I have worn out that man’s shoes.
I have owned several beaters that I drove for two years and invested nothing and made money on them.
My first was a 63 Ford Galaxie that had 70k miles and no rust. It still had in the original exhaust and the paint was great.
Added a set of radials since it still had bias tires on it and a set of original used Ansen wheels from the 60’s and it made for a cool looking and fun ride.
$500 was my investment barrier from dad because I had no money.
I have done this with several cars over the years.
Yeah I was surprised it had a fair amount of feel in the shifter, and how accurate it was. It won't impress a purist, but it was quite nice...especially considering the vehicle its in!
Handling? It was just like any other non-SE...if you want a Camry that turns, upgrade it with SE shocks/swaybars to reduce a large chunk of understeer and body roll. If I were to buy this car, it'd get SE'd pretty quickly.
There is something to be said for basic cars like this, so thanks for featuring this. Locally I see a purple Geo Metro convertible that is someone’s daily driver. Always brings a smile to my face, more than any upscale car would.
My favorite vanity license plate of all time was on an old rusty brown Camry LE.
The plate: CAMRY LE
You get that generation Camry with the V6 and they are downright quick. A friend of mine has one as a beater. My 69 Grand Prix with the 350-horsepower 400 had a very difficult time pulling away from it off of a stoplight. These cars might not look like much, but in the right trim, they're an understated enthusiast car.
I'm in the same boat, and I hate driving cars that look like they're in poor condition
Last month, I bought a 2011 LS 460L AWD for cheap that needs about $3,500 in work.
- It has the dreaded valley coolant leak that various Toyota V6 and V8 engines have, including the 4.6-liter in my car. The gasket needs to be replaced, but it's nestled deep in the vee of the engine.
- The valve cover gaskets and HPFP gaskets are leaking. The HPFP gaskets are on the valve cover, so it's really one job
- The boots on the CV axles are torn
- The battery tie-down hooks are missing
- Two of the TPMS sensors are bad
I can get all that done for about $2,500, and the parts are ordered. The mechanic will install them once they come in. It's way better than the $6,600 that the Lexus dealer wanted for it all.
- The front bumper fascia mounts are broken, and the bumper is torn at the bottom. Someone has had a go at trying to re-secure the bumper with hot glue and hardware-store screws
- Additionally, the covering that goes under the bumper and stops you snagging it on curbstones is missing. I dang near ripped the bumper off the other day
- The trim pieces that sit on the side of each fog light are missing
- The corners of the rear bumper, where they butt up against the rear lights, are coming away. This is a common LS 460 issue.
I was quoted $1,500 for the bodywork--including parts, paint and labor--and they can't get me in until late March.
Additionally, I have also agreed to buy a 2000 BMW 525i from a friend who sells mostly 60s-and-70s-vintage European cars. It's a 5MT, and I've never had a manual-transmission car at all. And I want more practice. While everything works mechanically, the exterior looks *rough.* I think my partner and I will have fun restoring it. After all, it's less trouble and has more aftermarket and community support than any of the previous cars I've restored. And E39 parts are cheap and plentiful.
As far as the Camry goes, I think you should buy it. I know you've got other projects going, but it's not the sort of car that would get away from you, nor is it one where you need to go to the painstaking effort of finding period-correct 80s FoMoCo trim pieces and upholstery...as you do with your other projects. It looks like it just needs a little polish and cosmetic effort, and then anything else you do will be better than it was new.
I know you've got other projects going, but it's not the sort of car that would get away from you, nor is it one where you need to go to the painstaking effort of finding period-correct 80s FoMoCo trim pieces and upholstery...as you do with your other projects. It looks like it just needs a little polish and cosmetic effort, and then anything else you do will be better than it was new.
Oh man, you know me too well!
In 2020-21, for around 15 months, we had as a “second car” for occasional use a 2008 Pontiac Vibe (Toyota Matrix) with a five-speed manual. The paint was dull and had various scuffs, the interior dull and whiffy (dog), and the AC compressor had quit. But it had only 57,000 orig. km when I bought it and after getting all the fluids changed, it inspired full confidence, esp. with its free-revving 1.8 four with a timing chain. It was great fun as a beater. But no-one else in the family wanted to drive it: one hated the smell, one hated the look, one still has not learned stick, and everyone objected to the absence of side-curtain airbags. But I sure liked to throw it around the corners. I finally gave in and sold it to finance cars more to my family’s liking. I broke even on purchase, tax, and maintenance — the least I have ever paid for over a year’s driving. Buy it and drive it hard! At that mileage and with that paint, it does not need to be babied or fussed over. Ideal beater.
If I recall correctly, the Camry was (and still is?) the most American car made, on the basis of American made content inside it. Gotta give Kentucky some love for that!
No I am referring to percentage of components made in America, not an aggregate with units sold (which I agree is a cop out). From what I see here the Camry has 80% US content and the Chrysler 200 has 81%. But to that effect, it's a shame people didn't buy the 200 at the same frequency they do the Camry.
This is an amazing story, because we never hear people taking the time to save manual transmission Corollas...or any other sedan for that matter!
It's still for sale, but I donno....
While I love this Camry, or rather the idea of this Camry, I say drive your other cars more. In the future there will be another unicorn you will not be able to pass up.