If it would be my daily driver I'd want something recent, not a 7-10 yrs old POS at shop every 2 months.
It would be a new 2012 or almost new 2011 Mazda3 or manual Focus 2012. Fun and tossable little cars.
They do not pop up often but they are out there, one just needs to do a little searching and maybe a little driving to get it.
cheapest one within 500 miles is $30k
Who is that lavatory linksman?
Was willing to spend 15K on a car recently and bought an 02 S2000 and had a few thousand to spare.
Considered a Boxster but didn't want to deal with the maintenance and potential engine issues.
Besides, I think the S2000 is a better can than all Boxster's pre 2005 (986), and the 2005 + Boxsters (987's) cannot be found in this price range.
Also considered a ZHP 330 but the S2000 is more focused, tight, agile with a shifter that was built by god himself.
I will add though I only purchased the S2000 because I have a DD already. If I didn't I probably would have pulled the trigger on the ZHP.
Thinking of something in the 15-20 grand range right now, found stuff from all over the range of cars.
Z3 Coupe - http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/cto/2822625932.html
B5 S4 - http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/cto/2855338326.html
D3 A8 - http://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/cto/2850789217.html
Trailblazer SS - http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/ctd/2864888716.html
300C SRT-8 - http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/ctd/2870272119.html
E60 545i - http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/cto/2867717920.html
Cummins Ram - http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/cto/2862085939.html
"Sometimes wrong is worth the funny." - Billy Gardell
Just found this, might change my mind: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1998-...item20c2cddf48
1998 528i 5-speed with a clean CarFax for $7k
Keep the remaining $8k for maintenance, or pick up another for parts.