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Used US Sports Cars: Mustang & amp; Co for a handful of dollars

Beate Jeske
Used US sports cars
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V a lot of cars and lots of horsepower for the money - a traditional strength the American automaker. Whether Chevrolet, Dodge or Ford, whether new or used, the 'Big Three' lure with low prices.

Early Mustang from 2005 are already available for less than 10,000 euros. The first Challenger from 2008 cost a slim 18,000 euros, Camaro from 2010 are only a few euros above. The catch: Only the V6 models of used American sports cars are so cheap, which only produce between 205 and 305 hp.

A used American sports car is only a muscle car with eight cylinders

We'd rather go for it and think that a pony car only becomes a muscle car with eight cylinders. A Mustang V8 is in the cheapest case at 12,000 euros. The used American sports car, with its 4.6-liter engine with 305 hp, does not send too much power to the rear rigid axle. Our search on the World Wide Web leads us to US-Car Mangold.

At the dealer from Oberelchingen we come across a rare 400 hp used American sports car Saleen Mustang with the addition 'Parnelli Jones 302'. This special model, limited to 500 pieces, pays tribute to the successes of the former NASCAR driver Parnelli Jones. Connoisseurs immediately think of the BMW M3 special model 'Cecotto'. Previous owner Erich Kraft wants 29,400 euros for the coupé that he imported from England.

Why does he want to part with the good piece? 'My racetrack buddies all drive Porsches. I'm usually last with the Mustang. That has to be different,' laughs Kraft. The V8 with a displacement of 302 cubic inches, which equates to 5.0 liters, is hardly a problem, after all the three-valve engine produces a smooth 400 hp replaces drag strip

Unfortunately, we don't have a drag strip for our test drive today, but a kilometer-long straight in the Ulm area stimulates the accelerator. 'Now let him jump,' the owner encourages us. Thank you, we won't be asked twice. The V8 of the used American sports car greedily sucks the fresh air through the 'Shaker Hood'. The V8 roars hard and easy to turn, the clutch and five-speed gearbox of the used American sports car require power.

Thanks to a 70 percent lock, the Saleen-Ford brings the power well to the asphalt. Despite the rigid axle, the Mustang does not behave like a stubborn wild horse. The Watt linkage supports the rear axlesideways, moreover, the used American sports car springs quite nicely. Trouble in everyday life? Mustang buyers should carefully inspect the front axle. Weakly dimensioned supporting joints and tie rod ends often make noises. Robust retrofit parts provide a remedy. Owner Kraft continues: 'Unfortunately, the response to the car is weak because many don't even know that the Saleen is something very special.'

We wish you good luck with the sale of the used American sports car - and we continue to Horgau near Augsburg. At the Cadillac and Chevrolet dealer Steppe, we pick a Camaro convertible from 2012. 432 hp, 6.2-liter V8, manual transmission, almost 21,000 kilometers - the key data are correct. The European model should cost 32,850 euros, including a factory guarantee until 2015.

'The previous owner switched to a Corvette,' smiles owner Thomas Steppe and hands us the key for the four-seater convertible.

Used American sports car quite agile despite 4.84 meters in length

Ten minutes later we chase the used American sports car Chevy with warmed up engine oil over deserted country roads. The Camaro spontaneously feels half a size larger than the Mustang, but thanks to the complex chassis with independent suspension, the 4.84 meter long Lulatsch looks quite agile.

The V8 pushes with power, no matter where the tachometer is straight. At 4,000 tours, the two-valve engine called LS3 kindles a second fire - which it also accentuates acoustically. The manual transmission is crisp and short. Incidentally, the Camaro is 'only' 405 hp with automatic transmission.

When looking for used American sports cars, it is important to pay attention to real European models. It was officially available from 2011, recognizable by the larger mirrors with integrated indicators and the COC papers supplied. Dealer Stebbe explains: 'In the case of gray imported US models, the cooling system and braking system have smaller dimensions.' The Chevrolet Camaro is considered quite robust in the scene. The only noticeable feature is the major recall in which GM had to replace millions of defective ignition locks. Incidentally, Camaro and Corvette customers are not affected by the Chevrolet brand's withdrawal from Germany. Only the mass models Orlando, Trax, Cruze and Co disappear.

Dodge Challenger makes 431 hp

Speaking of disappearing : We are already on the way to the Allgäu and want to go to Buchloe. No, our destination today is not Alpina, we are visiting the Pauli Automobile Center. The dealer specializing in all-wheel drive from the USA offers a 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 in red. Junior boss Peter Pauli: 'The first owner had a gas system installed by us.' In just under four years, he tore down 72,000 kilometers with the used American sports car from Michigan - and possibly saved one or two euros in the process. That remains for our test driveSwitch to gasoline, after all, we want to savor all of the 431 hp.

The used American sports car, grumbling deeply, is tied up on winding country roads. The large leather steering wheel looks as if the man on the assembly line mistakenly mistook it for that of a Dodge Ram pickup. But the Challenger shrinks kilometer by kilometer and surprises with pleasant handiness. Despite the flat 20-inch model, the Dodge rolls passably. If you whip the 6.1 liter Hemi-V8, you get pure heavy metal for your ear canals.

At the same time, your head jumps backwards - things go like the devil. In the standard trim, the Hemi-V8 is not so cheeky, but here a US exhaust system from Borla ensures a big grin on your face. The five-speed automatic WA580 comes from Mercedes, but shifts faster and harder than it was ever allowed to do in an E 500. Models with a six-speed manual transmission are unfortunately very rare. The eight-speed automatic from ZF with steering wheel paddles only came in the 2012 model year.

The Swabian automatic can cause trouble with the Challenger SRT8. In the forums it is said that in individual cases she can breathe her life out at 150,000 kilometers. In general, however, applies to all three muscle cars with automatic: Those who often celebrate burnouts, of course, put a lot of strain on the converter Front axle - and the fat rear wheels can spin freely ...

Used American sports cars with character

Can't hear the words downsizing and premium anymore? Do you think M3, 911 and S4 are already on every corner? You want a big V8, but you don't want to spend a fortune on it? Welcome to the club! All three used American sports cars are cars with character, which attract with plenty of horsepower per euro. Camaro, Mustang and Challenger are sports cars for the big show and not for introverted contemporaries. The thin dealer network does not have to prevent anyone from buying, after all, the US boys are built quite robustly. In terms of material selection and workmanship, you should lower your demands a bit. Consumption and insurance are not for the tight budget, but when it comes to spare parts and maintenance, apart from a few outliers, they are quite reasonable. Frequent burnouts require a big budget, especially when 20-inch tires are needed. Only the Camaro was officially marketed as a European model, the other two are import models. Many different variants make it difficult for the used car buyer to keep track. The Germans are undoubtedly superior in terms of driving dynamics, but firstly the pony cars have caught up, and secondly they are much cheaper.

Sporty alternatives

Corvette ZR1 with 330 top speed and in 4.1 seconds to 100 km - theSupercharged V8 lures with 647 hp and 819 Newton meters. The strongest production Corvette C6 has beaten many super athletes on the small circuit in Hockenheim: 1.08.3 minutes is an announcement. Extremely rare to find, from 70,000 euros.

Corvette Z06 from a seven-liter V8 naturally aspirated engine, the Corvette Z06 gets 512 hp and 637 Newton meters. In the sport auto test (issue 5/2012) it came within four tenths of the ZR1. There are currently around 50 vehicles on the German used car market, starting at 35,000 euros.

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