Want to be loud, proud and stand out from the crowd? Then consider one of the most famous names on the road. The CTS is a sports saloon that was sold during Cadillac’s dalliance with the European market. However, Brits didn’t embrace it with quite the same enthusiasm as rock ’n’ roll, Hollywood or drive-throughs, so they’re nearly as cheap as a bottle of flat Budweiser. A potent 306bhp, 3.6-litre V6 drives the rear wheels, making this a proper 155mph highway hauler for less than two grand.
One we found: 2007 CTS 3.6 V6 Sport, 56,000 miles, £1995
Ford SportKa 2003-2009
The success of the original Ka took Ford by surprise – it outlived its planned life cycle. But during the first seven years of production, the first question from fans of fast Fords was always: “When’s there going to be a hot version?” It was worth the wait, though. To create ‘the Ka’s evil twin’, Ford dropped in a larger, 1.6-litre engine, paired it with the Puma’s super little gearbox, widened the chassis’ front track, lowered the whole show by 14mm and made both the front anti-roll bar and rear torsion beam stiffer. The result was an intoxicating little buzz box that cost less than £10,000 when new.
One we found: 2003 SportKa, 65k miles, £990
Subaru Impreza 2005-2010
Ah, the Impreza. The wheels of choice for Colin McRae, Ari Vatanen, Carlos Sainz and Richard Burns. But don’t get too excited, because a tidy Impreza Turbo will set you back thousands rather than hundreds. Instead, choose a model without a turbo. Not only is there less to go wrong, it’s lighter (maybe you can convince yourself it’s some sort of homologation special) and, with four-wheel drive, the car will teach its driver how to conserve momentum at every possible opportunity. Better still, check the weather forecast, book a track day when it’s due to rain and enjoy humbling six-figure supercars as you call on all-wheel-drive traction to take the outside line around them.