Re: BAD GARAGE-BEST to AVOID
I've bought lots of sub £1000 cars. In fact, when I think about it, only 3 of my cars have cost more than that. From this I have learned many things.
1. When the ebay ad says "handbrake needs adjustment", it means "needs new rear calipers" - £300).
2. Japanese stuff can generally withstand abuse better than european stuff.
3. There aren't that many cars out there that are simple and uncomplicated any more.
Selespeeds aside, I don't think 156s are any more complicated than many other modern cars. A timing belt change for one is cheaper than the same job on our Volvo for instance, and it has much less electrical kit on it. I think you could find a decent (but not perfect) one for £700. If you're going to run cheap cars you really need to learn how to do at least some of the repairs yourself. If you're the sort of person who can't live with central locking that occasionally doesn't and has a panic attack at warning lights that sometimes come on for no reason, it may not be for you.
Those who drive sub - £1000 156s would, I imagine, take a great deal of pleasure in parking their car amongst much more expensive machinery and having people say "nice car".