Unloved as they are, let's give Chrysler's K Car its due. Thirty years ago, the K represented a sea change in the Pentastar lineup. Not only did the K and its derivatives return Chrysler to the black, the architecture proved versatile enough to underpin basically the entire lineup, from minivans to LeBarons to turbocharged Daytonas. Southern California now has an official K Car club – fitting, as that's likely the only place you could find an early '80s Chrysler without lots of rust. Club membership is open to the entire swath of cars that share this similar architecture, known as the "EEK" models, so you won't get kicked out for showing up in a Caravelle instead of an Aries. Now's the time to hunt one of these cars down if you're looking for a cheap, enjoyable way to get into the hobby. They're available for a song, don't yet command any respect (perhaps they never will), yet the K Car is edging its way toward official classic status regardless of what some traditionalists might argue. The K Cars are nearly classic, they're historic and significant and worth saving. The hobby must live on after all the boomers are buried in their Tri-Fives, and a Reliant would be a great way to show an interested kid the basics.
[Hemmings Classic Car - sub req]