Geo Prizms have featured prominently on these pages – they’re regarded with nearly godlike status around these parts. Reliable, flexible, economical and surprisingly quick, the Prizm represented a good value when new, and due to it’s lack of a Toyota badge, a fantastic value on the used market.
But lets face it – most Prizms were used as a transportation appliance – poorly maintained then discarded with little life left. So when one in nice shape shows up for sale, it’s a fairly rare occurrence – and usually those nice rides are hobbled by the truly horrible 3-speed automatic. But for today, when Lee from Portland Oregon left a comment on a post here, letting us all know of his well kept, 5 speed Prizm… and again caused your humble correspondent much angst.
The term “salvage auction” probably brings up all sorts of horrible images in one’s mind. Completely destroyed cars that look as though they’ve been run over by a Caterpillar D9 or perhaps used as Satan’s barbeque grill. Every once in a while, there’s a diamond in the rough. Today is one of those days.
So, what would it take to get you in a never-registered, brand-new condition hatchback?
You may assume that it’s in factory-new condition. In fact, there’s still plastic on the seats and steering wheel. The car has only 54 miles under its 20-year old tires. Oh sorry, did I fail to mention that the car in question is a 1993 model?
Perhaps with that knowledge you start to worry a bit. It’s older, hatchbacks of that age period are generally regarded as being a bit penalty-box-ish. After all, this particular hatchback has no stereo. No power windows or door locks either. In fact, it comes with a bit of gray carpet covering the area where the back seat should be. But, it’s from the final year of the Golden Age of Hatchbacks! A piece of history could be yours!
Hmmm… Yeah, it’s pretty basic. Oh, so you want to see the outside?
There’s something to be said for being blissfully unaware. Like if I were to not know that this rare Prizm GSi existed and was for sale. But my buddy Larry from the Stick Figure/Volatile RAM racing team – you may remember this – just had to send me this link and get me all interested. While the price on the dealer’s website shows a $2950 asking price (a ridiculous amount for a car with over a quarter-million miles, rare or not), the Craigslist ad that Larry provided showed a significant mark-down to $1700. If not for a fairly recent, ill-fated fly-and-drive, those sorts of numbers get a man thinking…
If you’re familiar with this blog, you probably recall my love of my first car, and have read of my exploits as a real-life race car driver. So it would be only natural that those two would eventually collide in a NASCAR-worthy explosion of racing fuel and poor decision-making. In my dreams at least. So when I see things like this…
Ah yes, another high school dream car… for this Hatchtopian at least… but you need to jump on this quick. The Mazda 323 GTX was a fairly rare car in its time, but nowadays, it’s practically impossible to find one in decent shape. This car is one of those. Powered by a turbo 4-banger and sporting all-wheel-drive, the GTX package was a rally homologation special that stepped the 323 up from its very humble econobox roots to a desirable, quick and fun to drive little sports coupe.
Here’s a rare find – according to the seller, it is #5 of… well, it was the fifth one built. Or something.
The car in question? A Ford Mustang pace car… I’m sure it was a pace car for something important, right? Like the Sanpete County Fair demolition derby? Or maybe the Indianapolis 500? Who knows – all you need to know is that this car is a pace car and all it needs is the stickers to be a show winner. That and it books at $22k. So for $15k, you know you’re getting a great deal on whatever this thing is…
If you’ve been following Hatchtopia for a while now, you know that I posted a Dodge Shadow a while back with the statement that it was likely the cleanest Shadow in the world. Fortunately for me and my blanket statements, this one’s a Sundance. Hurray for badge engineering! It would appear that there is a veritable endless supply of low-mile, granny-driven Sundances and Shadows out there… or maybe not.
Here it is folks, the Holy Grail of Hatchbacks. I exaggerate a bit, but this is a rare one to be sure. The Dasher was the top of the line Volkswagen of its day – known as the Passat in the rest of the world. You may recognize that name, but not the body style. The last Passat hatchback was sold in the US in the mid 80s.
Salt Lake City’s beautiful and historic Liberty Park hosts a number of special events throughout the year. One of those is the British Field Day, a celebration of British cars and bikes in any condition from 100-point restorations to old daily beaters.
Of course, this provides a perfect opportunity for those in the market for a vintage limey ride to come out and kick some real tires, rather than trolling the shark-infested waters of Craigslist or the like.