Journal: These Are The Best Classic Cars For Students

These Are The Best Classic Cars For Students

By Michael Banovsky
August 31, 2016
60 Comments

Going away to school? Can’t bear to drive something “modern”? Well, the good news is that there’s more than 100 years of automotive history to rely upon when deciding on an ideal vehicle. Driving a classic car isn’t for everyone, but it’s an incredibly rewarding experience for those of us who choose to. Why not drive tastefully to college?

Of course, here we’re using the nicest photos that we can find of these cars, but prepare to dedicate some of your Netflix-and-chill time to regular maintenance and the occasional roadside breakdown. Safety standards, traction control, airbags, and the like were also not a consideration for classics, so obviously common sense is needed to assess if an older vehicle is right for whatever situation you’re in.

I recommend you check out the fantastic comments and advice when we asked readers to share which vehicle(s) they thought would be well-suited to a student lifestyle.

Fiat 124 Sport Spider / Pininfarina Spider

via Patrick Frawley

The 124 Sport Spider is a great pick for a few reasons—besides being both Italian and a convertible, it was on sale for nearly 20 years, a fact that helps for finding vehicles, parts, and the correct advice to keep it running. There were a number of 4-cylinder engines from mild to wild; 1438-cc is where the car began, with a 2-litre supercharged ‘Volumex’ as the top-of-the range sendoff later in production.

Raced and rallied in period, there’s plenty of inspiration out there for how to make yours unique, or even to bring it back to stock if the example you find needs some TLC.

Citroën 2CV

The 2CV is a fantastic choice if you live in a region of the world where they’re relatively plentiful, namely Europe. Outside Europe, the surviving cars tend to be kept alive as more of a hobby and less of a means of regular transportation. In Europe, there are many specialists, replacement parts suppliers, and garages that have experience working on the car. In

After owning a 1985 Charleston, I can say: put nice tires (O.E. Michelins if possible) on it, make sure the mechanicals are good, buy some grease to keep the chassis happy, and get driving…

Mazda RX-7 (first generation)

via Patrick Frawley

In seven years, Mazda made more than 450,000 of its rotary engine-powered sports coupé, and thankfully more than a fair number have survived. Prized for their longevity and overall performance when properly maintained, the car has been used in road racing, rallying, drag racing…and has been homologated for Group B.

When running in good condition, it’ll give the same speed as a classic Italian sports car, albeit delivered in a smooth, responsive way—just mind the 7,000 rpm ‘buzzer’ to warn you of over-revving. (Potentially frequent rebuilds are mitigated somewhat by the small size and easy-to-work on nature of the engine itself.)

Tinkerers may delight in the car’s need for attention, and those who do are rewarded with a slice of late-’70s Japanese ingenuity.

Porsche 924

via Jorris van den Berg

Far more rare than the Mazda RX-7 above, the 924 benefits from being simple in construction and components; the entry-level, front-engine, rear-drive car was still a Porsche, albeit built to a price. Both Volkswagen and Porsche had intended to release different versions of the car, a deal VW reneged on in favor of the Scirocco.

There were turbocharged and racing models developed by Porsche through the car’s model run, and years spent being used in amateur racing have earned the car a pretty strong amount of aftermarket support. It’s one of the more “posh” options here, but finding a good example for little money is still possible.

Volkswagen Scirocco

via Patrick Frawley

After ditching Porsche at the dining room table, Volkswagen gave itself a few more years to figure out what to do with its plans for a personal coupe, and settled on a very rational course: develop a front-drive coupe that will share a powertrain with an upcoming hatchback (Golf), and introduce it first to ensure that the bugs are worked out.

It worked, the Scirocco was a big hit, and did benefit the Golf’s launch. Of the vehicles here, it’s one of the slowest, but makes up for it with its crisp Giorgetto Giugiaro-penned lines and honest mechanicals. The largest engine offered in the first series? 1.7-litres. From 1981-1992, the car was revised—this is the version that will most likely fit both a student’s budget and requirements.

That said, please don’t let us catch the word “stance” in your browser history.

Mazda Miata

Again, there’s little to be added here where others haven’t yet. We once ran the headline, “The iconic Mazda Miata singlehandedly revived the affordable roadster,” and beyond some issues with rust, there is little reason to doubt the car’s capabilities.

Shockingly reliable, capable, upgradable, and fun-to-drive, it’d be silly to avoid considering the MX-5 as a great entry-level sports car—driving one can even lead to a career change.

1988 Jaguar XJ-S V12

via Tom Hale

“I had a 1988 Jaguar XJ-S V12 coupe as my first car in high school. Once I got the mechanicals sorted it was a very reliable car, and I still have it 80k miles of ownership later. It’s like a sibling!” said Tom Hale, and it sounds like the perfect example of the sort of qualified endorsement that’s needed.

“Once I got the mechanicals sorted…” is something to be aware of as well—there are V8 conversions, dodgy repairs, and less-than-pristine examples sprinkled throughout online listings, so take your time to get the right car for your situation. Some Chevrolet V8 conversions are said to make the car run exceptionally better once it’s sorted, but it’s what we’d consider a ‘last resort’ sort of thing.

Why an XJ-S? You drive a lot. It’s a grand tourer that ticks another important box: it’d been made for 20 years, from 1976 until the mid-’90s. In that time, much changed through the range: initial versions were V12s and, rarely, with a manual transmission, hitting zero-to-60 mph off the showroom floor in less than 8 seconds, with a favorable-for-the-Cannonball Run 140-mph-plus top speed. A six-cylinder became available from 1983, and the aftermarket began to innovate where Jaguar didn’t: convertibles, wagons, and very quick TWR-engineered versions were also available.

1984 Buick Electra

via Sam Lazarakos

While I can’t vouch for Sam’s points, or the car itself, the 1977-84 Buick Electra does cut a Disco Slim profile in coupe form, and as a wagon can’t be faulted for its practical approach. It’s the last time the Electra was rear-drive, so figure your choice of Buick and Oldsmobile V6 and V8 engines (yes, even that terrible diesel), and the knowledge that you’re probably never more than a 10-minute drive from someone who can help you fix it.

Sam says it best; the car was a, “…gas guzzler so I couldn’t get in any trouble, slow, and built like a tank”. Nursing older American iron back to health is a great way to spend your high school or college years, no?

BMW 3-Series (E30)

via Jorge Toribio

What’s there to say about BMW’s “E30” 3-Series specifically and generally that could add to its appeal? Petrolicious has featured a non-M3 in one of our films, a 1991 318IS. Delia Wolfe’s example is stunning, and speaks to the possibilities for finding the exact BMW to fit your needs. Like the other vehicles here, it was built for a pretty long period of time (10 years) and in great numbers (2.3 million)—keeping it running on a shoestring budget is perhaps not ideal but definitely doable.

Mercedes-Benz W115 220d

via Tim Coorevits

Want to buy your way into a Paul Bracq-designed Mercedes-Benz? Point your web browser toward the W114-W115 siblings, the latter with six cylinders, the former, confusingly, with four. It was mentioned by commenter Tim Coorevits as being, “Cheap, strong, and safely slow,” and he’s not wrong. Actually, of the vehicles here—provided you’re capable of some basic repairs—this car is perhaps the most durable.

Perfect for The Hangover-aping road trips, or Uber duty—the highest-mileage Mercedes-Benz is a W115 with 4.6 million kilometers (~2,858,000 miles).

Alfa Romeo 75/Milano

via Witawas Srisaan

Recommended by Witawas Srisaan, the 75/Milano was recently written about buy friend-of-Petrolicious Christer Lundem, who has extensive experience with these vehicles. As he writes, “Dorian and I can’t fathom why these cars are not more popular. It may look like a brick, but drives like a ballerina. This is a mountain-carving brick that can be bought for pennies.”

A glowing endorsement, yes, but one that’s rightfully deserved. “My advice? Go buy one before more people realize what great cars these 75s are. Its lineage is from motorsport, and you can bring the family along for the ride,” Lundem says.

A rear-wheel-drive Volvo (240, 740, 940, etc.)

Don’t take it from us, there has got to be a small fleet of them running around every campus in the Western world. They’ve always been there, haven’t they? Tough, durable, and sporting Lego-like interchangeable parts, these cars are finally getting their due as a long-lived alternative to a newer vehicle.

If you had to bet on something on this list surviving a global catastrophe, run toward the closest Volvo. For nearly 20 years, the Swedes pumped out 240 after 240. From 1975 until 1998, Volvo had a range of rear-drive vehicles differing in engines, body styles, export version, and trim level…but that are still somewhat related, anchored around the updated “red block” B-Series 4-cylinder engines.

Tune one for performance or grocery duty, it matters not: when running well, they’re durable and pretty inexpensive to keep in good order—regular maintenance is your friend, as are owner’s forums that can help steer newbies away from less desirable variants.

Image Sources: Afshin Behnia, Franck Couvreur, Jeremy Heslup,
Rémi Dargegen, Tomislav Mišić,  Christer Lundem, pinimg.com,
vintageandprestige.wallgodev.co.uk autocar.co.uk,
autoevolution.comwheelsage.org

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Jessica z
Jessica z
9 months ago

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Gary Stokley
Gary Stokley
2 years ago

These are excellent cars for students, although I think that not everyone can afford it. This is very motivating, but for now, I’m busy with more pressing issues related to my studies. I’m currently preparing a letter of recommendation for a scholarship. I’m not sure that I can do this alone, so I decided to use the letters of recommendation writing service. After all, quality preparation can affect getting a positive response.

VladMad
VladMad
4 years ago

Great photos! My congratulations. Recently, my colleague from https://www.itsguru.com/cutting-edge-trends-of-ux-design/ got a great car !

Sean Michael
Sean Michael
5 years ago

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Nick Maher
Nick Maher
6 years ago

I had a Volvo 340 during my student years. It subscribed nicely to the ‘driving a slow car fast’ argument, rear drive, engine up front but gearbox in the back, heavy as hell but could still do donuts.
I secretely loved that car.

Jean Paul
Jean Paul
6 years ago

You forgot the MK1 and MK2 VW Golf GTi…

Brett Melancon
Brett Melancon
6 years ago

I may not be a student anymore (well I am a student of life) but I agree with the first car on the list, the FIAT Spider. These cars are much more durable than people think and the mechanics are not overly complicated. Parts are easy sourced from companies like AutoRicambi.us out of Texas.

Recently, Auto Ricambi pulled a neglected Spider out a field in Texas and replaced parts from off the shelf inventory and then proceeded to drive the car over 7,000 miles in about two weeks for the Lemons Rally. The car performed amazing and proved what fans have known for some time, that the FIAT Spider is a great car. Check it out at #AutoRicambi #gentlemenracers #teamleoautoricambi

Brett67
Brett67
6 years ago
Reply to  Brett Melancon

Oh, I meant to point out that this Spider had not been on the road since 1994!

flame
flame
7 years ago

BMW E36 Compact 323ti !
Thats the car u want as a student 😉

Robbe-
Robbe-
7 years ago

I’m a mechanical engineering student and I drive a ’96 Miata.
Those are indeed good cars for students, BUT they are not as cheap as you might think. You have to be willing to get your hands dirty, to keep things affordable.

And for insurance, it’s officially my father’s car, and I’m mentioned as ‘occasional driver’, which also benefits me. In Belgium that’s possible, I don’t know about other countries. That’s another method on how I keep it from sucking my bank account dry.

But it’s undeniably a fun car that makes it all worth it. Also, it doesn’t consume that much, I recently averaged around 30 mpg. I’m sure I can even do better, by accelerating less quickly.

Nicholas Komaludin
Nicholas Komaludin
7 years ago

I bought a 60k km 91′ 318i E30 last year, with the intention to have less problem to daily commute it to school. Nonetheless it still have troubles along the way (leaking power steering, dead fuel pump, worn-out rubbers, stuck window, and few more i dont remember). But it becomes the topic i can bring out when chatting with friends.
The car also becomes something like my identity (“you know, that guy with the old bmw”). I had a few occasion with friends riding my car together and i like it when they are interested with the car’s odd features, like how you pull a button to turn on the headlights.
So yeah, i don’t regret picking an older car as a school/college commute. In fact i am glad i picked one, despite how quite hard it is to find some parts. Sorry for the long comment.

Chris Turner
Chris Turner
7 years ago

Alfa Romeo 155 would be the ultimate student car right now… when I was a student I had a Peugeot 205 GTi… but try find one of those now…. 155 is uber cool… if you like driving…. otherwise get yourself a BMW like everyone else who ‘thinks ‘ they are cool…

Simon
Simon
7 years ago

OG Saab 900 of one of the older V4 cars, great college cars! It is what I drove!

Enrico Brancher
Enrico Brancher
7 years ago

Where’s the mini?

Leroy Brown
Leroy Brown
7 years ago

Glad to see some love for the 75. I picked one myself because I’m one of the few that have started to realize how cool and (still) under the radar they are. I picked the Twin Spark because it is absurdly cheap these days and is the better balanced all-around car. The engine also dates back to the 60’s or earlier and has a racing heritage (and a wonderful sound). And boy, does it drive!!

Jason G
Jason G
7 years ago

Had a Milano Verde in college, exactly like the one pictured. It never let me down, but it did confuse a lot of local mechanics with inboard brakes, etc. such an amazing car to drive and hear

Benjamin Bouton
Benjamin Bouton
7 years ago

I personally got a 98 Mazda MX-3 with the 1.6L (not the V6) 🙂

Jack
Jack
7 years ago

Here in the UK the list would be as follows, Golf mk2 gti, Peugeot 106 rallye, Renault Clio 172 (I think you can see a trend here) Morris Minor, Triumph Dolomite Sprint. Beetle, MX5, e36 (excluding m3 and 330 due to insurance). None of this 7-10k bollocks a student won’t pay that for a car when they have festivals to go to. I’d say most students would spend 3-5k for something reliable and fun. I’m in a group of young retro owners, none own a v12 jag. wonder why.

Jack
Jack
7 years ago

This list definitly doesn’t work here in the UK for the most part. Insurance alone would shoot these dreams down for a student who’s only had license a year or two.

Nathan Van Egmond
Nathan Van Egmond
7 years ago

I feel a Saab 900 has to be on the list! My first car was a 1987 Saab 900 Turbo SPG, was my dream car as a teenager. Plenty of space in the trunk and fun on the twists! Plus, plenty of opportunity to learn about mechanics and troubleshooting… I still have mine, and I’ve owned about 9 other 900’s…I guess its developped into an obsession 🙂

David Palacios
David Palacios
7 years ago

After reading this article I got my dad to get me an ’81 Scirocco as my first car. Guigario designed cars are my favorite so getting one was a real treat. I’m 17 and I plan on keeping the car forever 🙂

Christopher Cook
Christopher Cook
7 years ago

Stay with a Japanese car, but it may also depend on which country you live in.

Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt
7 years ago

Where’s the 850R? Either a wagon or sedan.
Alfa? The student probably has a loan, hoow could he afford to keep that or the Jag running.
A JAG, same thing
DUMB DUMB
Another thoughtlESS list!

Jasiek Uberna
Jasiek Uberna
7 years ago

What about Mercedes-Benz W124? They’re comfortable, cheap to run, extremely reliable and the examples before face lifting don’t even rust that much. I recently bought one and fell for it completely

Nathan Van Egmond
Nathan Van Egmond
7 years ago
Reply to  Jasiek Uberna

Agreed for all those reasons, I picked a super high mileage w124 diesel recently and have fallen for its simplicity and elegance.

Wes Flack
Wes Flack
7 years ago

My college years included a 924, a Mk1 Scirocco S (so much prettier than the Mk2), and a 240Z. Though not classics back when I was an undergrad, they were all great cars, at least until I discovered E30s, which slay. E30 is still undervalued, and the best of the ultimate driving machines.

DJDC
DJDC
7 years ago

“Why not drive tastefully to college?”

A more Pretencilicious utterance has never been said.

PSL3vy
PSL3vy
7 years ago

I was surprised by the omission of the Alfa GTV-6. I’m hoping to get one in the next few years.

Thijmen Kuik
Thijmen Kuik
7 years ago

VW bug? I mean if you’re going to put the 2cv on here put the bug here as well. They’re about the same price and really reliable

odequesne
odequesne
7 years ago

I just bought a classic mini rover 1.3 liter, was it a mistake? I drove it home from the dealership (5hours on magnificent french roads) and im absolutely in love (even if the floor panel is eaten by rust and that ill have to change it in a very few weeks)

geelongvic
geelongvic
7 years ago

Michael, I am already on record with what I think about your selection, and believe that here in the salt belt that newer used Japanese cars are optimal choices for the student.

If a sport car is still desired, consider a MR2 for your list.

A newer RX8 or even a Porsche Boxster should be considered. Boxsters are galvanized, and if you plan an immediate expense of about $2,000.00 for a new clutch, LN intermediate shaft bearing, and main crankshaft seal to the purchase price, then you will have a great headache free sports car for the long haul for far less than the price of a new Civic and in the range of a reasonable used Civic.

The Boxster and Boxster S are the 914’s of the current era. Cheap to buy, repairable , reasonably reliable if the IMS issues are attended to , and thrilling to drive.

Pedro Macedo
Pedro Macedo
7 years ago

Glad to see the E30 on the list, it’s a great choice.

Dirt cheap to buy if you get a 316/316i/318i, which aren’t slow at all, even by today’s standards (my 316i completely smokes my company car, a brand-new Peugeot 208 1.6 HDi with 75hp).
Reliable and affordable to maintain, with readily available parts thanks to the E30’s cult following.
Definitely practical, with a spacious interior and large trunk.
Really fun to drive.
The aesthetics may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve yet to hear someone call it “ugly”. Simple, clean lines with a few subtle curves that make all the difference. Keep it stock (no stancing or throwing fart can exhausts, spoilers, bumpers, etc. at it) and clean, and you got a classy car that oozes attitude even by standing still at your school/university parking lot.

And as an added bonus, most girls love cars with round headlights.

Taras Briazgunov
Taras Briazgunov
7 years ago

1. Why Scirocco and not Corrado?
2. In some countries Fiat 124 Spider is not that expensive in maintainance. Especially in Eastern Europe, because some spare parts from Lada fit, Lada is basically a Fiat 124 Sedan.

Kirk Robinson
Kirk Robinson
7 years ago

Am student. Own Fiat Spider. Can confirm, is good.

Rust is a serious problem, save until you can get one that is rust free (or as close as you can find). Just like any car, in the long run it will be cheaper.

All of the bad reliability claims are true, but in the four years of owning my car, every single unexpected issue I have had has been a ground wire or fuse that had a corroded connection, and every single time I have been able to fix it with a screwdriver or a 10mm and some sandpaper. If you have it towed to a shop every time a bit of rust forms on a ground connector, (which admittedly does happen somewhat regularly) you will run up some stupidly large bills very quickly and be very very unhappy, which is where the bad reputation comes from. But why on earth would you do that?

Otherwise, in terms of major mechanical components, they are actually pretty reliable. The engine and trans are pretty bulletproof, cooling problems aren’t that common, and if something does go wrong, parts are cheap and forums will help you fix it yourself. Okay, sure, the suspension bushings start to deteriorate, shocks and wheel bearings will go at some point, replacing the fuel pump and distributor isn’t a bad idea, but all that could be said for any 30+ year old car. My spider hasn’t seen a mechanic since right after I first bought it four years ago. Plus, cheaper insurance, decent gas milage, and no depreciation means that it really is financially possible for a student to own one.

Long story short, the notion that Fiats are prohibitively unreliable and expensive for a students to own is a MYTH – but only if you can find and afford one without rust.

geelongvic
geelongvic
7 years ago
Reply to  Kirk Robinson

Understand that I love Italian cars and have always felt that everyone should own and drive an Italian car at least once in their lives because of their driving joy. However in the SALT BELT of the US ( the midwest and the northeast), I have personally seen, years ago, a college girlfriend’s 124 Spider dissolve away into rust dust within two years. I did the mechanical work on her car which was relatively easy and enjoyable, but the rust issues made that car rapidly terminal. So sad an outcome to a very enjoyable car.

Personally, nothing was more enjoyable than my Alfetta and then Alfa GTV6, the sound of that V6 engine was intoxicating, but the salt literally dissolved both cars faster (terminal in less than two years) than the rust issues with the spider. There is nothing more evil than the rapidity of unrelenting, mortal salt damage on our beloved older Italian cars if driven during the winter. Yes, mechanically they can easily be fixed, but rust is another matter, again VERY, VERY EVIL.

Attempting to do body and undercarriage repairs on an Italian car, or for that matter any car, mortally wounded by rust will drain empty a student’s bank accounts in no time. I unsuccessfully attempted that folly, and eventually was forced to give up despite how much I loved those cars.

So even if you find one without rust, realistically in the salt belt, that Italian car cannot be a daily driver during the winter. A used Civic, Mazda, or Corolla may not have as much “soul” but are better choices
for a student, especially one who is mechanically inept.

Heriyat Sagdiyev
Heriyat Sagdiyev
7 years ago

Buick Electra: So you want to be the biggest dork on campus?

Jaguar XJ12: You want your kid’s credit rating destroyed via bankruptcy before they work a single day at a real job?

Hahahahaha

Geoff Ombao
Geoff Ombao
7 years ago

Funny, got rid of one car recently, and have been considering a 924S. But as a student, I’m concerned about the ability to use one as a daily driver. Neat cars, tough.

Dominic van Elswijk
Dominic van Elswijk
7 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Ombao

A 924s is still quite expensive to buy and maintain, so you need to keep that in the back of your head. The 2.0, Which I own, is a realy nice, cheaper option. But if you have decent technical skills i’d say go for it. And join a forum of owners so you can ask people questions about any problems you Might have with it. Whatever choice you make, you will have a great time with it I’m sure!

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
7 years ago

Bicycle.

Honda or equivalent.

Pick up truck.

Witawas Srisaan
Witawas Srisaan
7 years ago

When I went to college in the late 80’s, I drove an Alfetta GT. My wife drove an Alfetta Sedan. They were cheap and fun. We even used them to deliver food to make some side money. There were some minor annoyances but never once we had to tow either of them. Alfa 75s/Milanos are like Alfetta sedans during my younger years–cheap, fun, and full of characters.

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson
7 years ago

All these comments on how bad some of the choices are for a student. My only experience is with Volkswagen (questionable reliability) and the Volvo 240. That’s the winner of the whole group! So solid and reliable and with a little help from IPD and Yohifab you can make them really fun to drive.

geelongvic
geelongvic
7 years ago

Student cars for students, most likely cash poor ( unless helped by the Bank of Dad), lets get real with this list.

Realistically stay away from anything on your list that is French, German,, and (God forbid) Italian. With all these European choices on your list, all will result in varying degrees of repair dysfunction and economic catastrophe. With the Fiat 124 Spider you are recommending the equivalent of economic suicide for the student seeking a carefree daily driver. Even the rotary tip seals and end seals of the rotary engine RX7 disqualify the Mazda as a realistic student car based on expected repair issues.

The only legitimate candidate on your list is the MX5/Miata based on safety equipment, reliability, and joy of driving. Other likely viable possibilities, for a student, would be a Mazda 3 or the even better choices of a Honda Civic or a Jazz/Fit.

I could list the multiple reliability misadventures of the German cars selected by my sons during their student years and later, and contrast that with the absolute reliability of the Honda Civics chosen by my daughters. BTW those sons, after unloading their unreliable ( the stories I could tell are unbelievably laughable and hilarious) German cars, are both now happily driving Hondas.

Michael, pay attention to your recommendations, and be kind in what you recommend to likely financially struggling students.

Cheers,
Yr Lyl & Fthfl Srvnt, apologies to HM III

Heriyat Sagdiyev
Heriyat Sagdiyev
7 years ago
Reply to  geelongvic

You forgot to say stay away from British, by far the one you should stay farthest away from. Even more so than Italian. At least the Italian car, you can manage to fix with a Haynes manual and a bit of patience…

Marco de la Peña
Marco de la Peña
7 years ago

So yeah good luck finding Scirocco parts.

Tom DesRochers
Tom DesRochers
7 years ago

If you don’t need air conditioning: Air-cooled VW.
Cheap to run. Cheap to maintain (if you do it yourself). Old hippies will share stories about the shenanigans they got up to with their VW. Paint it yellow and stick an autobot symbol on. You can drive the correct Bumblebee!

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
7 years ago

So lets take an objective look at this list of potential cars for students ;

1) FIAT 124 – A gorgeous pile of garbage that rusts faster than you can drive it with all the reliability of a poorly maintained Yugo that’ll continually live up to the nickname .. Fix It Again Tony .. or to put it bluntly . F___ Italian Automotive Trash .. is the reality of the 124

2) Citroen 2CV – Cute as a bug . About as safe and stable as a black widow spider . And not fit for any student regardless of the bank account/trust fund he/she may have

3) Mazda RX-7 – Ok .. on this one you’ve got a reasonably safe and fairly reliable car . Question is .. is your student mature enough to handle it ? If not … pass

4)Porsche 924 – Take a pass on all counts . Its not safe . Its unreliable . Its too damn fast for most ‘ students ‘ level of maturity … and its definitely too damn expensive to repair

5) VW Scirocco – The first generation .. maybe … the one pictured ? Forget about it . Combine legendary VW unreliability with Porsche level parts and repair price tags added onto a lack of available parts to fix it when it breaks … which is … often

6) Mazda MX-5/Miata – The only one on the list genuinely suitable for a ‘ students ‘ use

7) Jaguar XJS .. V12 or otherwise …. err … hmmm .. ahhh …………………

Bahahahahahahahahaha ! Seriously Banovsky .. you must be joking !

8) Buick Electra – Its a Yank Tank GM pos from the regrettable 80’s . Nuff said … Just say no !

9) BMW E30 – Ok … its safe .. again somewhat reliable .. a reasonable level of performance for a ‘ student ‘ … but then theres those Parts & Repair prices bringing it all down to earth . Pass

10) Mercedes W115 220D – Oh good god ! Seriously Banovsky ? I mean come on . Sure its a Benz .. but its an Dweisil Benz .. which makes it amongst the most unreliable Benz’s one can buy . And the Repair – Maintenance and Parts prices ? Suffice it to say one major breakdown and your kid’ll be transferring over to a Community College toot suite !

No no no no no Banovsky . The best car for your student … classic or otherwise … is the safest .. most reliable .. lowest cost to maintain operate and repair .. moderately performing car you can afford . Anything else becomes an accident/tragedy /bankruptcy in the making . Don’t trust my opinion ? Ask Sir Jackie Stewart . Suffice it to say he’d be laughing his Scottish ___ off over this list .. Miata included !

Student cars indeed !

Dominic van Elswijk
Dominic van Elswijk
7 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

I don’t know about the other cars, but I have to correct you on the 924. First of all, its not fast. I own the 2.0 version, Which is the cheapest version and very much fit for a student as myself. It handles great due to 50/50 weight distribution. It is pretty reliable because it got a modified audi engine in the front, and because its audi and Vw parts it is not expensive to fix and most of the work can be done by yourself.
So there you go, 924 is definitely a solid choice for a good looking classic as a student!

David Zu Elfe
David Zu Elfe
7 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

To no4: First car was a 924, and so were second and now third (I am 23 now). It’s not really fast (I wish it was faster – a lot), it is reliable if maintained properly, it is cheap to repair (I mean there is probably no part for more than a grand if you want to keep it running) and it is as safe as the mid-70s were. The 2.0N/A is a great buy, only the turbos or S-models are more pricy because of all the genuine parts.

Certainly not for everyone but indeed an option. Not the US-models and/or autos because of literally no power but the 125hp combined with the cool layout make it something hated yet special.

Marco de la Peña
Marco de la Peña
7 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

What are you thoughts on an actual Classic student cars? I’m a student car guy so any good recommendation on RELIABLE classic cars shoud be welcome.

HitTheApex
HitTheApex
7 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

Well put, sir, although a first generation RX7 will hurt in the areas of engine maintenance, from redoing seals and finding a mechanic who is actually handy on rotaries to fuel economy and the extra, but not bank-account-breaking cost of an extra oiling or so here and there.

Jack
Jack
7 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

completely agree, here in the UK the E30 (though expensive), 2CV, scirocco (mk2 because there are no mk1’s about to be honest) and the mx5 are the only ones sort of viable.
The RX7… go find one, then afford the rust repairs and rebuild the engine, by the time its on the road you won’t be a student any more, same goes for the Fiat, the w115…. just lol, not everyone is funded by daddies coffers. The rest are an insurance nightmare.

Martin Philippo
Martin Philippo
7 years ago

and there I was, thinking that students usually are poor and short of money.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
7 years ago

…. ahhh … another voice of reason and reality . Molto grazie

HitTheApex
HitTheApex
7 years ago

Pfft! They are? That must be news to some here. Haha!

Good point!

Ellias Karwashan
Ellias Karwashan
7 years ago

The Fiat 124 would be an awesome buy for anyone. A nice example one is still fairly affordable and there are plenty out there that need work. The bumper deletes are pretty easy to do and can really improve the look while giving a nice custom look and with the new one coming out, the value could go up for the older ones.

Hmm…Hemmings, here I come!

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
7 years ago

Cheap to buy . Expensive as ___ to maintain and repair . The rust alone ‘ll break the bank so fast it’ll spin your head faster than that no longer functioning tac on the dash . And then theres the whole issue of parts and availability … not to mention a 2nd car for all those days when the 124’s not working or in the shop … which will be more often than not .

Heriyat Sagdiyev
Heriyat Sagdiyev
7 years ago

They are not expensive to repair, and are simple to repair as a Beetle if you have a shop manual. Guitar Slinger, as usual, has NFI what he is talking about. Total blowhard.

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