US cars for less than 10,000 euros

Hardy Mutschler
Cheap US cars
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M with a bright, singing yowl, the roof comes off the roof Windshield frame, stretching high into the sky and trying to fold over the back seat. The whine of the electric motor now sounds deeper, deeper and deeper - 'iiieeeaaauuuoooh' - and seems to fall silent immediately. The men help out, pressing the stubborn plastic tent into the cargo hold provided for it. Ready, go!

First candidate: 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Convertible for 9,999 euros

The white Oldsmobile Delta 88 Convertible from 1973 doesn't look very much. The first paint is dull and is peeling off the body a little. A 76 Cadillac Eldorado had to give jump start. Now the mighty convertible is mumbling excitedly to itself. It seems like talking to us in a cheesy Walt Disney movie: 'Please buy me, take me with you, get me out of here. I'll always be a great buddy, too.' You really feel sorry for the big Oldsmobile, because where the ignition lock is usually there is now a medium-caliber screwdriver.

Is the 275 hp oldie really worth the 9,999 euros it is supposed to cost at Zimmermann Classic Cars and Bikes in Friedrichshafen (www.zimmermann-friedrichshafen.de)? Well, on the plus side we register the convertible, the luxurious Royale version, the 455 cui (7.4 liter) big block and an intact interior. In addition, all side windows and the electrically adjustable seat act spontaneously at the push of a button.

On the other hand, a body whose paintwork calls for help. In addition, a small drawback during the test drive: the machine does not want to upshift, so we have to be content with gear I. Zimmermann employee Andreas Voss: 'We'll fix that, of course, as well as the missing ignition lock.'

No question, the large Oldsmobile Convertible is not a car that you can get one with immediately, despite the guaranteed TÜV and H approval Alpentour or starts at the Silvretta Classic. Perhaps it is a good base for a restoration that has not been tinkered with, which at best devours the purchase price again? But for just 2,000 euros more, Zimmermann has a Cadillac Eldorado convertible with an 8.2-liter V8 that leaves a better impression. Or for 13,900 euros a great 1963 Chevy Impala with a sky-blue interior and a rather hammered yellow cab paintwork. So that's 10,000 euros for a decent buy-and-drive Americana little too little?

1952 Chevy 3100 Pick-Up for 9,900 euros

The next candidate looks more attractive, but leaves with his Don't expect anything good in terms of originality from the high-contrast second or third paint and the white wide-tire rims. Marco Apicella (Tel. 01 71/8 20 17 70), owner of a car repair shop in Korntal near Stuttgart, sells his red and black Chevrolet 3100 Pickup from 1952. 'Honest original condition' is in the mobile.de sales advertisement, we are excited. After all, in the engine compartment we find the 90 hp, 3.5-liter in-line six-cylinder that was built in at the time and, thanks to its moderate top speed of 3,300 rpm, is considered indestructible. The interior, including the steering wheel and round instruments, the numbers of which are wonderfully angular, has not been tinkered with.
The hearty pickup cuts a fine figure on the go. You sit on a tightly padded bench and look down over your round red nose at the street. The three-speed gearbox is scratch-free and backlash-free, and thanks to its own weight of just 1.2 tonnes, it progresses quickly and quietly.

The reason why Apicella wants to part with his personally serviced Chevy is shown in a double garage: A silver Corvette Coupé from 1971 and a black Ford de Luxe Coupé from 1940 in an elegant custom look are parked there. 'There's never enough time for three cars,' says the American fan. His likable Chevy pickup is therefore available for 9,900 euros.

The youngest and cheapest: 1988 Pontiac Firebird Formula for 6,550 euros

From the oldest to the youngest purchase object, a Pontiac Firebird Formula from 1988. The sporty youngtimer belongs to the third, compact generation of the classic sports car. Its five-liter V8 with at least 190 hp allows appealing performance: 0 to 100 km /h in eight seconds, top 210 km /h. Also great: the comfort equipment with two removable roof halves.

The V8 Coupé collects further plus points thanks to its original condition: From the well-kept interior to the elegant aluminum rims to the bonnet bulge and two-tone paintwork with orange stripes, everything is exactly the same, as the Pontiac designers had come up with. Very important if the youngtimer is to mature into an oldtimer. The fact that it is an official import car with a kilometer speedometer, yellow flashing lights and Euro 1 classification increases the mood to buy.

The only problem: The Firebird Formula with 88,000 kilometers on the speedometer stops at Good Cars in Rastatt - and for a long time. The paint, which was bleached in places, even reveals the position of the sun, and a test run of the machine was not possible. Nevertheless, it might be worthwhile to inspect the Ami, which is offered for 6,550 euros, and to test it while driving (Tel. 0 72 22/5 33 88).

Muscle car: 1972 Plymouth Fury Coupé for 9,500 euros

After the very youngFormula we are now back in a full-size American from the early seventies, a Plymouth Fury III Coupé in the original olive green. The intact interior with its tightly upholstered, almost new-looking benches shines in a hopeful green and offers space for five. Bodywork professional Michael Sauter (Tel. 01 60/96 28 77 51), who gave his Fury III with 177 hp 5.9-liter V8 a second coat of paint, is difficult to part with his 5.5-meter ship, but it is newborn Twins and the desire for a practical everyday car that is cheap to maintain are stronger than the love for well-tended US classic cars.
For the convincing repainting, all windows and chrome parts were removed, but the inside of the body shows the original paint. So you can immediately see that there are no rust traps lurking.

Incidentally, Fury III does not mean that the coupé built in 1972 belongs to the third generation, but rather represents the model with the most elegant equipment after Fury I and II. These include the (false) walnut inlays on the doors and on the dashboard. All in all, a sympathetic car that is well worth its 9,500 euros. Two things that were mentioned by the owner, however, tarnish the overall positive impression: the lack of chrome trim on the side and wheel arch trims.

7.5-liter V8 in the 1970 Lincoln Continental for 6,500 euros

But the best comes for last: a 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III with a 7.5-liter V8 and 370 SAE-PS, a black, luxurious stronghold of a car with a real leather and real wood interior, which of course has all the comfort features available at the time and is crowned by a Cartier watch. The whole thing for a slim 6,500 euros. 'The vehicle is in good condition,' says the ad at mobile.de.

We discover the icon of the American dream car wedged between everyday used cars - mainly Mercedes and Japanese - at Auto Quaqish in Mannheim (Tel. 01 78/2 17 82 37). The paintwork and vinyl roof are new and look neat. However, you cannot currently drive the car. A look under the heavy bonnet makes it clear why: The engine compartment is colored rust-red from explosively leaked cooling water. The car would still drive a few kilometers, but then suddenly nothing works. Without comment, we leave the black giant to its undeserved, extremely hard fate.

Can you get a good American for 10,000 euros?

The conclusion of the purchase tour remains: 10,000 euros or less as an initial investment in a decent American is not always enough. Those who are willing to spend around 4,000 euros drive better. Secondly, in this price segment you come across many mixed truck dealers who are not particularly concerned with the Americans. It is better to invest more and go to the specialist dealer for USCars - preferably with a workshop -, where you can compare the models with each other and if you have problems you are not alone in a tornado.

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