Home » Taking The Easy Way Out: 200SX, Pacer, Pinto, Duster, Beetle, Thunderbird, Saab, and Volvo

Taking The Easy Way Out: 200SX, Pacer, Pinto, Duster, Beetle, Thunderbird, Saab, and Volvo

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Happy Friday, Autopians! We’ve reached the end of another week, and my wife and I have reached the East Coast with our second round of stuff. That’s eighty percent of our vehicles moved, and probably half our household. One more push next week, one more drive across the country (with the cats, which should prove amusing), and we’ll be done.

Needless to say, I’m tired, so today I’m pushing the “Easy” button and pitting all eight of the week’s cars against each other in a giant battle royale, with a twist that we’ll get to in a minute. First let’s talk about yesterday’s results. The Volvo won by about two to one, and I suspect it had something to do with its transmission. A car that size with a six-speed manual and 227 horsepower at its disposal is bound to be a fun ride.

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I can’t help but agree. I’ve never owned a Volvo, but my wife and I have had a GM-era Saab, and it did us dirty. In fact, when we sold it, it refused to start in our own driveway after the buyer had already signed the title and paid for it. Turned out to be a bad connection in the neutral safety switch on the transmission, so no big deal, but I don’t forget such things. I’ll take my chances with the Volvo as well.

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Now then: Last time I did an eight-way shootout on a Friday, you all seemed to enjoy it, so we’re going to do it again, mainly so I don’t have to find two new cars for today. But I’m going to give you a scenario to help you choose. You are buying one of these cars, not for yourself, but for someone you know. It can be a friend, your significant other, or even your arch-nemesis. Your motivations behind your choice are your own, but if you felt like explaining yourself in the comments, it might make for some amusing reading for everyone else.

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I’ll recap the basics for each car, and leave it to you to look back over the week’s posts for the specifics. Yeah, I’m phoning it in today. Sue me.

1977 Datsun 200SX – $3,500

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Engine/drivetrain: 2.0-liter overhead cam inline 4, three-speed automatic, RWD

Location: Pasadena, CA

Odometer reading: 39,000 miles

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Operational status: Runs and drives great

 

1978 AMC Pacer Wagon – $2,850

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Engine/drivetrain: 232 or 258 cubic inch overhead valve inline 6, three-speed automatic, RWD

Location: Peoria, AZ

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Odometer reading: 100,000 miles

Operational status: Runs and drives, but needs brakes work

 

1979 Ford Pinto – $5,000

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Engine/drivetrain: 350 cubic inch overhead valve V8, three-speed automatic, RWD

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Location: Phoenix, AZ

Odometer reading: unknown

Operational status: Runs and drives great, but not street legal

 

1970 Plymouth Duster funny car – $5,000

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Engine/drivetrain: Nothing but a rear axle

Location: Tucson, AZ

Odometer reading: Don’t think it has one

Operational status: Strictly lawn art

 

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1997 Ford Thunderbird – $3,500

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Engine/drivetrain: 3.8 liter overhead valve V6, four-speed automatic, RWD

Location: Cedar Falls, Iowa

Odometer reading: 166,000 miles

Operational status: “Runs and drives good”

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1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle – $3,500

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Engine/drivetrain: Unknown displacement overhead-valve flat 4, four-speed manual, RWD

Location: Winterset, Iowa

Odometer reading: unknown

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Operational status: Engine is on a stand, and the interior is largely absent

 

2008 Saab 9-3 Convertible – $4,500

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Engine/drivetrain: Turbocharged 2.0 liter dual overhead cam inline 4, five-speed automatic, FWD

Location: Kingston, PA

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Odometer reading: 125,000 miles

Operational status: Runs and drives great

 

2008 Volvo C70 – $4,200

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Engine/drivetrain: Turbocharged 2.5 liter dual overhead cam inline 5, six-speed manual, FWD

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Location: Orion Township, MI

Odometer reading: 99,000 miles

Operational status: Runs and drives well, but has some issues

 

So there they are, all eight of the week’s choices. The headline of each car is, as always, a link to the ad for it, but if you want to look back over the discussions from the week, here is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and yesterday for your convenience.

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And remember, you are choosing one of these cars to give to someone else. Who, and for what reason, is entirely up to you. Do you want to give a good friend a cool project to work on? Does someone you know need a good cheap car and you want to provide them with a sweet Swedish convertible? Do you want to see the look of surprise on your high-school buddy’s face when the tow truck unloads a derelict funny car in their driveway? The possibilities are endless! So choose a car, and then tell us who gets it, and why, in the comments. Have a great weekend!

(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

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Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
30 days ago

Funny car for my wife just to see the look on her face before I die (If I gave her this car, I would literally be dead)
I would make sure to get a good laugh in after she saw it though because, ya know…funny car! Ha ha

SirRaoulDuke
SirRaoulDuke
30 days ago

We are going to get a friend pass-out drunk and install that funny car on top of their barn overnight.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
30 days ago

I would love to bestow that hideous Thunderbird upon a few select people who, shall we say, deserve such a thing? But what guarantee do I have that they need to keep it and drive it? Will I be allowed to hold their eyelids open Clockwork Orange-style and force them to stare at it for an extended period of time?

Assuming that I’m not going to follow through with such crimes, I’d rather just own that Pacer. I love Pacers. 2nd place to the Saab.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
30 days ago

Voted Volvo. I’d buy it for my wife, then in a few years pass it on to the kid.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
30 days ago

In the 80s, we drove down to Orlando. Four people and a quite unhappy cat. She spent every moment we were moving either on top of the driver’s headrest or directly in front of them on our Super Beetle’s dash. That was a long drive.

EastbayLoc
EastbayLoc
30 days ago

I voted SAAB for a soon to be 16 year old son. He doesn’t drive stick yet. I will teach him that yet when he can drive better and keep the car in the middle of its lane while still processing everything else that goes on around him. He’ll get there but man it is nerve racking now.

I’d give the funny car to a friend from work who tries for his wife sake, to put on the full country club image. Way too uptight and lives in one of those ultra strict HOA’s that sends a letter if your trash cans are still on the curb 30 minutes after pick up.

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
30 days ago
Reply to  EastbayLoc

I think the Thunderbird would be a better choice for a teen driver. When they inevitably crash into something it might make the car look better.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
30 days ago

How is the funny car at the bottom of the list? It’s the most ridiculous/coolest thing on here!

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
30 days ago

The T-bird for the snotty Colombians that filed a complaint against my dog. They deserve to be seen in such car for at least a week in their rich expat bubble in Central America.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
30 days ago

My vote goes to the Datsun because I think it’s the coolest, most interesting looking vehicle on the list with the highest novelty factor.

TheDiscerningMillenial
TheDiscerningMillenial
1 month ago

That Thunderbird is going directly in the nearest volcano.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
30 days ago

I’ll split the cost with you.

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