By on May 23, 2018

In the first installment of the Crapwagon Garage QOTD series, we asked all of you to submit value-priced used hatchbacks which were near and dear enough to earn one of the limited spots available.

Moving away from the hatch and liftback body style, today we turn our virtual attention to the sedan section of the Crapwagon Garage.

First, the honorable mention from last week’s post. This is a single vehicle which falls under I Wish I Thought of That. From Part I:

It’s the Toyota Corolla FX16 GT-S, as first selected by paxman356. An American-made hot hatch from the late ’80s that most people forgot long ago. It’s great, and I love it in its monochrome white. Nice job.

Before we turn you loose on sedans, let’s see this week’s rules.

  1. A crapwagon must be a vehicle which is relatively easy to find and purchase using an internet.
  2. All vehicles in the crapwagon garage must have been sold as new, in the North American market.
  3. Said vehicles must be obtainable to the casual crapwagon collector (CCC). This means in clean, running condition each one asks $7,000 or less on a normal day.
  4. Your suggestions must fit into the vehicle category of the week. If you don’t like the category, that’s tough. We’ll get to a category you like eventually.
  5. There are five rules to this garage game, and that’s the maximum number of vehicles you may submit for each section. Only five.

And what do I mean by sedan? A sedan must have a real trunk and not a hatch, and two passenger entry doors on either side of the car, totaling four (4). The deceased “two-door sedan” subcategory of vehicle does not apply here, as those vehicles fit within the coupe entry coming along later. Here are two of my Crapwagon Garage sedans.

The early-00’s Infiniti M45. It’s rear-drive, V8-powered, and has frameless windows. It’s a JDM Nissan Gloria with a nicer interior and the steering wheel on the correct side. The M45 was the last hardtop-style JDM sedan North America received. And because it was off the wall and unpopular, it’s an easily affordable Crapwagon pick.

Another selection is the circa 1997 Jaguar XJR. Timeless elegance and British style shroud one brute of a large, supercharged sedan. Who could ask for more?

Get those memories working, and give us your sedan picks.

[Images: Jaguar / Land Rover, Toyota, Infiniti]

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68 Comments on “QOTD: Can You Build an Ideal Crapwagon Garage? (Part II: Sedans)...”

  • avatar

    1) Volvo 240 GL (with manual gearbox)
    2) E30 BMW 325i
    3) ’87-’90 Acura Legend
    4) Early 80’s Toyota Cressida
    5) Cadilac Fleetwood Brougham

  • avatar

    Saab 9-3/9-5
    Audi B5/B6 S4
    Acura TL

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    So is it build for 7 grand or buy and recondition for 7 grand. Pretty sure I could build a 4 door B13 Sentara to gen 1 SE-R spec for 7 grand which would be ideal.

    I’ve been searching for a B13 SE-R fruitlessly so maybe this is a better approach. Thanks

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Also, a built GS 300 would be fun if not a little overdone. Or a Fairmont/small Ltd with all the Fox Body aftermarket blessings. Yeah, so many options.

  • avatar

    I’d like to add these two:
    95-97 Lincoln Town car
    95-00 Lexus LS

  • avatar

    1. 1990 Bonneville SE
    2. 2006 Crown Victoria LX Sport
    3. 1992 Cadillac Sixty Special
    4. Jaguar XJ6 SIII
    5. 1993 Lexus LS400

  • avatar

    VW Passat g60 Syncro

  • avatar

    How about the under appreciated Mazda 929 or Millenia? Always interesting but never purchased.

    • 0 avatar

      Millenia? You’re better off without, but 929 me please.

      • 0 avatar

        True – the Millenia was not as well executed but I think it still was an impressive vehicle when compared to the competition from Acura and Infiniti at the time. But that 929, gorgeous. I don’t know the last time I saw one in the wild. . .

      • 0 avatar
        Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

        Avoid the Millenia S with its Miller-cycle V6 and one could still be a decent weekend cruiser. Parts availability is probably a wash compared to the equally rare 929.

    • 0 avatar

      The Millenia! Yes! I don’t even think I saw these on the road when they were new, but I’d fork over a pretty penny for a nice one.

      1. 1992-1997 Bonneville SSEi
      2. 1991-1995 Acura Legend
      3. Infiniti J30
      4. Any box Panther
      5. …and the Millenia, of course

  • avatar

    “Another selection is the circa 1997 Jaguar XJR. Timeless elegance and British style shroud one brute of a large, supercharged sedan. Who could ask for more?”

    I can ask for one made after 2000 whose engine which won’t lose compression in the cylinder heads at some point.

  • avatar

    I would get the best condition, lowest mile Toyota Avalon I could find for the $7000. The good thing about these is they are usually above average shape compared to their peers and most will have been maintained to some degree. Bullet-proof, stout V6, comfortable ride, plenty of room, and very little demand for them. Hard to go wrong.

  • avatar

    Fox based LTD, Zephyr and Fairmont!

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “The M45 was the last hardtop-style JDM sedan North America received.”

    One can quibble on details, but the 05-09 Subaru Legacy also had frameless windows.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    1,2 & 3: Any 3800 Buick sedan built in Oshawa. Easy to find, easy to repair and will run and run and run.
    4: Lincoln Town Car. For going to weddings, funerals and airport runs. Again lots around.
    5: Acura Legend. Why not? Although finding a good runner might be a bit of a task.

  • avatar

    80-86 Mercedes 300 SD & D

    *Placeholder for MB 450 SL when coupes come up

  • avatar
    Kalvin Knox

    99 Jag XJR- I know it was already mentioned but I love those things too
    99 Subaru Legacy Manual- Fuel efficient, comfortable, decent looking, All Wheel Drive
    05 Crown Vic interceptor- These can be bought for dirt cheap and have everything you want- V8, RWD, cavernous trunk.
    95 Accord- It’s a Honda. It’ll last forever.
    99 Bonneville SSEI- Cool looking, Supercharged, 3800 v6 indestructibility

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      I missed/forgot the SSEI. In retrospect would subtract one of my Buicks and add the Pontiac.

      Contemplated adding a Jaguar, since with 4 other reliable vehicles available, there would be plenty of choice for the (many) days that the Jag was needing work/not running.

    • 0 avatar

      +1 for the supercharged Bonnie.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    B13 Nissan Sentra
    Lexus IS300
    Acura RL (the mid-90s Lexus knock-off)
    MB 190D 2.5
    and for something different, gen2 Corvair hardtop sedan

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Is the E36 M3 in the 7 grand range?

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

    Until recently the local credit union car lot had a seemingly pristine, low-mileage 2002 XJ8 for sale at a ridiculously low price of around $6500. That would be my choice, damn all rational sense.

  • avatar

    1–Mopar M body Diplomat or Gran Fury. Prefer an ex detective car, or at least a slicktop without the gingerbread and the cop guts. With some monkeying around under the hood, itd make a helluva sleeper. Id keep the 6 slot steelies but instead of dogpans Id assemble my own super coupe road wheels.

    2–1977-1980 caprice. See my formula for the Diplomat/Gran Fury then apply to the Chebby.

    3–Mopar LX. This is probably cheating but let’s face it, the 300/Charger are just different flavors of the same thing. For $7K a good Hemi car isn’t impossible but realistically the 3.5 V6 and better 5 spd auto is what id want.

    4–71-72 Coronet. Grandparents had one and I saw a shine runner build based on one. SOLD.

    5–Spirit/Acclaim. Actually considering picking one up as a daily/winter beater. Pristine granny’s last car examples can be had for peanuts. 2.5 4 banger > Shitsubishi V6. Could I get lucky and score an R/T? Maybe. Would an SRT-4 repower be a relatively easy upgrade? Yup!

  • avatar

    Buick Park Avenue Ultra. In white metallic.

  • avatar

    2003 BMW 330i ZHP red
    1998 Acura Integra GS-R Green
    2004 Toyota Avalon Bench seat Silver
    1999 Lexus LS400 Black
    1960 Chevy Biscayne dark grey

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Oh yeah… The first gen Infiniti G20 touring.

  • avatar

    GM B Body

    Goal would be a 94-96 Impala SS but you have to accept pretty high miles to get one in good shape for $7000. Still, it’s possible. If that’s stretching the rules too much, a nice Fleetwood gives me a better ride and the LT1 anyways.

    • 0 avatar

      Others I’d consider:

      97-03 Grand Prix GTP, I prefer the look of the coupe (and owned one), but I’d settle for a sedan.

      LS430, have seen several between 100-150k for $6-8000 on local craigslist. If one of these cars needed to last a lifetime, it would be hard to bet on anything else.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    hmmm, so many Crapwagons to choose from.

    I get 5 and I will have to negotiate a bit, but I believe I can keep each to 7k purchase price.

    1. Mid 70’s Rolls Royce silver Shadow for when uber luxury motoring is necessary.
    2. XJ8 of any year that I can find at 7k; Big props if it is the ‘R’. For most of my luxury needs as the Rolls will only work 1 or 2 times a year.

    3. 93-95 Park Avenue; just because they are awesome!
    4. 98′ VW Jetta TDI MT for my commuting needs
    5. 94′ Impala SS for my muscle car needs. I found one for sale for 7999 on line; I figure I can negotiate it down to 7k.

  • avatar

    1st gen Lexus GS300. Nice looking car, comfy seats, cool interior.

  • avatar

    1989-1992 Toyota Cressida – could have easily been a Lexus.
    1975-1979 Cadillac Seville – better than you might think.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    This was so much fun. In order

    1. 2004+ S500 RWD. They fixed the rusting and airmatic issues 2003 onwards and 2004+ RWD have 7 speed transmission. The car can be found under 6k and remaining 1 grand can be invested in Xentry and Star scanner.

    2. 2007+ 328i RWD. Sweet inline 6, telepathic steering and transmission.

    3. 1966 fleetwood

    4. 1967 Electra 225

    5. 1995 Acura Legend

  • avatar

    The below should be easily available below $7K. Unless we’re looking at a BHPH lot. Then they’ll be $34,000.

    2004-06 Pontiac Bonneville GXP (with Northstar!)
    2005-07 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP (with LS3!)
    2005-08 Saturn Aura XR (3.6L V6 & Pano sunroof)
    2005-08 Ford Fusion (3.0L V6)

    I’m not 100% sure about this being available at this price, but here goes:
    2005-ish Chrysler 300 Hemi

  • avatar

    ’90-ish 1st gen Mazda 929S with the DOHC 3.0L and 5spd stick
    ’92ish 1st gen Maxima SE (likewise DOHC variant of VG30)+stick
    ’91 Cressida with blue or maroon velour interior
    ’90 Caprice Classic likewise with a blue interior
    ’93 Lexus GS300 (or LS400, can’t decide)

    I love me some pre-cost cut premium J-cars, and the B-body is just a classic in my mind. Cars that came close but didn’t make the cut are some sort of late 80s-mid 90s C/H body Buick, and a ’92 Camry XLE V6.

  • avatar

    Amazingly, early 335i sedans fit the criteria, so naturally that has to be my pick. I would have suggested the E65 7 series, but those are cheap because they are hilariously problematic. I don’t think there is any critical system in that car they got right.

    Other than that, there is some hardware serious enough that I feel bad calling them crap wagons. They’re just old and thirsty.

    2nd gen GS4xx comes to mind… I remember my mind being blown at a Lexus that could do 60 in less than 6 seconds.
    3rd gen Acura TL… yea, the pretty one from 2004-2008. Still an Accord underneath, so no problems, except maybe timing belt maintenance.
    Pretty much any Saab
    Volvo S60R

    May God be with whoever buys a European crapwagon though. They will give your bank account explosive diarrhea.

    • 0 avatar

      Great pick! I must admit that I fell for a high-miles first-year 335i and now I own it. It is the best car I have ever owned, without a doubt. It has made a couple of attempts to kill my wallet (leaky injectors, leaky water pump), but I have been able to outwit it and keep repair costs reasonable … for now. Overall, it’s been pretty reliable!

  • avatar

    Early ’90s Infiniti J30.

  • avatar

    I only need one here and I’m speaking from experience.

    95-99 Lexus ls400.

    All day long they are cheap as dirt and will run forever, quality AF and completely under the radar for doing foolish things with the reasonly weak v8.

  • avatar

    2003 Infiniti M45
    1998-02 Accord (yes, sedan) EX 5 speed
    My Taurus
    Chrysler 300C
    Mid 1990s Pontiac Boneville SSEi

    1992-4 Ford Tempo LX V-6 5 speed.
    1998ish Nissan Maxima SE 5 speed.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Acura Vigor-91-95-Longitudinal 5 cylinder FWD. Acura’s early competitor to the Audi 80-90 sport sedan. Some thought the brand was moving in that direction.Acura Longitudinal Honda transverse.
    A few made it here to the states with 5 speeds.

    Chrysler 300C-2005-07

    Pontiac Boneville SSEi-Mid 90’s 00’s

    Jaguar XJR-97-2002

    Volvo S80 V8-2006-10-The Yamaha based 4.4 V8 is smooth and free of torque steer with AWD.

  • avatar

    Okay, here’s my choices…

    1. 2006 Acura TL Type S
    2. 2006 BMW 330i
    3. 2007 MazdaSpeed6
    4. 2007 Subaru Legacy Spec B
    5. 2005 Lexus IS300

    As you can see, I have a certain ‘type’.

  • avatar

    Instead of the R, I’d go for the 1995-96 Jaguar XJ12. Similar power and torque, but a very different character to the supercharged XJR.

    I’ve had a few of the X300 series cars, and they are rock solid. Generally regarded as some of the most reliable Jags of the 20th century, for a few years they were tied with Lexus as #1 in reliability.

    I’d also like one of the 2004-09 XJ’s, but that would be over budget for a good one.

  • avatar

    Man lots of good luxury liners for that price, hard to narrow it down to 5.

    1. 1990-1992 Cadillac Brougham. Used to own one, great car. You look like a 1970’s pimp, but they came stock with very reliable 305 or 350 TBI Chevy truck V8’s

    2. 1998-2002 BMW 528i/530i with manual transmission. One of my favorite BMW’s, sweet inline six engine in that car is less trouble prone than the V8.

    3. 1998-2005 Lexus GS400/GS430 By far the best car on this list, fast, timeless styling, very well built and extremely reliable. GS300 is also a good choice, but its kind of slow and drinks just as bad as the V8 model.

    4. 1992-1999 Benz S500 Last of the built like a tank Benz models, pleasure to drive, can have some hefty repair bills though

    5. Late 90’s/early 00’s Jaguar XJR or the Vanden Plas stretch wheelbase version. Whichever years that didn’t have the nikasel cylinder liner problems. Great looking car, but I still think you’re lighting your hair on fire owning one(ie it will be in the shop more than on the road)

    6. Not sure on price of these, but you can now legally import them. 1992 or 1993 Toyota Aristo(same thing as a Lexus GS) with the 2JZ-GTE twin turbo Supra motor. $3-4k worth of mods and you have a 500whp monster that nobody will give a 2nd look until you step out of the wrong side of the car.

  • avatar

    I’ll go with a car I owned, a first generation compact Nissan Altima. I bought my ’95 in ’96 and ran it until it was 19 years old. It was only afterward that I found it folded like a cheap suit in a crash. That platform became the Sentra in the early 2000s, with the same crashworthiness.

  • avatar

    1) Panther
    2) Panther
    3) Panther
    4) Chrysler 300
    5) Toyota Camry. It might be soulless, but it’ll run forever.

  • avatar

    Kind of surprised I haven’t seen this one yet but:

    Mitsubishi Galant vr4

  • avatar

    Oh, wow. That was unexpected to get a mention. Well, here I go again:

    Mitsubishi Galant VR4 (60 posts in and this isn’t here? I am disappoint. edit. mcoman beat me by 18 minutes.)

    I thought this may be hard to find under $7000, but you can get this one for around $4000:

    1986–1989 Honda Accord (because headlights go up, headlights go down.)

    1986-1989 Madza 323 GT (FWD sedan version of the GTX, same 132hp Turbo.)

    1978–1983 Chevy Malibu (my dad had one as a company car in the early 80s. He would have bought it once it was off lease if they would have let him. I’d have this purely for him to nostalgia over.)

    2001 Cadillac Catera (But I wouldn’t buy it, I would lease it :D)

  • avatar

    If you want to limit this to 4dr sedans, fine, but a 2dr sedan IS NOT A COUPE! And coupes sometimes have more than 2drs, which does not make them sedans.

    The answer is obvious, because I just bought one. A Volvo 940. I bought a near showroom condition ’91 GLE 16V with *79K* miles on it for $2600. Comfortable, safe enough, mostly cheap and very easy to fix, and drives the way a Panther would if Panthers didn’t suck so hard.

    The new airport runner/FL Mom-mobile.

  • avatar

    Corey, I am not really comfortable with calling a $7,000 car a “crapwagon”. I think, in today’s car market, a $7,000 car is an AVERAGE car. Not crap. I think the price cutoff for a “crapwagon” should be about $3,000.

  • avatar

    1996 Jaguar XJR
    1995 Cadillac Seville STS (Yes, I know, Northstar, but I’ve always loved these)
    1993 Audi V8 Quattro (no love for these yet?)
    1989 Mitsubishi Sigma (another irrational long-term object of desire)

    Can you get a decent Mercury Marauder for under $7k these days? I used to own an ’03 and kick myself over selling it. Not sure what values are like currently, but I’m guessing one with 150k or so might slide under that cutoff. If not, park a ’91 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham with the 350 in slot #5.

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