Home » Renault Twingo, Saab 900 Turbo, Volkswagen Lupo 3L: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

Renault Twingo, Saab 900 Turbo, Volkswagen Lupo 3L: Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness

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Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! As you know, I love picking up dirt-cheap cars, motorcycles, and campers, and then telling you lovely readers about the dumb things that I do with them. I’m always looking for the next deal, but most of the time, I’m left empty-handed. At the same time, I love building a list of cars, trucks, and motorcycles that I would buy if I had the money.

Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness turns the long list of vehicles I’d love to buy into something for you all to enjoy. Some of them are cheap and some of them are not. Some of the vehicles I find are purely window shopping for everyone other than a collector like Beau or Myron.

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Actually, you know what? We’re kicking Beau and Myron out this week. Oh yeah, this week we’re doing vehicles for $6,500 or less! Everything on this week’s list could be purchased without a massive dent in your bank account. I’ve even managed to find some imports, too!

1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster – $4,900

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Hemmings Seller

The price limitations of this entry mean we aren’t going to find any pristine classics. But you can still find some vintage iron worth driving!

As Hagerty writes, immediately following World War II, Chevrolet restarted car production to meet high car demand. In 1946, the Fleetmaster replaced the Chevrolet Special Deluxe as the brand’s middle-level vehicle. In the late 1940s, Chevy’s line separated themselves from each other with brightwork and interior upgrades. The Fleetmaster was available in a variety of body styles including a coupe, a sedan, a convertible, a fastback sedan, and a woodie wagon.

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Hemmings Seller

This Fleetmaster sedan is said to be an original survivor. If you’re into patina, it seems this car has just the right amount of it. Power comes from a 216.5 cubic inch Blue Flame straight six-rated at 90 HP. That’s backed by a manual transmission. Rust is present all over the vehicle’s underbody, some of it is more advanced, but I bet it can still be saved. The car comes with a new battery, exhaust, fuel tank, fuel pump, and fuel lines.

It’s $4,900 from the seller in Port Charlotte, Florida with 82,000 miles.

1966 Honda CA95 Benly – $1,000

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Facebook Seller

Honda is a powerhouse in the motorcycle world. The Super Cub isn’t just the best-selling motorcycle ever, but the best-selling motor vehicle of all time. Honda is still selling them, too! Honda’s success is global. For example, in 1966, Honda had been in America for only eight years. Yet, it controlled 63 percent of America’s light motorcycle market.

Two of the motorcycles that helped rocket Honda to success are the Dream and the Benly. The latter motorcycle began production in 1959 and the name Benly? It means convenient in Japanese. The motorcycle rode on a welded pressed-steel backbone frame. This motorcycle is a CA95, which means it’s sporting a 154.6cc parallel twin making 16.5 HP. Honda’s Benly variants are smaller than the 305cc CA77 Dream but look like the bigger bikes. Thus, some called the Benly the “Baby Dream.” A leading-link front fork sits up front while a swingarm with a twin shock takes care of the rear. Claimed weight is 246 pounds. Top speed is around 90 mph.

The seller for this CA95 says it’s original, save for the red seat. The motorcycle runs and rides, but could use new tires. Its electric starter also doesn’t work, but the kickstart works great. Sounds like an easy winter project for just $1,000, or ride it as is! The motorcycle is located in Friendship, New York with 11,000 miles.

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(Update: Fixed hyperlinks, they will now go to the motorcycle!)

2000 BMW Z3 2.8 – $5,995

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Facebook Seller

The BMW Z3 launched in 1995 as BMW’s modern take on a classic roadster, from BMW:

The body of the BMW Z3 was designed by Joji Nagashima, who also created the lines of the BMW 5 Series E39 or the 3 Series E90. The Z3 continued the characteristic formula of BMW roadsters: long nose, short rear, very reduced overhangs and a rearward driving position, almost on the rear axle.

Without a doubt, the Z3 was a worthy successor, in compact size, to the legendary BMW 507 of the fifties. The design of the Z3 was able to perfectly combine modern and daring shapes with classic details such as the side gills. Today, the BMW Z3 design is considered a timeless classic aesthetic and is a roadster with fan clubs around the world.

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Facebook Seller

Z3 production began in 1995 at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It was the first BMW to be produced outside of Europe and the automaker says 297,087 units were built.

The top Z3 would be the hardcore Z3 M, but we don’t have the budget for one of those today. Here’s a BMW Z3 that should still be plenty of fun. It has a 2.8-liter straight-six making 190 HP and 206 lb-ft of torque. That reaches the rear wheels through a manual transmission. This particular example has nice dark green paint and a tan interior. It’s $5,995 from the seller in Charlotte, North Carolina with 84,910 miles.

1985 Saab 900 Turbo – $5,000

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Craigslist Seller

Here’s a car that Jason Cammisa once called the “Tesla of the ’80s.” A bold claim, and this Saab might live up to it. Here’s some history from Haynes:

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Amazingly, the Saab 900 had a production run of 20 years, from 1978 to 1998, though the first generation 900 was superseded for the last 4 years by the second-generation model, which was essentially a re-skinned Vauxhall/Opel Vectra. Just as remarkable is how little the 900 changed visually, though successive development of its 2-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine brought more power and higher performance from the base model’s single-carb aspiration, through twin-carbs, fuel-injection, turbos, intercoolers and a 16-valve engine.

The Turbo model was available right from the start, and while turbos are commonplace today, it was a bold and unexpected move for a prestige car maker in a mainstream model. Turbochargers had a reputation for wild performance and fragility, but in the 900 Turbo Saab developed a svelte, fast and characterful car with great durability.

The 900 has aeronautical cues in its design, including a deeply curved wraparound front windscreen and a curved dash with controls placed according to their frequency of use. It was, and still isn’t, like other cars. The transmission is mounted under the engine, for example, driven by a crank at the front of the motor rather than the rear.

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Craigslist Seller

This Saab 900 Turbo convertible sports a 2.0-liter four making 160 HP and 188 lb-ft torque. That reaches the front wheels through a manual transmission. The seller says they bought it from a pharmacist to replace a 1991 Saab Turbo that got stolen, only to be found later. They kept this 1985 900 Turbo convertible until now, and the seller has decided it’s time to let it go. Apparently, this car has a story somehow relating to the imploded OceanGate sub, but that’s for the buyer to find out.

Otherwise, the car is said to run and drive well. It’s $5,000 from the seller in the Seattle neighborhood of Greenlake with 259,060 miles.

1950 Dodge Wayfarer – $6,500

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Facebook Seller

In 1949, Dodge released its first freshly designed models after World War II. The new models got snazzy names and among them was the Wayfarer, Dodge’s first Detroit-built roadster since 1931. The Wayfarer represented the entry-level of the Dodge line and it featured body styles including two-door sedans, two-door coupes, and two-door roadsters.

Early roadsters didn’t have windows that rolled down. Instead, the plastic windows detached and stored in door pockets. Later models had rolling windows. Power comes from a 230 cubic inch six making 103 HP.

This 1950 Wayfarer Roadster was restored in the 1990s and features rolling windows. The seller indicates the paint and the convertible top were replaced during that restoration in the 1990s. It runs and drives, but appears to be missing some interior pieces. The vehicle is $6,500 from the seller in Moriah, New York.

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1999 Volkswagen Lupo 3L – $1,270

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Mobile.de Seller

Before I continue with this lovely little fuel sipper, it was constructed sometime in 1999 and first registered that December. Officially, you’ll have to store this car in Germany for about a year before it can come over. An experienced importer should be able to help with that.

What you’re looking at here is a car that is technically linked to the development of the original Smart Fortwo. See, when Nicolas Hayek and Swatch partnered up with an automaker to make a trendy city car, it initially chose Volkswagen. Wolfsburg was developing the Swatchmobile when Ferdinand Piëch became CEO in 1993. Piëch ultimately canned the Swatch project in favor of the development of the Lupo 3L.

As an archived Lupo 3L review notes, Lupo 3L development started in the early 1990s when Europe challenged its automakers to create a vehicle that consumed around three liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. Piëch reportedly became obsessed with building a 3-liter car and like other famous Piëch projects, devoted much of Volkswagen’s resources to making it a reality. Apparently, the idea of a 3-liter car was so prevalent in 1990s Europe that the term “3-liter car” was a trendy marketing buzzword.

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Mobile.de Seller

The Volkswagen Lupo was introduced in 1998. A year later, Piëch achieved his mission of creating the world’s first production 3-liter car with the Lupo 3L. In an explainer Self-Study document, Volkswagen explains that some 80 percent of the parts of the standard Lupo had to be changed to create the 3L.

Volkswagen says it met the 3L goals by cutting weight, improving drivetrain efficiency, reducing rolling resistance, and by making the city car more aerodynamic. To do this, the Lupo 3L was put on an extreme diet. The windows were made thinner while the hood, doors, and wings were made out of aluminum. The hatch was made of an aluminum and magnesium composite concoction. Seats were given aluminum frames and even the vehicle’s insulation was given a weight cut. Volkswagen further says that joints were riveted like they were on the Audi A8 and laser welding was used to create higher quality joints. In other words, if it could save weight but still make a strong car, Volkswagen did it.

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As a result, the Lupo 3L weighs just 830 kg (1,829 lb), 150 kg (286 lb) less than a regular diesel Lupo. To put that into perspective, this thrifty four-seat city car weighs as much as a smaller Smart Fortwo.

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Mobile.de Seller

Other improvements include a thinner sheet steel body redesigned to be more aerodynamic and the development of a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine with an aluminum block, pump injection system, turbo, and charge air cooler. Yep, VW even shaved off weight from the engine! VW also gave the Lupo 3L a Tipronic transmission with lightweight gears and tuned for fuel economy. All of this and more resulted in a car that achieved 2.99l/100km, or 78.6 US mpg. That little diesel engine makes 41 HP in eco mode and 61 HP in sport mode.

This 1999 Lupo 3L has covered 376,000 kilometers (233,635 miles) and still looks pretty good. The seller says the magnesium wheels are in good condition and the car itself is in overall good nick. Noted imperfections are some rust on the wheel wells and rockers that were replaced at some point in the past. Apparently, the car still passes MOT, so it doesn’t sound like a total crapbox yet. It’s the equivalent of $1,270 from the seller in Fulda, Germany.

1993 Renault Twingo – $2,754

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Spending well south of $10,000 doesn’t lock you out of being able to import something fun from another country. Though, sadly, you’ll spend at least a couple of thousand dollars getting your cheap Renault Twingo to America.

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I’ll let the excellent Rex Bennett of the Lane Motor Museum explain what you’re looking at here:

It debuted at the 1992 Paris Motor Show as Renault’s newest city car, the smallest passenger car class defined by the European Commission. The name Twingo is a portmanteau of twist, swing, and tango, which are all dance styles that did not originate in France. I suppose Renault Cancan didn’t sound as marketable.

At its launch in April 1993, the Twingo was fitted with a 57hp, 1.2 liter overhead valve four-cylinder, coupled to a five-speed manual. An automated manual came a few months later under the “Easy” trim level (how delightful!). The Twingo has arguably one of the friendliest faces of the 1990s, right up there with the first generation Dodge/Plymouth Neon. The rear of the car is a simple affair, with one rear backup light in the upper right taillight cluster, and an unusual-to-me bumper-mounted license plate light that shines up onto the plate, as opposed to down from above.

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Leboncoin Seller

This 1993 model comes with the same 1.2-liter four pumping out a cheerful 57 ponies to the front wheels. It’s backed by a five-speed manual and a wonderful interior pattern. While there are cheaper Twingos, I chose one that appeared to be in good condition in a cool color.

It’s €2,600 ($2,754) by the seller in France with the equivalent of 87,745 miles. If the car above is too expensive, I found one even cheaper. There’s a 1998 Twingo for €240 ($254) by Jet Cars BV in Rotterdam, Netherlands, with 162,450 miles.

1984 Dodge Rampage – $5,501

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Facebook Seller

In decades past, Americans were able to buy their own coupé utility, a car-based pickup with a passenger compartment up front and a bed in the back. You may also know these vehicles by the term “ute.” As Hagerty writes, in the early days of the car you had vehicles like the Ford Model T, which you could buy as a truck or as a car. It would take until about the 1930s to combine the two into a single concept. In Australia, farmers wanted a vehicle that could do work during the week and go out on the town on the weekends. The result was the coupé utility, a sedan-based pickup. These types of vehicles flourished around the world for some time. By the 1980s, Ford had pulled out of this market, leaving behind the likes of General Motors, Subaru, and Volkswagen.

Starting in the 1982 model year, Dodge answered the demand for a ute by offering the Rampage, a coupé utility based on Chrysler’s L-body platform, and sharing parts with the Omni. It also gets the Omni’s carbureted 2.2-liter inline four making 84 HP and manual transmission. It boasted up to 29 mpg on the highway and a 1,145-pound payload rating. Production ended in 1984 after 37,401 units were produced.

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The seller says nothing about the vehicle’s condition, instead, choosing to write a silly story. It’s $5,501 from the seller in Kennesaw, Georgia with 58,111 miles.

1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SDL – $5,000

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Hemmings Seller

Here’s an opportunity to own a luxurious 1980s Mercedes W126 with the torque and reliability of Mercedes diesel power.

As Autoweek explains, in 1978, Daimler set up two production lines in its Sindelfingen, West German facility for the S-Class. Multiple fuel crises of the 1970s pushed Mercedes to clean up its big cars. The W126 would weigh less than its predecessor and feature a more aerodynamic body with a coefficient of drag of 0.36. Mercedes also employed a high amount of high-strength steel, alongside giving the car a lower, sleeker profile.

(Correction: A sentence in an earlier version of this entry implied that Daimler set up two separate West Germany factories for the S-Class. I have clarified that such wasn’t the case.)

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Hemmings Seller

The 300SDL was introduced in 1986 and featured a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder turbodiesel. It’s making 148 HP and 201 lb-ft torque. Power wasn’t really the selling point of the SDL, but the fact that it rode on a 121.1-inch wheelbase and came in at 208.2 inches long.

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The 300SDL was discontinued after 1987. In 1990, Mercedes introduced the 350SDL, which featured a diesel six bored out to 3.5 liters, but it punched out less power with 121 HP and 165 lb-ft torque. This example is said to run and drive fine but has defects in the form of blemishes in the paint, some minor rust, and a non-operational air-conditioner. It’s $5,000 from the seller in Auburn, Alabama with 187,618 miles.

That’s it for this week, thank you for reading!

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Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
8 months ago

As Autoweek explains, in 1978, Daimler set up two separate production lines in West Germany for the S-Class.”

No – that’s not what Autoweek said.
Daimler did not set up two separate production lines for the S-Class.

Daimler’s facility in Sindelfingen had multiple production lines – each of which were capable of producing all Mercedes-Benz regular production vehicles. The W123s that were not produced in Bremen or Stuttgart, all W116s and R107 SLs rolled out the same factory doors.

In 1978, they removed W123 production to the Bremen and Stuttgart facilities (which it eventually shared with the new W201) – leaving W116 and R107 production (and early W201 production in 1982 – as the Bremen expansion wasn’t yet ready), in Sindelfingen.

Eventually SL production moved to it’s own line in Bremen when the R129 began production in 1989, leaving W126 and C126 and successive S Class production in Sindelfingen.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
8 months ago

The Lupo is intriguing and would make an ideal companion to a Phaeton W12 as opposite ends of Piech’s obsession. While quality of execution was flawed having an obsessive engineer at the helm produced some really interesting cars.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
8 months ago

Great list Mercedes! The Wayfarer and the Saab are especially droolworthy. If I had a Facebook account, I’d definitely ask the Rampage seller if it was available ]:-)

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
8 months ago

Yes, now we are talking!

Owned 2 Lupo 3Ls, and the mileage economy were totally fantastic! I once rolled 40 km on 1 liter diesel (nicely above the advertised 33 km/l – you can google it yourself in Fahrenheit and ounces…) And of any newish car, it had the absolute greatest steering wheel! 3-spoke titanium, beautiful.
And with the turbo and the high gearing it actually drives a lot faster than you think, if you give it time to get up there. Clocked 190 km/h once 😎
But the overall quality was new-VW’ish with a lot of things breaking and wearing out. So overall economy wasn’t that great. A sturdy Mercedes W123 D which ran a third on the liter would be better for economy.

The Twingo is just a car you get happy in. If you get one from the end of the 90ies, where they ditched the old 60ies engine, it’s not even noisy. Such an airy cabin, with so much space! And those many cool details. I absolutely loved mine when I had one! 😀

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
8 months ago

The big Mercedes age so well. Toss embassy flags from an unusual country on the front corners and have a friend in a suit chauffeur you places for some Tuesday afternoon amusement.

Unclewolverine
Unclewolverine
8 months ago

I need the z3 to match my r1200c and continue my bond collection. Db5 is still slightly out of reach.

Flatisflat
Flatisflat
8 months ago

OMG I LOVE THAT LUPO

Greg
Greg
8 months ago

A) There are some real death traps out there hu?

B) Merc at the end is the winner, BMW coming in second if it was the M it might be closer.

Goblin
Goblin
8 months ago

Just curious – how is involving European marketplaces relevant for this website ? Or is this intended for the European readers ?

Don’t want to presume anything but from the fact that European tests are explicitly stated as such (the recent Dacia review for example) and made to sound like something from overseas, my assumption is that “here” is the West side of the pond.

I was excited to see a Twingo listed in the US till I realized it’s on a French marketplace in France.

If so, mobile.bg might be the place to look for exotic stuff. Or any marketplace in an ex-soviet block country. They had imports of absolutely everything before they became EU members, there are all sorts of (re-assembled) exotics there.

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
8 months ago

Ah, it’s all good, we can always use translation apps, so no need to limit finds to English-speaking countries, please. Translation apps sure do come in handy when searching for and sourcing parts for my 1954 Panhard Dyna Z. Since there aren’t too many Panhards, period, here in the US the internet, with aforementioned translation apps, has been an enormous boon.

Goblin
Goblin
8 months ago

By all means, whatever works for readers 🙂
Just asking because I was used to be able to borderline jump and bid on/buy whatever was published as Holy Grail and whatnot – it used to be Craigslist, ebay and BAT.

Importing is a whole different thing and prices listed are irrelevant as they can be easily doubled or tripled till they make it to the US.

I think the misunderstanding was in the expectation of being able to actually buy it, vs the ability to simply dream about it. Dully noted.

Motorhead Mike
Motorhead Mike
8 months ago

Limiting it to English speaking countries is no fun. You’ll never find my orange LHD ’97 Fiat Barchetta, that way (don’t know why I want one. Just do.).

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
8 months ago
Reply to  Goblin

There’s two things. One, we’re trying to grow our readership outside of the US, because there’s a big opportunity for us in countries with large enthusiast communities, particularly the UK. Second, we know our US reader like reading about forbidden fruit, so when I review UK market cars you don’t get it kills two birds with one stone.

Last edited 8 months ago by Adrian Clarke
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
8 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I didn’t know people in the UK could be enthusiastic about anything.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
8 months ago

Beans on toast and football. That’s about it. Oh and the weather.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
8 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Beer and trampling Belgian soccer fans?

Phuzz
Phuzz
8 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I was about to add ‘tea’, but I guess us Brits assume that’s more of a basic human right than something to be enthusiastic about.
Now, if I’m in some god-forsaken country, like the USA, where I can’t get a cup of tea, that’s when I get…enthusiastic.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
8 months ago
Reply to  Phuzz

I’m a designer darling, i drink coffee. Lots of coffee.

Goblin
Goblin
8 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

So where are all the reviews of straight from Japan JDM RHD imports ? I want an early Mitsubishi Diamante AWD & Mivec 270hp engine review.

Give us that, and I’ll publicly plead for someone in the US to find you an Isuzu Vehicross to review 🙂

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
8 months ago
Reply to  Goblin

I don’t have the connection or the infamy (yet) to have access to weird stuff – I’m entirely dependant on what I can borrow from UK press fleets (and not all the OEMs are interested).

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
8 months ago

Darn it. Shot down on all of them.

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
8 months ago

The most fun I’ve ever had on a test drive was in a Z3 2.8. It is joy on four wheels.

Oldhusky
Oldhusky
8 months ago

Whew my Twingo fever is rising. Maybe i’ll get myself one as a gift to myself for finishing my PhD in a few weeks. That seems reasonable, right? Right?

Greg
Greg
8 months ago
Reply to  Oldhusky

Why would you hurt yourself after you reached such a big milestone?

Last edited 8 months ago by Greg
Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
8 months ago
Reply to  Greg

To be fair, getting a PhD is five-ish years of VW Phaeton ownership levels of suffering, so a Z3 would be a real upgrade.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago

Only five-ish of suffering? Dude you got fast tracked!

Thanks to a combination of expectation inflation, exploitation and teaching load my program averaged more like 7, skewing longer. The only reason a lot of us were finally let out was an external review of the program was so embarrassing. One guy had been in there for 13 years! He was so institutionalized we didn’t think he wouldn’t have been able to cope with anything else. I heard he finally got out three years after I did. I dunno what happened to him but based on my own lack of post graduation support I expect he was all on his own.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
8 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

What kind of magical funding fountain did your program discover? I’ve never seen PhDs go past 7 years, just because at some point there aren’t enough faculty advisors or program funds to go around.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago

WHAT?! Seriously? Not enough advisors? Wow! That’s a new one for me. How can you not have enough advisors when they can just shrug off any advising responsibilities to (if you’re lucky) post docs or senior graduate students? More graduate students = more ultra cheap labor.

As to the “magical” funding that would be teaching undergraduates. We TA’d. A lot. There were also just-in-time grants, scholarships, etc. But yeah, money for graduate students was always (supposedly) tight. Besides its not like we were paid much of anything. Our stipend was literally poverty spec. But at least we had good health care

We were constantly made aware of just how tenuous our positions were. It felt like being a cabin boy for the Dred pirate Roberts without the job security or opportunities for advancement.

Some graduate students who were not offered funding or university teaching positions became “road warriors” (e.g. multiple, part time teaching gigs at community or for profit colleges, maybe tutoring high school kids) to barely make tuition and rent. Or hook up with someone with a real job.

Why did we stick with it*? Why not quit and find something better? Good question. Because frankly we didn’t see any real alternatives. Were were we to go? No opportunities came knocking, nor did anyone from the university do a damn thing to help us find outside employment save the occasional even shittier road warrior teaching gig or if you were VERY lucky a slightly less shitty post-doc. There were no job fairs worth a damn, nor career advice. Our advisors were clueless or didn’t care. Their advice was about as useful as the coaching of a drunk in the bleachers screaming “JUST HIT THE #$%%$# BALL!!!” is to a batter.

The few grad students who did find outside non teaching jobs tended to be worked harder for just as shitty pay. Their feedback was not encouraging. The world seemed to have no interest in us except as grist.

* One scumbag leveraged his position as a GTA for sex with undergraduates. We had several very expensive scandals after those undergraduates found out GTAs have almost no influence on grades. Our entire department had to sit through a sexual harassment seminar just because of this asshole and he didn’t even show up! Was he fired? No! Why? I have no idea.

Our university was also known to produce some renowned meth cooks, at least according to the local DA. I expect there was quite a bit going on to make ends meet I was not aware of.

Last edited 8 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
8 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Well that’s one of the more dystopian things I’ve read about in a while. Good grief, what a caricature of all that’s cynical and messed up in higher ed. I might need to copy-paste this to the current PhD students if they’re being too whiny.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago

“Well that’s one of the more dystopian things I’ve read about in a while. Good grief, what a caricature of all that’s cynical and messed up in higher ed.”

Those were just the highlights, presented as neutrally as I can manage. To add insult to injury I had to pay out of pocket to publish several copies of my dissertation, two to the university libraries, one for the department and one as a gift to my advisor. Oh and pay every %$#& semester to park. Its the only job I’ve ever had that required its employees to pay out of pocket for privilege of parking or to pay to publish their work. That was some of the only academic work of mine that DID get published. A couple of years after I started my tenured advisor lost all interest in getting anything in the journals save the absolute bare minimum. When confronted he blamed us for not getting more exciting “publishable” *cough* bullshit *cough* results.

(Side note: Before my tenure there my first employer came very close to failure because their key technology had been based on bullshit results from a completely different university. It took them years to find out it had all been a lie. They were lucky, they managed to figure out something else to do shortly before I was hired. It was very close though).

After I left the only contact I had with the university aside from my casual visits was the alumni center calling for money. I had to point out to them several times I was in no position to give them anything because the degree I had received from them wasn’t getting me so much as a phone interview. Eventually one of the callers (I’m guessing an undergrad) admitted they heard that a lot.

Greeeaaattt.

It took me over a year to land my first *real* job after my thesis defense. After a couple of years my boss sheepishly admitted the real reason I had been hired was because I was willing and desperate to take the job for cheap. They didn’t have a lot of money after the near failure fiasco so they couldn’t be picky. I was what they could afford.

Greeeaaatt.

“I might need to copy-paste this to the current PhD students if they’re being too whiny.”

My advice for current Ph.D. students: Get out ASAP!!

In my experience nobody gives an actual FF about your research. In a few years you won’t either. So instead of wasting your time on research nobody cares about spend your time on the job search instead. It’s a LOT easier to demand your committee let you out if you have a start date.

What DOES matter (maybe) are your skills. Learn to love coding. That is one skill that gets interest but only if its bleeding edge so stay on that bleeding edge. Seriously, during the recession there were stories of employers demanding at least a year of experience on languages that had only existed for a few months. I expect that was their way of keeping the upper hand with applicants.

Also develop your grant writing skills. Being able to bullshit investors with a straight face is always in high demand. Helps with the interview too.

Very important: Do not assume you will be employable only once you are out. It doesn’t work that way. Employers want to poach their competitor’s employees including graduate students and you will be expected to hit the ground running with very little if any training. I used to call it “Hire and forget”.

Fresh, unemployed graduates quickly become seen as stale. You’ve got six months at the very most and its a full time job finding a job so don’t plan on any gap time off. Networking is key but don’t expect too much from anyone. Everyone you know will be looking for their own jobs. Take everything you read on LinkedIn with a grain of salt. It’s mostly ass kissing.

Probably the best thing to do is track down employed alumni or someone at a company you’re interested in doing something you’re interested in and invite them to lunch. Butter them up and hope for the best.

As far as the corporate ladder goes a Ph.D. can be as much of a hindrance as an asset. Some employers, especially those who don’t have one themselves do not like Ph.D.s anyway. They are seen as expensive overkill and don’t know what to do with them or worse see them as a threat.

Others may see Ph.D. on the payroll as a status symbol. Those are usually in big companies with really big budgets. For that you’d better come in with one Hell of a pedigree. Lessers need not apply.

Some make it, some don’t. The ones who do very well tend to have big names on their resume, Stanford, Cambridge, Harvard, Nobel (by proxy), etc. Or they are very good liars. It can be surprisingly easy to get away with. The principal of my HS claimed to have a Ph.D. from Stanford. He didn’t. He was only outed by chance when a student doing a class project went looking for his dissertation and couldn’t find if. Turned out he didn’t have the masters he claimed either.

Or just say fuck it. Getting out early may mean you start earning earlier and climbing the ladder that much sooner. Some of the happiest people I worked with had washed out of their Ph.D. programs with a terminal masters

Feel free to use all this to warn off anyone expressing an interest in a Ph.D. at least careers in areas not proven to be lucrative. It is very possible to strike it rich. Its possible to win at the lottery too.

The best strategy of all? If there is any way at all to make it happen: Marry rich!

George CoStanza
George CoStanza
8 months ago
Reply to  Greg

Do you mean Twingo ownership, or a post-doc?

Greg
Greg
8 months ago

The twingo, was just a little joke. Although now that you mention it….

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
8 months ago

I like the Twingo 😀

The Wayfarer is cool too.

Also, Chrysler should sell them Ram 700 and 1200 here. The 700 could even be called Page here, for Ram Page 😛

Last edited 8 months ago by Dogisbadob
SAABstory
SAABstory
8 months ago

I’ve owned three Saabs, see avatar, so I’m definitely the target audience for that ad. Someday, someday I’ll have another (Pre-GM) 900.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
8 months ago
Reply to  SAABstory

Yup, it’s a great find!

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
8 months ago

That ’85 SAAB 900, if it isn’t worth it for what it is, the color, or the wheels, is worth it for the story the seller lovingly wrote up for their audience.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
8 months ago

Yup, also that is one of the oddest craigslist ads I’ve seen- or it’s total devotion to a make of car. Just count how many times they say Saabstory…they won’t even let you test drive w/o your own Saabstory…and the linked story to the sub is downright creepy

InWayOverMyHead
InWayOverMyHead
8 months ago

That Saab tho… Dead Sexy, no doubt. Plus, ski racks…. drool.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
8 months ago

Yeah, great deal for a decent old skool Saab!

Last edited 8 months ago by Freelivin2713
Frackle
Frackle
8 months ago
Reply to  Freelivin2713

I’d love to take a look (and I know one of the service guys he namedropped), but I feel like if I bought it I might get stalked by him to make sure I’m doing justice to the car.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
8 months ago
Reply to  Frackle

Ha ha oh yeah, good call…
“The washer fluid is NOT fine!”

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
8 months ago

Wow, Mercedes you have truly outdone yourself…wonderful work. These are my kind of cars- unique, affordable and they really don’t take a lot to make your own. Right off the bat, I saw that 47 Fleetliner and fell in love w/ the color/patina- would drive that everywhere (Also the Dodge Wayfarer!) Also, will take the Rampage too!

B3n
B3n
8 months ago

Thanks for these collections with a lower price limit. It keeps hope alive there are still some affordable fun options out there. I don’t know much about BMWs but that Z3 looks like a great deal.
The Lupo 3L was an interesting experiment back then. I’d be really curious what MPG could that get with 2023 diesel tech and a hybrid drivetrain.

Green_NGold
Green_NGold
8 months ago

That Wayfarer looks really nice for $6,500. The interior may be missing some trim but it still looks plenty usable. The ad says it runs and drives. Cheap way to acquire a fun piece for Sunday drives.

Gubbin
Gubbin
8 months ago

That is an incredible price on the Benly. Sadly, the link goes to the BMW Z3, but here’s a barn-find one in Central Oregon for $1,000.

Last edited 8 months ago by Gubbin
Gubbin
Gubbin
8 months ago

Awww… thankyew!

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago

Man Mercedes these are all excellent cars and at excellent prices if ad is honest. Best list yet.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
8 months ago

I’ve only owned two new cars in 50 years of driving: 1982 Dodge Rampage and 1986 Saab 900 Turbo. What’re the odds examples of both of these models would turn up in the same edition of Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness? Wish I could snap them both up.

Torque
Torque
8 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

That makes for interesting stable mates

3WiperB
3WiperB
8 months ago

I like that Z3. Good color combo and wheels. It has the typical glovebox sag and the driver seat is trashed, but other than that, it looks to be in nice shape.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago
Reply to  3WiperB

But great price just get it reupholstered or a seat cover.

Toecutter
Toecutter
8 months ago

That Lupo 3L is a bargain. If I had a place to keep it, I’d snatch it up without hesitation.

I used to own a Mercedes 300 SDL. It would consistently get 30 mpg at 70 mph, and could cruise 120 mph for hours at a time without issue. It was slow to get up to speed, but once it got there, it had no problem holding it.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
8 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Where were you driving the 300 SDL that you could cruise for *hours* at 120 mph?

Toecutter
Toecutter
8 months ago

Back roads in Texas. Of course, there were brief interruptions here and there every few miles.

10001010
10001010
8 months ago

Damn that Benly is sweet and not a bad price. It’d make a nice neighborhood cruiser.

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