Almost every gearhead wants the fastest or best-handling car he or she can afford. While there are a lot of quick cars on the market, new sports cars are usually too expensive for many buyers. However, there are plenty of amazing deals on the used market that are ripe for the taking. With so many cheap, fast cars sitting on Craigslist and used lots, it’s pretty tempting to buy one of these performance bargains. While there are a lot of factors that dictate whether or not a used car will be worth your time and money, there are some that are simply built to last, despite the common belief that sports cars are unreliable and difficult to maintain.
Being that these cars are often built to go as fast as possible, they’re sometimes over-designed to withstand many years of burnouts and liberal throttle usage. Not to mention, many performance cars built by commonplace brands often share components with low-end models, keeping parts cheap. However, sometimes, automakers only manage to make their cars fun to drive for a few years before they have to take an extended and expensive vacation to the mechanic. While there may be well-maintained examples of such cars, they often have a fatal design flaw that can never be permanently negated, no matter how much money gets dumped into it.
Here are 10 fun cars that won’t let you down and 10 that inevitably will.
20. Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – Buy
There are many gearheads who mourn the passing of Pontiac. While many of these people forget that the company mostly sold rebadged, bland Chevys, it’s cars like the Firebird that make many individuals nostalgic for the old performance brand. While the Firebird was largely based on the Camaro, its unique styling and performance options made the Pontiac more desirable than its Chevy counterpart. Powered by a Corvette LS1 V8, this fairly lightweight muscle car is still fast today and can easily be modified for extra performance. That Corvette motor and the transmission it’s hooked up to have proven to be bulletproof, and the car it’s attached to is cheap to buy parts for. Given that nice examples can be found for under $8,000, it’s not a bad investment for those looking for some cheap muscle.