If you’re only willing to throw down five bills for your project or your fun car, you either walk into the room making concessions or you will walk out disappointed. It’s like that three-circle Venn diagram meme where you have to pick two choices. Do you want fun and fast, classic, or a newer “proper daily driver”? If you want a newer driver that’s fun and fast, fourth-gen F-bodies, Mustangs and some of the mid-2000s performance cars are finally starting to hit that level. (We’ve seen Chargers and 300s just about at that level!) Do you want something classic and proper to drive? Um…Fox body, third-gen F-car, or may luck be with you. Classic and fun, however, is the magic mark, because most of the “classics” are pushing fifty years old or more and are usually modded beyond hope. Don’t expect a day-two car or a completely baked build.
But if you want to have fun, you can have fun. This 1975 Pontiac Astre Safari is fun. A Vega with rhinoplasty and a V8 swap, this little wagon has to be a proper hoot to go eff off in. Do you really care about the stickers or the painted-on stripes? Move along if you do. Are you bothered by the Oldsmobile wheels on a Pontiac? This isn’t for you. Do you want to bury your foot and do your best “slippery conditions ahead” sign impersonation? This is for you. You’ll have rust to repair and your significant other will look at you funny for at least a week after the purchase, but own it. You bought this party favor with license plates for your own amusement and nothing more. Five thousand dollars, 1970s style, and enough tire smoke to leave Greta Thunberg rage-smashing everything in sight. It’s uncouth, but that’s why you like it.