Ten desirable used cars that are impossible to find


Some cars are like certain pop songs: they become hugely popular before fading away. While there's no shortage of classic rock or 1965 Mustangs in America, some once-loved cars have become scarily endangered.

These are Jalopnik readers' picks for the ones that we want but increasingly cannot find.
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Photo Credit: Garret Voight

10. Isuzu Impulse (both generations)

Suggested By: nataku83

Why its absence leaves us longing: Isuzu never had a stranglehold on the US market, but the two generations of Impulses (and the second gen's Geo Storm twin) were pretty popular in their day. The rear-drive turbocharged first generation is more desirable, but both have become exceedingly scarce.

Photo Credit: Kuha455405/ja.wikipedia

9. Merkurs

Suggested By: Jonee

Why its absence leaves us longing: Ford's attempt to peddle its respectable Euro-market cars in the US wasn't a smashing success, but they did sell a fair number of Scorpios and XR4Tis. They have all but completely gone to parts yards in near-futile support of their dwindling numbers. The Scorpio in particular is approaching total extinction.

Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org

8. Renaults

Suggested By: spectra

Why its absence leaves us longing: It's one thing to have a popular individual model fade into extinction; it's another to have that happen to whole nameplates. French cars in general are as scarce as bargain-priced grand cru Burgundy in the States, and after a long presence with some interesting cars it's sad to see how Renaults are essentially all gone.

Photo Credit: Mike Baehr/Flickr

7. Nissan NX2000

Suggested By: TrampaOnline

Why its absence leaves us longing: B13-platform Nissans are fading out as a whole, but the baby-928 NX2000 has almost completely gone away. Part of Nissan's early-Nineties renaissance, the NXs were excellent hatches with intriguing styling. As Nissan has sort of drifted, so too have the NX2000s been dispersed like so many snowflakes.

Photo Credit: Paulscf/en.wikipedia.org

6. Honda CRX in original condition

Suggested By: Burt Reynolds Mustache

Why its absence leaves us longing: Sure, there are still a few CRXs out there if you don't mind one that's been slammed and B16'd and stuffed full of A-pillar gauges and AutoZone "lightweight" pedals. Everyone's favorite Zen econoracer has been subject to more gross abuse and violations than practically any other car, although its Integra sister is in the same dire straits.

Photo Credit: Mitch Barrie/Flickr

5. Dodge Rampage

Suggested By: veritas4156

Why its absence leaves us longing: In some ways the brilliance of this idea was on par with that of the minivan: take the form factor of the El Camino and apply it to the front-drive L-car (Omni/Horizon) chassis. Chrysler sold a fair number of the smallish car-truck hybrids, but they (and far too many other interesting and speedy L derivatives) have become exceedingly rare sights.

Photo Credit: Ian Langworth/Flickr

4. Acura Legend

Suggested By: 3pedalsgood

Why its absence leaves us longing: An ignoble fate for the car that started the upscale-Japanese movement in the US, the Legend has rapidly become an afterthought for most people as they disappear from the scene. Both generations are desirable: the first cars are some of the nicest-looking midsized sedans and coupes ever, the latter are supremely comfortable, and neither is a common sight anymore.

Photo Credit: snapranch/Flickr

3. Fiat X1/9

Suggested By: minardi

Why its absence leaves us longing: Two parts to this: First, it's a Fiat, which means that it's subject to traditional Fiat accelerated entropy, although the basic structure is profoundly strong and the mechanicals are childishly simple to maintain. Second, it's the representative for the entire class of affordable mid-engined cars, including the Fiero and MR2, that are proving to be very difficult to find as they start to be appreciated in retrospect.

Photo Credit: Ben.H/Flickr

2. Volkswagen Scirocco (both generations)

Suggested By: Vizzini

Why its absence leaves us longing: The Scirocco used to the the number-one Europhile alternative to Japanese front-drive sports coupes, and they were everywhere. Now they exist in a very strange space that combines seriously low purchase prices with impossible availability, which leads to the deep fear that they've all been used up and thrown away. Completely tragic.

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1. Mitsubishi Starion/Plymouth-Dodge-Chrysler Conquest

Suggested By: DannyBN

Why its absence leaves us longing: Contemporary testers called the big turbo Mitsubishi coupe the near-equal of the Porsche 944. That perfectly-proportioned chiseled shape used to be a common presence. Now they're almost completely gone. Why? What happened? How could the auto enthusiast community not cherish and support such an excellent machine? We are reduced every time another one of these gets taken off the road or track.

Photo Credit: Michael Hanlon/Flickr