Buying 80s and 90s car Questions

Hi guys

I don’t know much about cars but personally I like old style cars. (Really don’t like cars
from now days look)

I’m wondering to buy a car that is cheap to fix and good on gas, also reliable. (I live in
Maryland, USA)
Some example that I like the look of it:
[Nissan B12]

[1987 Nissan Sentra XE]

[Ford Laser 1986]

[Toyota KE70]

–The problem is they’re from 80s and 90s, would it be too hard to find the parts for
them if anything goes wrong? And are they expensive to buy and replace?

My favourite car is:
[BMW E30]
–People tell me never touch BMW, they say if I buy that car, it would be really
expensive to fix.
–(Why are they expensive to remain?)

Also: [1985 Toyota Corolla Levin]
–Would this car be expensive to fix because it’s a type of famous racing car?

–Also often could cars from that age would be able to pass the emission test?
–Would it be more expensive to buy insurance for cars that age?
–Anything I need to watch out for when I buy a car from that old?

-From all the car above, which car would you suggest me to buy?

Guys, I just found this

Really appreciate your help

Guys how about a 1990-2000 Jeep Cherokee ?

At the age of these cars, and considering that you’re going to be limited to what’s available on the used car market which will be very limited, only a mechanic with the vehicle in his shop can tell you. 99% of whether it’ll meet your wants is going to be based on the life it lived.

New car buyers get to choose what they want. You cannot. The best you can do is try to find one you like and have a reputable shop check it out… including an emissions test.

I may be wrong but I think some of the cars OP listed were not even sold in the USA.

I think you’re right Volvo, but the same principle applies.

US cars of the 80s were pretty dismal in reliability, unless you bought a big V8 which would be a gas guzzler.

In terms of getting parts, I would limit myself to Toyotas, Nissan and Hondas. Avoid anything European or Korean for those years. As mentioned, a good mechanic is needed to determine the condition of the vehicle.

While you are saving gas and enjoying yourself, have a budget to replace radiator, starter, alternator, exhaust sytem, maybe gas tank, and wear items like brakes and tires.

My brother has a 1987 Honda Accord, which needs $1400 just to get it safe for the road. And air conditioners of theose 80s Hondas were poor quality.

I’m puzzled by your motiovation and rationale; 80s and 90s Japanese car were alll cookie cutter same styling.

The early 80’s cars from Asia were rust-buckets. So if you get one from that era…make sure it’s from the south.

I'm puzzled by your motiovation and rationale; 80s and 90s Japanese car were alll cookie cutter same styling.

There were plenty of different styling vehicles from Japan back then. Styling difference was even MORE diverse back then - then it is today.

Unique looks are the only advantages of '80s - early '90s cars. Everything else - power, handling, safety, reliability, rust prevention, rust content, and often economy - is better after that period. I’d start looking at '96 and newer.

well I like any of the old Cherokees. if they have the 4.0 L inline 6 cyl. I have heard bad things about grand Cherokees tho…

parts for the Cherokee are cheap and available and its fairly simple. if you buy a car of this era you will have things to fix.

This has to be a ruse. Most of those non US spec vehicles are boxy sedans with zero personality. You can add some nice wheels and a fibreglass body kit to any Asian mid 90s sedan and be way ahead of the game. Anything 30 years old is likely to need a whole bunch of required repairs if not immediately then very soon.

Proac suspects a ruse. When I read the post my first thought was here is a 12 year old with a laptop in his mothers basement. But it would not be polite to say so.

As much as i hate to go against your list none of those are very “remarkable” cars in any aspect. I suppose the Laser is the nicest?
I would suggest a Volvo 200 series - unlike what others have said they are very safe, pretty fuel efficient and the red block engines are probably the strongest ever made.
I have an '87 with 250K on it, only ever left me stranded once (lose fuel pump wire) and i get 20-25MPG

Best of luck whatever you decided - good choice on years! stay away from that new stuff haha

1980-1990…This is the lost decade…Manufacturers were scrambling to adapt their 1950’s and 1960’s engine designs so they would meet the new emissions standards…Basicly, if it’s carbureted, forget it…You will find very few of these cars still in existence…Owners enthusiastically traded them in, dealers scrapped them, there was no market for them, the “Cash For Clunkers” program got rid of the few remaining examples…So you are looking at a “Widows & Orphans” group of cars…

Somebody appears to be pulling our leg

1987 Sentra XE is the proof

What on earth is interesting about the style of that vehicle

Years ago I had a 1988 Sentra XE . . . same body style . . . it was the most generic looking and boring Japanese sedan

I seem to recall it was rated at around 70hp. The fuel economy was decent, and it was easy to handle, but that’s about it

I have always lusted after the Nissan ZX of the 80’s and 90’s. I still take a glance if I see one today. They just have a beautiful, classic style that’s almost timeless.

Your post asks about expense several times.

Are you seeking a 15-35 yr old vehicle to both be your daily driver and to save money?

Will you be doing your own repairs or will you be paying a shop to keep the vehicle roadworthy?

The last car listed was sold in the US as the Corolla GT but it is commonly known as the AE86. The car is only notable as it was the first car made popular by the Japanese driver famous for his drifting skills, not for racing.

They are not really too expensive to maintain, but getting one will be difficult as they are still popular with a certain crowd. There were two engine options, the 4AC and the 4AGE. The non GT version actually came with the 4AC but was otherwise the same. The 4AC was carbureted and pretty easy to maintain and less expensive if you can find one. They were subject to rust problems so a good one is hard to find.

If I were looking for an old Sentra, I’d be looking at the B13, not the 12. And I’d get the SE-R. Those were seriously cool and quick cars that had the added advantage of being total sleepers. The SR20DE motor was bulletproof, too.

I don,t know if yo can find one, but I like the old Supra 81 to 86 with the straight 6. Very reliable and parts still available.

I don,t know if yo can find one, but I like the old Supra 81 to 86 with the straight 6. Very reliable and parts still available.

And very susceptible to premature rust. They were very nice cars though.

I drive an '88 Supra. Very sturdy car, no rust. Lived its entire life in Ga and Fla. But, at this age, you really need to pay close attention to the smallest of issues to keep them from becoming big problems. Also, parts are available but they typically are not stocked. Many parts need to be ordered and can take up to a week to be delivered. I have a back-up car to use if a part breaks and I need to wait for it. And, at this age, finding them in salvage yards is next to impossible, now. The price of sticking with these old cars.