Frugal Friday 9

Happy Frigal Fruday!

You say you’re having a mid-life crisis? You say you want an exotic car, but you can’t spend more than $40,000? Tell you what I’m going to do…



From this Hemmings ad a picture of a 1982 Ferrari 308 GTSi with about 21,000 miles. The seller is asking $39,900. For the nth plus nth time, the average “transaction price” for a new vehicle in the US is about $40,000. Also remember that it’s easy, if you have the money, to spend $300,000 and up for a new Ferrari.

Ferrari introduced fuel injection (the “i” in GTSi) into this line in 1980. Here is the rationale from Ferrari’s website:


“The fuel injection system gave both models much smoother power delivery. Unfortunately, meeting anti-pollution regulations meant that a few horses had to go, and the cleaner engines were less powerful than the previous carburettor ones. Aware of this situation and the need to re-establish its cars at the top their class, Ferrari immediately began further development of the V8 engine with the aim of increasing power whilst still keeping exhaust emissions within acceptable levels.”


In US spec, the 2.9 liter V-8 (179 cubic inches for Bill Stephens) produced 205 HP/181 LB-FT of torque. This is not a monster performer and it wouldn’t be cheap to maintain, but it’s a beautiful Ferrari for less than the price of a well-equipped Toyota Avalon. That’s a frugal buy in my book.


From the Classics “division” of AutoTrader comes this car:



This is a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle two-door post model. Although the ad doesn’t specify the vintage, the car is powered by a 350 cubic-inch V-8, which I will assume is a Chevy small-block. This is not the original engine as that displacement was not available on Chevrolet cars until 1967. The transmission is a Turbo Hydra-Matic 350. The seller is asking $17,995.

Heretic that I am I have always preferred the looks of these GM A-Body cars compared to the style introduced in 1968. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder or different strokes for different folks. Anyway, back to this car…even with shipping and a fair amount of work you would probably be in this car for no more than $23,000-$25,000. Yes, one could buy a new turbo-4 or maybe even 6-cylinder Camaro for that price, depending on how it’s optioned. You won’t have any rear quarter vision, though, and to me the new Camaro looks are a little soulless. I think the look of these cars is quite appealing.

Please feel free to offer thoughtful comments.








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10 thoughts on “Frugal Friday 9

  1. Love that car…a friend of mine had one and taking care of it is expensive. But, I love the lines and a Ferrari for $40,000 is “frugal.” Here, the entry fee is relatively low but the consumption cost, well…perhaps that is why the seller has been trying to sell it for the nth plus nth time 😜


    1. LOL! Uh, that’d be a no…I am looking to buy a companion for my 2016 Corvette Z06 after my wonderful wife and I move to the desert. That Ferrari is a “fail” as a grocery car and it costs too much, anyway, even if it’s “cheap” for a Ferrari.


  2. I was a Chevelle guy for a while. Over the years I have owned a 64, a 67 and a 69. The 64 was a 283 Powerglide, the 67 a SS 396 (350 hp) and the 69 was a Malibu that was ordered. The original owner of the 69, whom I bought it from in 1975, wanted performance but not the high insurance of an SS. It was ordered with the 300hp 350ci engine, 4speed, 3.73 Positraction and F41 suspension, and with a bench seat as it was the “family car”. Looking back, I wish I had saved that one, as it was likely the only one built that way. The 64 rusted away to the point it was scrapped, and the 67 was wrecked in a drag race (other car lost control and hit me while I was at 80+mph). Lucky that I wasn’t hurt, and the track safety crew was there in about 45 seconds.Car was a total loss however. I sold it for the value of the drivetrain, $400 IIRC.:-(


      1. I would hope that the attention to detail is better in the rest of the car, than what is shown in the engine compartment. Based on the photos posted, I would want to look a LOT closer at the rest of the car.

        I would give a “value to price” of a 6 on a 1-10 scale just based on the photos. An in person inspection would likely change that. Given its location, I would look for rust repair that was done correctly, how the upgraded power train replacement was done, and just “in general” attention to detail (it’s the little things that make a difference and are time consuming to do correctly)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was skeptical about buying a car online without seeing it in person until I bought my Z06. To play Captain Obvious, an in-person inspection is preferable to buying sight unseen, as it were.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Perhaps I’ve been lucky over the years. I’ve bought I think 18 vehicles online and have only been slightly disappointed once. I have requested certain pictures via email and that helps me decide. If the seller refuses, I suspect that something is being hidden and move on.

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