Craigslist Safari: Is the Salvage Discount Worth It for a 1998 Acura Integra Type R?

Plus, a f***ed up Land Rover Evoque, and a questionable Lambo-Fiero replica.

byChris Teague|
Acura News photo

If you're anything like us, you spend an inordinate amount of time browsing used car listings for absolutely no reason at all. It's just what we do. Project cars, unobtainium collectibles, old survivors, ratted-out barn finds and questionable backyard builds are all on our radar. So we've decided a weekly roundup is in order, a guided tour through the bizarre wilds of one of the internet's weirdest corners—this is The Drive's Craigslist Safari.

Of all the bad decisions you could make on Craigslist, the easiest path to financial ruin is probably through one of the many salvage-titled exotic and luxury cars that make their way to the classifieds after one minor tragedy or another. Salvage titles don't always signal a huge underlying problem. For example, stolen cars can get branded with the big "S" after being totaled out by insurance companies. A perfect restoration of a trashed classic can still carry a salvage title, too.

Then again, so can something like a cheap, clean-looking Land Cruiser that's been pieced back together after a major rollover. Or this BMW 7 Series that a Russian wizard resurrected from the dead. Neither are something you'd want in your driveway—I hope—but both are the kind of thing that make you go, How bad could it be?

If you've got the nerve to really find out, take a look through this week's possibilities. Links to each ad are in the titles below.

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque S

Here’s your risky click for the day. At just $24,950, this 7,773-mile 2020 Range Rover Evoque S is listed for right around half of its original asking price. There’s a smallish problem, though. Well, not so small. The entire driver's side is a wrinkled mess, the result of either a T-bone collision or a doomed attempt at drifting.

Whatever the case, there’s a crater in the side of this thing that may or may not have seriously damaged the underlying unibody structures. It's a risk, but it's also a screaming deal for a nearly-new Evoque or a base for some weirdo off-road build. The selling dealer claims it's drivable but makes no mention of its road manners post-collision. If you've got time to spare, and we all do right now, check out the seller's collection of banged-up Ferraris.

 1998 Acura Integra Type R

Very few Integra Type Rs found their way into the United States during its four-year production run in the late 1990’s, which has given the car a legendary place in the import tuning world. Mint examples have sold in recent years for enormous sums, but this one has a few issues. First, there’s the salvage title, which the seller says is due to a theft. Breathe a sigh of relief there.

Then there’s the laundry list of mods and bodywork that have been done to the car, with no indication of the quality of the installation work. The good news is that even if you didn't want to drive it the car could probably be parted out for more than $15,500. We say drive it—that's kind of our thing. The newly-rebuilt B18 C1 engine, Garrett 35r Turbo, and the seller’s claimed 350 horsepower at the wheels will likely make it fun ride that can be beat on without much worry of ruining a garage queen show car.

Pontiac Fiero-Based Lamborghini Diablo Roadster...Thing

Ok, $16,995 for a replica built on top of a car from 1984 that was never that great to begin with may not seem like a steal, but it is salvaged and it is a lot cheaper than buying a real Lamborghini. Building exotic car lookalikes using old Pontiac Fieros is nothing new. In fact, there may be as many Fier-borghini Diablos left roaming the roads as there are the real thing.

It turns out that the seller's initial statement that the car runs and drives may be a bit of an exaggeration—"parking lot drives," as he puts it. This car’s a work in progress that the seller later says needs someone to take it across the finish line, but even as a finished project this car will leave a lot to be desired. We’ve seen some kit cars that come loaded down with a ton of OEM parts, but this one falls far outside of that category. According to the listing, the only part that would have actually come on a Diablo are the headlights, which incidentally are the same ones from the Nissan 300ZX of the time. 

If you’ve got a hankering for a rowdy kit car, this ain't gonna scratch that itch, but it does look kind of cool. Where many builders choose to go the LS V8 route or even something more exotic, this car's still putzing along with the 2.5-liter four-banger and four-speed manual that came with it from the factory. That engine didn't do much to move the Fiero with any real gusto when it was new, and despite the seller’s claim that a custom exhaust makes it sound great, all of that extra bodywork surely won't help its cause.

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