Isn’t it wonderful that the country that brought you the Interstate highway network is also the same country that brought the best cruising and highway-eating cars in history? That’s why last week I asked you patriotic lot to find the best cars on eBay that represent the stars and stripes for less than a $10k budget. Cue the music.
10. 1961 Cadillac DeVille
This Cadillac DeVille was made at a time when gas was cheap, large families made way for even larger cars, and the Cadillac name was synonymous with style. With its finned rear end and streamlined body, this four-door behemoth is a perfect example of what happens when a car company throws caution to the wind and decides to make something infinitely more classy than anything that came after it. It’s truly an icon.
(Suggested by Magnox)
9. 2000 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
This Chevy Camaro is the quintessential American car in the modern age - still tightly grasping its muscle car roots with a pushrod small block V8 engine, but employing cost-cutting measures such as a less-than-cheap plastic interior so the driver can focus on the things that matter, namely the ridiculous rate of speed that the car can muster.
(Suggested by BenjiF)
8. 2008 Cadillac STS
This Cadillac STS is a car that was left by the wayside for a long while, although it wasn’t a bad car in its own right. It housed a 4.6-liter V8 engine that drove all four wheels and had the same angular styling that made the CTS such a success - the same styling that’s featured prominently in Cadillac’s new cars up to the present day. It’s the notbad.jpg of modern luxury cars.
(Suggested by Zendax)
7. 1989 Dodge Dakota Convertible
When an automaker decides that it’ll combine two categories of cars, it usually ends up with something awesome like the El Camino or something god-awful like the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. This Dodge Dakota combines the ultility and wind-in-your-hair excitement of a convertible ad the ultility of a pickup truck. Questionable? Sure. Awesome? You bet your ass it is.
(Suggested by The Crazie Kanuck)
6. 2010 Dodge Charger R/T Police Package
Ladies and Gentleman, here it is. The corned beef hash of the bunch. Something so ‘Murican that it cannot be Un ‘Murica’ed EVER. The Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger of cars. A 2010 Dodge Charger Hemi... wait for it... POLICE CAR. You’ve got v8, you’ve got Hemi, you’ve got Dodge, you’ve got CHARGER, and more importantly a vehicle that used to house guns. MANY GUNS. Shotguns I’m assuming. It’s driver? Kickin’ ass and takin’ names (and personal freedoms most likely). Just ‘Muricaing the SH*T out of people. This particular model still has the push bumper, spotlight, and the sent of donuts. Cheap donuts. If this isn’t America, I don’t know what is. I’m literally crying tears of freedom and saluting simultaneously as I write this.
5. 1976 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The C3 Chevrolet Corvette is a weird one - it was the model that went through the most drastic horsepower decrease after mandatory emissions laws, yet it was one of the best looking Corvette bodies ever made, in my opinion. With the vintage car market high on nostalgia for anything with the Corvette badge on it, buying a well-sorted C3 could be a ticket to a return in the future.
(Suggested by BenLikesCars)
4. 2003 Mercury Marauder
The Mercury Marauder was the Crown Victoria SS that no one asked for but we all got because Ford knows what we want better than we do. It’s not the fastest or lightest thing in the world, but who can say no to a car with a large V8 engine, raucous exhaust note and mechanical components that will never fail? It’s a car that’ll put hair in places that you didn’t know you had.
(Suggested by MyL1ttleDuceC0upe)
3. 1969 Chevrolet El Camino
I present for your consideration, the 1969 Chevrolet El Camino. Arguably the best generation as well, looking like it was never a chevelle/malibu at any point. I’m not sure you can get much more ‘Murican than an Elco. In fact, I’m not sure any other countries even offer a vehicle in car/pick up format. This particular example is running a 350 Turbo Fire engine (sounds ‘Murican) and is claimed to have been restored 2 years ago and running well. Look no further. Bacon, BBQ, Fried Chicken, Apple Pie, El Camino, ‘MURICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Suggested by dr861)
2. 1972 Lincoln Continental
I know what you’re thinking. “Man. I don’t have enough car.” So first thing off the bat, you’re reckoning, go get something like a sedan, with four doors, right? Ha! Wrong!
Listen to me. I will teach you how less is more. Two doors phat, four doors blah! Let me teach you the way of the Lincoln Continental! Let’s start with this bad boy right here. It’s a Mark IV, that’s Mark Four for you non-classics types, all right? They’re asking $6,800! Gee, what is that, nearly a buck fifty per pound?! Visualize a person behind the wheel. Do you even have to ask if this person has an adequate amount of automobile? Fat chance. No way, in fact. Not in a million years. In the automotive realm, the operator of this vehicle is taken care of.
Seriously. White leather. Opera windows. Doors that could knock a lesser human being into next week if you’re careless. Incidentally, when this thing was made, in 1972, “outsourcing” might have meant something like “getting an additional supply for my champagne” or “hiring more musicians for my daughter’s wedding.” It certainly didn’t mean throwing America’s industrial base under a foreign-made bus. Just saying, you know?
(Suggested by BenLikesCars)
1. 1995 Ford Mustang GT
The successor to the Fox Body Mustangis my favorite shape for the pony car - ever. There, I said it. It looks exactly what a ‘90s muscle car should look like, along with a schlocky interior made of ABS plastic and hardened vinyl. It’s quirky, it’s crude, and it’s the most fun you can have in an American car. If I owned it, I would drive it to Canada and hand deliver some freedom, two skid marks at a time.
(Suggested by JayHova)
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes and makes videos about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world’s cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he’s the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn’t feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.