Last week, I asked you intrepid readers to find the cars that would make you most likely to do a double take in a parking lot for under a $20,000 budget, on eBay. Without further ado, here are the ten niiiiicest cars you all picked.
10. 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton
Who knew that a Volkswagen Phaeton would be able to compete with the S-Class, 7-series, and Audi A8? Apparently no one, because they didn’t sell very well initially, but like Family Guy, it found a willing audience after its initial demise.
It was a good new luxury car, but it was a spectacular used one, if only for the fact that it depreciated into nothingness, with Bentley build quality and components and the looks so understated that you could put a Passat badge on it, park it at VW headquarters, and no one would notice.
9. 1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R
This Nissan Skyline GT-R is the car that was unobtainium just two short years ago, but now at least as common as a used Citroen in downtown New York. With the recent legalization of older models like this one, eBay and Craigslist have been awash with cars that are “100 percent legal” to drive in any state that has a DMV that won’t mind that the title says Nissan Stanza.
Get it, drive on the wrong side of the car, and enjoy the smooth inline-6 that would be impossible to find parts for. I’d do it, and I’m a pretty reasonable guy.
(Suggested by Jdrentarol)
8. 1994 Mercedes-Benz S500 Coupe
Who drives the cars that could be best defined as “nice”? Usually unbelievably wealthy old people. And what do these wealthy old people want? Personal luxury cars, or gigantic luxury sedans with two doors. Enter this absolutely pristine tank of a car, the 1994 Mercedes-Benz S500 coupe. This W140 bank vault has just under 63k miles on it, and looks as pristine as you could expect a car with one rich old owner to look. It’s spotless, it’s handsome, it’s opulent yet understated, and it has all the gizmos and gadgets you could ever need. And to top it off, the color combo is equal parts rare and perfect. If I had the fifteen grand I would’ve already bought this car.
(Suggested by sm70- why not Duesenberg?)
7. 1985 Yamaha Tri-Moto Trikes with 2005 Dodge Sprinter Van
Nice is a vague term that’s highly subjective, and this selection of two trikes and matching van proves it. Not only would these quirky trikes be a worthy addition to any garage, shed, or driveway, but I think it’s one of the best uses of a used Sprinter van I’ve ever seen. Also, with the bulbous tires on the trikes, I’d be tempted to see if they float on water. They probably don’t, but at this price, it’s worth a shot, amirite?
(Suggested by BenLikesCars)
6. 1973 Volvo P1800ES
Mark my words - this Volvo P1800ES is a car that will be appreciated by collectors in the coming years. It’s one of the best looking cars to ever come out of Sweden, and it’s cheap enough that you could buy the nicest one in the world without touching half of a Jaguar E-type’s market price, despite having similarly appealing design elements. Get one before I have a chance to say “I told you so.”
(Suggested by JayHova)
5. 2008 Audi S6
This Audi S6 is the embodiment of the old adage “speak softly, but carry a big stick.” This V10 behemoth certainly carries a big stick, and if you debadged it, it would look nearly identical to the base model A6, which would come in handy if you were the type of person that didn’t care about being seen in your six figure Audi, or you just robbed a bank and needed to make a calculated getaway. Or both.
(Suggested by Thor82)
4. 2003 BMW 540i MSport
The BMW E39 540i is one of the finest automobiles ever made, and the current value in the market reflects it, as they’re actually appreciating in price. Good manual examples are trading for just below comparable M5 levels, with good reason: The 540 has almost identical usable power levels, looks and feels the same, and costs thousands less to maintain an repair.
It’s best of both worlds, and it’s worth it for any budding car enthusiast to at least give one a spin. You won’t be disappointed.
(Suggested by U Drive a Camry)
3. 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550
If you want a driving experience in which all the mundane aspects of driving are already taken care of, the Mercedes S-Class is for you. Not only does it have intuitive driver assists, but has bonkers gadgets like nightvision, and cruise control that can bring the car to a full stop in traffic.
The car, in today’s money, was more than $100,000 new, and though this one has a branded title and would require a thorough going-over, it may be one hell of a deal if the issues that plagued its early life were taken care of professionally.
(Suggested by Mini_Fanatic)
2. Mercedes-Benz 500E
This Mercedes-Benz 500E is a car that was created when Porsche decided that it would make race-bred engines for four-door sedans and sell them to humans with the help of Mercedes. The result is a car that is a lite version of AMG’s elusive Hammer, with looks that are iconic to the period and an exhaust note that lets the others in the dentist office parking lot know that you mean business.
(Suggested by Lipitz)
1. 1981 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit
There is nothing nicer than a Rolls Royce. Sure, everything is hand-made, and the hydraulic suspension is connected to the brakes using methods that are more complex than the Saturn V rocket, but that’s not important because you’d never stop looking back at it after parking (far from other, lesser cars, of course).
Gather as much Grey Poupon as your pockets can handle, and buy this gem.
(Suggested by BrianGriffin)
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.