Home » Even Cars That Are Total Piles Of Crap Are Fun To Think About: COTD

Even Cars That Are Total Piles Of Crap Are Fun To Think About: COTD


As many of our readers know, a lot of us at the Autopian like writing about cars that classify as total piles of crap. Stephen Walter Gossin rescues the kinds of everyday cars that most people would send to the crusher without a single thought. David is still obsessed over a $600 minivan he bought years ago and I’m not afraid to tell you that I’m looking for a sixth Smart to add to my fleet. Jason’s fleet could be used in the filming of a movie about the USSR. We all love the sort of shitty cars the typical enthusiast might turn their noses up to.

Perhaps our love of total garbage is perfectly illustrated by Jason’s Glorious Garbage series, some of my Holy Grails, and every single day with Mark’s Shitbox Showdown. The cars of a Shitbox Showdown are rarely “cool” and oftentimes they look like Superfund sites. If you’re lucky, a contestant might even run. Something to remember is that all of this is good fun! We all love shitboxes here and Mark often scrapes the bottom of the barrel to give you cars that really live up to the name. It’s something that today’s COTD winner A. Barth understands:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Find a reason, however insignificant, to vote for one of them. This is purely a thought experiment


So many people come in here to say “Ugh, I don’t want either of them!!” Wow, really? Did you see the name of the feature? Hint: it’s not Cool Car Conundrum.


So… Turismo, please.

I had a Daytona with the 2.2 and the 5MT many years ago. It was not a good car, but maybe it was adequate.

This particular Daytona has an engine knock and appears to be sinking back into the earth, so no thanks.

As long as the Shroud of Turismo on the dash isn’t someones tighty-whities, I’d clean it up and bring those decals back to life.

The image doesn’t have enough pixels, but I think the Shroud of Turismo there isn’t underwear. If it is, uh, wear them on your head?

Bmw My24 4series Grancoupe Overv
Paying the average price of a new car gets you a BMW 430i Gran Coupe nowadays. – BMW

For a second and third COTD, I’m giving the nods to Flat6Fever and V10omous for their discussion from yesterday’s Morning Dump about what cars cost and what you get with them.



Doing some math. The average new car in 1970 cost about $3500. The average household income (mostly single earners) was $9870. So the average car cost 35% of yearly income.

Today the numbers are $48,000 and $87,864 (many double earners) or 55% of average household income.

That is a huge increase and the primary reason that manufacturers are targeting the luxury market. They are the only ones that can afford a car. Note that numbers might be even worse if median incomes were used.


This is actually pretty recent; new cars tracked pretty well with inflation until just a few years ago (example: average new price in 2019 was $36K).

I do feel compelled to note that the average new car in 1970 had lap belts as the extent of its safety equipment, got 12 mpg, and came with a 5 digit odometer because no more was expected of it. The humblest Mirage or Versa today can be expected to last 200,000 miles or more with minimal care, comes with features found only in S-Classes not long ago, and will likely protect its occupants from death even in a highway crash.

Reading this conversation made me smile. Discussions like these are what we love to see in our comment sections! Our readers are passionate about cars and they’re willing to write rather detailed responses in conversations. And indeed, as V10omous says, cars may cost more today, but at least you are getting more car than your parents or grandparents did. It’s great, keep it up, everyone, and have a great evening!

(Note: Today’s COTD is technically yesterday’s COTD due to our publishing schedule. Sorry for that!)

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Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
10 months ago

Even today one can buy a 2015 Altima for under $8k that can be run over by a semi and protect it’s driver from all but minor injuries:


10 months ago

I can’t agree more with Mercedes and Mark. The idea is to actually vote for one based on something you can find better than the other.
That said. I cut my teeth on FWD mopars. Starting with a 86 2.5 ,5mt Daytona. OK car, put fog lights, Pacesetter (JC Whitney) exhaust, and did burners with it.
Then saved to buy a minty 87 Shelby Z with the air bladder seats and T tops. 1998 Internet taught me how to add a manual boost controller to crank up the boost and add keep the charge happy with a boost-referenced extra injector in front of the throttlebody. Made a glorious 16 pounds of boost – not bad for the day.
After totaling it, I was lucky enough to run into a Plymouth voyager Turbo (auto) and swapped in the bigger Mitsubishi turbo, injectors, boost controller, extra injector from the Daytona, and added a Conquest intercooler. It was fun in the early 2000s too, easily beating most of the fart can Honda, civics and hang with mustangs and non- LS F- bodies.
The 2.2 was a good engine with tons of aftermarket support then and now. I only scraped the surface as many people and those vehicles in excess of 300 hp..
I’ll take the O24 cause I never had an L body and it looks awesome. Thanks!

10 months ago

I had a silver with red interior 83 Charger 2.2 with the 5MT in 1997.

It wasn’t a great car, but I got it for $500, had to replace the clutch and a head gasket, but the damn thing kept going and going and going and it was super easy to work on and the seats were comfortable.

Being a K-car, it was also easy to go to the junkyards and scavenge for parts for it. I basically put a completely new interior in it for just a couple hundred dollars total.

A. Barth
A. Barth
10 months ago

I really enjoy the fact that Flat6Fever and V10omous both brought the math.

Autopians do have opinions, but sometimes discussion points need to be quantified.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x