Three days after I bought the car, the power steering belt broke, ironically enough, on the way to the auto parts store to buy new belts.
The car smoked like a forest fire on start-up after sitting more than a few hours.
The alternator was going bad.
The battery died.
The belts squeaked even after being replaced several times.
Seats were badly worn.
Brakes needed redone.
The car needed new tires.
The paint was badly weathered.
The shift indicator was broken so you had to count the gears when you took it out of park and moved it to drive.
The power windows were like a logic puzzle: Certain ones worked from certain switches, but not all of them worked from all the switches. For example, I could put the rear driver's side window DOWN from the front master switch, but to put it back up I needed to use the switch on the rear door.
The air conditioning compressor had frozen up and been bypassed completely with a new belt routing.
I admit that this car was probably nice in its day, and probably past its prime when I bought it. However, it was badly unreliable. It tried to kill me three days after I bought it--the power steering belt broke on the interstate. Try exiting a highway doing 65 MPH in a 3500 lb. car with no power steering!! Plus, that's the belt that ran the water pump, so it overheated in traffic as I limped two miles to a parking lot to call AAA.
The car sat in my driveway for about two months until the title came back, when I sold it. Three days after the new owner bought it, she turned a corner, the battery hold-down came loose, the battery hit the frame and blew up the alternator, shorting out the whole car and almost killing her. Last I heard, she had donated the car to charity.