Crazy Cheap Cars – Ultimate Bargains
Our crazy cheap cars selection proves that you can have fun on the street or the track without breaking the bank.
Although many people nowadays are more interested in taking out huge loans to show off their latest ride, car enthusiasts are (quite rightly) more likely to figure out how much horsepower they can get for their budget.
While some of you may be looking for a crazy cheap daily driver, others may be looking for the best crazy cheap cars for their next crazy cheap drift project.
Crazy Cheap Cars – Our Top Picks
In this guide, most of the crazy cheap cars will set you back under $6,000, but there’s certainly no compromise regarding performance.
If you’re happy to splash extra cash, there are some additional options, but we’ve ensured none are over $10,000.
Ford Mustang Fourth generation (1994-2004)
The Ford Mustang SN95 is a sports car model produced by Ford Motor Company from 1994 to 2004. It is the fourth generation of the Ford Mustang and was built on the Fox platform.
The SN95 Mustang was available in a coupe and convertible body styles and was offered a variety of engine options, including a 4.6-liter V8 in the GT model.
SN95 Mustangs also featured a refreshed exterior design, with a more aerodynamic shape and updated headlights and taillights. The interior was also updated with new materials and technology.
In its younger years, the SN95 Mustang was well-received by critics and car enthusiasts and is considered a classic model of the Ford Mustang.
Ford produced a LOT of the SN95, which is why they’re pretty cheap, and you’ll have the added benefit of a thriving spares market.
Great for us, since they make for fantastic drift builds, too!
So, whether you’re looking for a daily driver or a drift project, the SN95 makes an ideal crazy cheap car.
Mitsubishi’s Eclipse is a compact sports car produced by Mitsubishi Motors from 1989 to 2011. It was available in a coupe and convertible body styles and was marketed as a sporty, affordable car.
The Eclipse was initially powered by various 4-cylinder engines, but later models also offered a V6 option. The Eclipse was available in several trim levels and featured a variety of standard and optional features, including air conditioning, power windows and mirrors, and a CD player.
Well-regarded for its performance and handling, the Eclipse was particularly popular among younger buyers and enthusiasts. In particular, we love the first and second generation of the Eclipse, since those used to come with an AWD paired with a manual.
The Eclipse is known for its sleek, sporty styling and distinctive angular design.
The Eclipse was discontinued after the 2011 model year, but it remains a famous and iconic model among car enthusiasts thanks to its inclusion in the Fast & Furious series.
Our next crazy cheap cars choice is Mitsubishi produced the Mitsubishi 3000GT sports car from 1990 to 2000.
Available in both coupe and convertible body styles, the 3000GT was sold under various names, including the Mitsubishi GTO and Dodge Stealth.
Various engines, including a 3.0-liter V6 and a twin-turbocharged version of that engine, powered the 3000GT. It featured all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, and active aerodynamics, which helped to improve its handling and stability.
The 3000GT’s production ended in 2000, and it was not replaced by a direct successor, which helps make it a crazy cheap car that you can get your hands on for under $6,000.
Next in our crazy cheap cars list is the Mitsubishi Lancer – a compact car that has been in production since 1973.
It has been sold under various nameplates worldwide, including the Mitsubishi Colt and Mitsubishi Mirage.
The Lancer has been offered in various body styles, including sedan, wagon, and hatchback.
Various engines, including four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines, have been the heart of the Lancer, known for its reliability and value for money.
In recent years, the Lancer has been offered a range of features such as all-wheel drive, turbocharged engines, and advanced safety features.
The Lancer Evolution, also known as the Evo, was a high-performance version of the Lancer that was produced from 1992 to 2016.
It featured a turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, and advanced suspension and braking systems, and was popular among enthusiasts for its rally-inspired performance. You can read more about the Evo 8 here at Drifted.
Although most of the Evo’s won’t fall under the crazy cheap cars bracket, with luck, you’ll be able to find a perfect Lancer that you can modify later on.
Preferably, go for a Ralliart variant if you can, since this model features AWD.
BMW 325i / 330i / 328i / 335i (E46)
The BMW E46 is the fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series, produced from 1998 to 2006.
It was available in various body styles, including sedan, wagon, coupe, and convertible.
The E46 was notable for its sporty handling and performance, high-quality interior, and advanced features.
The E46 was powered by a range of engines, including inline-four and inline-six engines, and it was available with a manual or automatic transmission.
An upgraded, high-performance M3 version was powered by a 3.2-liter inline-six engine that produced up to 343 horsepower. It also featured a sport-tuned suspension, larger brakes, and unique styling.
The E46 also featured a range of advanced technology and safety features, such as stability control, traction control, and various airbags. It also had advanced options like automatic climate control, a premium sound system, and a navigation system.
It’s worth noting that the E46 was also known for its reliability, although some specific models and engines have had certain issues.
If you’re in the market for one of the crazy cheap cars that are going to make the perfect drifting platform, there are limited examples out there that can match the 3-series for the price.
The Infiniti G35 is a luxury sports sedan produced by Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, from 2002 to 2008. It was available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations.
The G35 was powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produced up to 306 horsepower and was available with a manual or automatic transmission.
A coupe version was also offered, called G35 Coupe, which was sold from 2003 to 2007. It shared most of its features and engine options with the sedan version, but it had more aggressive styling, and it was available with a 6-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive.
In 2008, the G35 was replaced by the Infiniti G37, which featured a larger 3.7-liter V6 engine and a more luxurious interior.
Known as the cheaper alternative to the Nissan 350Z, and based on the same platform, it’s easy to see why so many drifting fans have made the G35 their top pick when it comes to crazy cheap cars.
The Lexus LS400 is a full-size luxury car produced by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, from 1989 to 2000.
The first generation of the LS400 was introduced in 1989 as the flagship model of the Lexus brand. It was designed to compete with other high-end luxury cars, such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series.
LS400s are powered by a 4.0-liter V8 1uz-fe engine that produces 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It was paired with a four-speed automatic transmission and was available with rear-wheel drive. It featured a smooth and refined ride, and it was known for its quiet cabin and advanced technology.
The LS400 was also known for its high level of standard equipment, including leather seats, a premium sound system, and automatic climate control. It also had advanced options like a navigation system, a sunroof, and a power-adjustable steering wheel.
For many, the Lexus LS400 was considered one of the best luxury cars of its time, thanks to its build quality, smooth ride, and advanced technology. The LS430 succeeded the LS400 in 2001.
Thankfully, the LS400 remains an absolute steal for those of you looking for a crazy cheap car that ticks all of the baller/VIP/comfort boxes.
Lexus GS 300 / GS 350
The Lexus GS is a mid-size luxury car in production since 1991. The GS 300 and GS 350 are two versions of the vehicle that were produced in different model years.
The Lexus GS 300 was produced from 1991 to 2005. It was powered by a 3.0-liter inline-six engine that produced up to 220 horsepower.
It was available with rear-wheel drive. The Lexus GS 350 was produced from 2006 to 2011, and it was powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produced up to 306 horsepower. The GS 350 also had an RWD layout - big YAY!
They were known for their build quality, comfortable ride, and advanced technology, but more importantly, they are good drift builds too!
Although it’s newer than the LS400, its popularity means that it it’s a much more affordable option – perfect for our crazy cheap cars selection.
Both models have been succeeded by later versions of the Lexus GS, which are still in production today.
The Lexus SC430 is a luxury convertible sports car produced by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, from 2001 to 2010.
During its production, the SC430 was the only convertible model in the Lexus lineup.
The SC430 was powered by a 4.3-liter V8 engine that produced up to 288 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, and it was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
One of the most notable features of the SC430 is its power retractable hardtop, which could be opened or closed in about 25 seconds, providing pleasurable open-air motoring or the comfort of a coupe, depending on the weather and the driver’s preference.
The SC430 was criticized for its high price and lack of sportiness compared to other luxury convertibles.
But that didn’t stop Daigo Saito from transforming it into one of the most popular cars ever seen in Formula Drift.
The SC430 was discontinued in 2010, and it wasn’t replaced by a direct successor. It can be easily sourced under the $6,000 region.
The Dodge Challenger is a muscle car in production since 1970. It was first introduced as a two-door coupe and designed to compete with other muscle cars such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.
The first generation of the Challenger was produced from 1970 to 1974, but it was later discontinued. It was reintroduced in 2008 as a two-door coupe and continues to be made today.
The current generation of the Challenger is available in several trim levels, including the SXT, GT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, and SRT Hellcat.
It is powered by various engines, including a 3.6-liter V6, a 5.7-liter V8, a 6.4-liter V8, and a supercharged 6.2-liter V8.
The Challenger has rear-wheel drive and features a comfortable and spacious interior, advanced technology, and high-performance options.
The Challenger is known for its classic muscle car styling, its powerful engines, and its comfortable and spacious interior.
The Challenger is considered a modern muscle car and is popular among enthusiasts for its performance and retro styling.
With some digging, you can find a 3.6L variant for $8000, it might not be the cheapest, but this is going to be one of the best crazy cheap cars when it comes to putting a smile on your face!
The Dodge Charger is a full-size sedan that has been in production since 1966. It was first introduced as a two-door muscle car and it was designed to compete with other muscle cars such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.
The first generation of the Charger was produced from 1966 to 1978, but it was later discontinued. It was reintroduced in 2005 as a four-door sedan and continues to be produced today.
The current generation of the Charger is available in several different trim levels, including the SXT, GT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, and SRT Hellcat. It is powered by a range of engines, including a 3.6-liter V6, a 5.7-liter V8, a 6.4-liter V8, and a supercharged 6.2-liter V8.
The Charger is available with rear-wheel drive and it features a comfortable and spacious interior, advanced technology, and high-performance options, just like the Challenger, but it is a bit heavier.
The Nissan 350Z is a sports car produced by the Japanese automaker Nissan from 2002 to 2009. It is the fifth generation of the Nissan Z-car line, which began with the Datsun 240Z in 1970.
The 350Z was available in coupe and roadster body styles and was powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine. The car received positive reviews for its performance, and handling and was popular among enthusiasts.
Production of the 350Z ended in 2009, and it was replaced by the 370Z in the Nissan lineup, which is another great car, but unfortunately, out of our budget.
As far as crazy cheap cars that are also capable of performing when it comes to going sideways at the track go, the 350Z may be the perfect combination.
The Nissan 240SX is a sports car produced by the Japanese automaker Nissan from 1989 to 1998. It was available as a coupe or hatchback and was powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.
Initially offered with a naturally aspirated engine, JDM models were also available with a turbocharged engine.
The 240SX was well-regarded for its handling and balance and was popular among enthusiasts, particularly those interested in drifting.
The 240SX was also produced as a convertible in limited numbers and was later replaced by the 200SX (Silvia) in Japan and the Sentra SE-R in North America.
It may be hard to source the 240SX as a crazy cheap car, but if you’re willing to do some work, they can sometimes be picked up under the $10k budget.
Toyota Corolla 1986 / 1988
The 1986 Toyota Corolla is a compact car that was part of the fourth generation of the Corolla lineup. It was available as a sedan, wagon, and hatchback. A unique thing about the 1986 Corolla is that it was available in a performance-oriented version called the Corolla GT-S.
This model featured a twin-cam 1.6-liter 4A-GE engine that produced around 130 horsepower and came with a 5-speed manual transmission. This engine was known for its high-revving and sporty characteristics, making it a popular choice for enthusiasts and tuners.
This model was also commonly called the AE86, and it was known for its drifting capabilities and was popular for motorsport events such as rallies and drifting.
The 1988 Toyota Corolla is a compact car that was part of the fifth generation of the Corolla lineup. It was available as a sedan, wagon, and hatchback.
Corolla’s are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and come with a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic transmission. It was known for its fuel efficiency, reliability, and low maintenance costs.
The Toyota Celica is a sports car produced by the Japanese automaker Toyota from 1970 to 2006. It was available as a coupe, liftback, and convertible and was known for its sleek, sporty design and affordable price.
In the drift world, the Toyota Celica is mainly known for its models of the 90s and early 2000s, specifically the ST165, ST185, and ST205 models, which were all equipped with powerful engines and rear-wheel drive.
These models were praised for their balance and handling, which made them well-suited for drifting.
The Toyota Celica was also popular among professional drifters, many of whom competed in the sport using Celica models.
One notable example is the professional drift driver Ken Nomura, who competed in the D1 Grand Prix series using a Toyota Celica GT-Four.
Another example is the professional drift driver Samuel Hubinette, who competed in the Formula D series using a Toyota Celica.
In addition, many amateur drift drivers also used Celica models in grassroots drift events and competitions, making it a popular choice among the drift community.
Even though the Celica production was discontinued, the car still has a solid following and is still used in drifting events and competitions worldwide.
Chevrolet Camaro (Third-gen)
The Chevrolet Camaro is a sports car produced by the American automaker Chevrolet from 1967 to 2002 and then again from 2010 to the present day. It was known for its aggressive styling, powerful engines, and affordable price.
In the drift world, the Camaro is not as commonly used as some other models, but professional and amateur drifters have used it.
While the Camaro is generally considered a muscle car and not specifically designed for drifting, the rear-wheel drive platform, powerful engines, and affordable price make it a popular choice for drift enthusiasts looking for a more affordable option to drift with.
I couldn’t find any notable instances of a Camaro being used in professional drift motorsports, but several examples of Camaros are used in grassroots drift events and competitions.
Some Camaro enthusiasts have also modified their Camaros with drift-specific modifications such as wider tires, adjustable suspension, and more powerful engines to make them more competitive in drifting.
It’s worth noting that because of its weight, the Camaro is not the most ideal car for drifting, but with the correct modifications and skill, it can be used to drift.
Chevrolet Corvette C4
The Chevrolet Corvette C4 is a sports car produced by Chevrolet from 1984 to 1996. It is the fourth generation of the Chevrolet Corvette sports car and was the first complete redesign of the Corvette since 1963.
One of the key features of the C4 Corvette was its low cost, as it was less expensive to produce than its predecessor.
In terms of its role in the drift world, the C4 Corvette was not as popular as some other sports cars for drifting. However, it has been used in drift competitions by some drivers. One example is the driver Tony Angelo, who used a C4 Corvette in the Formula D Drift series.
The C4 Corvette is more of a classic car now, it’s not been produced since 1996, and it’s not usually the first choice for drift competitions, as more modern and specific drift cars are used.
Porsche 924 / 944
The Porsche 924 and 944 are sports cars produced by Porsche from 1976 to 1991. The 924 was Porsche’s first front-engined, water-cooled car and was also the first car to be designated with the “924” model number.
The 944 evolved from the 924, featuring a more powerful engine and updated styling. Both cars were known for their low cost of ownership and good handling characteristics. The Porsche 924 and 944 were not commonly used in drift competitions. However, the mid-engine layout is extremely appealing.
The 924 and 944 may have good handling characteristics. Still, they don’t have the same power and modification options as other more traditional drift cars, so professional drifters do not usually choose them.
Although the 944 can be found with a cheap price tag, it may be a little more expensive than most of this list regarding maintenance/running costs.
Still, not many Porsches fall under the crazy cheap cars bracket!
Cadillac CTS (2002-2007)
The Cadillac CTS (2002-2007) is a luxury sport sedan produced by Cadillac during that period. It was designed to compete with European luxury sport sedans like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The CTS was known for its sharp handling and powerful V6 engine options.
The Cadillac CTS (2002-2007) is not a common car used in drift competitions, but its rear-wheel drive layout and powerful V6 engine could make it a good platform for drifting; in fact, some people have made sick builds out of the car.
The Chrysler Crossfire is a low-cost sports car produced by Chrysler between 2004 and 2008.
It was based on the Mercedes-Benz R170 platform and was built in Germany. It also shares a lot of parts from the Mercedes, so it’s a pretty cool car - looks aside!
The Crossfire is a rear-wheel drive car, which makes it suitable for drifting. Its powerful 3.2L V6 engine can produce 215 horsepower, giving it good performance for drifting.
Rear-wheel drive, a powerful engine, and a relatively low cost make it a good option for those looking to get into drifting on a budget.
However, it’s important to note that the car is relatively heavy (3,564 lb), affecting its handling and balance when sideways.
Mercedes-Benz CLK (W208 / W209)
The Mercedes-Benz CLK (W208/W209) is a luxury coupe produced by Mercedes-Benz between 1997 and 2010. It was based on the W202 C-Class platform and was available with rear and four-wheel drive.
The rear-wheel drive versions of the CLK are more suitable for drifting, as they provide better control and power delivery to the rear wheels. The CLK was available with various engines, ranging from a 2.0L 4-cylinder to a 5.5L V8, providing a good amount of power for drifting.
Its weight (around 3,500 lb) and balance make it suitable for drifting.
Still, it’s important to note that it’s a luxury car, and it’s not as common as some sporty models, making it harder to find the right parts and modifications to make it a drift-specific vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz SLK 230/320 (R170)
The Mercedes-Benz SLK 230/320 (R170) is a compact roadster produced by Mercedes-Benz between 1996 and 2004. The car was known for its low cost and sporty design, making it a popular choice among enthusiasts.
The Pontiac Firebird is a sports car that was produced by the Pontiac division of General Motors between 1967 and 2002. It was known for its bold design and powerful engines.
As for its role in the drift world, the Pontiac Firebird, like other muscle cars of its era, is not as popular as modern sports cars and Japanese imports in drift competitions. However, the Firebird’s rear-wheel drive layout and powerful engines make it well-suited for the sport.
Additionally, the car’s lightweight body and responsive handling make it easy to control, which is essential when drifting.
The Pontiac Firebird, particularly the Trans-Am models, is relatively cheap and can be an excellent option for those looking to get into drifting on a budget.
Keep in mind that it’s not going to be as popular as other drift cars and it’s not going to be as competitive as others, but the Firebird can still be a fun and unique car to drift with.
The Subaru Impreza is a compact car produced by the Japanese automaker Subaru since 1992. It’s known for its all-wheel drive layout, reliability, and practicality.
In terms of its role in the drift world, the Subaru Impreza, particularly the WRX models, has become a popular choice among drift enthusiasts due to its all-wheel drive layout, allowing for better control and stability while drifting.
Additionally, the WRX models come with powerful turbocharged engines, making them well-suited for the sport.
Due to its all-wheel drive, the Impreza WRX has a unique handling characteristic when drifting; it allows the car to rotate more easily and controllably.
Drifting with an all-wheel drive car, like the Impreza WRX, is different than drifting with a rear-wheel drive car, and it may take some time and practice to master the technique.
If drifting is the aim, opting for WRX that’s already had a rear-wheel-drive conversion is ideal.
Mazda RX-7 (First Generation)
The first-generation Mazda RX-7, the SA, and FB, was produced between 1978 and 1985. It’s a sports car known for its lightweight, compact design and a rotary engine.
Regarding its role in the drift world, the first-gen RX-7 is considered a classic drift car due to its rear-wheel drive layout, responsive handling, and lightweight body.
The car’s rotary engine provides plenty of power and torque, making it well-suited for the sport. Additionally, the car’s compact size and low weight make it easy to control, which is essential when drifting.
The first-gen RX-7 can be an excellent option for those looking to get into drifting on a budget. They’re relatively cheap, and with some modifications, such as suspension upgrades, a limited-slip differential, and more grippy tires, an RX-7 can be transformed into a formidable drift car.
Finding a first-gen RX-7 in good condition might be challenging and require some maintenance or even a complete restoration.
The RX-7 rotary engine is considered a high-maintenance engine, and you may require additional maintenance and cost for it, but it will be worth it for the unique driving experience.
While some may see these points as negatives, they’re the main reason the RX7s can make our crazy cheap cars list. While you might be able to pick one up for a bargain, we expect the costs to be higher than most options on our list long-term.
So, there we have it – we hope you’ve enjoyed our list of crazy cheap cars! We hope we’ve provided something to suit everyone’s needs in this guide, and we wish you luck with your future purchase.