Two summers ago I ran into these three cars all on the way to meeting some friends for dinner. It was just Jag, then Civic, then Malibu. I was very late for dinner. In any case, which one would you buy?
First off was this dinged-up Jaguar. At least it was still running, and it had plenty of style, especially with its double-tall license plate, awesome patina, and it still has a reputation for an excellent handling car. It would definitely be a pit for your money, especially if you dealt with the issue of it not being very fast by stripping it down and going vintage racing, which is definitely something you could do up in NorCal where I found it.
Second was this beautiful, rare Civic 1500S. They were the US’ first real hot Civic. They got a rear stabilizer bar, some trim, and I don’t really know what else, but they were light, fun to drive, and not even twelve feet long. Well-built as they were, Civics of the 1980s are on their last legs, and this one can’t be any younger than a 1985 car.
Finally, I stumbled into this Chevrolet, which I’ve written about before. I hate to say, but I have the most emotional attachment with this old thing, and if I drove past it behind the wheel of either of the other two cars, I’d feel a twinge of regret that I wasn’t driving the Chevy. I’d seen so many in high school parking lots, riding around Northern California for sports meets and they’re just so clean and sweet. They’re damn big, but how much would it take to upgrade the tires and suspension and work in a hot rodded straight six?