Oldsmobile Aurora. So terrible. So futuristic. So northstar. I want one.

    • 0 avatar

      Absolutely agree. Just sat in a first gen for the first time only about two weeks ago at a local auction. OMG; loved it. You’re right; such tacky GM 90’s plastics inside, but wrapped up in such an appealing, futuristic way. The digital trip computer with the keypad was very nostalgic. Sign me up for one of those too!

  • avatar
    Illan

    My Guilty pleasure would be a black Lincoln Mark viii LSC with:-

    -black chrome accenting
    -twin turbo Coyote
    -2,000 watts stereo
    -5 spoke 18″

  • avatar

    Oh gosh, where to begin? I’m afraid that my car enthusiast card will be revoked after this list:

    1990-1996 Chevrolet Lumina Van/Pontiac Trans Sport/Oldsmobile Silhouette: I was literally awestruck by these as a child; they looked like spaceships and were so cool for a geeky kid like me. The first glance I had of one was at night and the rear “elephant ear” taillights were like nothing else on the market at the time. As an adult, I totally respect them for how innovative they were. The plastic panels, integrated roof antenna, power sliding door, flip/fold rear seats were all very smart and ahead of their time. Would love to find one of these as a collector car.

    1986-1991 Ford Taurus: Also revolutionary for its time; this car changed the way that Americans looked at and drove family sedans. A huge gamble for Ford, and a car that still looks good to this day; almost 30 years later. New design elements on it like flush windows and integrated halogen are things we take for granted today Too bad spotty build quality and weak engines/3 speed auto on some versions let it down.

    1988-1993 Ford Falcon- Great Australian design as well; Euro looks, rear drive, and eventually, an available V8 engine on a family car is pretty sweet. I always liked the clean, honest to goodness look of this Falcon and simple, sleek lines. Like the American Taurus, too bad mediocre build quality let it down

    1994-1997 Ford Aspire- Owned one of these in college. It was awful; slow, unreliable, and equipped with a terrible 3-speed auto. Every moving part on this car broke and every single trim piece discolored or warped after only a few years of ownership. But, I always liked the cute jelly bean styling, the fun colors, and as ridiculous as it sounds; this car had the best cloth seats I have ever found…on any car (with optional interior décor package)!!! Had loads of character; good and bad.

    2004-2008 Chevrolet Aveo5- Gasp! Seriosuly, an Aveo? Think about it, it’s 2004 and the only economy car options at the time were the first gen Kia Rio or second gen Hyundai Accent. Both third world, old school Korean designs. The Aveo, although Korean as well, lead the way with the tall, less is more, cram as much room into a small footprint as possible trend long before the Fit, Versa, Yaris, and Soul made it onto the scene. I liked the chunky looks, and loved the round circle VW Beetleish theme inside the car. At least someone had fun designing it. I’ve personally owned one back then and my husband now has one as well, and I like it better than my Fit. It’s peppy, has a smooth ride, is more comfortable to sit in than the Honda, and at 83k miles has been reliable with no issues at all. Driven cross country in it, and absolutely love this car.

    1992-1996 Toyota Camry- What the Taurus did for Ford; this car did for Toyota. It upped their family sedan game and just oozed with sophistication and dependability. The design has aged amazingly well and they are still plenty of them on the road; a tribute to their reliability. This car was like a mini-Lexus and built like a bank vault. Hate to say it, but this is one Camry that occasionally makes me turn my head. Much better than any other Camry following.

    1997-2000 Toyota RAV4- Ahhhh, back to the days when crossover SUVs were new to the market and were small enough to fit in a compact space. This was an honest to goodness small “truck” and as we all know, was revolutionary in being the first mainstream crossover. The styling was fun, it was a hoot to drive, and from personal experience, was decent off-road with the 4WD. Also, the manual made the most of the smallish engine. It had loads of character that is lacking in most of today’s crossovers

    2000-2004 Ford Focus- This was the “it” car in high school for me. The new edge was daring and eye-catching. But the Focus not only looked good, but there were no compromises. The space age design hid a roomy interior that was roomier than some midsize cars, the handling and ride on this were almost BMW like, and the interior was a bizarre layout that actually worked and was ergonomic. Love, love this car!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      About the Taurus: the 3 speed automatic was only standard on the stripper 4 cyl L model, most cars got the 3.0L with the 4 speed auto.

      The 3.0 L V-6 was and still is incredibly reliable and durable, only the 3.8L V-6 (88+) was failure prone. Ive had many Ford products with the 3.0L, Ive found it to be an excellent engine.

  • avatar
    DownUnder2014

    Not really guilty but here’s a small list

    AC Cobra Mk III: I’ve always wanted one.

    AC Frua: I’ve always loved the design. Shame it was never fully developed because AC Cars didn’t have enough cash at the time.

    Maserati Mistral: I don’t know why. I just like it. And it’s styled similarly to the Frua.

    Maserati Quattroporte II or III (has to be manual): Sat in a 1988 QP III in the junkyard once. Always wanted one, even though I know it’s a headache to maintain.

    1998-2002 Ford Falcon: Parents had one and I’ve always liked the ‘New Edge’ shape and also the robustness of the I-6’s.

    Toyota Land Cruiser (40, 50 or 60 Series):I’ve always the old box Land Cruiser and also because the 50 Series is somewhat forgotten compared to the 40 and 60 Series.

    1979-83 Toyota Hilux/Truck: My friend’s neighbour had a 1981 and the stories that he told me are somewhat interesting. And I like the look of them. The ‘Clarkson’ Hilux (1984-88) is cool as well, but I prefer the 1979-83 models.

    1970-79 Lincoln Continental (sedan):I’ve always wanted a big sedan to cruise around in!

    1972-76 Lincoln Continental Mark IV: I saw one for sale. I wanted it but I couldn’t have it because of space/time/money. Would be a nice and plush to motor in (even if the fuel economy is absymal)

    Rounded-Line Chevy/GMC Suburban (preferably manual)

    Pre-1996 F-Series

    Monteverdi High Speed: I like oddball cars.

    Monteverdi Safari: An early example of a luxury SUV. It’s got a 440 in it which makes it even cooler for me.

    Porsche Cayenne GTS Turbo (must be manual): Because this one is a (somewhat) guilty pleasure of mine! And I like the first-gen a little more than the second-gen.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    IHC Scout.

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