Budget builds – readers’ cars gallery

Our Facebook followers show us some of their best ‘bang-for-buck’ finds


WE LOVE the idea of big fun for little money here at Street Machine, so we put the call out on our Facebook page for you guys to post some photos of the best bang-for-buck cars you’ve ever owned.

Make sure you’re following the Street Machine Facebook page so you don’t miss any of the cool interactive content we’re sharing and for your chance to have your cars featured here.

Watch next: Budget-built Hemi-six Chrysler Valiant wagon video

Ben Kersten: $700, 1979 Chrysler Sigma five-speed manual. Serviced it, chopped the springs and daily-drove it through the peak of summer while my comfy BF XR6 Falcon sat at home unloved. Sold the Sigma and doubled my money to eventually buy a rusty GQ Patrol that I had for two weeks before realising it was a bucket. I wish I didn’t sell the Sigma!

Michael Emery: My $1000 Mercedes.

Ben Watkins: My $600 Datsun 280ZX was so much fun.

Mike Roycroft: My airbagged VF Safari is not bad for what it cost. Looks awesome and gets a lot of attention.

Aaron Duke James: My first car was a 1978 Triumph 2500S that my Dad and I picked up for (no joke) $330. We fixed all the rust and designed a custom paintjob with ghost flames, HK Monaro GTS-style offset racing stripes and a custom fade from blue/black metallic to spectrum-fan blue through to Jag silver. I even got to lay out the ghost flames using an airbrush with a little guidance from my old man. The fun I had building this car and the stories I can tell you about a young lady and I who enjoyed this car (perhaps a little too much) will stay with me forever! I used to drive the car regularly between Portland and Adelaide while I was at university and it was an absolute blast!

Justin Purchase: My old CL Valiant panel van.

Reilley McKay: My 1981 diesel Ford Courier. I paid $900 for it and I still love it. Pretty soon I’m planning on doing a conversion and trying to run 11s for under $2000.

Jay Dunbar: This is my VG Valiant wagon. I bought it for $200 and sprayed it undercoat with metallic maroon scallops. I cruised it for a couple of months and then resprayed it purple and fitted mags. The costs were spread between a few mates so it made it the ultimate tight-arse fun!

Paul Hunter: I bought this 1968 VE VIP Valiant for $800 in 1984.

Leigh McAninch: My $200 Fiat 131 was a riot for a few months; it was a tail-happy little bastard and had ridiculous bodyroll thanks to the rooted shocks.

Aaron Henry: This Val owed me under $1K all up. The best fun car ever!

Steve Haskell: This is my genuine Track Pack Pacer; it cost me $950 back in 1983. I’ve had a lot of fun doing track days in it at Oran Park.

Jeff Vali Ant: My $900 LC GTR. Unfortunately I lost my licence in this; the police had to wait until I finished blowing the tyres out before cuffing me in ’86. I don’t condone unlawful driving practices…

Justin Case: This one! I paid just $350 for it, added a few suspension bits and I had the wheels lying around. It was treated badly its whole life. I bent a valve and broke a rocker arm at Queensland Raceway, but the old girl still got me home on five cylinders.

Laurence Day: I bought this Centura in 2003 for $1000 and put a 265 in it. It was fun; it’s dead now though.

Rob Coburn: It’s no street machine, but I got this BMW for $1800 in the UK and drove it through 40 countries through to Russia, and it’s still going. One day I’ll get to Australia.

Terry Bain: Cost me $200 and not a cent more. It smashed many sets of tyres!