As soon as we got the car it went back to the used car dealer over 5 times because it wouldn't pass emissions. They replaced the muffler, O2 sensors, and opened up the engine to scrape the carbon out of it to get it to pass. Soon as it passed inspection the alternator went, and then again a week later. The car burned gallons of oil from the start, about a quart every 4 or 5 days. At around 130,000 the car started running very roughly at highway speeds. The mechanics scratched their heads for weeks over this; replacing spark plugs, wires, the Catalytic converter, until finally they unplugged the EGR module and the problem went away (except that we had to remember to plug it back in for inspections). At 146,000 it started to run rough again, but at lower speeds, and was burning excessive oil (up to a quart every 2 days). Replacement of air filter and spark plugs fixed the problem for about 5 days, and then it came back. At the same time the radiator started leaking and the smoke coming out of the car went from blue/black to white - usually a sign of a blown head gasket. Now the car is at a salvage yard.
The car was obviously cheaply built, but it was kept simple so at times this made repairs easier. It drove nice on the highway, took corners well, and had great brakes - definitely fun to drive. The twin cam engine had plenty of horsepower for getting on the highway. In spite of all the oil burning and malfunctions, we pushed the car for 3 years with only 3 "sessions" at the shop. The clutch was getting near the top when we bought the car, and somehow that clutch never let go - I was prepared to replace it within the first year and never had to. Some days it would run smooth like a Lincoln, other days you thought it was a model T. It didn't like cold weather very much and would run funny all day long unless you let it idle for 10 minutes to warm up. It vibrated like a hotel bed when it idled and every piece of plastic trim rattled and hummed until you thought you'd go crazy. It was my girlfriend's first car and she hit everything including sign posts, boulders, guardrails, 2 Ford pickups, and a tree, and with the plastic bumpers and dent resistant panels you would have never known it... she caused $2000 in damage to a Ford Ranger and we just kicked out the dent in her bumper and drove away. Overall a true heap, but good for a cheap first car.