Category Archives: Secondhand Saints

Highlighting used cars that offer a lot of bang for your buck.

Secondhand Saint: 1992-1996 Jaguar XJS

Jaguar has quite a storied history with regard to sporting automobiles.  The E-Type is still remembered and revered as one of the most beautiful cars ever made (even Enzo Ferrari admitted to this at one point).  But, this story isn’t about the E-Type, or the XJ6, or the modern Jags that people lust after.  This is about what I see as a potential diamond in the rough–the last generation of the venerable Jaguar XJS, a car that I think is a bit overlooked. Continue reading Secondhand Saint: 1992-1996 Jaguar XJS

Mazda MX5 Miata, the enthusiast’s Ace in the hole

1993 Mazda MX5 Miata
My 1993 Mazda MX5 Miata

Today was the first day of Spring, and the weather, while still a bit chilly by most standards, was nice enough to take my MX5 Miata out for some roofless fun. I met up with my friend Dan, whose photos have been featured on this site many times, and we went for a nice long drive, two Miatas tearing hard through the woods. This was one of those days where you just forget everything else in your life, and enjoy cruising along. For me, such cruising is like a form of meditation, very in the moment, and focused on enjoying the little things in life. An MX5 allows you to enjoy the world even more, because with the top down you are truly outside, connected with your surroundings. Toward the end of the drive I had a huge grin on my face, and I got to thinking about exactly what it is that makes this car so great, for so many people.   Continue reading Mazda MX5 Miata, the enthusiast’s Ace in the hole

Secondhand Saint: Mercedes R63 AMG

Mercedes R 63 AMG - Front Angle, 2007, 800x600, 4 of 66

The Mercedes R-Class is not the last word in anything. It’s probably a good example of a blue-chip company laying an egg at the worst possible time. Mercedes-Benz is a full-line automaker in most of Europe but in America, it’s better known for luxury cars. Of course, the top brass at M-B didn’t quite know what to expect when the R-Class came out. Made in Alabama and Mexico, it wasn’t a normal Mercedes. But, once AMG saw it, they couldn’t resist doing what they do best: shoehorn a ridiculous engine into it, put it on wide tires and lowered suspension, and sell it like sliced bread. Only this time, sliced bread sold like New Coke. Continue reading Secondhand Saint: Mercedes R63 AMG

Secondhand Saint: Jeep Wrangler TJ

Jeep can be considered the inventor of the SUV in America.  The Wrangler, still in production today, is a reminder of where the original SUV came from.  The TJ model, produced from 1997-2006, is, in my opinion, the best interpretation and the best mix of modern technology and old-style design, with time-tested engines, classic styling, and unlimited ability to go anywhere. Continue reading Secondhand Saint: Jeep Wrangler TJ

Seconhand Saint: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8/9 (2003-2007)

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX

These days the Evo is one of the most respected cars on the road. In stock form it is one of the ultimate rally bred, point-to-point missiles money can buy, and Evos that are modified easily have the potential to give Ferrari owner something to worry about. Yet despite their hardcore performance they are also just normal Japanese sedans on the surface, making an Evo one of the best overall daily drivers out there. Obviously all of this makes these things quite a hot commodity on the secondhand market, so lets look at the details.     Continue reading Seconhand Saint: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8/9 (2003-2007)

Secondhand Saint: Ferrari 456 GT/M

Ferrari 456M, by Philipe Collinet

Ferraris really are their own breed. There are other cars out there that may offer similar, or better, performance, but none can match the allure, the prestige, and the pedigree of a true prancing horse. Obviously most Ferraris are far too expensive for most people to afford, but there are a few that have dropped into the realm of possibility for those who cannot write off six figures for a car. This is the Ferrari 456, a member of the Gran Turismo lineage that stretches back to the legendary 250 GT. When it was introduced for the 1992 model year, the 456 was the first worthy Ferrari GT car since the 365 cars ended production in the 1970s. It was a breath of fresh air after the dreadful 400/412 line finally was put out of its misery after 15 years of production. Now they can be had for a reasonable price.     Continue reading Secondhand Saint: Ferrari 456 GT/M

Secondhand Saint: BMW M6 (E63)

BMW M6

The BMW M6 is a legitimately proper Grand Touring car by all modern standards. There is no compromise, or sense of it being outdated because it was only discontinued in 2010. It also did not change much at all over it’s lifespan so the ones from 2006 are just as good as the ones from 2010. Because of this, M6s did not hold their value well at all, and they are becoming more and more affordable for normal people.    Continue reading Secondhand Saint: BMW M6 (E63)

Secondhand Saint: Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG, S65 AMG, S600 (2003-2006)

The S600, the top of the line, non AMG, S-Class

Ah, Mercedes-Benz.  Just the name brings up thoughts of expensive country clubs, upper-class attitudes, and feelings of being in the 1%.  Their flagship sedan, the S-Class, has always been a leader in its market since the 1970s, and despite the high entry price, still sells itself better than the competition.  The previous-generation W220 was the one that brought this fantastically flashy flagship into the 21st century, and now some of the most powerful ones (namely, those with some sort of forced induction) can be had for a fraction of their original value.  For reasons that shall be discussed later, we’re going to focus on the S55 and S600, as the S65 is significantly harder to find even today.          Continue reading Secondhand Saint: Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG, S65 AMG, S600 (2003-2006)

Secondhand Saint: 2005-2009 Subaru Legacy GT (and Spec.B)

Legacy GT Spec.B

Subaru’s reputation for stout, well-built AWD cars has been a cornerstone of their selling points for over twenty years now.  And about a decade ago, the turbocharged Impreza WRX showed that this company could build an excellent all-around sports sedan for not a lot of cash.  A few years later, they started turbocharging the Legacy and Outback, and gave a new reason for buyers to switch to a boxer engine and AWD. Continue reading Secondhand Saint: 2005-2009 Subaru Legacy GT (and Spec.B)

Secondhand Saint: Toyota MR2 Spyder (2000-2005)

Back when Toyota made really fun cars, the MR2 was their answer to the Mazda Miata.  Low-slung, small, and mid-engined, the MR2 Spyder represented a true sports car configuration for the price of a milquetoast Corolla sedan.  While it never enjoyed the success of the MX-5, they’re a great way to get a little mini-Boxster for a fraction of the price. Continue reading Secondhand Saint: Toyota MR2 Spyder (2000-2005)

Secondhand Saint: 2006-2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS

High performance SUVs were a strange thing back in the early part of the new millenium.  General Motors had just launched their newest midsize SUVs in 2002, the GMT360 lineup.  The lineup included the new Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy (which would go on to win Motor Trend‘s 2002 SUV of the Year), and the Oldsmobile Bravada (notably, the last new Oldsmobile, which eventually became the Buick Rainier).  But, no one quite knew about the trick that GM had up its sleeve for the TrailBlazer. Continue reading Secondhand Saint: 2006-2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS

Secondhand Saint: Infiniti G35

G35 Coupe

The G35 pretty much saved the Infiniti brand when it came out. It offered an extremely solid package for a very good price offering better performance than its German competition for less money. The G35 shared its platform with the Nissan 350Z, making the sedan a four door sports car and the coupe a more comfortable Z. It was a rock solid lineup and they sold like hotcakes to executives and enthusiasts alike. Now they are among the best used cars you can buy if you’re looking for something that’s got everything.     Continue reading Secondhand Saint: Infiniti G35