Cars for a Grand is the brainchild of online entrepreneurs Chris Hedgecock and Jorge Gonzalez, the same guys behind Zero Paid. The site allows for individual users to post cars for sale, and scours eBay and classified ads for the best buckets of bolts. To promote the site, the founders bought a 1974 Pontiac LeMans for $900 and drove it across the country last summer.
Gonzalez says the site is popular with people who just don’t have a lot to spend, or who don’t want to spend what they do have on a car. “With gas prices and the economy the way it is, people are looking for creative ways to trim the fat,” he said.
A quick look at the site proves that cost-conscious doesn’t have to mean boring.
A bitchin’ Camaro on sale for less than the down payment on a new one proves that money can’t buy class, and short money buys even less of it. If you want to let the world know you drive a BMW, you can snag a high mileage ‘91 5-series for less than a year’s worth of internet dating fees. And, for the mechanically inclined, there are plenty of steaming heaps of coolant leaks, melted wiring harnesses and salvage titles.
Even woefully underpaid automotive bloggers can afford a $1,000 mid-’80s Nissan 300ZX in less-than-stellar condition — which we’re seriously considering. After all, a bonus of not paying $10k for a cherry example of a classic car is that you can drive it like you’re a teenager.
We’ve owned plenty of beaters throughout the years and they’ve all served us well. In fact, a ‘91 Volvo 240 with missing body trim and intermittent brake lights is currently rusting away in this writer’s driveway. Grand total? $600. It actually cost more to register and insure it for a year. It ain’t pretty, but it’s a perfect around-town car for a girlfriend who prefers public transportation.
Let us know about your favorite sub-$1,000 car. Maybe it’s the vintage VW that got you through grad school, or the clapped-out Taurus that’s still in your garage sitting next to the $4,000 LeMond you ride to work every day.
Photo: Flickr / Erica Marshall