I bought the car for $300 with the intention of just fixing the bare necessities, and using it as a winter car, and so far I've done just that.
When I bought it, it had been sitting for about 2 years in a muddy, grassy field. Despite that, it still started right up on the day I bought it without even needing a jump!
The body is in very good shape with minimal rust, and it's never been in an accident. The original owner used it to get him to and from work on the harsh roads of my hometown. He also severely neglected it, using it on weekends as a mudder. The way he treated it would make you think that it's a real piece of junk, but surprisingly, it's not. It's never failed to start, drives smoothly and comfortably, doesn't use a drop of oil, and runs so quiet that if it weren't for the slightest exhaust leak that it has, you probably could barely even hear it.
When I bought it, it needed rear brake calipers, rotors and pads. It also needed a water pump and timing belt. I also changed the plugs, wires, air filter, fuel filter and transmission fluid and filter. The rear sub-frame eventually rotted out and broke right down the middle (which isn't surprising considering it was sitting for so long and was so neglected). Although, it did take about 700 lbs. worth of tool boxes and tools that I was hauling to work to finally get it to break. I have replaced the sub-frame, and continued to drive it.
I'm very surprised with how well-built this car is. The doors shut with a heavy "thunk", and the sheet metal used on the rest of the body is some pretty serious stuff. Trying to get it to even flex in the slightest way is no easy task. The interior is fairly clean, and there isn't a rattle anywhere that I can find (and rattles are something I simply cannot stand, so if there was one, I'd find it).
I haven't really gotten to see how well the AWD works, but with a New England winter approaching, I should find out soon enough.
I very happy with it and so far have no regrets. For about $700 in total I have a nice little beater that's tough as nails.