Honestly, when I first asked what the best modified car on eBay for less than 10k was, I was expecting a sea of rusty Nissan 240SXs and BMW E30 4-doors that "needed a little work. The cars you picked out were genuinely surprising, to say the least. Here are the ten best modified cars you can buy on eBay for $10k:
10. 1984 VW GTi, Turbocharged
How do you make the car that originated the hot hatch trend a little more sprightly? 3 words: Just add turbo.
$7,900 buy it now is a bit steep, but an early MKII Golf, with a turbo and a manual transmission. How could you go wrong!? Could use more plaid seats.
(Suggested by primalzer)
9. 1964 Plymouth Barracuda
This is one of the cars that started the muscle car era. A small-ish car with a huge V8 at the front made for many a fun night for car enthusiasts. This one has a 360 V8 (not the later 440), and has a long list of mods that'll be sure to give any budding muscle car fan a ear to ear grin.
This! Add oval track springs from mopar performance (relatively cheap)
Add good shocks
Install goodies it comes with
(Suggested by nerd_racing)
8. 1992 VW Corrado VR6 SLC
This car is on my short list of "cars I would love to own because they're so damn quirky." It's like the Golf's bigger, sleeker, and faster brother. It's also well within budget so you can de-mod and re-mod to your heart's content.
It's a VR-6 modified to hell and back again for $7K (I'll bet you could get drive off for $5500 cash though).. and it's got a roof-mounted wing so you know it means business.. (or the owner like to tow kite surfers or something)..
(Suggested by nothingreal)
7. 1994 Honda Civic Si Turbo
Here's how to do a Honda Civic right: Take a body that weighs nothing, de-clutter the engine bay, and add a huge turbo and you have something that will eat Corvettes for breakfast and poop out MPGs before its next serving. This example is one of the best I've seen in a LONG while.
(suggested by davidj211)
6. 1970 Volvo 145 Wagon
This one is such a mystery that not even the seller knows what's really under the hood. Here's an excerpt from the auction description:
Engine: A bit of a mystery. I traded a good car for the engine. All I know is that it's very high compression late B20.. '74 I think, very nicely ported and polished head, my best guess (based on measuring lift) is that its got a R-grind cam. Double valve springs, steel timing gears. I added the Weber DCOE 40s, though it'd probably prefer 45s. The head is shaved.. er.. maybe chopped, significantly. As in, I've never seen so much meat removed from a B20 head. Low elevation might be a problem. I don't know. It runs great here, but we're at 5000-8000 feet. Definitely overbored to 2.1 or more. Might be stroked. I don't know.
And since the car is deeply below budget, there are a few choice modifications one reader would apply:
This plus $8,000 worth of hookers and blow.
(Suggested by pfftballer)
5. 1960 Triumph TR3 w/327 Corvette V8
Think of it as a bizarro-world Shelby Cobra, but instead of having a Ford Powerplant in an AC body, it's Chevy powerplant in an equally unreliable British car. Same thing, really. It has all the right go-fast bits, with just enough cuteness to get cops looking the other way while you light up the bias-ply rear tires.
(Suggested by McSeanerson)
4. 1969 BMW 2002ti Turbo Vintage Race Car
This thing is so damn cool that it's a wonder it hasn't been sold yet. It's a BMW vintage race car that obviously needs some work (zip ties and duct tape), but for a little over $5000, it's worth the investment, if only to have as a driveway ornament. It has an in-cabin brake bias valve. NOT EVEN A MAYBACH HAS THAT!
But beware: If you do get this car running, it may attract any local roaming Bill Caswells, and it's mating season around this time.
(Suggested by wcalvert)
3. 1932 Ford T-Bucket Roadster
Here's what you're looking at. A Ford Model T body on a custom frame, with Chevy 4.3L carb'd V6, with twin turbochargers and some of the most massive rear wheels ever made by humans>. All for under $10 grand. Plus it looks a little like the car from the Munsters (a timely reference, I'm sure). It also weighs 1400 lbs and puts out 400 hp, which is about the same power to weight that you get with a freaking Bugatti Veyron.
(suggested by TheCrudMan)
2. 1978 Nissan Cedric
This one's not even on eBay, but I gave it a pass because holy crap, JDM. I can't imagine getting body panels would be easy to come by, but it's worth it with its uniqueness alone.
1. 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT with 400ci V8
This one was a bit of a foregone conclusion. It's a car that's the base for everything from kit cars to homemade turbo projects. It's the American's answer to the Toyota MR2 that was always better when tinkered with, and this car, with its 400 cubic inch V8, in "restored show condition" is about as good as they get. It's not my taste at all, but that's the point with modified cars - they're deeply personal and reflect a sense of individuality above all else. I'm sure this would make a cool cruiser or burnout machine for anyone with a few bucks to spend on a unique car.
(Suggested by My X-type is too a real Jaguar)
If you want more great eBay performance values, check these out:
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes 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.